but is it art

Racist Gallery Available For People Who Can’t Afford To Visit Alabama

ArtBig Rapids, MI –- Jim Crow is back, baby! Ferris State University has recently opened the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia and it is chock-full of beautifully restored treasures of hatred. The museum has the nation’s largest public collection of racist artifacts. Founder David Pilgrim makes no apologies for the museum and hopes it will serve as a learning tool to those who need to be taught it isn’t polite to hate. The shiny new museum only cost $1.3 million which is a bargain compared to turning the entire South into a giant fishbowl.

The Museum offers a timeline of the African American experience in the US, divided into six sections: ‘Africa Before Slavery,’ ‘Slavery in America,’ ‘Reconstruction,’ ‘Jim Crow,’ ‘Civil Rights’ and ‘Post Civil Rights.’

David Pilgrim says it “is all about teaching, not a shrine to racism.” The gallery is “to get people to think deeply.” Pilgrim, who is a dude of color, is no stranger to racism. He is also a former sociology professor at Ferris State. He started the collection over 30 years ago in Alabama, a very obscure place to seek out racist artifacts. But Pilgrim had a hunch that racism might be in other places too, so he followed his instincts and eventually wound up with a 2000 piece collection. It was a good thing that there was so much hate and racism everywhere to make his job so easy. Pilgrim says, “It became the way I relaxed.” With all of these unlimited examples of relaxation, he felt it was time to donate his collection to Ferris State University.

This is also great news for Asians, Mexicans, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, religious, homosexuals, homeless, disfigured, obese, women, mentally and physically challenged people who are looking to find something to do with all the hate memorabilia they collect on a daily basis. This could create so many galleries, jobs and provide education to those who have not mastered racism.

The gallery opens April 26 and admission is free to most. [ NY Daily News]

About the author

Erik Jay is currently unemployed, but has a history of managing various motels and quitting customer service jobs on day 1. He still feels accomplished graduating from a continuation high school in 1989.

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121 comments

  1. Barb

    Have they erected the statue of the transvaginal ultrasound yet for the women who will be the slaves of the future?

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      "Captain, Womb Drives are ready."
      "Mr. Sulu, Womb Factor 6. Please."
      "Aye, aye, Sir."

        1. PuckStopsHere

          Actually, snark aside, I was in Alabama just last week and found the people of Tuscaloosa to be helpful and nice. We were at the University of Alabama and everything seemed to be cool there. And good luck to your Flyers, btw.

          1. Dudleydidwrong

            I'm in Alabama on business as I write this. Can't say that I disagree about the nice people but hell, nice people are everywhere. It's when they have to deal with religion and politics that they tend to get a bit, uh, ruffled. I don't think that the Civil War has ended yet down here.

    2. skoalrebel

      We're all slaves to the future, Barb. [spit!] They keep tellin' us to do something for future generations. But what the fuck have future generations ever done for us? [spit!]

          1. Barb

            The best women know that when the beer arrives, it had better be cold and cracked open and spitting is wrong.

        1. starfanglednut

          There's a guy in one of my AA meetings who chews that stuff. Carries a styrofoam cup to spit into. One of the most disgusting things I've seen in quite some time.

    1. Crank_Tango

      that would be cool if they had some sort of symbol that racists had to wear…like something on their lapel, a colored star or something, no wait, maybe not.

      1. Jus_Wonderin

        Chappelle Pins? Yes, it makes no sense but…it seems perfect that they'd have to wear it.

  2. mavenmaven

    This is also great news for… You racists, you left out Jews and Little People! This article goes into the museum!

    1. johnnyzhivago

      WTF? What is that the Log Cabin Wing of the Klan???

      "Hey Vern, tonight we's a gonna string up a coupla nigras – and then we're rehearsing that awesome new set we're planning for the state convention!"

  3. Crank_Tango

    I'm not racist but…some of my best friends are blah…you know who else…oh whatever, happy friday everyone!

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      I am off to the farm. So a perfect weekend is in the offing.

      I will be "out standing in my field".

    2. flamingpdog

      ♪ Kickin' in the front of the bus
      Sittin' in the back of the bus
      Gotta let whitey make my mind up
      Which seat can I take? ♪

  4. Goonemeritus

    “The gallery opens April 26 and admission is free to most.”

    Does he plan to just charge the Irish?

  5. prommie

    Hey, many hipster blah peoples ironically collect racist memorabilia. I would love to find a genuine old paper with a "No Irish Need Apply" ad in it.

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      Actually, I agree. I love to have something like that if I had any idea what my heritage was. I think we might be French and Dutch. I am confused. Mostly.

    2. Fare la Volpe

      I had a black professor who legitimately did collect racist memorabilia. Truth be told much of it was part of a lecture she did on representations of color, but she said that by collecting and mocking a piece, it helped her to take away the sting of its message.

      There are also artists out there like Jean Grosser who take hate literature and turn it into empowering art about racism and antisemitism.

    3. Man0nTheStreet

      "No Irish Need Apply"
      – wasn't that on the cover of a PiL or Big Audio Dynamite album?

    4. natoslug

      Fortunately, nobody's ever told a joke at the expense of us Poles, or we'd have to take a break from all our mathematics and getting slaughtered to go beat on someone.

  6. JustPixelz

    If the Confederacy had won the Civil War Between the States, he could have stopped with the "Slavery in America" section. But think of how much more stuff he'd have in his collection. Including himself! (Unless he was able to runaway from Alabama.)

  7. SayItWithWookies

    I can't wait for the Museum of Reverse Racism to open up — that'll be highlighting people who call Rush Limbaugh a racist, black people who get admitted to college (because — you know — equal opportunity stuff) and anyone who mocks Sarah Palin's children.

  8. prommie

    Watermelon and fried chicken up there, but no grape soda. Grape soda references are much more hip than watermelon and fried chicken references. And don't forget the fear of dogs and ghosts, known as "sperrits."

  9. skoalrebel

    Hot damn! [spit!] I'd like some of that stuff for my front yard. The trailer needs a bit o' sprucin' up this spring, and there's some mighty fine stuff there. [spit!] Thanks, Wonkette!

  10. Fare la Volpe

    So…am I the only white person who totally wants to see this?

    Whenever my confidence soars too high, I need to find a new excuse to hate myself and all of humanity.

    1. widestanceromance

      As an openly white man, I'd go, with my colored husband, just to bring the awkward (I assume my admission would be reduced by bringing him–wait for it, yes, only 3/5ths retail price!).

    2. Negropolis

      I keep reading about how people go and get depressed looking at the exhibits, and maybe it's because I'm young, but I want to go for a good time. If it will be inappropriate to laugh at stuff so comically offensive, maybe I need to skip this. Plus, Big Rapids is very far away, even for most Michiganders.

  11. coolhandnuke

    I call bullshit on "a dude of color." David Pilgrim is quite possibly the whitest, blandest, crackerbarrelest, milquetoastiest, WalMartiest, McWonderbreadiest name to fall off the saltine truck in a coons age.

  12. prommie

    I hear they are going to build the Museum of Lynching in Tavares, Florida. Or else Roseville.

  13. dadanarchist

    "Racism must be over if there's a museum of it!" – Fox News Bobblehead, Any Day Now

  14. OneDollarJuana

    Hey, don't be dissin' Big Rapids. I met my lovely wife there in a tequila-soaked haze of green smoke at the shack of her deer-poachin' white trash (at the time) cousin. I have very fond memories of Big Rapids.

    And she's still very lovely.

    1. spareme

      Fakakta you beat me to it. A guy I work with, the biggest racist, lunitic rightwingtard, and in general asshole, was a parent on his daughters field trip there yesterday. ALL of us at work could not wait for him to get in here today, figuring they probably had to kick him out of there. Instead, he came back in awe of the whole thing, including the lesbian exhibit they have up right now (it's outstanding). If this made that kind of impression on this guy, maybe every asshole in the country should see it.

    2. Negropolis

      Read the article, my dear. This isn't some white dude collecting Klan robes for "posterity".

  15. Arken

    According to an Antiques Road Show I saw once, collecting racist kitsch is a niche market in the black community.

  16. Abbystinence

    Museum to include:
    1.) Fox News Employee Roster
    2.) Republican Voter Rolls
    3.) Caucasians residing south of the Mason-Dixon line

  17. Man0nTheStreet

    "The gallery opens April 26 and admission is free to most."

    So, teh Joose are charged, both to enter and to leave?

  18. Mumbletypeg

    I can't bear to have that image (photo) flicker across my screen here at work, so I'll be returning later to peruse y'all's valuable snark later, when I'm back home, after ritually cleansing my eyeballs with bleach.

  19. not that Dewey

    I expect to see an exhibit of people eating dogs, right?

    Anyway, Michigan, New Mexico has got you beat. Yes, that's right. It's a single Stormfront I mean storefront.

    1. Guppy

      The contents consist of a single picture of an arrow pointing west, captioned "Arizona is that way."

  20. flamingpdog

    Michigan? I'm looking forward to the man-on-the-scene report from Wonkette's own Negropolis. ROAD TRIIIIIP!!!1!

  21. smitallica

    The new museum features a pre-Civil War Wing, a Reconstruction-Through-Today Wing, and a Fried Chicken Wing.

  22. chicken_thief

    Admission is free, but parking is $50. Except for Cadillacs and SUVs with 20 in spinners, which get free, front row spots.

  23. Antispandex

    Ah, the good old days, when everyone knew their place….Has Ann Romney anything to contribute, I wonder?

  24. SockBunny

    And the Cafeteria! I've always wanted to design a hate-themed menu.

    Bogtrotter's Boiled Dinner
    Spic N' Spam Special
    Greasy Wop Macaroni
    Fruit Salad
    The Sheriff's sh*t-eating-grin chocolate pudding

    And so on. I'm sure you guys can do better.

  25. bagofmice

    I would be one to think that the racism museum is a bit like the holocaust museum. Kind of a "never again" instrument.

  26. glamourdammerung

    But I keep getting screamed at by teabaggers about how their was no racism beyond Robert Byrd being in the Klan at one point (back in the 1940s, an era of enlightened tolerance of other races).

  27. groverjefferson

    So, I know we're all here for lulz, but I'd be remiss if I didn't put in my two cents to say that I've had personal experience with this project, and its intent is indeed a noble one.

    Dr. Pilgrim (who gives outstanding speeches on the importance of racial diversity and the lasting realness of discrimination to a campus that specializes in more technical education) collects these artifacts to get them out of the hands of people who would collect them with fondness, and instead directs them toward a larger goal. Seen in one room, the collective effect of these objects, which are all freely sold and traded today all over our supposedly "post-racial" society, are a powerful reminder of the work we've yet to do as a country.

  28. Negropolis

    I really have to get to this, one of these days. I remember when the local media was interviewing the guy when he was looking for a home for the exhibit. He'd essentially had the stuff packed into his house, but could only show so much of it (and only at particular times). He's been working on this project, for years, and it's good to see he found a home, though, my only gripe is that I wish he wouldn't have ended up all the way up in Big Rapids.

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