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America's racist legacy


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Author Topic: America's racist legacy  (Read 376 times)
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« on: September 10, 2014, 03:13:26 am »


from the Los Angeles Times....

History of economic exploitation still hinders black Americans

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Tuesday, September 09, 2014



NOW THAT the confrontation between outraged black protesters and heavily armed white police in Ferguson, Missouri, has subsided, most of America has moved on to other news. The police shooting of Michael Brown that sparked those protests did prompt a brief debate about the use of force by police in African American communities and the U.S. Justice Department has stepped in to investigate bias, bad policies and poor community relations in the local police departments. But, as concerning as deadly encounters between cops and black kids may be, they are just one symptom of a far deeper problem of race that Americans continue to evade.

Yes, it is true that the most overt forms of racial discrimination have been banished. A black family lives in the White House. Black celebrities and sports stars are widely admired, even beloved, by white Americans. Where, 40 years ago, African Americans were nearly absent from TV screens, now black actors take the lead in numerous popular television programs and black spokesmen are the public faces of insurance companies and other corporate advertisers who would not be doing such a thing if they thought it would lose them money.

Plenty of examples can be found to show that the country has changed, enabling thousands of individual black Americans to achieve great success. As a result, many — maybe most — whites believe racism is a problem that has been solved. When it is pointed out that a high percentage of blacks still lag far behind in household income and net worth, as well as in educational achievement, the not-always-unspoken assumption among many white people is that blacks just need to work harder, get off welfare and stop committing crimes.

That assumption betrays a woeful ignorance of history and economics.

All but the most unrepentant racist knows that slavery was evil and that the years of Jim Crow and segregation in the South were little better. But, not everyone recognizes how, though those wicked days are past, their negative effects linger and fester. The economic toll on black people during the long decades of oppression was staggering. Many immigrants — Irish, Italians, Chinese and others — came to this country and suffered discrimination, too. Eventually, though, doors opened for all of them and bias withered away. They, or their descendants, were able to take part in the economic life of this society and build wealth over time. For black Americans, that opportunity came very late, if it came at all. (Only Native Americans were as cut off from America’s ever-expanding riches.)

From the arrival of the first slaves in the 17th century until emancipation in the 1860s, most blacks not only had no economic opportunities, the fruits of their very hard labor were stolen from them by their slave masters. After the Civil War, most continued to be locked in servitude as sharecroppers and servants. They were cheated, they were robbed, they were marginalized, brutalized and lynched. Economic advancement was nearly impossible.

A great many Southern blacks moved north seeking a better deal. Some found it, but many also found they were blocked from getting better-paying jobs, from putting their children in the best schools and from buying homes, even in poor neighborhoods. The economic rules and the legal system were rigged against them.

The cost of this exploitation is almost incalculable in monetary terms. The extreme damage done to community life, however, is all too obvious. It is the same damage evidenced in any poor community, but compounded by generations of neglect: poor health, undermined family structures, inadequate education, underemployment, crime, addiction, incarceration and social alienation.

Year after year, America spends millions of dollars on cops and prisons to contain the worst manifestations of this legacy of discrimination, but never do we take on the burdens of the black community as a burden we all share. Of course, black Americans must do their part — and a great many are trying with all their might to break out of the cycle of violence, despair and economic insecurity in which they find themselves. But white Americans need to break out of the lazy smugness that allows them to ignore their own responsibility to their fellow citizens.

We are all in this together. It is long past time to face up to America’s greatest shame and spend the money, time and effort it will take to erase it once and for all.


Related political commentary from David Horsey:

 • Unsung civil rights heroes fought and died for our freedom


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-history-hinders-black-americans-20140908-story.html
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2014, 10:18:17 pm »

History of economic exploitation still hinders all the people on the planet


Violence Against Whites


http://violenceagainstwhites.wordpress.com/statistics/

Race baiting by the mainstream ministry of propaganda some people call it news

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=race+baiting
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AND WAKE THE F_ _K UP
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 09:22:58 pm »



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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 07:20:06 am »

It wouldn't matter if a black was tripping down the street firing bursts from a machine pistol and leaving a trail of dead and dying in his wake.  When the police take him down, a cry of police brutality will go up and blacks will demonstrate and riot in the streets for weeks.
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2014, 10:05:19 am »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Michael Brown is the imperfect focus of worthy protests

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Thursday, November 04, 2014



MY friend Michael Ramirez is the most successful conservative editorial cartoonist in America. He is a superb artist and a provocative political satirist. Ramirez’s recent cartoon about Michael Brown — the young man who came out on the bad end of a confrontation with a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri — shows just how provocative he is willing to be.

Ramirez drew a near-realistic portrait of Brown with a caption that reads, “The person responsible for the tragic death of Michael Brown.” The cartoon received a big spike in “likes” on Facebook and a bunch of comments on his website, mostly sympathetic to the view that Brown’s death was his own fault. One post in the comment string made a succinct case against the African American teenager who has become the focus of protests all across the country:

“In the last hour of Michael Brown's life we witnessed his total disregard for the rule of law. He strong-armed a storeowner and stole from him. He was observed by a police officer walking down the center of a street. He was witnessed pushing himself into a police vehicle and grabbing a police weapon and assaulting an officer of the law.”

That unappealing image of Michael Brown is very different from the media’s common shorthand description of the 6-foot-4 18-year-old: “An unarmed black boy.” The discrepancy has been noted, not just by white conservatives, but by some liberals who are not entirely comfortable with Brown being presented as a completely innocent victim who bore no responsibility for escalating a tense encounter with a cop.

The particulars of the Brown incident aside, though, the reality of toxic, deadly relations between police and black communities remain. It is a glaring symptom of a deep chasm at the heart of American life that goes unaddressed year after year. Dismissing Michael Brown as just another thug looking for trouble will not make it go away.

We will never know precisely what happened in the Brown incident — too many witnesses made too many conflicting claims — but we do have videos of other situations where police used extreme force and black males died. In the news right now is the case of Eric Garner, a middle-aged African American who was killed by a chokehold in July when New York City police were arresting him for allegedly selling cigarettes on the street. As in the case of the police officer who shot Michael Brown, a grand jury failed to come up with an indictment of the officer who may have been most responsible for Garner’s death.

There is also the awful incident in Cleveland on November 22nd, where Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old, was hanging out in a park, tossing snowballs and goofing around with a pellet gun. A surveillance video shows the boy being gunned down within two seconds after a police car raced into view, way before the cops could have made a full assessment of the situation.

Ramirez and the conservatives are right that changed behavior and personal responsibility could have altered some of the tragic interactions with police, but preaching about personal responsibility skirts the hard fact that centuries of racism have left a legacy of disenfranchisement, despair and anger that cannot be swept away by mere good manners. Instead of making it a national cause to do everything we can to bring these troubled communities fully into the American family, we have avoided our own personal responsibility to make our country more just and whole. We have passed the buck to police officers, expecting them to keep the lid on a boiling pot.

White Americans who look askance at the current street protests would be wrong to think it is all about Michael Brown. The Brown shooting was just a tipping point. Underlying the fury now on display in the streets is a simmering sense of injustice. It starts with the countless examples of indiscriminate police harassment suffered by even the most successful, economically integrated black males, from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker on down. It is also inflamed by incarceration run amok. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul — making a bold argument for a conservative — cites harsh drug laws and unequal justice for sending huge numbers of young black males to prison, permanently warping and wasting their lives. While blacks are 13% of the U.S. population, nearly 40% of inmates are black. Even if you believe every single one of those individuals deserves their punishment — a highly dubious assumption — it is a perverse phenomenon that blights poor neighborhoods and demands a remedy.

Instead of an occupying army of police, struggling African American communities need an army of teachers, job trainers, life counselors and willing employers. Building such an army should be at the top of our national agenda. It shouldn’t be a black versus white thing or a conservative versus liberal thing. Healing America should be our thing — every one of us.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-michael-brown-imperfect-20141203-story.html
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2014, 12:10:12 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Is it about race? You bet it is

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Friday, November 05, 2014



FOR YEARS, it has been said that this country needs an honest discussion about race. Well, as a result of the uproar over recent deaths of black males at the hands of police, we may finally be getting it.

Protests on city streets from coast to coast have sparked heated exchanges in the media that are bringing into the light of day attitudes and perceptions that have long been kept in the shadows. Many white Americans are hearing for the first time something they should have known: African Americans in poorer neighborhoods — and in not-so-poor places as well — live with a distrust and fear of encounters with the police because so many of even the most law-abiding among them have had negative encounters with cops. And many black Americans are hearing something from white conservatives that is baffling: the assertion that “this is not about race.”

Only in the most narrow reading of the events that have captured the headlines in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City and Cleveland is it not about race. In Ferguson and in New York, individuals who appeared to be resisting arrest were killed by police and, in Cleveland, a person holding a pellet gun was shot and killed. They could have been white or Chinese or Eskimo; the cops were just doing their job — or so the argument goes.

But add a little context and race suddenly matters. Michael Brown, the teenager in Ferguson who got into an altercation with a cop; Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who allegedly was selling cigarettes on a street corner; and Tamir Rice, the Cleveland 12-year-old who was fiddling around with a pellet gun in a city park, are new numbers in federal statistics that, according to a ProPublica study, show young black males are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than young white males.

Put another way, if Brown, Garner and Rice had been white, their activities might have been much less likely to be met with deadly force.

That does not mean cops are intentionally targeting black males, but it does mean policing is quite often conducted at a different level in many black communities. One obvious reason for that is as clear as the difference between Compton and Beverly Hills: a starkly higher crime rate and gang violence. Cops go where the trouble is and, because they feel more endangered themselves, they may be quicker to ratchet up their own level of violence. It doesn’t take long before a wary police officer starts seeing a potential felon in every black face and starts treating the innocent as if they are guilty — and a deadly spiral begins.

Add another level of context: In these troubled communities incomes are lower, jobs are more scarce, business activity is more depressed, schools are not as good, two-parent families are more rare. That present-day social malaise is not just the result of bad personal choices, it is the legacy of many long decades of racial discrimination and political neglect.

Imagine if black veterans of World War I and World War II had been welcomed home as heroes instead of being dishonored and cast back into a world of segregation, lynching and redlining. Perhaps their grandchildren and great-grandchildren would not have grown up estranged from the center of American life. Imagine if the black men and women who migrated from the South in the 1930s and '40s had been allowed to buy homes in good neighborhoods on fair terms and if career ladders had not been cut off at the first rungs. They would have had the chance to amass a small share of personal wealth, just like white Americans were able to do, and, as a result, their descendants might not now be struggling with economic insecurity.

Yes, huge progress has been made; that is undeniable. Slavery is long gone, Jim Crow is dead and a black family resides in the White House. Yet a significant number of black citizens still experience life in America very differently than most white Americans. Is that about race? You bet it is — and it is good we are finally talking about it.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-about-race-20141204-story.html
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 08:12:37 pm »

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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 10:50:04 pm »

hahahaha...yes she should Wink
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 07:24:18 am »



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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2015, 10:18:40 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Tea Party legislators oppose teaching complexities of U.S. history

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Friday, February 27, 2015



THE burgeoning ranks of Tea Party “patriots” who have gotten themselves elected to Congress and state legislatures have identified yet another threat to the soul of America: Advanced Placement U.S. history guidelines.

Republican legislators in Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Tennessee are raising an alarm about a new framework for teaching AP U.S. history to American high school students. They say it fails to instill patriotism and an appreciation for American exceptionalism and, instead, puts too much emphasis on race, gender and class. A resolution approved by the Republican National Committee last summer declared that the framework “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects while omitting or minimizing the positive.”

The College Board came up with the revised outline to guide teachers who are preparing students for the AP history test that will earn them college credits before they leave high school. According to the College Board, critics are misconstruing what the framework is meant to do. It is essentially an outline hitting main topic points that teachers can enhance in any way they wish.

But conservative legislators who are always energized by hints of left-wing subversion, whether real or imagined, choose to read the framework very differently — if they read it at all, that is. It’s a safe bet that 99% of the riled-up lawmakers who want to run this AP history course out of their state’s classrooms have never even looked at the framework; they’ve just seen talking points or picked up their information from a Rush Limbaugh rant.

Well, I have actually taken the time to read through the framework and I can see why these folks are so upset. It’s not that the rundown of American history from 1491 to the present day is inaccurate. To the contrary, it is a comprehensive, factual account of the social and political development of this nation over five centuries. But it ain’t your grandparents version of the story and that is what the critics do not like.

Most of us were taught what was, essentially, a history of great men. We learned about Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant and Lee and got the idea everything of importance that happened was done by them. Those men are still in the mix, but the new history is also told from the viewpoint of common laborers, immigrants, slaves, Native Americans and women and that does, indeed, put a different slant on things.

Those who do not like the AP framework complain there is too much attention paid to slavery and race, even though slavery and the racist Jim Crow era that followed the Civil War pervaded and warped the politics of the nation and nearly destroyed the republic. Some object to mentioning the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, believing it undercuts the glorious narrative of American boys crossing two oceans to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. And they are not especially happy about the AP course telling students that progressives at the turn of the last century did some good things, such as protecting the environment, eliminating child labor and curbing the destructive greed of giant corporate monopolies.

The old history we grew up with told kids about Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War but neglected to mention the nasty guerrilla war that followed when the United States, after kicking out the Spanish colonialists, turned the Philippines into an American vassal state. The old history told about the Oregon Trail but never noted the fact that Oregon’s 1859 constitution barred black people from living in the state — something that was not changed until 1926. For a long time, the old history clung to the myth of young George Washington chopping down the cherry tree. We never heard the true story of Ona Judge, Martha Washington’s slave who ran away to freedom when she heard the first first lady was preparing to give her away as a wedding gift.

I do not think Ona Judge gets a mention in the new AP framework either, but at least the updated history teaches that there is much more to the story of America than the achievements of famous white men. It is not just smart high school kids who could benefit from a deeper understanding of our exceptional history, all of us could — simplistic, reactionary state legislators most of all.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-legislators-oppose-us-history-20150227-story.html
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2015, 10:19:32 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

The Road to Selma: Remembering the stories of true American heroes

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Tuesday, March 03, 2015



ON March 7th, 1965, Charles Mauldin was a black teenager standing in the front ranks of civil rights marchers who crossed Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge only to be met by a phalanx of police and deputized members of the Ku Klux Klan who violently pushed them back. Mauldin remembers clambering down from the bridge to reach the river below and escape from the swinging clubs, the deputies charging on horseback, the guns and the clouds of tear gas.

Next weekend, Mauldin will return to the bridge in very different circumstances. He will be among tens of thousands of other celebrants, including President Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and a host of senators and House members, all gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma march. The events surrounding what is now called Bloody Sunday have already been brought back to national attention by the Academy Award-nominated film “Selma” and by “Glory”, the Oscar-winning song from the movie written and performed by Common and John Legend. But there is nothing like hearing about history from the men and women who paid a steep price to live through it.

I had the privilege of meeting Charles Mauldin on Saturday night in a performing arts center at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa when he spoke with a group of 52 students, faculty and a diverse group of older adults representing my alma mater, the University of Washington, as well as two other schools, Bellevue College and Utah State University. I am part of that group — 52 Strong, as we call ourselves — riding a bus together on a nine-day civil rights pilgrimage through Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas that will climax with the mass gathering in Selma.

Throughout the week, I will provide some insights into an important story that is not properly remembered. It is a hugely vital part of American history that could slip from our collective national memory as the people who lived through those times half a century ago pass from among us.

Mauldin was the first of many veterans of the civil rights movement who will be telling their stories to our group. He talked about growing up in an Alabama where black men were faced every day of their lives with a horrible choice: when confronted by white authority figures who sought to harass or humiliate or even do harm, a black man could “either stand up like a man or do nothing and live to raise a family.”

Mauldin recalled that, in those times, black people were not only denied the vote, they were denied more prosaic rights; the right to sit at a lunch counter, to take any seat on a bus, to drink from the same water fountain as whites, to try on clothes and shoes at a store, to look a white person in the eye. And he recalled the sickening sound of a policeman’s club crushing down on the skull of non-violent people trying to exercise their right to assemble and walk to their state capital and petition their government.

It may seem as though those bleak aspects of Southern segregation and Jim Crow are so familiar that it is not a remarkable or necessary thing to recount them, but, as I learned in a discussion circle after Mauldin finished his presentation, history is only one generation away from being forgotten.

The several black University of Alabama students I talked with all said their grandparents who lived through the dark days of segregation never talked about it, never shared their stories with their grandchildren. They had buried away the pain and shame they experienced and were not eager to dig it up again. The students also told me the history of Alabama they were taught at school was sketchy and sanitized. Yes, they heard about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., but not very much about the horrific social conditions that caused people such as Parks and King to stand up and say, “No more!”

To my surprise, Mauldin said that evening in Tuscaloosa was the first occasion he had been so public about his own story. Until now, the experiences seemed too troubling to recount, he said, but he had come to realize those memories were too important not to share.

The next day, our bus rolled on to Montgomery, the state capital. Montgomery boasts that it is the most historical city in America; the place where the Confederacy was born in 1861 and where the Selma march finally reached its conclusion in 1965. The town is full of tributes to the Confederate past, but when local people wanted to put up markers taking note of Montgomery’s history as the center of the Southern slave trade, they had to overcome resistance from business leaders, city officials and the Alabama Historical Commission. Some people, apparently, have a preference for historical amnesia.

One of the most infamous moments in the city’s history came in May 1961 when the Freedom Riders rolled into town. These were groups of young men and women — mostly students, both black and white, all trained in nonviolence — who rode buses into the heart of Dixie, challenging segregation of the bus stations. In Montgomery, they were met by a violent mob of whites who, led by the KKK and given a green light by city police, savagely attacked the non-violent riders.

The old Greyhound station where this incident occurred has been turned into small museum dedicated to the Freedom Riders. It’s a fine example of historic preservation and public education, yet state support has dwindled. Thanks to that official neglect, the museum may be shut down permanently after all the Selma hoopla recedes.

On a sign outside the museum there are these words: “This building stands as a testament to 438 ordinary people who did an extraordinary thing. They risked their lives and their freedom to bring justice to our nation.”

That gets to the heart of why the museum needs to stay open, why historical markers need to be erected, why schoolbooks need to tell a fuller story and why memories must be shared. The 438 and the thousands of others who took part in the civil rights movement were, indeed, mostly ordinary people showing extraordinary courage. Not since 1776 have there been patriots any more important to the fulfillment of the American claim of liberty and justice for all. And the fact that so many of these heroes are still alive and with us makes it crucial that we listen to their stories while they are with us.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-road-to-selma-20150302-story.html
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2015, 10:19:51 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

The road to Selma: Crime scenes all over the map

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Wednesday, March 04, 2015



THE itinerary of a civil rights tour is essentially a long list of crime scenes.

The crime scenes are everywhere, from the trees where blacks were lynched and the avenues where enslaved people were marched from riverboats to auction blocks, to the countless dots on the map of the South where brave dissenters and utter innocents were beaten or killed with fists, boots, baseball bats or guns. Very, very few of the criminals who perpetrated these crimes were ever brought to justice because local and state governments and the courts were on their side.

On Monday, our busload of 52 civil rights pilgrims arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, a city once known as “Bombingham”. In the 1950s and ‘60s, it was the place where the hardest lines of segregation were drawn and violence was commonplace. It was the city where fire hoses were trained on black boys and girls and attack dogs were loosed on peaceful demonstrators. And it was where, on one Sabbath morning in 1963, a terrorist’s bomb placed at the 16th Street Baptist Church killed four black girls who were straightening their dresses and checking their hair in preparation for Sunday school.

Earlier in Montgomery, the Alabama capital, we had met Georgette Norman, a dynamic, eloquent black woman who recently retired as director of the city’s Rosa Parks Museum. When she talked about how things used to be, she was blunt.

“I grew up in a world of state-sponsored terrorism,” Norman said to us after we dined on Southern food at Martha’s Place Buffet. In her opinion, the country has not really come to terms with the pervasiveness of that terrorism nor with the chronic social and economic after-effects that are still with us. After September 11, Americans are all too cognizant of the terror that has come from outside our borders, says Norman, but “we have yet to claim the terror within”.

Bernard Lafayette, who faced that terror very directly, talked to us at the museum housed in the former Montgomery Greyhound bus station, the site where a white mob viciously attacked nonviolent Freedom Riders in 1961. Lafayette was one of those riders. He recalled the searing moment when members of the mob turned on him and broke three of his ribs while white women across the street, holding babies in their arms, shrieked their encouragement.

At the state Capitol, our tour guide, Aroine Irby, a retired Air Force colonel, went off script as he showed us around the portico where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated president of the Confederate States of America. As a young man half a century ago, Irby said, he had joined the march from Selma to Montgomery and was walking beside a woman and her four children at the moment she was gunned down by a shooter hiding somewhere in the thicket.

When Tuesday came in cold, wet and gray, we were in Little Rock, Arkansas. There, at Central High School, we stood on the street where federal troops were arrayed in 1957 to protect the school’s first nine black students from a racist mob and where, in the hallways, classrooms and cafeteria, no troops shielded those students from the daily harassment inflicted by many of their white classmates. By sunset, we arrived in Memphis, Tenn., at one of the most iconic civil rights crime scenes of all: the Lorraine Motel, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.

On our way to the motel, which, like the Montgomery bus station, has now been turned into a large museum piece, we stopped at the Mason Temple, headquarters of the Church of God in Christ. It was in the temple’s vast auditorium that King gave the last speech of his life. Bob Zellner joined us there. A lifelong civil rights activist and one of the first white members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Zellner was close enough to King to spend time with him in jail. He knew the man as something more than the legend.

“Dr. King was one of the sweetest, most approachable people you could know,” Zellner said. “That someone could shoot him like a deer is still unbelievable to me.”

But, perhaps, not really so unbelievable — certainly not to Zellner, who was nearly killed himself by a furious mob and lost many compatriots who were not as fortunate when they crossed the paths of racist murderers. King had become the most prominent enemy of the system that had created generations of domestic terrorists. If little girls could be murdered, then why not this one pre-eminently dangerous man, Martin Luther King?


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-crime-scenes-20150303-story.html
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2015, 10:36:57 am »


from the Los Angeles Times....

The road to Selma: Mississippi Delta locked in poverty of the past

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Thursday, March 05, 2015



MISSISSIPPI has been called “the South of the South” — a place even more poor, more racially segregated and more violent than the rest of the region — and the Mississippi Delta has been called “the Mississippi of Mississippi”.

On this winter Wednesday, the Delta looks especially bleak. Rain streaks the windows of the bus as 51 civil rights pilgrims and I continue our meandering journey toward Selma. The sky is as gray as a tin roof. Creeks and rivers are swollen. Fallow fields are puddled and ringed by leafless, black trees.

In Greenwood, we make a stop at the spot where Stokely Carmichael, head of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, gave his pivotal “Black Power” speech on July 28th, 1966, and prodded the civil rights struggle away from Martin Luther King Jr.’s inclusive, nonviolent path. There is not much black power in Greenwood today. The roadside sign marking the site of Carmichael's speech is in the black section of town. The surrounding houses are just a small step above shacks, needy of paint and repairs. Old storefronts stand empty.

At a railroad crossing, we wait for the train they call the City of New Orleans to pass by, then cross to Greenwood’s modest business district. Over a bridge beyond, we enter the town’s white neighborhood and find large, well-kept houses with antebellum columns and vast lawns. The economic contrast and the racial divide is stark.

Greenwood is where the movie “The Help” was shot. For that story about affluent Southern white women and their black maids in the early 1960s, the production company found the perfect location. They did not need to change much in Greenwood to achieve an authentic look.

Crossing the Tallahatchie Bridge, I give a mental nod to country music’s most prominent fictional suicide, Billie Joe McAllister. From there, the bus moves along Money Road, a bumpy two-lane highway down which a 14-year-old Chicago kid named Emmett Till was traveling with his cousins back on August 24th, 1955. Within a few miles, our bus pulls up at the shell of the Bryant Grocery and Meat Market where Till stopped on that fateful day to buy candy.

The store’s roof is now caved in. Dry, twisted vines snake across crumbling brick walls. Back in '55, the grocery was intact and in business when Till went inside. The white woman at the counter claimed the black boy from Chicago aggressively flirted with her. That was when she later testified in court. Other witnesses refuted that. Whether he did or not, the alleged offense was enough to get him killed in the Mississippi Delta back then.

In the middle of the night a few days after the store encounter, Till was kidnapped from his uncle’s home. Three days after that, his dead body was found by two boys fishing in the Tallahatchie River. Two white men were put on trial for the murder. An all-male, all-white jury found them not guilty. After the trial, the two confessed their guilt in Look magazine. The murder shocked the country and gave a kick start to the civil rights movement that finally curbed centuries of unpunished violence against blacks.

Along the Money Road we pass sharecroppers’ shacks that have been transformed into pleasant guest cabins with soft beds, Wi-Fi and cable. In the days of Jim Crow, those shacks were far from luxurious. The black families who lived inside those thin wooden walls were kept on a subsistence income by the white plantation owners as a means of keeping them in economic bondage — slavery by another name.

Perhaps it is a sign of progress that sharecroppers’ shacks have become cozy vacation housing for tourists, but the poverty that continues to plague the black citizens of the Mississippi Delta testifies there is still a long way to go in this neglected corner of America.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-mississippi-delta-20150304-story.html
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2015, 02:03:03 pm »

Yes racism in America must be stopped...and also among rail workers in NZ😜
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2015, 01:32:33 am »


from the Los Angeles Times....

The Road to Selma: Bob Zellner and the war for justice

By DAVID HORSEY | 4:30PM PST - Friday, March 06, 2015



TOMORROW, Selma will greet the president, the dignitaries, the Civil Rights Movement survivors and various politicians hoping to grab a little notoriety in the midst of the 50th anniversary commemoration of “Bloody Sunday”. As they all gather and speechify, they will extol the heroism and sacrifice of the movement’s leaders and many foot soldiers.

Standing up there with President Obama will be one foot soldier who quickly grew into a leader, Bob Zellner. He may be 75 years old, but he is nowhere close to retiring. This white, Southern, self-described radical is still teaching, organizing and carrying on with the cause of bringing social change through nonviolent action.

Zellner has been riding on the “52 Strong” pilgrimage bus with us for the last couple of days. He is a jovial, sweet-tempered man; as wise, warm and welcoming as your favorite grandfather. When he describes the many times he was imprisoned or nearly killed, he does it with a laugh in his voice. Only when he speaks of the activist friends who were murdered along the way do his eyes fill with tears.

On Thursday, our group was stuck for much of the day at a hotel in Granada, Mississipi, thanks to the snow and ice that hit the region overnight. Luckily, we had Zellner to gather around. We asked a lot of questions and he shared his eyewitness insights into life on the front lines of the civil rights struggle.

Much of the time, as Zellner described it, it truly was a war zone, with heavy casualties and a relentless enemy. While the redneck cops and Ku Klux Klansmen had guns, cattle prods and clubs, Zellner’s side had only the power of their training in non-violence and a willingness to sacrifice their lives to win African Americans the right to vote and live like free Americans. Zellner said he and his troops survived on prayer, singing and humor — humor in even the ugliest, vermin-infested prison cells.

One thing Zellner sees as too ironically amusing is the way his friend Martin Luther King Jr. has been co-opted by the heirs of the 1960s right-wingers who demonized King when he was alive. As King has been turned into a secular saint, Zellner said, his message has been simplified into a comfortably bland philosophy of peace and brotherhood. When conservatives like Glenn Beck lay claim to King’s legacy, he said, it is a cynical act.

“He was a radical,” Zellner insists. “He called it a revolution. His plan was to get poor people and working people together with strong leadership. … To say that ‘St. Martin Luther King’ is the same as the real Martin Luther King is laughable.”

We talked with Zellner for a couple of hours. By then, the sun had come out, the ice cleared and we all got aboard our bus. By evening we at last arrived in Selma.

At the Tabernacle Baptist Church, a mass meeting was just getting started. The crowd was spilling out the doors, but we wedged into the sanctuary any way we could. A choir was performing a rendition of “Abraham, Martin and John”, the classic tribute to America’s most famous victims of assassination, but, in this version, the names of the fallen were not Lincoln and Kennedy; they were the names of martyrs of the civil rights struggle. Martin — Dr. King — was the last name sung. By then, everyone in the packed hall was singing along and the voices transitioned smoothly into “We Shall Overcome”.

It was a moment of sudden uplift after all the miles spent on a winding path through sites of tragedy and violence. I noticed Bob Zellner had moved up to the front, singing with passion. A few minutes later, when the songs were done, the old Freedom Rider Bernard Lafayette stepped up to the pulpit, looked down and saw his old comrade, Zellner, packed in with the young people sitting on the floor.

“Is that you, Bob?” Lafayette said. “I remember when Bob joined SNCC — he got arrested the first day.”

Of course he did. And he appears perfectly ready to get arrested again, if need be. But, first, he has a date with the president.

Late Friday morning, before he left us to go link up with the big shots, Zellner led us as we walked in silence, two-by-two, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the steps of the marchers on Bloody Sunday. It was good to make the crossing before the arrival of the huge crowds on the weekend. We had the bridge walkway to ourselves. The tingle of history was palpable. Passing under the bridge was the wide, brown water of the Alabama River — a river once used to ship enslaved people and spanned by a bridge named for a Confederate general and alleged Grand Dragon of the KKK.

We summited the steep rise of the bridge. That is the point where the marchers a half-century ago first saw the line of police and deputized white men eager for bloodshed arrayed across the highway. This day, there was just local traffic and sunshine, but as I scanned the four lanes of the bridge, my mind’s eye blinked on the image of frantic, retreating marchers in a shroud of tear gas being beaten by vigilantes’ clubs and run down by cops on horses.

In the park on other end of the bridge we gathered around Zellner, the grandson and son of KKK members, who has spent a lifetime fighting racist violence and entrenched forms of discrimination. Smiling, he told us not to let the experience of crossing the bridge weigh too heavily. That message was aimed particularly at the students in our group — black, white, Asian, Latino and racially mixed — who have done plenty of hard, emotional work in the last few days to mesh all this harsh history with their own life experiences.

Zellner left with a gentle admonition: Make your lives about something that you are willing to sacrifice and even die for.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-bob-zellner-20150306-story.html
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2015, 12:08:55 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

The road to Selma: Where do we go from here?

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Tuesday, March 10, 2015



THE 50th anniversary marches and speeches are over. The celebrities and crowds have gone, and Selma is left to sink back into the neglect that keeps its citizens among the poorest in the nation. So, where do we go from here?

That is a question, not just for the university students and elder mentors with whom I have been traveling on a civil rights pilgrimage through the Deep South. It is a question for the current incarnation of the movement that reached a high-water mark with the 1965 Selma marches and the passage of the Voting Rights Act. And it is a question for every American who claims to love this country.

During the mass meeting held at Selma’s Tabernacle Baptist Church, the question of where to go next was very much on the agenda. Addressing a crowd packed to the back of the balcony and spilling into the basement and out the church doors, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice A. King, made the crucial point that her father did not do all the work nor bring change all by himself. “My father was a leader among leaders,” she said. And just as in the 1960s, grass-roots activism with a sophisticated strategy is essential today.

King quoted her dad, saying, “A movement that moves people is just a revolt; a movement that moves institutions is a revolution.”

A new leader in the civil rights movement, the Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, brought the meeting to a climax with his declaration that tea party conservatives and politicians who cut funding for education and food stamps while giving big tax breaks for the wealthy 1% of Americans were not guilty of mere misguided politics. “It’s sin!” he thundered.

“We came to commit ourselves back to the movement,” Barber said. “If those before us were willing to die, then before I’ll be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave!”

During the mass meeting, the election of an African American president was noted as significant, but there was scant praise for the president himself. Up to the last hours before the anniversary events began, local organizers bickered with planners on the national level. Obama's decision to come to Selma on Saturday instead of Sunday, the day previous march re-enactments have been held, meant he was creating a big disruption in a busy program of workshops and seminars that local organizers had planned.

There was no lack of love for the president on Saturday, though. Tens of thousands jammed Selma’s Broad Street and waited as long as six hours to hear him speak. To that mostly black crowd, Obama is their president. There may be more Hawaii than Alabama in his no-drama style, but they see him as one of their own.

After the speech, my wife and I were sitting on a curb, watching the happy crowd stroll toward rows of vendors selling T-shirts and barbecue. We got into a conversation with a man who was also sitting on the street, waiting for his wife to bring some ice cream. The man said he had listened closely to all of Obama’s speeches and thought this one would be remembered in history books.

He could be right, both because of the significance of the day and because the president’s eloquent words went beyond his usual careful conciliation. Obama castigated those who discount the progress that has been made since 1965, calling such gloomy thinking a “disservice to the cause of justice,” but he also forcefully called out those who think that racism and its effects have been eliminated. He said the march for equality, opportunity and a more just society is far from over.

“This is work for all Americans, and not just some,” the president said. “Not just whites. Not just blacks. If we want to honor the courage of those who marched that day, then all of us are called to possess their moral imagination. All of us will need to feel, as they did, the fierce urgency of now. All of us need to recognize, as they did, that change depends on our actions, our attitudes, the things we teach our children.”

On Sunday, with the president's words still resonating in the streets, lots of important people in fancy clothes made their way to an invitation-only church service at Brown Chapel, an imposing brick building with two high towers that is surrounded by Selma’s housing projects. Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson — who, 50 years ago, were among the young activists battling the old racist system — arrived at the church in motorcades escorted by police. A crowd of a few thousand waited outside Brown Chapel. The patient crowd would eventually follow the dignitaries in the official march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where they would bump up against an estimated 50,000 ordinary citizens who had already converged there.

A steady stream of impromptu bridge crossings went on all afternoon. Among the throng was my group of “52 Strong”. We had learned so much from the gracious and brave people we had met during our journey and from one another. One central lesson that I take away from the experience was articulated by a student in our group named Aida Solomon. She had told us about her family emigrating from Ethiopia and how she had difficulty, not only finding her comfort zone in the predominantly white city of Seattle, but in the black community where she was a bit exotic. For a long time, Aida had struggled to define for herself what it means to be an American. She even considered going back to Ethiopia.

But she stayed. As we boarded the bus on the far side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Aida split off from the group. She was returning to her internship at the University of Mississippi, where she is engaged in work to end discrimination and promote racial reconciliation. Aida is on the job in that bastion of the Old South because she finally found her American identity. For this young woman whose idealism is as bounteous as her wonderfully extravagant black hair, an American is someone who believes in justice and fights for it.

As definitions go, I cannot think of a better one.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-where-do-we-go-20150309-story.html
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2015, 05:26:11 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Starbucks offers a shot of race with every cappuccino

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Thursday, March 19, 2015



STARBUCKS is now offering a conversation about race along with the coffee drinks. Some people think this is a noble, commendable idea. Even more folks seem to think it’s about the dumbest move any business has come up with in a long time. Whatever the judgment may be, it is no surprise that the idea for this was born at a company based in the predominantly white, earnestly liberal, coolly polite city of Seattle.

In Seattle, baristas might just get away with chatting up their customers about hot button racial issues. Just about everyone will be on the same page, politically, and any customer who does not feel like talking will simply mumble an apology and hide behind her iPad. I can’t imagine things going so calmly in Texas or Alabama, though. Or Boston or Los Angeles, for that matter. Sooner or later, tempers will flare, voices will be raised, somebody will scream that this force-fed political correctness is part of a commie-socialist plot to denigrate white, Christian America and soon the cappuccinos and macchiatos will be flying in all directions.

However well or badly this goes, one guy thinks it’s worth the risk: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz — one of the most earnest and liberal gazillionaires in the USA. Schultz has been getting lampooned and harshly criticized for asking his army of employees to write “Race Together” on coffee cups and then engage in race talk with the people who wander into his ubiquitous caffeine emporiums. Undeterred by the negative reception to his idea, he told CNN Money, “It’s not going to solve racism, but I do believe it is the right thing to do at this time.”

After holding a series of forums with employees in which participants explored race relations, Schultz came to believe his customers should be brought in on the conversation. And, since he is the boss, he could tell everyone who works for him to simply make it happen.

Apparently, not everyone got the message. On Wednesday, during a discussion of the Starbucks race initiative on KPCC, the Pasadena-based affiliate of National Public Radio, a young woman called in to offer her perspective. She identified herself as a Starbucks employee and said she thought talking race was a fine idea, but no one at work had told her anything about it. Another Starbucks barista called in to say he was keen to join the effort, but indicated there had been no training to help employees navigate the delicate terrain of race. They are being left on their own to choose when and how to strike up conversations, he said.

It sounds as if there is not much of an actual design to this scheme other than to write on the cups and see what happens. Second-guessing Howard Schultz is somewhat presumptuous; he was genius enough, after all, to turn one little coffee shop with a mermaid sign into an international business empire. Still, how much useful discussion about race can go on between a barista and a customer before the next person in line begins to get testy about having to wait to order his Tiramisu Latte? Is the time it takes to whip up a frappuccino long enough to go deep into the heart of an issue that has plagued America since Columbus landed and made slaves of the natives?

Maybe Schultz will be proved right and some useful national discussion will emerge from this well meant, but seemingly awkward, effort. Nevertheless, I can’t help but imagine a typical discussion going something like this:

Customer: “I’d like a double short Americano with room.”

Barista: “I wrote ‘Race Together’ on your cup. Is that cool?”

Customer: “Totally. Like Ferguson. That really sucks.”

Barista: “It really does suck.”

Customer: “And slavery. That was so lame.”

Barista: Yeah, really lame… So, do you want a muffin or anything?”


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-starbucks-shot-of-race-20150319-story.html
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2015, 03:36:43 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

The Civil War did not end at Appomattox

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Monday, April 20, 2015



THE American Civil War ended with the notorious assassination of a great man, but was that man Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr.?

That question will not make much sense to anyone who learned in school that the war came to a close with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House 150 years ago this month and that the shooting of Lincoln on April 15th, 1865, just six days after the surrender, was merely a sad coda to the conclusion of a tragic fraternal conflict. That is what generations of Americans have been taught, but historians now are suggesting another way to look at it. John Wilkes Booth’s murder of the president can be seen not as a final desperate act of a lost cause but the opening shot of a largely successful guerrilla war that rolled back the gains made by blue-uniformed liberators on the battlefield.

Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia disbanded and went home after Appomattox, but Union troops did not. They spread out to occupy the defeated Confederacy and enforce federal law and new amendments to the U.S. Constitution that gave full rights of citizenship to the formerly enslaved people of the South. It was not easy duty. They met armed resistance from Southerners who wanted to maintain the old racist system, including murderous white-robed members of the newly formed Ku Klux Klan and various paramilitary groups such as the White League and the Red Shirts. There were no massive battles on the scale of Gettysburg or Shiloh, but conflict continued with blacks the most frequent victims of attacks. Peace clearly had not come.

Federal troops were, nevertheless, able to open a political and economic space for African Americans. During the period called Reconstruction, more than 1,500 black men were elected to positions of civil authority, including the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Twenty percent of the former slaves who had never owned property before were able to own farms.

Yet the brutality aimed at black Americans did not stop. In 1877, with conservative Northern politicians renouncing the military occupation, the last federal troops finally were brought home. White Southerners had already been busy stripping black citizens of the rights that had been won in bloody battle. With the soldiers gone, blacks were disenfranchised, segregated, violently intimidated, murdered with impunity and, through the sharecropper system, pushed down into an economic servitude that was only marginally better than slavery.

In the post-Reconstruction period, Southern historians got hold of the Civil War narrative. It became the War Between the States, a noble battle among brothers with a moral equivalence between the two sides of the dispute. It was about states' rights, not slavery. It was Northern economic power bearing down on the genteel Southern way of life. Reconstruction was portrayed as a villainous usurpation of rights and property. President Grant, who actively defended black citizens by using the military to suppress the KKK, was grossly maligned as an ineffectual drunk. By the time “Gone With the Wind” was released in 1939 with its sympathetic portrayal of the old South, reactionary Southerners had not only won the narrative, they could rightly claim to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Not until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s and the return of federal troops to protect black children entering integrated schools, freedom riders travelling between bus stations and marchers heading from Selma to Montgomery did the tide of battle turn. It was the victories of the nonviolent activists of that era, backed by federal power, that finally brought down the entrenched institutions erected by the heirs of the Confederacy. When King was assassinated in Memphis on April 4th, 1968, it truly was a last evil gasp of a defeated cause.

If we take anything away from the 150-year anniversary commemorations of the Civil War that have just concluded, it is that history is not set in stone. History is molded and distorted by politics. To now get the record straight, we should move forward to commemorate the events of Reconstruction, an era when racist forces maintained a rebellion against the federal government and the Constitution, finally regaining an oppressive monopoly on power in the South that lasted for an additional 100 years.

No, the fight did not end at Appomattox. In fact, it goes on.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-end-at-appomattox-20150420-story.html
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2015, 05:23:41 pm »

US aircraft carrier sent to block Iranian shipments to Yemen
Published April 20, 2015FoxNews.com

US warships head to Yemen to block Iranian weapons
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A U.S. aircraft carrier has been dispatched to waters off Yemen to join other American ships prepared to block any Iranian shipments to the Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen.

The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea amid reports that a convoy of about eight Iranian ships is heading toward Yemen and possibly carrying arms for the Houthis.


A Navy official confirmed to Fox News that the USS Theodore Roosevelt -- along with her escort ship, the USS Normandy, a guided-missile cruiser -- left the Persian Gulf on Sunday en route for the Arabian Sea, to help enforce the blockade.

Tensions are rising in the region even as the U.S. and five other world powers scramble to strike a final deal with Iran on its nuclear program by the end of June. The fighting in Yemen, where U.S. ally Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition against the Iran-backed rebels, is complicating matters.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, without commenting specifically on any Navy movements, said the U.S. has concerns about Iran's "continued support" for the Houthis.

More on this...

Massive explosions in Yemen as airstrikes target Houthis
"We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country," he said. "These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East."

He said "the Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons."

A written statement from the Navy on Monday said the two ships are joining others in conducting "maritime security operations" in the region.

"In recent days, the U.S. Navy has increased its presence in this area as a result of the current instability in Yemen," the statement said.

"The purpose of these operations is to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe. The United States remains committed to its regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment."

The Houthis are battling government-backed fighters in an effort to take control of the country.

There are now about nine U.S. Navy ships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels, as well as three support ships.

The U.S. Navy generally conducts consensual boardings of ships when needed, including to combat piracy around Africa and the region. So far, however, U.S. naval personnel have not boarded any Iranian vessels since the Yemen conflict began.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2015, 06:03:27 pm »


Hmmmm....what has that got to do with RACIST American righties/rednecks?

Oooops....I forgot.....you're stupid & dumb, so you cannot tell the difference.
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2015, 06:12:47 pm »

...ooooops.....sorry..my mistake...but good to see the Americans giving help where it's needed...don't ya think😜
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2015, 04:32:15 am »


SKIN BLEACH
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2015, 02:00:48 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Charleston church killer was spawned in a racist swamp

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Friday, June 19, 2015



HAVING recently spent several inspiring hours singing, praying and sharing meals with members of a historic black church in Montgomery, Alabama, I am especially troubled by the murder of nine African American men and women during a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The folks I met in Alabama were among the most genuine Christians and solid Americans I have ever encountered and, from everything I have heard about them, the victims in Charleston were the same type of outstanding citizens.

They were among the best of us and their alleged killer, Dylann Roof, one of the worst. He sat beside them throughout the session of religious study before gunning them down with a pistol he reportedly received as a 21st birthday present from his father. Apparently, this was not a spur-of-the-moment act. Acquaintances say Roof had expressed deep anger toward black people and had boasted, as long as a month ago, about his intention to spark a race war. As he shot and reloaded and shot some more at the church Wednesday night, he responded to pleas of mercy by saying he had to kill because, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country — and you have to go.”

Within hours of the incident, the white mayor and white police chief of Charleston were calling it a hate crime. Shockingly, though, several prominent conservatives spoke up to discount the clear evidence that Roof was motivated by racism.

Ex-New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani advised against injecting race into the situation and said of the shooter, “We have no idea what’s in his mind. Maybe he hates Christian churches.”

Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy was appalled that people jumped to the conclusion this was a hate crime motivated by race, then jumped to his own conclusion that the shooter was acting out “hostility toward Christians.”

Conservative Miami Herald columnist A.J. Delgado looked at surveillance footage from the church and tweeted, “Sorry, am I the only one who isn’t seeing a white male? I know media wants to run a racial angle here but the guy doesn’t look white?” In a later tweet, she said the story did not add up because the targets of white supremacists are not usually “church-going African Americans”. Idiotically, Delgado ignored the countless bombings and arsons of black churches that stretch back as far as the burning of Charleston’s first Emanuel A.M.E. Church in the early 19th century.

GOP presidential aspirant Rick Santorum called the killings an “assault on religious liberty,” asking “what other rationale could there be?” Another candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, mentioned race in passing, but emphasized that “there are people out there looking for Christians to kill.”

Two things are at work here in the reaction on the right and both are a bit sickening. The first is that many conservatives seem so tangled up in their own talking points about a secular “war on Christianity” that they have seized on this horrible event to spew self-serving political propaganda. The second is that they are so in denial about the realities of race in America that they initially rejected as a media invention the idea that the white shooter killed the church members because they were black.

Senator Graham, being interviewed on “The View”, said of the church massacre, “It’s not a window into the soul of South Carolina. It’s not who we are, it’s not who our country is, it’s about this guy.” Nice bromides, but, actually, the senator is deluded or evading the truth.

“This guy” may be a freak, but he did not come out of nowhere. With a long list of hate groups and a bleak history of slavery and segregation — not to mention a Confederate flag flying at the state Capitol — South Carolina still has plenty of fertile ground where a human weed like Dylann Roof can be raised up with a racist conception of the world. And, as far as the nation as a whole, justifications for violent political action and racial animosity have found a megaphone on the Internet and in the extremist rhetoric that goes unchallenged by cowering conservative politicians.

Yes, conservatives, there are white supremacists in America and, among the symbols they like to display — besides the stars and bars of the Confederacy — are the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia. Coincidentally, there is a photo of Roof on social media that shows him wearing a jacket emblazoned with both those flags and another photo of him straddling a car license plate bearing the words “Confederate States of America” above an array of rebel banners. More and more clues like these are illuminating Roof’s real motivations, while there is not a shred of evidence to support the conservatives’ alternative scenario.

The shooter may have picked a church for his crime scene, but it is willful ignorance to insist he murdered nine people because they were Christians, not because of the color of their folded, praying hands.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-charleston-church-killer-20150619-story.html
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2015, 01:10:29 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Time for Confederate flag devotees to surrender

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Wednesday, June 24, 2015



YES, the Confederate battle flag that flies over the grounds of the state Capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, should be taken down and sent to a museum. The state’s two most prominent Republican leaders, Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Lindsey Graham, have finally come around to the rightness of this action, spurred on by the deaths of nine African Americans at a Charleston church who were gunned down by a 21-year-old white supremacist.

The Confederate flag has been waved defiantly by so many murderous racists over many dark decades that it long ago became an irredeemable symbol of everything that was wrong with the Old South.

Still, I have a small bit of sympathy for those who are genuinely bewildered by the antagonism to a banner that, for them, represents the bravery and sacrifice of their ancestors. This is not because my family has any ties to the Confederacy. On the contrary, my great-grandfather fought in the army of General William Tecumseh Sherman on his famously destructive march to the sea. (I raised the ire of a cartoonist colleague of mine — a proud son of Georgia — when, during a trip to Atlanta years ago, I joked that the last time one of my relatives had been in the city he helped burn the place down.) My limited sympathy comes not from family history, but from a childhood preoccupation.

I was an avid student of the Civil War from the fourth grade on. I devoured books about the conflict. I also had a big collection of toy Civil War soldiers that I set up on the floor of our family living room to re-enact elaborate battles between the blue and gray figures. Miniature Confederate flags were simply part of the action, and bigger versions of the rebel flag filled out my small collection of national flags. Frankly, as a sheltered white kid growing up in Seattle far from the realities of life in the South, I thought the Confederate flag was kind of cool.

In more recent years, I’ve taken my own son and daughter on forced marches to Civil War battlefields and reenactments. And, of course, I watched every hour of Ken Burns’ exhaustive documentary about the Civil War when it first appeared on PBS. The tales of daring and tragic loss, the elaborate maneuvers of vast armies and the clash of ideals embodied by grand figures such as Lincoln and Lee have continued to hold my fascination. There is always more to learn about the war that tore America apart.

Over time, the most important thing I have learned is that, until very recently, a big piece of the story was being neglected. Classic narratives about the Civil War mentioned slavery, of course, but the conflict was almost always presented as an American tragedy, a costly fight between brothers in which the two sides were treated as equally heroic and equally just in their motives. When accounts of the Civil War are confined to events during the four years of battle, it is not hard to write the story that way. But a broader understanding of what came before the war and, even more significantly, what happened after makes it painfully obvious that one side was fighting to maintain an evil system of oppression.

The South’s resistance did not end at Appomattox. Through unconstitutional laws and deadly intimidation, white Southerners successfully rolled back most of the gains made by emancipation from slavery and effectively suppressed the political and economic aspirations of black Americans for an additional 100 years — and they quite often committed these egregious acts while brandishing the flag that Confederate soldiers once carried into battle.

As I said, I do believe that some Southerners are sincere in their assertion that they do not see the Confederate flag as a symbol of white supremacy. I believe them because they were raised with the same romanticized version of Civil War history as I was. Southern apologists spent decades grabbing hold of the narrative, playing up the glory of a Lost Cause and downplaying the undeniable fact that the cause, at its root, was defense of the slave system.

Now, after 150 years, it is time for Southerners who bought into the false history to surrender to the truth: Since 1865, the South’s battle flag has become too sullied by the segregationists and violent racists who appropriated it as their own to allow it to be flown near a government building in South Carolina or stand in legislative halls (as it does in Alabama’s Statehouse) or be part of a state flag (as is the case in Mississippi).

The South will rise again, but it will not be the Old South. There is a new South being formed by black and white Southerners who believe that working for justice and equality in the present day is an unquestionably more worthy cause than allegiance to an old flag or obeisance to a past that should be allowed to fade away.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-confederate-flag-surrender-20150624-story.html
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Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2015, 10:51:12 pm »


Yep....there are a lot of HATEFUL people in the American South.
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