Dead Confederates and Street Names

In the city of Richmond, Va is a street named Monument Avenue. On it, every few blocks are statues of the various personages of the Confederacy from Virginia who participated in the Civil War. The street was later modified to contain statues of famous people from Richmond, Va to include tennis great Arthur Ashe and famous oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury.  8 US Presidents hailed from Virginia, yet in our State capital there is a major street dedicated to dead confederate generals. Welcome to the South.

Now to say that Civil Rights upset some folks in Virginia is an understatement. One County, Prince Edward, shut their entire Public School System down for 5 years to prevent desegregation. So racism is no stranger to the state.

The City of Alexandria, Virginia was also the home and residence of confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Lee-Custis Plantation sat on the very grounds of what became the Arlington Cemetery. Several of Lee’s descendants still live in the City. The reason Arlington Cemetery sits where it is is that through the front door of his mansion, Arlington House,  Lee would have to confront some of the hundreds of thousands of those he was responsible for killing as part of the war…Each and every day. In case you are wondering where the Custis name came from, Lee’s wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee, was indeed the great granddaughter of Martha Custis, George Washington’s wife.

Arlington House, Formerly confederate General robert E. Lee’s home

Law requiring Confederate street names questioned

Alexandria, a Northern Virginia city steeped in Civil War history, is considering repeal of an old law requiring certain new streets to be named for Confederate generals.

City Councilman Justin Wilson introduced legislation for Tuesday night’s council meeting to do away with a 1963 law requiring that any new “streets running in a generally north-south direction shall, insofar as possible, bear the names of confederate military leaders.”

Wilson’s bill also would eliminate a requirement that new east-west streets be named for persons or places prominent in American history.

Wilson said he wants to remove a series of anachronistic laws, and his proposal also would repeal a ban on “lewd cohabitation” and laws regulating a bygone fad of “rebound tumbling,” a form of trampolining.

As a practical matter, there is little likelihood that the city will be naming new streets any time soon. The city, inside Washington’s Capital Beltway and separated from the nation’s capital by the Potomac River, is essentially built out. In fact, the street grid of the city’s Old Town section dates to Colonial times.

Wilson said that symbolically, he believes it’s a good thing to strip from the code a provision that in some ways glorifies the Confederacy. But he made clear he is not proposing that the city change existing street names, some of which honor Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, whose Dred Scott decision denied citizenship and constitutional protections to blacks before the Civil War.

“I think we struggle in the city with our history,” Wilson said.

Alexandria was occupied by Union troops for most of the Civil War and, like the rest of Virginia, has a history of slavery and segregation. It is now a liberal bastion in Virginia – Barack Obama won 71 percent of the vote in 2012.

On historic Duke Street in Old Town, the building that was once home to the nation’s largest domestic slave trading company is now home to the Northern Virginia Urban League, which operates the Freedom House Museum there to tell the story of the slave trade.

Cynthia Dinkins, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League, said she personally supports any legislation that keeps the city from unduly honoring the Confederacy. Still, while she is wary of glorifying the Confederacy, she said care must be taken remember unpleasant parts of American history.

“Some of my challenge in dealing with Freedom House is that people don’t want to remember” that part of our history, she said.

Wilson said he has not heard of any opposition to his bill so far.

Officers with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which has occasionally protested when it sees efforts to scrub recognition of Confederate leaders from the public square, did not return emails and phone calls seeking comment Tuesday.

A public hearing on Wilson’s legislation is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Charter Failure and Corruption

Another conservative failure – privatization of schools.

The Charter “Movement” never was about better education for kids – it is all about lining folks pockets and destroying politically influential teacher’s unions.

So…when is someone going to step in and stop this criminal farce?

The truth about charter schools: Padded cells, corruption, lousy instruction and worse results

Imagine your 5-year-old boy went to a school where he was occasionally thrown in a padded cell and detained alone for stretches as long as 20 minutes.

Or you sent your kid to an elementary school where the children are made to sit on a bare floorin the classroom for days before they can “earn” their desks.

Or your kid went to a school where she spent hours parked in a cubicle in front of a computerwith a poorly trained teacher who has to monitor more than 100 other students.

Maybe you don’t have children or send them to private school? So how do you feel when you find out the local school that you pay for with your taxes is operating a scam that diverted millions of dollars through fake Medicaid billing?

Or the school used your tax dollars as “grants” to start up other profit-making enterprises … orpay lavish salaries – $300,000, $400,000 or more – to its administrators … or support a movement linked to a reclusive Turkish cleric being investigated for bribery and corruption.

Welcome to the world of charter schools.

Are there wonderful charter schools doing great things for kids? Probably. Are all these cumulative anecdotes an unfair representation of the value that charter schools can bring to some communities? Maybe.

But neither of those questions matters because of what the charter school movement has come to represent in the landscape of American education.

 

Charter schools have been relentlessly marketed to the American populace as a silver bullet for “failed” public schools, especially in poor urban communities of African-American and Latino/a students.

Politicians in both parties speak glowingly of these schools – which, by the way, their children seem never to attend.

Opening charter schools has become the latest fad for celebrities including athletes and rap stars.

Huge nationwide chains – called education management organizations (EMOs) – now run many of these charters. A recent study by the National Education Policy Center found, “Students across 35 states and the District of Columbia now attend schools managed by these non-government entities.” These for-profit and nonprofit EMOs – such as K12 Inc., National Heritage Academies, Charter Schools USA and KIPP – now account for nearly half of the students educated by charter schools.

Substantial, well-funded nationwide organizations have rapidly developed to lobby for these schools. One such organization, the Alliance for School Choice, recently received a $6 million gift from the Walton Foundation, of Wal-Mart fame.

Slick marketing campaigns have been rolled out in communities across the country to tout the coming of new charters.

The actual academic results of these schools seems to hardly anyone, despite report after reportshowing that these schools tend to do poorly on state and national tests and fail at providing equitable education to underserved students.

Yet lobbying for more of these schools continues unabated with more money funneled into the campaigns of politicians who support charters and more efforts to press state lawmakers to lift any provisions currently in place to regulate how these schools operate and are held accountable to the public. Continue reading

More of That Meghan Kelly “White Santa” Racism

This is how racism makes you stupid. A High School in New Mexico allowed the kids to come dressed one day as “Santa, elves, or a Reindeer”. A black kid shows up in a Santa outfit, and is criticised for dressing as Santa…

Because “Santa is white”.

Now never mind the fact that none of the Kids dressed as elves…Are the fictitious creatures…

Or the fact that any of the kids with their little antlers on are remotely related to genus Rangifer…

There is no “black Santa”.

This guy must have got his teaching certificate from on of those conservative Voucher schools.

Teacher Disciplined For ‘Santa Is White’ Remark

A New Mexico high school teacher has been disciplined after a parent says the man told his black son that Santa Claus is white.

Officials at the school in Rio Rancho, about 15 miles north of Albuquerque, announced Friday that the teacher recently was disciplined for his comments to the student, but they declined to say how, KOB-TV reported (http://goo.gl/GYqcJr).

The move came after students at Cleveland High School were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.

Michael Rougier said his ninth-grade son, Christopher, arrived wearing a Santa hat and beard, and the teacher asked the boy: “Don’t you know Santa Clause is white? Why are you wearing that?”

The teacher’s name was not released, and attempts by The Associated Press to reach school officials Saturday were unsuccessful.

Michael Rougier said the teacher’s comments enraged him.

“There’s no room for that in the classroom,” he said. “Whether this teacher felt Christopher may have been wearing this out of context, there’s no room for it. There’s just no room for it.”

The incident happened the same week that Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly said on the air that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Her comments drew national attention and prompted a slew of heated comments on blogs and social media sites.

A spokesman for Rio Rancho Public Schools said the Cleveland High School teacher knows he made a “dumb” mistake and has since apologized to the Rougier family.

Michael Rougier said he still has concerns. “If he has that attitude, how is it affecting students, studies, grading habits, trending toward Caucasian kids?” Rougier said of the teacher.

The teacher still works at Cleveland, but Christopher has been removed from his class, KOB-TV reported.

MSNBC Wusses Out…Again. Martin Bashir Resignation.

MSNBC commentator Martin Bashir has tendered his resignation to MSNBC. More than likely he was asked to leave by cowardly MSNBC Management. This leaves a huge hole in MSNBC’s lineup, taking away what was by far, their best interviewer. I mean I love you Rachael, but although she is smarter than the entire collection of Faux News bimbos combined, cutting through the bullshit in an interview isn’t her strong point. Bashir is a victim of responding to the Sno’ Ho’s ignorant and racist comments in kind – saying what a lot of us would if we had the microphone.

To be honest, if MSNBC is too chickenshit to call Palin on her pernicious and offensive racist statements…

Then they are too chickenshit for this viewer.

Putting this one under the heading of Domestic Terrorism.

 

Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC Following Sarah Palin Comments

Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC following weeks of controversy over his incendiary comments about Sarah Palin, he announced in an email posted byMediaite on Wednesday.

“Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” the email read in part. “It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.”

In a statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin paid tribute to Bashir:

“Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

Bashir had been a host on the network since 2011, and had frequently raised eyebrows with his hyperbolic commentary. But his comments in November in response to remarks about slavery by Palin touched off a firestorm. Among other things, Bashir said that someone should defecate and urinate in Palin’s mouth, a punishment delivered to some slaves. He apologized, but the comments continued tohaunt him.

Bashir’s resignation came shortly after Alec Baldwin parted ways with MSNBC over anti-gay comments he made towards a photographer. At the time, many wondered why Baldwin, who was suspended for two weeks for statements he made off the air, was seemingly being punished more than Bashir, who was not given any immediate suspension.

Bashir’s departure leaves a hole in MSNBC’s afternoon lineup. Leading candidates for the slot include MSNBC contributor and guest host Joy Reid, along with the recently hired Ronan Farrow. For the time being, Reid will fill in as a guest host.

TeaParty “Knockout Game” Version

Playing a bit of the Devil’s Advocate here…

Seems like there have been at east 20 Republicans busted for forcible or underage sexual assaults in the last few years. I mean, even their Presidential candidate Herman Cain got caught trying to force women to have sex with him through corporate intimidation, and downright physical force.

One has to wonder whether this is an epidemic! Spreading across the  country from lilly white precinct to precinct!

It certainly is far more frequent than reported incidences of the “Knockout Game” attributed o black inner city youth.

Ex-GOP Chairman Drugged, Raped Employee: D

Former Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns has been arrested for rape of an unconscious person and related charges after an alleged sexual assault that occurred in late October, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Kerns, 66, who led the GOP from 2008 through Nov. 15 when he resigned after the sexual assault investigation was reported, was charged with 19 criminal counts, including rape of an unconscious victim, rape of a substantially impaired person sexually assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, possession of an instrument of crime with intent, and possession of a controlled substance.

According to Ferman, Kerns and the victim, and employee at his Upper Gwynedd law firm, were at a work celebration at Radice restaurant in Whitpain township on Oct. 25. Around 6 p.m., Kerns offered the victim a ride to her home in King of Prussia and allegedly encouraged her to drink from a bottle of wine that he had secretly drugged with Ambien.

Ferman says that the victim lost consciousness, and Kerns raped and sexually abused her while in his car; the assault was allegedly so violent that it cause severe genital injuries and other injuries to multiple parts of her body.

Ferman alleges that the victim began to regain consciousness as the defendant drove closer to her neighborhood, and remembers the last few turns to her house. Once at her house, the victim said Kerns took her upstairs and sexually abused her once more before leaving her home.

Kerns was also charged with unsworn falsification to authorities, tampering with physical evidence, and more.

The incident occurred just one day after Kerns announced a truce among warring factions in the Republican Party, which had impacted the party for decades.

Searching for a White Trayvon – The “Knockout Game”

First the Faux News racist sensationalism -

The Knockout Game Myth and its Racist Roots

The stories are chilling–conjuring a world of senseless, alien violence as incomprehensible as it is reprehensible. Rightfully, we are mortified and outraged and we fear for a country in which A Clockwork Orange ultra-violence finds life in our streets. The analysis of many pundits is startling: these attacks are racially motivated hate crimes against whites by black youths and the media and our politicians refuse to identify these racist motives out of political correctness.

What goes mostly unspoken in these commentaries on the “knockout game” is the idea that these assaults are racially motivated and so white people should be wary of groups of black men. Some take this further and blame the “liberal media” for the violence, since the media allegedly hid the “truth” about the race of the criminals. If only the media would tell us when black people attack white people, we’d know to not trust them and we’d be safe, the logic goes.

But are these pundits correct? Are these crimes committed by roaming packs of black “savages” against white people?

Here’s the fascinating thing about this “spreading” trend: nobody seems to have any evidence that it’s spreading, or that it’s new, or that it’s racially motivated, or that black youths are the ones typically responsible, or that whites are typically targeted. This hasn’t stopped Mark SteynThomas Sowell, andMatt Walsh from describing this specifically as a crime committed by blacks against whites, CNN from claiming that it is “spreading,” or Alec Torres at NRO from say it is “evidently increasing [in] popularity.” Most sources claim that it is spreading, and a number of sources claim that it is racially motivated. But how do they know? Where are they getting their data from?

Alec Torres wrote what appears to be the most thorough survey of all the reported accounts of the “knockout game,” but these “reports” are actually newspaper reports, not police reports, so they don’t give us a reliable picture. Yet, Torres is confident enough to conclude: “Most of the victims have been whites and Asians, and attackers tend to target Jews, immigrants, and the elderly in particular. Most of the attackers have been African American.”

“Most” is an awfully slippery word to describe a increasingly popular, violent hate crime.

What’s very perplexing about Torres’s post is that he quotes multiple times from an award-winning article by John H. Tucker in Riverfront Times titled, Knockout King: Kids call it a game. Academics call it a bogus trend. Cops call it murder. I say this citation is perplexing because Tucker’s article explains quite clearly why sweeping claims about rising incidences of the “knockout game” and the racial identities of the perpetrators and victims are bogus. Tucker helps us see how many commentaries about these assaults are deeply flawed.

First of all, we don’t have reliable data:

A variety of factors make it impossible to quantify how many assaults can be attributed to Knockout King. For one, police often categorize such attacks as attempted robberies; though participants say theft isn’t the motive, they’ve been known to add larceny to injury when the opportunity presents itself. Moreover, because victims usually don’t get a good look at their assailant, incidents seldom result in charges. Many of the most vulnerable victims don’t file police reports, either because they fear revenge or were taught in their native countries not to trust police.

In order to draw any remotely competent conclusion about these assaults, you’d have to deal with all the above problems and also consider if crimes by whites are reported as frequently as crimes by blacks, whether teens of other races might refer to the game by another name or not label it at all, how the percentage of attacks by blacks compares to the general percentage of assaults by black teens, and so on. Analyzing data is not as simple as watching some YouTube videos and Googling “knockout game.” Here’s Tucker again:

Given that 4.3 million violent attacks were reported by U.S. citizens in 2009, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, Males [a research fellow at the nonprofit Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice] says reporters should know better than to highlight a handful of random attacks by kids and call it journalism. It’s the same thing as plucking a few instances of attackers with Jewish surnames who beat up non-Jews and declaring it a “troubling new trend,” he argues.

All but two of the ten victims . . . interviewed were white (one was black and was Latino), and all of the players were black. But Knockout King does not appear to be bounded by race. Jason, from St. Louis County, says two white friends were part of his punch-out crew. One Dutchtown woman, agreeing to speak on the condition that her name not be published, says police caught her son, who is white, playing Knockout King. . . .

“It’s not a black thing, it’s a kid thing,” the woman says. “It’s teenage kids trying to be cool. My son’s as white as can be. He doesn’t have a black bone in his body.”

How could Torres read this article and yet still come to the conclusion that the assaults are on the rise and that “most” of them involve black assailants and white or asian victims? In his defense, other pundits have drawn the same conclusion, despite the lack of evidence.

Of course, there are some things we can confidently say about these crimes: “Most criminologists and youth experts agree that unprovoked attacks by teenagers on strangers are a real, if extremely rare, phenomenon,” notes Tucker. What’s more, unquestionably these attacks are horrid and inhumane, Mark Steyn is right that these perpetrators lack a basic moral fortitude, the guilty parties must be apprehended and punished, and the public should be warned about the realities of random violent crime. And we might even admit that some of these assaults appear to have been hate crimes. None of these claims are objectionable because we have evidence for them.

What we don’t have evidence for is the claim that this “game” is becoming increasingly popular or that it is part of a larger problem of black mob violence which the media is ignoring. To support such absurd claims we need to turn elsewhere, away from the experts and the data, to a man who has made a name for himself peddling a book which purports to show that a covert race war is being waged by blacks against whites all across the country, and the knockout game is just one weapon in their arsenal.

Before almost anyone else was talking about the “knockout game,” Colin Flaherty was reporting on it and other incidences of what he calls “black mob violence” for WorldNetDaily, the notoriously deceptive, far-right news and opinions site. His schtick is simple: every time he finds a report of black “mob” violence or black on white violence, he writes about it. He’s compiled many of these incidences into his book, White Girl Bleed A Lotwhich is ranked #1,455 under “Books” at Amazon as of Sunday evening, 24th of November. Its high ranking is undoubtedly due to the press he’s been getting. Hannity had him on his radio show. And Thomas Sowell’s article on the knockout game, which was published in the New York Post and the National Review Online, cites Flaherty and repeats much of the WND author’s rhetoric about the national epidemic of racial violence that the media has covered up. This isn’t too surprising, since Sowell’s original review of the book was actually published on the NRO’s website, where he gave the book high praise. His book has also received praise from Allen West, David Horowitz, and American Thinker.

What’s surprising about all the positive press Flaherty has received is that his articles purporting to prove this epidemic of black racial violence are incredibly, basically absurd. And that absurdity, the lengths Flaherty is willing to go to support his assertion about the secret race war can really only be interpreted as bigotry. Flaherty deceives his readers to sell his book, peddling the classic white fear of the savage, violent, black man, mixed in with a little contemporary rhetoric about how the “liberal,” politically correct media is covering up for black thugs. This narrative fits nicely into the larger perception that Obama has created a nation of entitled, lazy, and violent blacks, which I have written about before.

The most basic flaw in his argument is that his entire project is one big stacked evidence fallacy. If you only cite examples of black crime, of course you’ll conclude that there’s a national racial crime wave! Using that “logic” I can prove that any group is waging a secret race war (it is interesting to note that Robert Spencer of JihadWatch uses a very similar method to argue that Muslims are dangerous). On top of that egregious error, Flaherty entirely ignores all other characteristics of the crimes: social class, education, setting; nothing else matters except race to him. Any respectable criminologist would scoff at such a methodology, not because they want to be politically correct, but because it’s a gross reduction of the factors that actually contribute to crime. Next, Flaherty fails to recognize that correlation does not equal causation. So, because a black person commits a violent crime, his blackness must have caused it, in Flaherty’s logic. And because a black party got out of hand, it’s a “race riot.” Yes, that’s right, because the partiers were black, it was a “race” riot. Because “black” is a race. Makes perfect sense, right?

When the media doesn’t mention that a violent crime was committed by a black person, that’s evidence of a cover up for Flaherty. In one article, he describes calling and emailing the police to try to learn the racial makeup of a party that turned into a “mob”:

“What happened? Was this a case of black mob violence?”

No reply. I get that a lot. It is a red flag.

So, he called the police and explicitly asked if an incident was “black mob violence,” and when he got no reply, it was confirmation to him that the police were hiding the truth. My guess is that in most of these cases, the media and police are silent about the race of the perpetrators because “race” isn’t really a factor in the crimes.

Flaherty regularly stacks and exaggerates the evidence (also see here, or here, or here).

Colin Flaherty and his project have been cited repeatedly to support the claim that the “knockout game” is really about racial violence against whites.  He’s been cited to this end not just in far-right publications like WND, or FrontPageMag, but in the National Review Online, one of the most respected conservative journals, and one that I like to recommend. His conspiracy is extremely racist, as Flaherty reduces everything down to the color of the criminal’s skin, regardless of the facts. He consistently distorts the truth in order to portray black people as the savage, animalistic, and Other.

We need to be honest and accurate about these crimes, neither sharing the hysteria and racial fear-mongering nor trivializing the reality of these crimes. This isn’t easy to balance. We have the right to be concerned about random violence and the authorities have the responsibility to protect us and prosecute violent criminals. But we also have the responsibility to tell the truth about our neighbor and the world.

And no Faux news race baiting is complete without the resident ncle Tom -

Duke Rape Accuser – Crystal Magnum Convicted of Murder

The woman who was at the center of the firestorm caused by her false accusation of 3 Duke University Lacrosse players having raped her, has been convicted of murder in the stabbing death of her boyfriend…

 

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