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 Racism and LHOTP

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Joe
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PostSubject: Racism and LHOTP   Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:12 pm

Just finished watching the episode 'The Wisdom of Solomon'. Do you remember this one? A black boy runs away from home and makes his way into Walnut Grove and goes to school for the first time. Miss Beadle asks the class "What don't you like?" Willie says. "My sister" and puts himself in the corner. Laura says "Homework".
Then she calls on Solomon and he says, "Being a nigger."
I was blown away.
This show touched upon many social issues that I suppose will be with us for a long long time. I bring this thread up because just yesterday a co-worked used the word and I said nothing. I didn't even shake my head. There was a silence between the two other people present and after a few seconds he said, "yeah, I guess I'm a racist." I said, "yeah, well, that's not my place to judge." But what I wanted to say is "STFU".
Landon brought us a great show that still can teach lessons.


"Willie, were you or were you not looking at the corsett ads in the catalogue?" - Nels

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Carol
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:34 pm

I sure do remember this episode well too.
I also remembered when Solomon asked Charles if he wanted to live long, he said something like... What would you rather do, Be a white man a live to be 50 or be a black man and live to be 100?

I am Hispanic and have dealt with racial issues myself (things done against me). I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and able to stand up for what's right in future occurrences even though you might feel like a little ant or embarrassed to speak up. If you just get the words out, it's like an inner power comes out of you and in the end you feel good for standing up.

You're right, that is a powerful episode. I always end up crying in the end when Solomon is thanking everyone for being able to attend the school and learn. cryB


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ChristinaAL
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:44 pm

Carol wrote:
I sure do remember this episode well too.
I also remembered when Solomon asked Charles if he wanted to live long, he said something like... What would you rather do, Be a white man a live to be 50 or be a black man and live to be 100?

I am Hispanic and have dealt with racial issues myself (things done against me). I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and able to stand up for what's right in future occurrences even though you might feel like a little ant or embarrassed to speak up. If you just get the words out, it's like an inner power comes out of you and in the end you feel good for standing up.

You're right, that is a powerful episode. I always end up crying in the end when Solomon is thanking everyone for being able to attend the school and learn. cryB

I cry at the end, too. It is a very powerful episode - and like you said, Joe, something we can still learn from. It always amazes me how race can even be an issue to some small minded people. How can they not see that a person's skin color has nothing to do with the person they are? No




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Amy
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:35 am

Oh, I absolutely loved that episode. And it's one that makes me cry buckets of tears. Todd Bridges's performance was so amazing...it would have been awesome to see him go on to do other things beyond Diffrn't Strokes, because that boy had some serious talent.


It's interesting that this thread was brought up today....I just watched a Highway to Heaven on racism today....I never watch the show, but it's on GMC and today it revolved around a Hallocaust survivor. It was a good episode. Michael Landon loved to give us episodes that really make you think, that force us to remember, and learn from the past.


Carol, I love Michael Landon's (well, Charles's) reaction when Solomon asks him that question about how he would rather 'live'....honestly I think that entire scene was one of Michael Landon's best ever---I'll never forget it.
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Gin
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:41 pm

This is one of those episodes that just said volumes over what was said. Todd Bridges will always have an "A" from me on this one. That boy could be calm an crying almost instantly. I believe in an interview he said he would just think of his homelife and that would bring on the tears.
As for Michael, I'm so glad he brought kids in that could tell about racial issues. I think if it weren't for the time period of the show he would have probably kept Todd on as a regular.
I agree Amy, one of Michaels best!




It is the lack of Christianity that has brought us where we are. Not a lack of churches or religious forms but of the real thing in our hearts. LIW.....Words From a Fearless Heart
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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:58 pm

Just to play the devil's advocate...

It always felt like cheating to give the Ingalls such progressive ideas about race, whether it involved blacks or native Americans. You know, everyone else was a product of their time, yet the Ingalls' attitudes were magically more in tune with the 1980s than the 1880s.

It might've been more honest to have made Charles & Co. at least a little bit racist, and have them learn their lesson along with everyone else.
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Joe
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:26 pm

Rob wrote:
Just to play the devil's advocate...

It always felt like cheating to give the Ingalls such progressive ideas about race, whether it involved blacks or native Americans. You know, everyone else was a product of their time, yet the Ingalls' attitudes were magically more in tune with the 1980s than the 1880s.

It might've been more honest to have made Charles & Co. at least a little bit racist, and have them learn their lesson along with everyone else.

That's not a bad point Rob.
The show wasn't exactly factual, for sure. But good drama plays on the social issues of the day. LHOTP was sugary at times but lessons were to be had, hidden in the entertainment.
The Ingalls family had their share of issues in certain episodes, I don't think they were portrayed as the perfect family in every episode. Darn close, but they had blemishes too.
They never did a gay themed episode, did they? That would have been interesting.


"Willie, were you or were you not looking at the corsett ads in the catalogue?" - Nels

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ChristinaAL
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:15 pm

Joe wrote:
Rob wrote:
Just to play the devil's advocate...

It always felt like cheating to give the Ingalls such progressive ideas about race, whether it involved blacks or native Americans. You know, everyone else was a product of their time, yet the Ingalls' attitudes were magically more in tune with the 1980s than the 1880s.

It might've been more honest to have made Charles & Co. at least a little bit racist, and have them learn their lesson along with everyone else.

That's not a bad point Rob.
The show wasn't exactly factual, for sure. But good drama plays on the social issues of the day. LHOTP was sugary at times but lessons were to be had, hidden in the entertainment.
The Ingalls family had their share of issues in certain episodes, I don't think they were portrayed as the perfect family in every episode. Darn close, but they had blemishes too.
They never did a gay themed episode, did they? That would have been interesting.

Yes it would've been...for some reason I'm picturing Harriet being amusing in an episode like that LOL.




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Amy
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:27 pm

So true Rob. How about the episode where Laura was less than accepting about the Jewish man in town, remember that? And Albert and pa were both upset with her? And also I'm thinking of the episode with Graham that dealt with child abuse? That one had Charles wanting to wash his hands of that man--he couldn't find the good in him at first. It was Ma that saw the bigger picture there. I just wanted to mention those instances because they both popped into my head upon reading your post. But you're right, as a rule the entire family is deeply (unusually/magically) evolved.
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Vanesa
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:27 pm

I don't like this episode. It made me sad and anguish. I do not like people hating each other.

Vanesa. No


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easyt72000
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:09 pm

Do you remember the speech that Joe (can't remember his last name-the boxer) made in the courtroom when larabee was on trial for burning down the Garvey's barn? Amazing episode. Especially Larabee's comments at the end. One of my favorite later episodes. Also when Charles and solomon were going to church, and Mrs. Oleson asks where solomon came from and Charles said it was his son from a previous marriage. Genius!
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Amy
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:32 pm

Oh, yes---that was a great episode/speech, I agree. And the way ML delivered that one line in the other episode was brilliant! As funny as the line was, I can't quite see it coming out of someone's mouth back then though. But yeah---it really made the show!

Welcome to the board, by the way!
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bethandmanly
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PostSubject: Re: Racism and LHOTP   Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:59 pm

Rob wrote:
Just to play the devil's advocate...

It always felt like cheating to give the Ingalls such progressive ideas about race, whether it involved blacks or native Americans. You know, everyone else was a product of their time, yet the Ingalls' attitudes were magically more in tune with the 1980s than the 1880s.

It might've been more honest to have made Charles & Co. at least a little bit racist, and have them learn their lesson along with everyone else.

I agree with you, Rob. That’s why when I want a truer to life show set during my favorite time period, I go with Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Colorado Springs had townsfolk, those we saw more than once or twice, who hated the immigrants, who feared and despised the Indians and thought General Custer (at least before Washita) was a wonderful guy. And even post-Washita, the fear of the Dog Soldiers kept them from getting too friendly with the Indians, and the threat of disease meant the immigrants could kindly live far, far out of town.

DQ has a barber, who would become the town’s mayor, who was an alcoholic. Jake didn’t just drink when something bad happened to him; like when Jonathan Garvey picked up the bottle after Alice’s death. He drank a lot. He was drunk a lot. And though he cleaned up toward the end of the series, his drinking caused him and the town a lot of trouble.

But we also have to remember that LHOP is based upon books written by an older woman, who was looking back at her life as a girl. Laura sought to capture life as she saw it back then, which was way more romantic than it probably seemed to her as an adult. That’s what Michael Landon wanted to capture—the romance of that time, the pioneering spirit, without all that bad stuff. Yes, he did tackle some big issues, but it was often with a softer lens than the lens history uses.

Would young Laura see her parents or the townsfolk she knew and loved as racists? Probably not. As you said, they are a product of their time. So, in essence, Michael captured things the way Laura portrayed them, even if he wandered from the books for plot.

easyt72000 wrote:
Do you remember the speech that Joe (can't remember his last name-the boxer) made in the courtroom when larabee was on trial for burning down the Garvey's barn? Amazing episode. Especially Larabee's comments at the end.

Barn Burner is a great episode. Joe was a wonderful character. I always wished he and Hester Sue would have gotten married, but alas, Moses Gunn went off to work on Father Murphy, and Hester Sue returned to WG all by herself and worked in the restaurant until the end of the show.


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