Why Lily White

English: Lily in garden

Image via Wikipedia

The term Lily White has a long and ugly past as it applies to American history and its culture.

Specifically, the term Lily-White Movement, as defined by Wikipedia, was an anti-civil-rights movement within the Republican Party in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement was a response to the political and socioeconomic gains made by African-Americans following the Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which eliminated slavery.  Black leaders gained increasing influence in the party by organizing blacks as an important voting bloc. Conservative white groups attempted to eliminate this influence and recover white voters who had defected to the Democratic Party.

“The lily white movement is one of the darkest and underexamined eras of US Republicanism.”

This movement is largely credited with driving blacks out of the Republican party during the early 20th century, setting the stage for their eventual support of the Democrats.

In essence, the movements goal was to suppress the votes (or in my opinion, the VOICE and Validity) of Black Americans.

As I began to speak up and speak out about a problem that touches far to many lives I realized pretty quickly that most people didn’t want to hear about the reality of the problem. It almost seemed as though the words I spoke offended a falsely innocent view of american culture and the violence that is going on in american children’s lives at the hands of adults, usually the adults that are closest to them.

A few definitions from around the web:

Defined by Double-Tongued.org

1.) Lilywhite

n. a person without a police record; someone who does not trigger suspicions; a clean-skin.

This particular definition is the one that solidified my decision to use the term as the Pseudonym I would blog under. I started blogging specifically because the subject of Childhood Sexual Abuse, a subject that has recently and violently thrust itself into mine and my family’s life, was one that seemed to offend the public so much so that even as a victim/survivor, speaking about any aspect of the issue is highly frowned upon publicly. As I understood it, if I wanted to speak up, if I wanted to talk about this issue, it would have to be done privately and somewhat UNDER THE RADAR, so to speak.

The bottom line is, MY VOICE WON’T BE SILENCED. I WON’T CONFORM AND SHUT UP. But like many things, sometimes the best approach is one that is the least abrasive, for the moment at least.

I have quoted Dr. King many times before on this blog. Here are some that have resonated with me:

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

TheFreeDictionary.com

2.) lil·y-white (ll-hwt, -wt)

adj.

1. White as a lily.
2. Beyond reproach; blameless.
3. Informal Excluding or seeking to exclude Black people.
lily-white

adj

1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours) of a pure white lily-white skin
2. Informal pure; irreproachable
3. US informal

a.  discriminating against Blacks a lily-white club
b.  racially segregated

Adj. 1. lily-white – restricted to whites only; “under segregation there were even white restrooms and white drinking fountains”; “a lily-white movement which would expel Negroes from the organization”

white

segregated, unintegrated – separated or isolated from others or a main group; “a segregated school system”; “a segregated neighborhood”

2. lily-white – of a pure white color.

achromatic, neutral – having no hue; “neutral colors like black or white

 

Yourdictionary.com

3.) lily-white

adjective

white as a lily

innocent and pure; unsullied: often used sarcastically

practicing discrimination against, or segregation of, nonwhites, esp. blacks

 

White Washing or White Washed has a specific meaning as well and I found would be appropriate to be included into the Pseudonym.

To white wash something would be To conceal or gloss over (wrongdoing, for example).

The biggest problem with CSA is the refusal of adults to acknowledge that there is a problem at all.

This post is a work in progress and may be revised…

 

One response to “Why Lily White

  1. Wow!! Thank-you for sharing this. I agree that far to many people prefer to turn a blind eye and pretend that these things don’t happen. I too am a survivor of sexual abuse, by someone who was trusted by my family. I also feel I need to use a pseudonym, but I will not keep quiet. Far to many children are being hurt. We need to speak up so they feel that they can speak up as well.
    Thank-you Lily White, I am thinking of you and your family.

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