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Response to snowy owl (Reply #165)

Fri May 27, 2016, 06:32 PM

171. Civil rights, desegregation, same sex marriage, Lilly Ledbetter...

Life was better in the 1950s for racists. It was better in the 1950s for people who felt a woman's primary purpose was to stay in the home and rear children. It's not that EVERYONE in the 1950s liked those ideas by a long shot, but it was considerably more socially acceptable to believe in them; or to put it more accurately, believing in them was not as taboo as it is in American society today.[

People seem to forget there were recessions in 1953, 1958 and 1960. They weren't fun. There was a reason Richard Nixon in 1960 ran on his foreign affairs experience and Cold War hawkishness. That was because many people were frustrated with the economy and thought Eisenhower and the Republicans were poor stewards of it. The end of a robust U.S. manufacturing sector that provided good jobs to white men without a college degree can be traced to what happened in the steel industry in 1959. The end of unions and the end of American low and mid-range manufacturing started there (we still lead the world in advanced manufacturing, quite nicely too, but you need fancy college degrees for that). Ironically, conservative white men blamed every possible social change that came later for their relative economic decline instead of the real problem that DID start in the 1950s.

https://www.quora.com/Was-America-better-in-the-1950s

Discrimination was open and savage; in some places, state terrorism was rampant.

Jim Crow was in full swing during the 1950's and it was not quite the charmed life for blacks like it was for whites during that time.

I think you feel way because the problems of the country during that time were not YOUR problems.

A large portion of the country had a form of legal Apartheid. Lynching was still mostly legal. State sanctioned terrorism against Black Americans in the South and Latinos in the SW was unpunished. Voting for many people was impossible. Open discrimination of almost any group you can think of was socially acceptable. Women had few property rights or employment rights. Domestic abuse was unpunished. The environment was being destroyed. Culture, except for underground subcultures, was insipid. Many kinds of private sexual activity was illegal. Interracial marriage was illegal in many states. Police departments and the FBI did despicable things with impunity.The nuclear arms race and cold war was in full swing. Movies and books were censored, including great works of literature. Many creative workers had their careers ruined by blacklisting from the McCarthy craze. The Korean war was wasting lives. 1 in 20 Americans were regularly prescribed Milton a tranquilizer. 21% of women had taken if the previous year in one study.

In all, a rather disgusting time period.

Was America better in the 1950s? No. Just different.

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