Blacklisting is the action of a group or authority, compiling a blacklist (or black list) of people, countries or other entities to be avoided or distrusted as not being acceptable to those making the list. A blacklist can list people to be discriminated against, refused employment, or censured. As a verb, blacklist can mean to put an individual or entity on such a list.
Origins of the term
“A register of entities who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition.” “As a verb, to blacklist can mean to deny someone work in a particular field, or to ostracize a person from a certain social circle.” “Conversely, a white list is a list or compilation identifying entities that are accepted, recognized, or privileged.” The English dramatist Philip Massinger used the phrase "black list" in his 1639 tragedy The Unnatural Combat.
After the Restoration of the English monarchy brought Charles II of England to the throne in 1660, a list of regicides named those to be punished for the execution of his father. The state papers of Charles II say "If any innocent soul be found in this black list, let him not be offended at me, but consider whether some mistaken principle or interest may not have misled him to vote". In a 1676 history of the events leading up to the Restoration, James Heath (a supporter of Charles II) alleged that Parliament had passed an Act requiring the sale of estates, "And into this black list the Earl of Derby was now put, and other unfortunate Royalists".
Edward Gibbon wrote in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776) of Andronicus that "His memory was stored with a black list of the enemies and rivals, who had traduced his merit, opposed his greatness, or insulted his misfortunes".
The first published reference to blacklisting of an employee dates from 1774. This became a significant employment issue in American mining towns and company towns, where blacklisting could mean a complete loss of livelihood for workers who went on strike. The 1901 Report of the Industrial Commission stated "There was no doubt in the minds of workingmen of the existence of the blacklisting system, though it was practically impossible to obtain evidence of it." It cited a news report that in 1895 a former conductor on the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad committed suicide, having been out of work ever since a strike: "Wherever he went the blacklist was ahead of him".
Though the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 outlawed punitive blacklists against employees who supported trade unions or criticised their employers, the practice continued in common use. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 made amendments which sustained blacklisting by affirming the right of employers to be anti-union, and by requiring trade union leaders to make loyalty oaths which had the same effect as the Hollywood blacklist. Since then, lawsuits for unfair dismissal have led to blacklisting being covert or informal, but it remains common.
World War I and II
During World War I, the British government adopted a "blacklist" based on an Order in Council of 23 December 1915, prohibiting British subjects from trade with specified firms and individuals, in neutral countries; the lists were published in The London Gazette.
In the summer of 1940, the SS printed a secret list called Sonderfahndungsliste G.B. ("Special Search List Great Britain") as part of Nazi Germany's preparations for invasion codenamed Operation Sea Lion – when this booklet was found after the war, it was commonly called The Black Book and described as a black list or blacklist.
Hollywood anti-communist blacklist
The Hollywood blacklist was instituted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 to block screenwriters and other Hollywood professionals who were purported to have Communist sympathies from obtaining employment. It started by listing 151 entertainment industry professionals and lasted until 1960 when it was effectively broken by the acknowledgement that blacklisted professionals had been working under assumed names for many years.
Blacklisting by multiple providers is a systematic act by doctors to deny care to a certain patient or patients. It is done in various ways for various reasons; blacklisting is not new. In 1907 the Transvaal Medical Union in South Africa blacklisted patients if they could not pay cash in advance. In this case, there was a physical list kept by the community of physicians. A physical list is not necessary to blacklist patients but the effect is the same.
The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) found that reviewed hospitals did not generate incident reports for 93% of adverse events. The 7% of the time when they did generate reports, the information was inaccurate 63% of the time. Problems causing harm to patients were reported accurately only 2% of the time. If blacklisting is multiple providers systematically denying care to a certain patient or patients, in this case patients with iatrogenic injuries, it is reasonable to define it as blacklisting when 98% of the time the first group, treatment providers, singles out members of the second group, injured patients, to prevent them from having an accurate record made of what injured them. Those patients are further injured by not having the accurate record necessary for getting care for the injuries.
Credit card merchant accounts
Companies which have a payment card merchant account terminated, and their directors, are often added to a list referred to when companies apply for an account; they are then unlikely to be granted a new account by any provider. In the US the list is called TMF/MATCH.
In computing, a blacklist is an access control system that denies entry to a specific list (or a defined range) of users, programs, or network addresses.
California Proposition 8 supporter
Following the passage of California's Proposition 8, Proposition 8 opponents obtained donation lists of those who had supported the ballot measure by contributing to the "Yes on 8" campaign, published the list, organized an activism group, and began calling for boycotts of the places of work of the supporters to force the firing or resignation of employees. Chad Griffin, a political adviser to Hollywood executives and same-sex marriage supporter explained the intent of the campaign by saying, "Any individual who has held homophobic views and who has gone public by writing a check, you can expect to be publicly judged. Many can expect to pay a price for a long time to come." There has been controversy as to whether this is an appropriate response to the passage of Proposition 8 on the part of those opposed to it.
- "blacklist Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Cambridge Dictionary. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "Blacklist definition and meaning". Collins English Dictionary. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Peter Chadlington (2005). The Real McCoy: Understanding Peculiar English. Icon. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-84046-684-3.
Philip Massinger (1761). Dramatic Works: A new way to pay old debts. The great Duke of Florence. The unnatural combat. The bashful lover. T. Davies. p. 194.
Might write me down in the black List of those That have nor Fire, nor Spirit of their own
- Paul McFedries (August 5, 2008). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weird Word Origins. DK Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-101-21718-4.
- Great Britain. Public Record Office (1968). Calendar of state papers, domestic series, of the reign of Charles II: preserved in the state paper department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office. Longman, Green, Longman & Roberts.
- James Heath; John Phillips (1676). A Chronicle of the Late Intestine War in the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland: With the Intervening Affairs of Treaties, and Other Occurrences Relating Thereunto. As Also the Several Usurpations, Forreign Wars, Differences and Interests Depending Upon It, to the Happy Restitution of Our Sacred Soveraign K. Charles II. In Four Parts, Viz. The Commons War, Democracie, Protectorate, Restitution. J. C.
- Gibbon, Edward (18 July 2005). "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 8". Online Library of Liberty. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- Robert E. Weir (2013). Workers in America: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 71–72. ISBN 978-1-59884-718-5.
- United States Industrial Commission; Balthasar Henry Meyer; Roswell Cheney McCrea (1901). Report of the Industrial Commission on Transportation, including testimony, review and topical digest of evidence, and special reports on railway legislation. U.S. Government Printing Office.
- The Encyclopedia Americana (1920), Blacklist
- Philip Gooden; Peter Lewis (September 25, 2014). The Word at War: World War Two in 100 Phrases. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-4729-0490-4.
- Wilkerson, William (1946-07-29). "A Vote For Joe Stalin". The Hollywood Reporter. p. 1.
- Baum, Gary; Daniel Miller (November 19, 2012). "Blacklist: THR Addresses Role After 65 Years". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Deacon, Harriet; Phillips, Howard; van Heyningen, Elizabeth, eds. (2004). The Cape Doctor in the Nineteenth Century: A Social History (Clio Medica, 74). Editions Rodipi B.V.
- Ashcraft, Amy; Dorrill, Ruth Ann (March 2010). "Adverse events in hospitals: Methods for identifying events" (PDF). oig.hhs.gov. HHS. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Resist the Blacklist". The Ledger. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
- Rachel Abramowitz and Tina Daunt (November 23, 2008). "Prop. 8 rifts put industry on edge. Hollywood is at odds over whether to shun supporters of the ban". LA Times. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
- Weinstein, Steve (2008-11-25). "Are We Being Bullies? Debate Rages Over Boycotts". Edge. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
- Lorence, James J. (1999). The Suppression of Salt of the Earth: How Hollywood, Big Labor, and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America. University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0-8263-2027-9.
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