The Belafonte TV Ad
Andrew Young Remembers JFK and MLK’s sorrow at hearing Kennedy had been assasinated –
John Lewis’ remembrance –
The Belafonte TV Ad
Andrew Young Remembers JFK and MLK’s sorrow at hearing Kennedy had been assasinated –
John Lewis’ remembrance –
Interesting – because prior to now, I don’t remember seeing anywhere that Condo talked about any of this. Condo’s father was not in the Civil Rights Movement, choosing instead to take a back seat. The ethics of that are up to debate…
As well as Condo’s ethics in working for the Bush Administration. While I don’t believe there is any evidence that GW is a bigot, there is more than a little evidence that some of the folks he brought to Washington were and are. The nuances of whether she could have done more not taking the job, or accomplished more by taking the job are also open to debate. Calling Condo a latter day Hattie McDaniels is unfair. Calling her a failure because of her role in a failed Presidency..isn’t.
I think this reaction is because of he Trayvon Martin murder. Like the George Zimmerman trial, initial efforts to convict the murderers were stymied, with the first conviction not coming for another 14 years, with others not being convicted until 30 years later. Justice in some parts of America moves much more slowly for some people.
When a church bombing killed four young black girls on a quiet Sunday morning in 1963, life for a young Condoleezza Rice changed forever.
The racial attack on the 16th Street Baptist Church, in the former secretary of state’s hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, rocked the nation and led to sweeping changes in laws governing civil rights.
But for Rice, just 8 years old at the time, the tragedy meant the death of a little girl she used to play dolls with, and the loss of her own youthful sense of security.
“As an 8-year-old, you don’t think about terror of this kind,” said Rice, who recounted on Friday her memory of the bombing and its aftermath in remarks to a gathering of civic leaders in Birmingham as part of several days of events leading up to the 50th anniversary of the bombing on Sept. 15.
Rice’s hometown had become a place too dangerous for black children to leave their own neighborhoods, or go downtown and visit Santa Claus, or go out of the house after dark.
“There was no sanctuary. There was no place really safe,” she said.
Rice’s friend, 11-year-old Denise McNair, died in the blast along with 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley. Their deaths at the hands of Ku Klux Klan members garnered national support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Events for the 50th anniversary of the bombing will include a screening of filmmaker Spike Lee’s new documentary, “Four Little Girls,” and a memorial service on Sunday scheduled to include U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Rice has a treasured photo of her friend accepting a kindergarten certificate from Rice’s father, who was a pastor at another church. McNair had gone to preschool there. McNair’s father was the community photographer, documenting birthday parties and weddings in happier times.
“Everyone in the black community knew one of those girls,” Rice said.
Her father told her the bombing had been done by “hateful men,” she said, but it was an act that later uncovered something ultimately good.
“Out of great tragedy, people began to recognize our humanity, and it brought people together,” said Rice.
The bombing left its mark on her even as an adult, when as U.S. Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, she used the experience to understand the plight of Palestinian and Israeli victims of bombs and attacks during peace negotiations.
“I told them I know what it is like for a Palestinian mother, who has to tell her child they can’t go somewhere,” Rice said, “and how it is for an Israeli mother, who puts her child to bed and wonders if the child will be alive in the morning.”
But with all of the progress made in civil rights during the 50 years since the blast, Rice cites education as the biggest impediment to equality in modern times.
She expressed dismay at racial disparities in the quality of education for minorities and criticized the “soft bigotry of low expectations” in a system she said challenges black students less than others.
“Even racism can’t be an excuse for not educating our kids,” she said. “If a kid cannot read, that kid is done. A child in a bad school doesn’t have time for racism to be eradicated. They have to learn today.”
If there is no justice, there can be no peace. But in the American South it seems white folks suddenly believe that decorum and charm are a proper response to unspeakable acts of violence and unconscionable injustice.
The day before a jury delivered an acquittal in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger and Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith gave a national press conference to appeal for a peaceful reaction to the verdict — regardless of its outcome.
Eslinger, who is white, said, “We will not tolerate anyone who uses this verdict as an excuse to violate the law.”
The veiled threat of an aggressive police response to imaginary civil unrest belies the very logic that led to Trayvon Martin’s death to begin with. For, you see, African-Americans are never protected or served by the law enforcement apparatus — yet they are always subject to its military might.
Sanford police coyly “tolerated” the actual killing of an unarmed black child, but yet refuse to “tolerate” any anger expressed for the acquittal of his murderer.
This is the new Jim Crow realized.
It bears reminding that it was Sanford’s police who first allowed Zimmerman to walk away uncharged — his gun in tote. The story of self-defense seemed logical to them given the brown body lying on the ground. It was their decision not to investigate the case as a crime that led to public outcry, rallies and marches. It is only because of their total failure to do their jobs that the world now knows the name and face of Trayvon Martin.
The complete incompetence (or indifference) of Sanford police is why certain evidence that could have more easily convicted Zimmerman was inadmissible at trial — the most glaring example being their failure to perform a toxicology test on Zimmerman the night he shot Martin. Had they done so, it would have revealed whether he was under the influence of either illegal substances, alcohol or the two prescriptions drugs he had admittedly been taking — Temazepan and Adderall — the side effects of which include hallucinations, insomnia and aggressive behavior.
Instead, Sanford police let Zimmerman walk away, quietly into the night, as he did again yesterday. But the same police now threaten a quick and forcible response to any violence perpetrated in reaction to injustice their own department has engendered.
Faux News is at it again – this time classifying the American Nazi Party as a Civil Rights Group…
When the National Socialist Movement started patrolling the streets of Sanford, Florida, in response to the uproar overTrayvon Martin’s death, many media outletsmentioned the fact that the NSM is made up of neo-Nazis. But not Fox News’ Orlando affiliate, which described the organization as a “civil rights group,” Think Progress reports. Little Green Footballs was the first to make note, pointing to an article on MyFoxOrlando with the headline, “Civil rights group patrolling Sanford,” as well as to a news broadcast in which a reporter says, “There’s another civil rights group in town” when referring to the NSM (which uses a swastika in its logo).
The MyFoxOrlando article was later removed, but Little Green Footballs has a screenshot. It was reportedly first replaced by an article with the headline, “White rights group patrolling Sanford,” which was also taken down (see a screenshot of that headline here) before finally being replaced with the current headline, “Neo-Nazi group patrolling Sanford.” Also troubling is the nature of the video broadcast, which ThinkProgress calls “shockingly uncritical” of the group. The reporter did not question any of leader Jeff Schoep’s claims (including, Little Green Footballs notes, his claim that the NSM is not a hate group) nor did she mention the organization’s Nazi ties.
In the event you are wondering about that “Hate Group” designation by the ADL and SPLC – the Group’s website may be found here.
No surprise here. The Civil Rights Movement was about Justice, including economic justice.
As the country observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant was outside the District headquarters of the Federal Reserve, protesting.
Instead of lingering at an MLK memorial prayer breakfast with the Rev. Al Sharpton and other icons of the civil rights movement, the Rev. Delman Coates also made his way to the protest, which included churchgoers, students and people from the Occupy Wall Streetmovement.
And rather than reminiscing about old speeches and discussing King’s legacy, the Rev. Graylan S. Hagler used his airtime on WPFW, a public radio station, to note the similarities between the Occupy movement and those who camped in “Resurrection City,” in the shadows of the Washington Monument, after King was slain.
A growing number of African American pastors in the Washington area are embracing the Occupy movement. In December, leaders of Occupy D.C. left their encampments at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza to worship at Empowerment Temple, Bryant’s church in Baltimore. Hagler has held services on Freedom Plaza. Others donate food and clothing to protesters. And Bryant, who ministers to many in the Maryland suburbs, co-founded Occupy the Dream with former NAACP leader Benjamin Chavis Muhammad.
The pastors’ pleas for economic justice sound a lot like King’s.
“This is the continuation of the [civil rights] movement. It was the economic movement that King was killed for,” said Hagler, pastor of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Northeast Washington.
Coates, pastor of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, echoed Hagler’s sentiments.
“When Dr. King was killed, he was . . .fighting for the rights of sanitation workers,” he said. “It is critically important that we relate our faith to issues of economic justice and systemic inequality.”
Some critics say the focus of the Occupy movement, which by design does not have leaders, is unclear. But Bryant, who observed the movement from a distance before deciding he wanted to be part of it, was adamant that Occupy the Dream has a defined agenda.
“Number one, we are asking for more Pell grants so that our young people might be able to compete and go to colleges and universities,’’ he said. “Number two, we are asking for an immediate freezing on foreclosures.” The group is also seeking billions of dollars “from Wall Street for economic development and for job training.”
Beginning in February, Bryant plans to launch a campaign to urge people to pull their money out of their banks and to move it to a minority-owned financial institution.
Bryant, 40, a former national youth director for the NAACP, said his involvement in Occupy the Dream feels like a “coming home” to his civil rights roots.
“I think the Occupy Wall Street movement has held the legacy of Dr. King and has brought the church back into accountability,” Bryant said. “Dr. King would be here today. He wouldn’t be at a breakfast; he wouldn’t be at a mall. He would be here with us.”
But some pastors hesitate to throw their support behind Occupy.
The Rev. William Bennett, pastor of Good Success Christian Church and Ministries in Northeast and a founding member of the Washington Interfath Network, hasn’t joined. But, he said, “I understand what they are fighting for.”
“We have not had an economic time like this since the Great Depression, and it does call for some actions,” Bennett said. “But what I have observed . . . is that there are not clear goals and objectives. The Occupy movement does seem to be organized with a goal to create chaos. The civil rights movement was organized with a clear list of demands.”
The Rev. Joe Watkins, pastor of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, said churches should stick to their primary mission.
“The role of the church is to lead people to Christ and to tell them the good news and to live the good news,” Watkins said. “The young people part of the Occupy movement are just as precious as anybody. But the primary focus of the church is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (more)
Last week, one of the bravest men in the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s passed away. His legacy is the world we live in today, where statutory discrimination has largely ended.
It was during the 1950s in segregated Alabama that Rev. Shuttlesworth began his push for integration on all levels of society. Performing acts of civil disobedience wherever necessary — like purposefully sitting in all-white sections of parks, train stations and more — he faced every form of police intimidation, arrests, beatings and death threats. His home and church were bombed, he was struck with brass knuckles and he routinely faced Klansmen ready to silence him. Rev. Shuttlesworth formed the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and also established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
“Authentic” black man, Herman Cain?
Sat in the back of the bus, and did not participate in any Civil Rights Marches, despite attending college at the epicenter of resistance to segregation laws in the southeastern US – Morehouse College.
“Where do you think black people would be sitting on the bus today if Rosa Parks had followed your father’s advice?” O’Donnell asked. It was an audacious question, and Cain took the bait, reacting forcefully.
“You are distorting the intent of what I said,” Cain said. “…If I had been a college student I probably would have been participating.” He said that, as a high school student, “it was not prudent” for him to be involved. O’Donnell didn’t buy this. He noted that Cain had been a college student “at the height” of the movement, from 1963-67, when other black people were “murdered” fighting for their rights. He asked Cain if he regretted “sitting on those sidelines.”
Cain called this an “Irrelevant comparison.” O’Donnell said he was just reading from Cain’s book. “Did you expect every black student and every black college in America to be out there?” Cain said. “…You didn’t know, Lawrence, what I was doing…maybe, just maybe, I had a sick relative!”
“I gave your book a fair reading, and I didn’t read anything about a sick friend,” O’Donnell said. “What I did read was a deliberate decision to not participate in the Civil Rights movement.”
Cain’s newest line is that racism no longer exists in America…
“I don’t believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way.”
- “I don’t want to see another black president either, but we can use Herman Cain. It’s been pointed out that he is a big Uncle Tom. Quite literally ‘Uncle Ruckus’ from the racially motivated cartoon ‘Boondocks’. If he is a canidate (sic) that White America can get behind, then the race card will be null and void.”
- ” I think that focus group was staged. I don’t believe those people were representative of Americans. Herman Cain has no experience with handling people in the government. Also, he is black, and this isn’t a black country. He talks slow because he thinks slow. We need a good, white president. Pick someone who we know has correct positions like Ron Paul.”
- “I know I might get yelled at for this, but he’s a conservative white man in a black mans skin. Even if he isn’t as true to the cause as Ron Paul, who I fully support. But before you cast judgement please watch this clip on YouTube of Cain acting pro-white. It’ll have you laughing.”
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
MLK – “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963