Historiographic note: the term “ever, ever, ever”

  1. From The Wall Street Journal, online:

KENANSVILLE, N.C. – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump declared African Americans are worse off than “ever, ever, ever,” at a rally Tuesday in this town named after a slaveholder, three days after President Barack Obama said he “missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow.”

Speaking to a mostly white audience in this small town in eastern North Carolina, Mr. Trump made what is becoming a trademark overture to black voters. “We’re going to rebuild our inner cities, because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worse shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” he said.

2.

 

Gay marriage in the Supreme Court: an item for Justices Ginsburg and Kagan

For Justice Ginsburg, who seems distressed that the Supreme Court’s decision to rule on the issue of abortion in Roe v. Wade has led to social turmoil,

and for Justice Kagan, who I hope was expressing disapproval of the prolongation of evil when she said, “We let issues percolate, and so we let racial segregation percolate for 50 years from 1898 to 1954,”

this item.

It comes from a letter from John W. Wilson of Leesburg, Florida, to the editor of a liberal magazine, The Nation, where it was published on p. 75 of the issue of January 17, 1934. The topic was the then socially acceptable practice of lynching, and about that Mr. Wilson took a long, judicious view, this way.

Perhaps it may be necessary to spell out that if lynching had been put to a popular vote in 1934, or if segregation had been put to a popular vote in 1954, strange fruit would still be hanging from the trees.