Sunday, July 05, 2015

What are we all celebrating if we can't all agree that the confederate flag is racist?

Tonight I will take the unusual step of using an editorial from my local paper as my entire blog post.

It's important because it is a bold denunciation of that awful symbol flown to represent the treasonous army of the confederacy during the Civil War, and it is coming from a major newspaper in this country--- albeit one from North of the Mason- Dixon Line.
 
"The just elapsed sesquicentennial of the Civil War encouraged a reconsideration of the national tragedy as distant history. And yet it was only in recent weeks, 150 years and two months after the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at Appomattox Court House, that the flag of that force was lowered from many places of honor across the United States.

The blue saltire with 13 white stars on a field of red was never the official flag of the Confederacy, but the banner of that army led by Robert E. Lee, underscoring its connection to an insurrection waged to preserve slavery at a cost of more than 600,000 lives.

The nine lives taken in a Charleston church last month were an impossible price for a symbolic and belated retreat from a long-lost cause. But the killer who bore the standard, along with those of racist African regimes, left no room for reinterpretation. So the flag began falling from Southern statehouses and monuments, retail shelves and websites, and, strangely enough, a shrine to a Philadelphia sandwich monger.

The latter featured a motorcycle bearing the Confederate symbol designed for the late xenophobic owner of Geno's Steaks, whose only Southern connection was to South Philadelphia - solid Union ground by any historical reckoning. Of course, the battle flag's implications often have nothing to do with Southern history, as countless Northern and ahistorical displays confirm. The flag wasn't hoisted over the South Carolina statehouse until the civil rights era, a century postbellum. 
Lowering flags won't cure bigotry any more than raising them caused it. But official elevation of a symbol of treason and racism certainly promotes tolerance of both. Its removal from capitols in Alabama and possibly South Carolina should lead the way for other governments to relinquish antique attachments. The Washington Post recently noted that seven state flags still incorporate Confederate symbols, while the South abounds with dubious tributes in the form of streets, schools, and other public works. The address of Emanuel A.M.E Church, the scene of last month's murders, is on Calhoun Street, named for an avid defender of slavery and nullification, the theory that foreshadowed secession.
 
Governments should not attempt to cleanse museums or battlefields of Civil War history. Nor should they infringe on private expression, no matter how wrongheaded. But it's easy to distinguish both from state-sanctioned glorification of rebellion and racism.
 
As a few commentators have noted, it wasn't only the massacre in Charleston but also the magnanimous reaction of the victims' families that inspired a reciprocal retreat from a symbol that, whatever subjective sympathies remain for some, holds unmistakable menace for others. Such goodwill holds the greatest promise for true union." [More]
 
And yet most Americans do not believe that this awful flag represents a symbol of racism.
 
I wonder how many of those same Americans were eating hot dogs and waving flags yesterday.
 
*Pic from theroot.com
 
 

 
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Saturday, July 04, 2015

CAPTION SATURDAY.

 

I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic from tri-cityherald.com

Friday, July 03, 2015

When "honey do" lists become much more.

For those of you who don't know your history, please understand that the Negro slave in Louisiana suffered just as much (if not more) than the slave in places like Alabama and Mississippi who were picking cotton. I know that there is this misconception that they were treated better because of the French codes which originally governed their owners and such, but don't believe it. Planting that sugar cane in the brutal Louisiana heat and humidity was no joke.

Anywhoo, I am saying all this to explain what I have been going through for the past couple of days.
That not unlike this poor brother in the pic above, I have been put on some serious housework detail.

You see, my lovely wife happens to be from the aforementioned Louisiana, and she takes this honey do list thing to a whole different level. She happens to be a descendant of those Louisiana slaves, and girlfriend is no joke when it comes to putting in hard work.

We happen to be preparing for guests for the 4th of July holiday, and it's time to get chez Field in order. I ask her why we can't just pay people to come in and get things in order, but she is having none of it.

"See Wayne, that's your problem, you grew up with helpers all around you like the Fresh Prince, so you don't appreciate the importance of hard work". Putting on a suit and talking all day is not hard work."

First of all, not true. The Mrs. visited my family in Jamaica when we were still dating and she remembers our helpers around the house who waited on her hand and foot. But if you understand anything about Third World life and living in Jamaica, you know that having helpers around the home is not a big deal. Most folks living even a middle class existence in Jamaica can afford to have a helper because help is so cheap.

The poor Mrs. mistook me for someone raised in a  life of privilege, and it has been ingrained in her way of thinking ever since. Now, as a result, she has been determined to break me like Master Waller did Toby.

"Sorry Wayne, I grew up with hard work.  My parents expected us to work, just because we can afford to get help doesn't mean that it's good for us."

Ok I admit that I am from the Maroon stock, and if we are going to be honest, my ancestors would have rather fought than work on the plantation.

Not Mrs. Field, girlfriend is from a long line of hard working Louisiana folks, and her ancestors worked on those sugar plantations.

"I sure hope your little man cave is clean, I am going to do a full inspection later."

So a couple of hours later she is going all Full Metal Jacket on me and giving me the Sergeant Hartman treatment.  "Boy you call this clean? Give me that duster."  The only thing worse than doing all this work around the house is failing at it and having to watch Drill Sergeant Field work me over like a new recruit.

"Hey honey, can you get some mulch out of the garage and put it in the flower bed under the tree out front?"

This is not good.

But then, like a gift from above, one of my boys must have felt what I was going through and comes to my rescue.

"I hear your cell phone? Tell your boys no tennis today; you have work to do."

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen  Nobody knows my sorrow....

*The pic with this post is from theguardian.com, and it is another poor brother (not the Field)  putting in work. Under the watchful eye, I am sure, of a similarly terrifying boss.  

**Photo by  Graeme Robertson







 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

You see pride, I see prejudice.

It's just amazing to me how short our memories are in this country.

Not too long ago, after a racist slaughtered nine innocent people in a church, the country was outraged that he would do it under the banner of the confederate flag. Now, two weeks later, we are back to being our old selves.

 "American public opinion on the Confederate flag remains about where it was 15 years ago, with most describing the flag as a symbol of Southern pride more than one of racism, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. And questions about how far to go to remove references to the Confederacy from public life prompt broad racial divides.

The poll shows that 57% of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism, about the same as in 2000 when 59% said they viewed it as a symbol of pride. Opinions of the flag are sharply divided by race, and among whites, views are split by education." [Source]
 
I am going to take a guess and say that the more educated one is the more likely they are to see the flag for what it truly is: A racist treasonous symbol of defiance and ignorance.
 
"Among whites, there's a sharp divide by education, and those with more formal education are less apt to see the flag as a symbol of pride. Among whites with a college degree, 51% say it's a symbol of pride, 41% one of racism. Among those whites who do not have a college degree, 73% say it's a sign of Southern pride, 18% racism."
 
Just as I suspected. Although 51% of "educated" white folks still consider it a symbol of pride.
 
Hmmm, how many of those same people consider the swastika a symbol of German pride?
 
So I guess it won't Dbe long before Wal- Mart starts selling confederate flags again. I am sure that other retailers will do likewise now that then backlash has cooled off. 
 
One person who might have changed his stance about the flag is Texas governor , Rick Perry. His speech today in Washington had be doing a double take.
 
"Rick Perry stepped up to the lectern and paused. The former Texas governor scanned the room, a Thursday luncheon at the National Press Club, and proceeded to delve into a particularly gruesome chapter of his state's history.
 
"Ninety-nine years ago -- on May 15, 1916 -- at a courthouse in Waco, Texas, a mentally disabled 17-year-old boy named Jesse Washington was convicted of raping and murdering the wife of his employer," Perry said, as a pall of silence fell upon the room. "He pled guilty and was sentenced to death. But Jesse died no ordinary death. Because he was black."

Speaking slowly but emphatically to a predominantly white audience, Perry recounted the horrific lynching outside the McLennan County Courthouse, where 15,000 people gathered to watch Washington be tortured, mutilated, castrated and burned alive. The incident, he said, was an "episode in our history that we cannot ignore. It is an episode we have an obligation to transcend."' [Source]

Governor, we would love to "transcend" that dark part of our history, but every time I see that damn flag I go back to that very dark place.

*Pic from the wahingtonpost.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

"The oblivious, casual racism of modern conservatism"

Image result for racist conservatives imagesThe Field Negro education series continues with this timely article from salon.com.


"Sometimes racism isn’t about vicious bigotry and hatred towards those with different skin color than your own, let alone a willingness to walk into a church and massacre nine of those others because you think they’re “taking over your country.” Sometimes, racism is manifested in the subtle way a person can dismiss the lived experiences of those racial others as if they were nothing, utterly erasing those experiences, consigning them to the ashbin of history like so much irrelevant refuse.
In the last few days, since Dylann Roof’s terrorist rampage in Charleston, we’ve seen some of that on the part of those who steadfastly defend the confederate flag, which Roof dearly loved, from its critics. As the flag has come down in Alabama and is poised for removal from the statehouse grounds in South Carolina, its supporters have insisted that the flag is not a sign of racism, even if the government whose Army deployed it made clear that its only purposes at the time were the protection of slavery and white supremacy.

Those who defend the flag consider the black experience irrelevant, a trifle, hardly worthy of their concern. Who cares if the flag represented a government that sought to consign them to permanent servitude? Who cares if segregationists used that flag as a blatant symbol of racist defiance during the civil rights movement? Remembering the courageous heroics of one’s great-great-great-grandpappy Cooter by waving that flag or seeing it on public property is more important than black people’s lived experience of it. That such dismissiveness is intrinsically racist should be obvious. But what of less blatant examples?

For instance, what are we to make of certain comments by Congressman Louis Gohmert, Senator Ted Cruz and conservative media personality Sean Hannity in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide? While those comments were not about race per se, it is hard to deny that their implicit subtext demonstrates a worldview entirely shaped by a white racial frame, viewed through a white racial lens, and one that takes as it starting point a profound disregard for the lives of persons of color: in short, a worldview that is (whether consciously or not), white supremacist to the core.

Start first with Gohmert. Given to hyperbole, one is loath to pay too much attention to the likes of Louis, and yet, his comments in the wake of the marriage equality decision represent far more than his solitary views, so similar are they to the kinds of things heard from many an evangelical white Christian whenever their moral sensibilities are offended. According to the Texas Congressman, because of the ruling, “God’s hand of protection will be withdrawn” from America. In other words, God so loves the world (but hates the gays) that he will either smite us directly, or at the very least no longer offer his thus far really impressive protection from things like economic recession, killer tornadoes, scorching heat waves, disastrous blizzards, a crumbling national infrastructure, and for that matter, racist young men who walk into churches and slaughter nine of his followers in cold blood. Got it? No more “protection” from those things!

At first glance, perhaps this comment seems to have nothing to do with race at all; but think about it. For Gohmert to claim that now God’s protection will be withdrawn is to suggest that prior to this time we were the active recipients of that protection, that to this point God had shined his light upon America, blessing us with all good things, happy at the sight of our superior morality. And yet, for that to be true, one would have to believe that God saw nothing wrong with the enslavement of African peoples for over two hundred years, the slaughter and forced removal of indigenous peoples from their land, the invasion and theft of half of Mexico, the abuse of Chinese labor on railroads, the internment of Japanese Americans—nothing wrong with lynching or segregation. You would have to accept that God is more offended by marriage equality than any of those things, that God was essentially sanguine about formal white supremacy, and willing to extend his protective blanket over us even in the face of that, but somehow so-called “gay marriage” is a bridge too far.

Aside from the loony-tunes nature of such a belief as this, on its face, is it not obvious that the position amounts to an erasure of the lived experiences of people of color? That it diminishes the horrors with which they lived and suggests that those horrors were not horrors after all, at least not in any moral sense that the presumed Creator might recognize? And if so, how can such a belief not be called racist? If I deny your experience, relegate it to the category of the irrelevant, or suggest that the denial of your rights as people of color was morally less problematic than the extension of rights to others, how can I possibly claim exculpation from the charge of holding an implicitly white supremacist worldview? Is one such as Gohmert not clearly implying here that the experiences of people of color do not matter? Or at least not that much? Is he not suggesting that whatever terrors they experienced were basically no biggie so far as the Lord was concerned, and as such, should certainly prove no great distraction for the likes of mortal men and women like ourselves?

Indeed, to believe that God protected America all through those periods of formal and overt white racial fascism is to believe that those days weren’t so bad after all—a fundamentally racist worldview that disrespects people of color by definition—or that God is a white supremacist, which view not only disrespects people of color but would likely displease any Creator should he exist and actively intervene in the affairs of man. In which case, Louis Gohmert might want to chew his food especially well from this point forward.

Then there’s Ted Cruz. In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, Cruz took to Sean Hannity’s radio program, where he proclaimed that the previous twenty-four hour period (in which the court not only legalized marriage equality but also saved affordable health care for between 6-8 million Americans) had been “among the darkest 24-hours” in the history of the nation itself. It was a claim to which Hannity responded that he could not have said it “more eloquently” himself.

Really? A 24-hour period during which the court extended rights to millions of people and guaranteed that upwards of eight million wouldn’t lose their health insurance was among the worst 24-hour periods in history?

As bad or worse than any 24-hour period under slavery, under segregation, or during which day-long progression multiple black bodies may well have been strung up from tree limbs?
Worse than the 24-hour period in which the same court issued its decision in Dred Scott, holding therein that blacks had no rights the white man was bound to respect?

Worse than the 24-hour period in which whites bombed and burned the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma or slaughtered dozens of African Americans in East St. Louis, Illinois in orgies of racial terrorism?

Worse than any 24-hour period in which multiple slaving ships pulled into port in cities like Charleston or New Orleans and offloaded their human cargo for sale at market?

Worse than any 24-hour period in which Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Muscogee Indians were forcibly marched westward during the Trail of Tears, or any 24-hour period in which Lakota and Dakota peoples were being hunted in the Black Hills, or the 24-hour period during which Colonel John Chivington led his forces in a sadistic massacre of Cheyenne families at Sand Creek?

Fascinating.

It would seem axiomatic to rational people that any day under enslavement or Jim Crow segregation, or debt peonage or the Black Codes, or the virtual re-enslavement of African Americans that existed even well into the twentieth century in many parts of the South, would have been worse than the 24-hour period about which Cruz and Hannity are so exorcised. But then again, that would only be true for black people, and as such, would not count to the likes of men such as they. And that’s the point: to disregard the racialized horror that defined the black experience every single day for centuries, or to consider it somehow less horrible than a 24-hour span in which LGBT folks were treated as full and equal citizens and eight million people were kept from being thrown off of health care rolls, is to possess a worldview that is not only stupendous in its thoroughgoing mendacity, but also embarrassingly white and implicitly racist. Only someone who didn’t care about the history of America as regards people of color could say such a thing; and one who doesn’t care about said history is engaged in a form of racism by default—guilty of committing racial memoricide by way of their dismissiveness." [Read more]

What's that saying? "Not all right wingers are racist, but all racists are right wingers."

The "rhetoric of modern racism", as Tim Wise calls it, always comes from the right.

Coincidence? I think not.

And I take issue with the title of this piece. They are not "oblivious" to it, and there is certainly nothing "casual" about it.


*Pic courtesy of timwise.org.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"The atheist atrocities fallacy ."

Image result for pol pot images  I am often accused of being an atheist, which I most certainly am not. (There is a big difference between an atheist and an agnostic. And if you want to see why a rational person can be skeptic when it comes to religion you might want to start by reading a wonderful book by Timothy Freke called The Laughing Jesus) And because folks believe that I am an atheist, Christians, particularly those to the right of me politically, like to bring up terrible people from history and accuse them of being non-believers when they argue with me.

I suppose this has something to do with the fact that the Klan proudly claims to be a Christian organization, and I am quite sure that most of its members are in lockstep politically with my right wing conservative friends. 

Anyway, I was thinking about all that when I read the following article by Michael Sherlock. (h/t to the commenter over at the Mediaite website. )

"Religious apologists, particularly those of the Christian variety, are big fans of what I have dubbed, the atheist atrocities fallacy. Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies.

 Despite the fact that the atheist atrocities fallacy has already been thoroughly exposed by Hitchens and other great thinkers, it continues to circulate amongst the desperate believers of a religion in its death throes.  Should an atheist present a believer with the crimes committed by the Holy See of the Inquisition(s), the Crusaders and other faith-wielding misanthropes, they will often hear the reply; “Well, what about Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler? They were atheists, and they killed millions!”

Given the obstinate nature of religious faith and the wilful ignorance it cultivates in the mind of the believer, I am quite certain that this article will not be the final nail in this rancid and rotting coffin.  Having said this, I do hope it will contribute to the arsenal required by those who value reason, facts and evidence, in their struggle against the fallacies perpetually flaunted by those who do not value the truth above their own egocentric delusions, delusions inspired by an unquenchable thirst for security, no matter how frighteningly false its foundation.

Before addressing the primary weaknesses of the atheist atrocities fallacy itself, I would like to attend to each of these three homicidal stooges; Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler, who are constantly trotted out to defend a religious worldview.  I will lend Hitler the most time, as the claim that he was an atheist represents a most egregious violation of the truth.

HITLER

“Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.”  [1]    ~Adolf Hitler

 “We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out” [2]   ~Adolf Hitler

Hitler was a Christian.  This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions.  Yet, I will not merely present you with these testimonies, as damning as they happen to be on their own, but I also intend on furnishing you with a brief history of the inherent anti-Semitism of the Christian religion.  I will do so to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that Hitler and his Christian Nazi Party were acting in complete concordance with traditional Christian anti-Semitism.
To begin, here are just a few of Hitler’s Christian confessions:

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.  It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth!  was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.  In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.  How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.  To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross.  As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” [3]....

...POL POT (See pic)

Pol Pot, possibly not even an atheist, but almost certainly a Buddhist, believed in the teachings of the Buddha, no matter how perverted his interpretations may or may not have been.  His violence, much like the violence of many earlier religionists, wasn’t the result of a lack of belief in a god, whether Zeus, Osiris, Yahweh, or the god-like Buddha of Mahayana Buddhism, but in the megalomaniacal belief that heaven or destiny was guiding him to improve the state of affairs for all those who could be forced to share his misguided utopian delusions.  Not only was Pol Pot a Theravada Buddhist, but the soil in which his atrocities were sewn was also very Buddhist.

In Alexander Laban Hinton’s book, Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide,’ Hinton drew attention to the role that the belief in karma played in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, particularly with regards to the cementation of a docilely accepted social hierarchy, not too dissimilar from Stalin’s ready-made Russian religious tyranny, as well as highlighting the Buddhist origins of Pol Pot’s ideological initiatives.

Hinton remarks:

This [Pol Pot’s regime’s] line of thinking about revolutionary consciousness directly parallels Buddhist thought, with the “Party line” and “collective stand” being substituted for dhamma…One could certainly push this argument further , contending that the Khmer Rouge attempted to assume the monk’s traditional role as moral instructor (teaching their new brand of “mindfulness”) and that DK regime’s glorification of asceticism, detachment, the elimination of attachment and desire, renunciation (of material goods and personal behaviors, sentiments, and attitudes), and purity paralleled prominent Buddhist themes…  [30]

I have only presented a small snippet of the available evidence that points to religion’s role in Pol Pot’s crimes, and there is not one single piece of solid evidence that Pol Pot was an atheist, so let us once and for all dispense with that speculative piece of religious propaganda.  Pol Pot spent close to a decade at Catholic school and nearly as long studying at a Buddhist institution, so religious education was something he had in common with both Hitler and Stalin, but I would never use such data-mined facts to assert that religious education invariably inspires tyrants to commit atrocities, although a case for such a proposition could probably be made without committing too many logical and historical inaccuracies.  I won’t even bother sharing the un-sourced quote from Prince Norodom Sihanouk that Christians present as “proof” that Pol Pot was an atheist, as its origin is not only dubious, but its contents reflect a belief in heaven, which, if genuine, negates any claim that Pol Pot was an atheist.

THE ATHEIST ATROCITIES FALLACY

The atheist atrocities fallacy is a multifaceted and multidimensional monster, comprised of a cocktail of illogically contrived arguments.  It is, at its core, a tu quoque fallacy, employed to deflect justified charges of religious violence, by erroneously charging atheism with similar, if not worse, conduct.  But it is much more than this, for within its tangled and mangled edifice can be found the false analogy fallacy, the poisoning of the well fallacy, the false cause fallacy, and even an implied slippery slope fallacy.

Tu quoque (“You Too”) Fallacy

The Tuquoque fallacy is an informal fallacy used to dismiss criticism by means of deflection. [31] Instead of addressing an accusation or charge, the perpetrator of this fallacy will offer an example of their opponent’s alleged hypocrisy with regards to the allegation.  This is precisely how Christian apologists employ the atheist atrocities fallacy.

To give you an example of this fallacy in action, we need only examine the reply of renowned Christian apologist, Dinesh D’Souza, to charges of religious violence:

And who can deny that Stalin and Mao, not to mention Pol Pot and a host of others, all committed atrocities in the name of a Communist ideology that was explicitly atheistic? [32]

“…it is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than fascists or Nazis or Stalinists.” [33]
          
    ~Christopher Hitchens~

This fallacy will be often employed with an added sprinkle of one-upmanship, with the apologist using the immense scale of secular atrocities to argue that atheism is worse than religion.  However, if we were to honestly calculate those victims of ritual and religious sacrifice across the entire planet, the total number of witches burned and drowned across Europe and in America, the near genocides of the Pacific Islanders by the London Missionary Society, and similar missionary organizations, the dismembered bodies of the Saint Francis Xavier’s Inquisition in Goa, the disembowelled remains of the Anabaptists in Europe, the men, women and children murdered by Muslim conquerors from the Middle-East to Spain, the stoned and strangled blasphemers in Christian states of the past and Muslim ones of the modern age, and all of the unmarked graves of all of the victims of religion, from the dawn of that plague to now, I am quite certain that the numbers game would prove to be an unfruitful one for the desperate apologist." [Read More]

You can thank me for the education later.






Monday, June 29, 2015

Before Dylann, there was Edgar.

Edgar Ray Killen was convicted
in 2005 of overseeing the 1964
slayings of three civil rights workers.Today is a good day to talk about Edgar Ray Killen, the unapologetic racist who was responsible for killing three civil rights workers in Mississippi back in 1964.

Sadly, there were many Dylann Roof types back then, and he was just one of them.  

Today he sits in jail after finally being convicted of that terrible crime.

"And he steadfastly refuses to discuss the “Freedom Summer” slayings of three civil rights workers, which sparked national outrage, helped spur passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and landed him behind bars.

Killen was interviewed by the Associated Press inside the Mississippi state penitentiary, where he is serving a 60-year sentence; it was his first interview since his conviction on state charges of manslaughter in 2005, 41 years to the day after James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were killed and buried in a red clay dam. An earlier trial in 1967, on federal charges, resulted in a mistrial.

Killen wouldn’t say much about the 1964 killings. He said he remains a segregationist who does not believe in race equality but contends he bears no ill will toward blacks.

The three civil rights workers – black Mississippian Chaney and white New Yorkers Schwerner and Goodman – were investigating the burning of a black church outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, when they were stopped on an accusation of speeding and held for hours in the Neshoba County jail. Witnesses testified that Killen rounded up carloads of Klansmen to intercept the three men upon their release and helped arrange for a bulldozer to hide the bodies.

The bodies were found 44 days later, buried miles away in a red-clay dam." [Source]

It's important to remember this monster because now, 50 years later, the kind of hate that drove him and others to do what they did , is still permeating throughout certain segments of the country.

Over the past few days at least six black churches have been burned to the ground, and we are all collectively sticking our heads in the sand as if it didn't happen.

Were it not for black twitter (shout out to the #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches? movement) these stories would be getting even less publicity than they are now. It's sad, but the story has to actually get worse before the producers at cable news networks will have the courage to put stories like this front and center.

Look, we get it, a lot of Americans have Negro fatigue, so stories about black churches being burned to the ground just won't get their attention.  It's just too depressing to think that the country we love and cherish is going through this. Heck we are just getting over what happened in Charleston for crying out loud. Leave us alone!!!

Field, you don't even go to church, why do you care so much about these churches burning?

Because I understand the importance and historical significance of the church in the black community. And because church folks are such a forgiving bunch that I am sure that whoever is doing this will get nothing but love and another cheek from my church going brothers and sisters.

"Chaney’s sister, the Rev Julia Chaney Moss of Willingboro, New Jersey, said she was not surprised Killen wouldn’t talk about the slayings.

“I can only wish Mr. Killen peace at this juncture in his life ... If he can achieve a modicum of peace, I wish that for him,” Chaney said."

See what I mean?

Anyway, I sure hope that Rev. Julia and others at least believe in Proverbs 20:22.

~Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.~

Hurry Lord, we are getting tired of waiting.  








 





    

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Burn notice."

Image result for black church fires imagesWhile America is busy patting herself on the back for recognizing that the flag of the traitors who fought for the confederacy is an abomination to people of conscience, I would like to remind everyone that at least six African American churches have been burned since that horrific tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina.

Maybe our enemies are putting us on some kind of notice: This war is just beginning.

'“What's the church doing on fire?'

Jeanette Dudley, the associate pastor of God's Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia, got a call a little after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, she told a local TV news station. Her tiny church of about a dozen members had been burned, probably beyond repair. The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco got called in, which has been the standard procedure for church fires since the late 1960s. Investigators say they’ve ruled out possible causes like an electrical malfunction; most likely, this was arson.

The very same night, many miles away in North Carolina, another church burned: Briar Creek Road Baptist Church, which was set on fire some time around 1 a.m. Investigators have ruled it an act of arson, the AP reports; according to The Charlotte Observer, they haven’t yet determined whether it might be a hate crime.

Two other predominantly black churches have been the target of possible arson this week:  Glover Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Warrenville, South Carolina, which caught fire on Friday, and College Hill Seventh Day Adventist, which burned on Monday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Investigators in Knoxville told a local news station they believed it was an act of vandalism, although they aren’t investigating the incident as a hate crime. (There have also been at least three other cases of fires at churches this week. At Fruitland Presbyterian Church in Gibson County, Tennessee, and the Greater Miracle Temple Apostolic Holiness Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Officials suspect the blazes were caused by lightning and electrical wires, respectively, but investigations are still ongoing. A church that is not predominantly black—College Heights Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio—was burned on Saturday morning. The fire appears to have been started in the sanctuary, and WKYC reports that the cause is still under investigation. The town’s fire and police departments did not immediately return calls for confirmation on Sunday.*)

These fires join the murder of nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as major acts of violence perpetrated against predominantly black churches in the last fortnight. Churches are burning again in the United States, and the symbolism of that is powerful. Even though many instances of arson have happened at white churches, the crime is often association with racial violence: a highly visible attack on a core institution of the black community, often done at night, and often motivated by hate.'' [Source]

OK, so maybe these churches are all burning by accident and this is all purely coincidental.
Just one of those freaky things that go down in bunches.

Sure, and Lauren London keeps blowing up my phone to sneak off with her to Paris, but I have to pass on her invitation  because I am happily married.  Riiight.

Anyway, racists in America will not go down without a fight. All this talk about the confederate flag coming down but as I write this; there it flies, bolder and brighter than ever on the capitol grounds of South Carolina. And, depending on what the state's lawmakers do, it might never come down. In fact, had it not been for the actions of one brave soul and her accomplice, that racist symbol of tyranny would continue to fly uninterrupted in spite of all the hue and cry from different voices in the country.

"The hate filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people in our state who respect and, in many ways, revere it. Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity, and duty. They also see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism.

At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past. As a state we can survive, as we have done, while still being home to both of those viewpoints. We do not need to declare a winner and a loser here. We respect freedom of expression, and that for those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way.

But the statehouse is different and the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way. Fifteen years ago, after much contentious debate, South Carolina came together in a bipartisan way to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome. Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds."

We will believe it when we see it.

*Pic courtesy of 3chicspolitico.com
 



 

 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Caption Saturday.

*


I need a caption for this pic.

Play nice.


*Pic from wonkette.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

Amazing week.

Confederate flagLittle known fact about my family: My daddy actually taught homiletics to university level theological students at one time in his career. He loved to talk about preachers and preaching styles, and, as a result, I learned a thing or two about the art of preaching.

So having said that, I will give O's mini sermon today  four out of five possible stars. His spontaneous rendition of Amazing Grace could  have used a little work, but I am not going to quibble. The church was with him, and that's all that  matters.

"As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us for he has allowed us to see where we've been blind," Obama said. "He's given us the chance, where we've been lost, to find our best selves."

He might have given "us the chance", but unfortunately a lot of us are not taking it.

Quite a few of our so called leaders still do not realize that they have been blind, and it has taken them a hell of a long time to  find their "best selves."

I am thinking of people like Clarence Thomas. A man who has found himself on the wrong side of history because of his ignorant and misguided dissent in today's historic (and long overdue) decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that has given same sex couples the same rights and protections under the Constitution as heterosexual couples.

"The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.
 
Thomas went on to write that one's liberty and dignity should be shielded from the government — not provided by it.

"Today’s decision casts that truth aside. In its haste to reach a desired result, the majority misapplies a clause focused on 'due process' to afford substantive rights, disregards the most plausible understanding of the 'liberty' protected by that clause, and distorts the principles on which this Nation was founded. Its decision will have inestimable consequences for our Constitution and our society."

See, this is the problem with this man: He thinks that slaves should have been "Dignified". Sorry, it's kind of hard to maintain your "dignity" when you are being stripped and beaten and sold like cattle. But I digress.

This twisted and sick dissent thinks that majority decision by the court will have a "inestimable consequences for our Constitution. "  Huh????

He is wrong. Had he and his right- wing buddies had their way, that would have had a devastating affect on our Constitution. And, as a result, our country would have taken two steps backwards instead of moving forward into the 21st Century.

So in one eventful week the country wakes up and starts to denounce a symbol of hate that has long been ignored, and we legalize the  the rights of our fellow Gay citizens to legally marry each other.

Amazing Grace indeed.  


Pic by Getty images from themirror.com 




  












 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Obamacare lives. (For now)

Image result for health insurance marketplace obamacare imagesIt looks like the supremes upheld the most important portions of the ACA today, and that's a big win for this president.

Now, as is to be expected, the right wingers are losing their collective minds.

"an act of judicial activism" from the Supreme Court designed to "protect the Affordable Care Act." ~Karl Rove~

"With today's Obamacare decision, John Roberts confirms that he has completely jettisoned all pretense of textualism. He is a results-oriented judge, period, ruling on big cases based on what he thinks the policy result should be or what the political stakes are for the court itself. He is a disgrace. That is all." ~National Review~

"[Roberts] will undermine his own credibility as a fair-minded jurist, because he has reached to bizarre and odd contortions in order to save this statute twice." ~Andrew Napolitano, Fox News~

 "an absolute disaster" and wondered "what does [this] mean for the rule of law?" ~Rush Limbaugh ~

"I braced for this decision by SCOTUS still shocked....folks country has fundamentally changed...another giant step toward Banana Republic" ~Fox's Charles Payne~

And on and on it goes.

It seems like only yesterday that Chief Justice Roberts was a darling of the right wing. But this just goes to show you how dangerous it is to throw all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to politics.

Of course this decision will never cause me to change my mind about Chief Justice Roberts. That Citizens United decision will forever tarnish him and his legacy in my book.

 "I am disappointed in the Burwell decision, but this is not the end of the fight against ObamaCare "

Jeb, I am sure you are.

"Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate," the law is finally and firmly entrenched, Obama said, .....Health care, he said is "not a privileged for a few, but a right for all.".... The setbacks I remember clearly." However, "as the dust has settled, there can be no doubt that this law is working."

Show off.