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11/12 The Politics of Race & Oil

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Liz Skilton

on 12 November 2018

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Transcript of 11/12 The Politics of Race & Oil

Louisiana History
The Politics of Race & Oil
Paper deadline for last MOVING to MONDAY, APRIL 23.

Where We Left Off
A Shift In Concern -- 1970s
The Era of Edwin Edwards
Governor, 1972-1980 & 1984-1988, also 1992-96

Oversees changes post-Civil Rights Movement, through Feminist Movement, & through boom and bust of oil industry

Was reminiscent of Long -- charismatic, outrageous, and considered himself "king"

Starts with The Feminine Mystique, 1963 -- really affects LA in 1970s

fight for equal rights in LA society for women
--> stems off of Civil Rights Movement

Successful at:

-elimination of the
“Head and Master”

provision of Louisiana’s matrimonial law,

reform of rape laws and credit practices that discriminated against women

election of women
to higher political office -->
Lindy Boggs

-and the creation of the state Office of Women’s Services

Stunned by
LA Legislature rejection of Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Oil Boom, Oil Bust
1981-1985: When it's Bad...
By mid-1980s, Louisiana has the highest unemployment rate in the country (1 in 8; 1 in 4 in Monroe)

Oil at $10 a barrel

Laissez les bon temps rouler!
First billion dollar state budget (1979-80)

Edwards spends $$ on EVERYTHING

Construction of Superdome -- meant to be "8th wonder of the world" -- $35 mil to $400 mil.

Education, reduced state income tax, elimination of state property tax
The bust starts in 1981, hits country by mid-1980s

Begins with deregulation of gasoline implemented by President Ronald Reagan

Edwards' Solution to the Budget Crisis
Sharp budget reductions in health, education, welfare, and transportation

Colleges & universities face 11 drastic cuts to budget

Governor Edwards
pushes switch to tourism, casinos, and gambling for creation of new jobs

Casino push fails in legislature due to growing enemies
Edwards leaves office 1980 (Constitution says he cannot serve 3rd term consecutively)

Promises to run again in 1983!
David Treen, 1979-1983
First Republican Governor since Reconstruction

Heavy spending continued

Failed World's Fair 1984 -- $140 million loss

Creationism Science in schools debate
Changes in Culture
McCrea 1971
Southern Decadence
Up Stairs Lounge Fire
1970s: When it's Good...
-Adds about $1 billion in additional income in LA between 1979 & 1982

Edwin Edwards greatly increases state $$ by raising severance tax on crude oil by 30% and natural gas by 50%
First Two Terms in Office
Extremely Popular!
All because of oil!
Oil in Louisiana
Expansion of Offshore Drilling
: Gulf Refining Company drills in Caddo Lake--1st over water drilling in United States
: 1st well constructed out of sight of land by Kerr McGee & Phillips Petroleum
1950s--92 platforms in water 100 feet deep
1960s--about 500 platforms in water 350 deep
1970s--12,500 offshore rigs
United States v. Louisiana
Continental Shelf Proclamation (1945)
stated that the federal government
had jurisdiction over all offshore resources
, but President Truman is willing to negotiate.
Leander Perez
No thanks.
June 5, 1950: US files suit against LA and TX; Supreme Court rules in federal favor.

Submerged Lands Act
-- establishes 3-mile radius for state-controlled drilling, everything else federal property
United States v. Louisiana
Oil in the 1970s
Past 1950s, focus on oil growing, but 1970s takes off in Louisiana

Oil boom in 1970s (3 reasons):

1. Looser regulation
2. Expansion of offshore oil drilling
3. Louisiana Offshore Oil Port created (1972)

Studying Modern History
1. History can only be studied up to 1970s
(used to be 1960s, or WWII)

2. History can only be studied until you were born

3. History can be studied up until the very last second
(as long as you keep in mind perspective will change)
What This Means For Us
1. How we describe Louisiana history now will be very different than how we explain it 10-50 years from now.

The best way to do modern history is to draw comparisons to the past.

Ex: What effect have our policies of the past had on today? (e.g., economic spending, development, debates over civil rights)
Louisiana From 1970-2010
Faces a lot of the same issues, thus
might be considered a "period" in Louisiana history
everything leading up to 2000s disaster
everything following

Directly related -- Cause & Effect
-Racial & civil rights issues
(extending to sexuality and social justice)
-Environmental and economic policies

Look to 1970s/2000s comparison for answers
3. Pre-Katrina

4. Post-Katrina
1. Pre-Huey Long & Post-Huey Long
2. The Long Civil Rights Movement
The Effect of the Oil Boom
Policies Pro-Oil
Development of region's oil resources

Canals and pipelines to make it more accessible

Offshore drilling and onshore drilling at greater depths & larger production rates
1/3 of ALL US oil and gas production and transport
occurs in coastal LA

Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP)
nation's only deepwater oil port

Henry Hub
natural gas market center
in Erath, LA--
most active in North America
Environmental Effects
Canals & pipelines/oil development result in one cause of coastal change

Much of state still tied to oil industry (past 1970s)

Increased offshore oil development along with future oil discovery ("fracking")
leave Louisiana vulnerable to environmental crises
past the 1970s --> particularly spills & water contamination

Also a concern over who suffers as a result of these crises
Louisiana History Since the Civil War
Extra Credit
Please pick up your papers by Tori on way out
1960 - 1965
The 1960-61 New Orleans School Crisis
The Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana
Jimmie Davis:

Campaign promise that
he would use the power of Governor's office to fight desegregation at all costs!
Post-Brown in LA
Most schools do not desegregate unless forced

To force a school to desegregate,
you needed to prove they had actually discriminated in court of law
-- could take years!

NAACP kicked out of Louisiana (led most of court cases to force school to desegregate)

But several parent groups continuing to push court cases through Louisiana courts (from 1954 - 1960)....
September 1960
One case on New Orleans schools makes it to state courts

Judge Skelly Wright orders that first grades in all N.O. public schools would desegregate

School Board appeals to Governor to halt process!
Davis rides white horse, Sunshine, up state capitol steps and into governor's office & orders Superintendent to open schools on
November 14, 1960
Judge Wright bristles -- says Governor's actions illegal

N.O. School Board caves, first graders in 2 schools would desegregate ("Test")
-3 Black children go to McDonough 19
-1 Black child to William Frantz School
Norman Rockwell Painting --
"The Problem We All Live With"
Other Civil Rights Movement Events
Lunch counter sit-ins -- even in towns like Monroe & Lake Charles! --
Freedom Summer -- run by CORE -- to teach blacks how to pass LA Literacy Tests for voting
Extreme persecution for workers & attendees --
Threats of racial violence everywhere! (March in Bogalusa) &
Deacons for Defense --
Freedom Riders --> goal was to get to Louisiana, never make it; test case by LA Women --

Civil Rights Act of 1964
outlaws discrimination of all forms based on race, class, sex, or national origin

Voting Rights Act of 1965
prohibits racial discrimination in voting
Will Influence Gubernatorial Election of 1964
Candidate backgrounds:

1. Current governor
2. Long legacy
3. Staunch segregationist
4. Education superintendent
5. KKK wizard
6. Taxicab operator from NOLA

John J. McKeithen, Long legacy, who
promises era of post-racial harmony
"There's room in Louisiana for all people, for all races. They must be treated with dignity and respect without ridicule and without abuse."
Ruby Bridges
Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost, & Gail Etienne
Edwin Edwards to the Rescue!
3rd Term in Office
Promises to fix economy and restore state again -- "laissez les bon temps rouler"

Gets in trouble --> $18 mil spent on election 1983/4
-$10,000/person trip to Paris w/Gov.
Says it is to support economy
"Anyone but Edwards" 1988-1992
Soon after starting 3rd term, investigation into Edwards' favoritism & illegal dealings over
state hospitals

Trials in Louisiana over mail fraud, obstruction of justice, and bribery
-Trip to Paris turns into a big scandal
-Brother made out to be "bag man"; Edwards acquitted, but image as fraudulent sticks

Does not win reelection
--> but a lot of this has to do with
Scandal in the Governor's Office
"Anyone But Edwards" (1986/7)
Buddy Roemer has unexpected victory using ABE slogan

Promoted the idea that he was "Mr. Clean"

Very effective election ads & promise to promote change
Buddy Roemer As Governor
The Plan to Reduce the $600 Million Deficit:

-Cut state spending to higher education, charity hospitals, state highways, & state police

-Elimination of state subsidy to ethanol industry

-Sales tax raised to 4% for 1 year (implemented for every year after)
Roemer's Goal: Reduce the $600 Million Deficit
1. Try to develop new avenues for revenue (
) aka Pro-Gambling -- allow legalization of gambling throughout state and taxes on it

2. Cut back on "something for nothing" LA spending
-first wave of "welfare" debate
Gambling Legalized!
1989-90 -- Creation of State Lottery

State receives 35 c. for every $1 spent

Also authorizes riverboat gambling -- listed as "gaming"
-Video gaming, poker machines, and others at truck stops
In Addition...Education Reform
Had promised teachers a raise

Links it to evaluation of teaching methods!
-Discipline methods
-Chalkboard legibility
The Abortion Controversy
1991 -- LA Legislature bans practice of abortions in Louisiana

Governor Roemer vetoes bill --
Roe v. Wade
(1972) would have made this illegal anyways

LA Legislature overrides his veto!

US District Court Judge declares ruling unconstitutional
& Rise of Conservatism
The Welfare Mother/Queen -- 1980s

Stereotype: Black woman, multiple children, receiving checks from fed. gov't
With Welfare discussion -- What this means:

State starting to shift RIGHT politically!
Election 1992: The Election From Hell
1990s in U.S. Culture
Presidents: George Bush (Sr) & Bill Clinton

Economic Crisis to Economic Boom

The Birth of the Internet

Affirmative Action, LA Race Riots, OJ Simpson --> all dealing with longer effects of Civil Rights Movement, Race, & Emergence of "New Right"

The Wizard vs. The Lizard
1991-2: An Interesting Year
LA catapulted into national spotlight again
Edwin Edwards
-- former 3x Gov, corruption scandal, still very popular
2 Things Happening:
Change Nationally & Change Locally
LA in largest economic depression
-- 1 in 4 unemployed in some areas
Economic livelihood tied with oil market
-Major affect on lower-income populations, race plays a major role here

Political system
is perceived to be
most corrupt in nation

Highest dropout rates (HS);
teachers' salaries the lowest

--> Known stereotypes of LA as backwards exacerbated in popular culture -- Steel Magnolias, Blaze, A Few Good Men
Why Was David Duke Popular?
Aimed his message at major issues of the 90s --
"standing up for the little guy"
-racial change (Affirmative Action),
-school busing,
-and Welfare Mothers

Extremely racist & anti-semitic, but proclaimed he had "changed"

"The Race from Hell"
Internet & Media Influence
David Duke funded via online forums
-First internet hate site formed to support him

Election between the "Wizard & the Lizard" becomes central focus of 24-hr. news
-Candidates do interviews on Larry King, Phil Donahue, etc.
New Orleans
does major expose on David Duke's past
-unveils KKK background
-anti-Semitism beliefs extremely strong
-Pro-Implant/birth control bonus for women on welfare

Bonus - 1 PT -- Watch Videos! -->
The Election Results -- Edwards Wins!
Increasing concern that election of David Duke would lead other states to remove business & association

EVERY major political leader (Rep, Dem, & Pres Bush) support Edwards

Edwards wins! --> by 30% of vote
More Importantly:
It also is in direct conflict over Race in the post-Civil Rights era
-already had debates over
and budget cuts
school integration pushback
--> now "class-based" schools
New Orleans in chaos --
murder rates, crime, and racial tensions flaring
David Duke
-- Metairie rep., former KKK Grand Wizard, founder of National Association for the Advancement of White People
John J. McKeithen, of Long legacy, who
promises era of post-racial harmony
"There's room in Louisiana for all people, for all races. They must be treated with dignity and respect without ridicule and without abuse."
End of 1960s
What Edwards/1970s Really Known For
A Slow Start: Oil from 1901-1947
Deepwater Horizon Spill 2010
State now has $600 million deficit
Opposition to Duke
Monument Controversy & Duke in the 1990s
Monument Controversy & Duke in 2017
Full transcript