Some Issues With Martin Luther King Memorial Surface

Taking a few words at their meaning, out of context with the events, or in some cases hundreds of words surrounding them is a recipe for disaster. In particular, the Rev. Martin Luther King, whose speeches and collective will driven by the righteousness of our cause shook our national psyche to it’s very foundations, left us with a number or speeches and written words left us with a number of “quotable moments” which cannot be distilled without context.

My parents, being educators collected a number of King’s Speeches and much of his oratory on old 33 1/3 RPM records allowing us to go back and review and rehear his speeches, discussions, and debates again and again. I would guess that well North of several thousand published works document the Civil Rights period, making it, WWII, and the Great Depression the most documented and detailed events of the past century.

So it is a little distressing when they get it wrong on the Memorial…

At King ceremony, a chance to bend toward justice

 

The arc of a mistake is long, and it now stretches from the Oval Office over to the Mall.

An error has been etched in marble on the grand Martin Luther King Jr. memorial that was to be dedicated Sunday, on the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Some of King’s speeches and writings have been inscribed in the memorial. But one of the sayings on the wall by the Tidal Basin is incorrect — or incomplete — in its attribution.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

According to David Remnick’s biography of Obama, that is the president’s “favorite quotation.” Obama brought the idea back into present-day parlance and even had it sewn into the rug in the Oval Office when he redecorated last year. But as I wrote on this page last September, King is not the source of that quote. Continue reading

Congressional Black Caucus Pushback Against Tea Party Begins

Well… The fuse is lit on this one. And while it has been a long time coming, derailed by a number of other issues…

It’s about time.

I have argued on this site that the Congressional Black Caucus needs to take a more aggressive approach in Congress to fight back. Maybe these guys are listening?

The New Jim Crow implemented since the Bushit stole office has been focused on “disparate impact”. Ergo, attacking those elements of the economy, and government policy which disproportionally favor minorities. An example of this is that more minorities tend to work for the Government than private industry due to historical and ongoing discrimination in the private workplace. So privatization of Government work results in transforming a Government workforce which is 40% Minority, to a privatized workforce which is less than 10% minority. The net result of this is a 54% drop in net wealth in black families, compared to an 18% drop in white families net wealth. Almost across the board, the Tea Baggers have pushed policies which exacerbate the impact of the economic recession in minority communities.

Essentially the Old Jim Crow, dressed up in a suit and tie.

Democratic Rep: Tea Party Would Love To See Black People ‘Hanging On A Tree’

 

 A leading voice in the Congressional Black Caucus told supporters last week that Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are devastating the black community economically and would be happy to see black people “hanging on a tree.”

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), the CBC whip, told attendees at the CBC’s Job Tour visit to Miami that the Tea Party is actively taking steps to keep down the black community and other vulnerable populations.

“This is the effort that we’re seeing of Jim Crow,” Carson said. “Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens.”

“Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree.”

An audio and partial video of Carson making the remarks first surfaced on Tuesday on Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze. When contacted by The Huffington Post, Carson’s office confirmed them and didn’t back down, saying they were in response to frustrations felt by many around the country regarding Congress’ inability to boost the economy.

“The Tea Party is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities,” Carson spokesman Jason Tomcsi said in a statement.

Tomsci specifically pointed to GOP efforts to cut funding for child nutrition, job creation and training, housing assistance and Head Start, a national program that promotes school readiness, as examples of ways the Tea Party agenda hurts vulnerable populations.

“A child without basic nutrition, secure housing, and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life,” he said. “So, yes, the Congressman used strong language because the Tea Party agenda jeopardizes our most vulnerable and leaves them without the ability to improve their economic standing.”

Last of the Delta Bluesmen – David “Honeyboy” Edwards

The first century of blues came to a close with the death of the last of the great Delta Style Bluesmen.

David Honeyboy Edwards, Delta Bluesman, Dies at 96

David Honeyboy Edwards, believed to have been the oldest surviving member of the first generation of Delta blues singers, died on Monday at his home in Chicago. He was 96.

His death was announced by his manager, Michael Frank.

Mr. Edwards’s career spanned nearly the entire recorded history of the blues, from its early years in the Mississippi Delta to its migration to the nightclubs of Chicago and its emergence as an international phenomenon.

Over eight decades Mr. Edwards knew or played with virtually every major figure who worked in the idiom, including Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. He was probably best known, though, as the last living link to Robert Johnson, widely hailed as the King of the Delta Blues. The two traveled together, performing on street corners and at picnics, dances and fish fries during the 1930s.

“We would walk through the country with our guitars on our shoulders, stop at people’s houses, play a little music, walk on,” Mr. Edwards said in an interview with the blues historian Robert Palmer, recalling his peripatetic years with Johnson. “We could hitchhike, transfer from truck to truck, or, if we couldn’t catch one of them, we’d go to the train yard, ’cause the railroad was all through that part of the country then.” He added, “Man, we played for a lot of peoples.”

Mr. Edwards had earlier apprenticed with the country bluesman Big Joe Williams. Unlike Williams and many of his other peers, however, Mr. Edwards did not record commercially until after World War II. Field recordings he made for the Library of Congress under the supervision of the folklorist Alan Lomax in 1942 are the only documents of Mr. Edwards’s music from his years in the Delta.

Citing the interplay between his coarse, keening vocals and his syncopated “talking” guitar on recordings like “Wind Howling Blues,” many historians regard these performances as classic examples of the deep, down-home blues that shaped rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll.

Mr. Edwards was especially renowned for his intricate fingerpicking and his slashing bottleneck-slide guitar work. Though he played in much the same traditional style throughout his career, he also enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first Delta blues musicians to perform with a saxophonist and drummer.

David Edwards was born June 28, 1915, in Shaw, Miss., in the Delta region. His parents, who worked as sharecroppers, gave him the nickname Honey, which later became Honeyboy. His mother played the guitar; his father, a fiddler and guitarist, performed at local social events. Mr. Edwards’s father bought him his first guitar and taught him to play traditional folk ballads.

His first real exposure to the blues came in 1929, when the celebrated country bluesman Tommy Johnson came to pick cotton at Wildwood Plantation, the farm near Greenwood where the Edwards family lived at the time.

“They’d pick cotton all through the day, and at night they’d sit around and play the guitars,” Mr. Edwards recalled in his autobiography, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing” (Chicago Review Press, 1997). “Drinking that white whiskey, that moonshine, I’d just sit and look at them. I’d say, ‘I wish I could play.’ ”…

And play he did –

626… Not Just Tuskeegee

More about medical experiments conducted by the US Government on patients in Guatemala. The studies are chillingly similar to the sort of experimentation done on prisoners by the Nazis and Japanese during WWII.

Black Americans before Civil Rights feared going to hospitals in some parts of the country…

Perhaps for good reason. Dr John Cutler appears to be our very own Dr. Mengele.

Guatemala Experiments: Syphilis Infections, Other Shocking Details Revealed About U.S. Medical Experiments

A presidential panel on Monday disclosed shocking new details of U.S. medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study.

The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in U.S. history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era.

“The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second,” said Anita Allen, a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

From 1946-48, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with several Guatemalan government agencies to do medical research – paid for by the U.S. government – that involved deliberately exposing people to sexually transmitted diseases.

The researchers apparently were trying to see if penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent infections in the 1,300 people exposed to syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. Those infected included soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis.

The commission revealed Monday that only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment. Also, 83 people died, although it’s not clear if the deaths were directly due to the experiments.

The research came up with no useful medical information, according to some experts. It was hidden for decades but came to light last year, after a Wellesley College medical historian discovered records among the papers of Dr. John Cutler, who led the experiments.

President Barack Obama called Guatemala’s president, Alvaro Colom, to apologize. He also ordered his bioethics commission to review the Guatemala experiments. That work is nearly done. Though the final report is not due until next month, commission members discussed some of the findings at a meeting Monday in Washington.

They revealed that some of the experiments were more shocking than was previously known.

For example, seven women with epilepsy, who were housed at Guatemala’s Asilo de Alienados (Home for the Insane), were injected with syphilis below the back of the skull, a risky procedure. The researchers thought the new infection might somehow help cure epilepsy. The women each got bacterial meningitis, probably as a result of the unsterile injections, but were treated.

Perhaps the most disturbing details involved a female syphilis patient with an undisclosed terminal illness. The researchers, curious to see the impact of an additional infection, infected her with gonorrhea in her eyes and elsewhere. Six months later she died.

Dr. Amy Gutmann, head of the commission, described the case as “chillingly egregious.”…

Katt Williams Unleashes Rant Against Heckler

The very best comics are edgy, sometimes falling over the line.

Here, Katt Williams lambastes a Mexican heckler – WARNING – STRONG LANGUAGE

Now, admittedly the heckler was none to bright. Picking a fight with a comic, who has the microphone isn’t David and Goliath…

It’s David versus Godzilla. And Godzilla doesn’t give a damn about your “smooth stones”.

Katt Williams’ Anti-Mexican Rant In Phoenix: Comedian Takes On Latino Heckler

“Since y’all like it over here a lot. and I’m saying, if I’m speaking out of line, let me know. But I’m saying it appears to me, y’all like it over here a lot. And let me tell you why I’m making that assumption, because I have no right to make that assumption. But understand this, this what gives me the right, and don’t you get it twisted… If y’all had California and you loved it, then you shouldn’t have given that mothaf*cka up. You should have fought for California, goddamnit, since you love it..

Because you think I’m dissing Mexico and I’m defending America. Are you Mexican? Do you know where Mexico is? No this ain’t Mexico, it used to be Mexico, motherf*cker, and now it’s Phoenix, goddammit. USA! USA!

F*ck you back, n*gga. i bet you dont even go to mexico, motha f*cka… no n*gga, do you know where you at? USA! USA! I dont give a f*ck. no n*gga, this is my hood… [security comes] F*ck him! Mothaf*ckas think they can live in this country and pledge allegience to another country… do you remember when white people used to say go back to Africa? And we’d have to tell them we dont want to? So if you love Mexico, bitch, get the f*ck over there! [breaks into the National Anthem]..

We were slaves bitch, you just all work like that at the landscapers… It’s not even racial — you’re a bitch! I don’t give a f*ck what race that is, that’s a p*ssy.”

American Kidnapped in Haiti

Unfortunately this is a reality in Haiti…

Let’s hope they get him back safe and sound. No idea whether the motive is political or financial at this point.

Haitian anti-kidnap unit working to free US citizen abducted from home

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The head of the Haiti’s anti-kidnapping unit says an American has been kidnapped from his home in the capital.

Francois Dossous says the U.S. citizen was seized by men posing as employees of a package delivery service. The victim was identified as Frank Jean-Baptiste. He is married to the director of a prestigious private school for the children of diplomats and wealthy Haitians. Dossous said Monday that authorities are working to secure the man’s release. Police and U.N. peacekeepers have increased checkpoints throughout Port-au-Prince in recent days.

The U.S. Embassy has warned Americans working in Haiti to remain alert and has provided tips on what to do if kidnapped.

 

Powell Blasts Cheney for “Cheap Shots”

Fascinating.

President Obama’s first failure was not putting all the Bushit SOBs in jail for their crimes.

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