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Slavery’s Legacy Remembered

It has been 150 years, but the legacy lives on…

How close we are to slavery: America’s horrible legacy still deeply runs through the nation’s veins

For Lula Williams, America’s worst period isn’t ancient history — her grandmother was a slave

How close we are to slavery: America's horrible legacy still deeply runs through the nation's veinsAs a child growing up in South Carolina, I was keenly aware of how close I was to the history of slavery. It was all around me — in the fact of my ancestors owning slaves and fighting for the Confederacy, in the presence of black people who shared my last name, and in the Confederate battle flag that flew on my state’s capitol.

In many ways, the war for white supremacy was not over. It was simply being fought by other means.

I’ve been trying to understand and account for this history and my own privilege as a white male by writing and teaching about the nexus of race and violence in America. I mostly encounter white people who are embarrassed and angered by the violence of slavery and lynching or white people who don’t think it has any relation to them or to the present.

When Dylann Roof murdered nine black people last June at Emmanuel A.M.E., a church with deep roots in the freedom struggle, the proximity of our present lives to our nation’s slaving past resonated once again especially as photos surfaced of Roof posing before the Confederate flag.

Then Nikki Haley, the governor of my home state, did something I never imagined happening in my lifetime—she signed the order to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s state house grounds.

The backlash from the pro-flag contingent was swift. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 346 pro-flag rallies in the months after South Carolina furled the flag.

Even in Ohio, where I live now, I noticed a spike in Confederate flags. Giant Confederate battle flags, fluttering in the wake of jacked-up trucks. Just two weeks ago, I saw one on a red GMC the very same day I interviewed a woman named Lula Williams who will turn 95 years old this month.

Lula’s grandmother, Eliza Jane Smiley, was a slave.

In a story that is in step with the terrifying realities of slavery, Eliza Jane’s father was also her master. As she grew up, Eliza Jane became the personal slave of her master/father’s young daughter. In fact, Eliza Jane slept on the floor next to her bed.

I repeated aloud what Lula said just be clear. “So she was a slave to her sister?”

Lula looked at me knowingly and said, “Weird. Sick minds.”

After Emancipation, Eliza Jane remained on the plantation, either because she lacked better opportunities or because she was coerced. Then she met a man named Charles Smiley who had been born a “free black.” Charles worked on a riverboat and the captain was friends with Eliza Jane’s father/master.

Charles took her away from the plantation and the two were married in 1873.  Charles, Lula’s grandfather, founded Hill Street Baptist Church in Louisville in 1895 and pastored there for over forty years. When Eliza Jane died, he came to live with Lula and her mother in Coshocton, Ohio.

Lula has fond memories of her childhood and her “loving close family,” but those memories are framed by stories of violence and barriers erected by both personal and institutional racism. She grew up knowing that the Klan was in her community, that a black man named Henry Howard was lynched on the courthouse square in 1885, and that a local jeweler kept one of Howard’s toes on display in his store.

There weren’t many black people, but the town, situated in the Appalachian foothills, was small enough that “most everybody knew everybody.” And yet some businesses still wouldn’t serve black people. Barbers wouldn’t cut their hair. Restaurants wouldn’t serve them. And some area towns were off limits to black people after sunset.

Lula said that some of her siblings had trouble in school because of their race. “They would call us names, and then we’d fight them,” she said. “But the others who were raised a little better, they ignored us, but at least they didn’t call us names.”

When her grandfather died, Lula traveled with her mother to Louisville for his burial. Once there her mother’s white aunt—Eliza Jane’s sister — contacted her and asked to see her. She was living in the Brown Hotel in Louisville.  Lula accompanied her mother to this meeting, but when she got there was told that she would have to sit in the hallway. Lula never did meet her.

“Is there any part of you that’s ever wanted to meet those people?” I asked.

“Not really. I was always kind of bitter about it. I can’t say that I hated them, but to me they just didn’t exist.”

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Black History

 

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Republikcans Kill Babies Stalling Zika Funds

There are now over 300 cases of pregnant women who have the Zika virus in the United States. The Senate and President Obama have approved and requested emergency funding to stem the fast growing epidemic.

House Republicans have stalled funding for over 3 months now, as more and more Americans contract the virus.

Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in infants, a condition that causes unusually small skulls and brains, and could lead to death or disability.

How a deadly tropical virus became another Washington mess

Democrats say Republicans are risking an outbreak of Zika, a disease that threatens the developing brains of fetuses.

Even pregnant women have become fodder for partisan Washington funding fights.

With nearly 300 pregnant women in the United States already infected with the Zika virus and the summer mosquito season looming after a soggy spring, Congress has yet to approve the Obama administration’s three-month old, $1.9 billion request for emergency funding.

The bipartisan response to previous public health crises, such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak and the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, is not evident in the months-long congressional debates about Zika, despite its huge human costs. The virus in pregnant women has been closely linked to severe brain abnormalities in fetuses.

“A disease that destroys babies’ brains in utero is everyone’s worst nightmare — I’m not sure what could be much worse than that,” said Cindy Pellegrini, a senior vice president at March of Dimes, which is lobbying for the Zika funding. “But there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency on Capitol Hill.”

The Zika debate is caught up in election year politics and general GOP opposition to emergency spending. But there is another huge factor at play with Zika. Many congressional Republicans say they feel burned by the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. In hindsight, the emergency response to that crisis was overfunded, they say, and now the White House is reluctant to reallocate all of the leftover money. Congress doesn’t want to give another blank check on Zika.

“Looked at what happened with Ebola — it looks like they asked for more than they needed,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who backed the Senate’s $1.1 billion deal on Zika and is perhaps the most prominent Republican defender of public health and emergency preparedness.

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats say that by refusing to put up the money, Republicans are recklessly playing with fire on a health crisis that threatens the developing brains of fetuses.

“I listen to all of the really well-meaning people talking about the rights of the unborn and here we have a health crisis that dramatically impacts the unborn,” said Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “It seems to me we should be doing a much more aggressive job of making sure the resources that our health experts say that we need are in place.”

Already, there are 157 pregnant women in the continental United States and 122 in the U.S. territories — mostly Puerto Rico — with a confirmed Zika diagnosis who risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby’s head is unusually small and the brain is underdeveloped, according to a CDC report issued Friday.

President Barack Obama was briefed on Zika developments Friday and warned the crisis is “something we need to take seriously.”

“This is not something where you can build a wall to prevent,”he said. “Congress needs to get me a bill. It needs to get me a bill that has sufficient funds to do the job.”

So far, all the cases in pregnant women in the continental United States involve women who traveled abroad or more rarely, who were infected by men who traveled to Zika hot spots. The virus is being transmitted locally by mosquitoes in the territories.

But public health experts expect that local transmission of the virus through mosquitoes will spread to the continental United States — mostly the southern states — this summer.

 

 

 

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CIA Dropped the Dime on Mandela’s Location During Apartheid

Turns out the CIA assisted in the capture of Nelson Mandela in 1962, providing the Apartheid Government his location. This led to Mandela being imprisoned at the infamous Robbins Island Prison for 27 years…

Gotta love the BBC Report about “no formal link to the CIA”…

Even the folks who work in CIA Headquarters have no “formal link” with the Agency. If everybody knew who the CIA people were…

They would make pretty crappy spies.

CIA GAVE TIP-OFF THAT LED TO NELSON MANDELA’S ARREST, FORMER AGENT SAYS

A CIA agent gave the tip-off to South African authorities that led to the arrest of Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era, according to a filmmaker’s interview with the agent on his deathbed.

British film director John Irvin’s interview with former CIA agent Donald Rickard about Mandela’s arrest in 1962 is to be used as part of Irvin’s new film, Mandela’s Gun, which is set to be screened at Cannes Film Festival this week.

“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said, accordingly to The Sunday Times.

“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”

Mandela’s arrest led to his infamous 27-year stint in incarceration on Robben Island before authorities released him in 1990. Police stopped Mandela at a roadblock while he posed as a chauffeur; Rickard said that he was the informer that gave authorities information of Mandela’s plans on the day of the arrest.

“I found out when he was coming down and how he was coming,” Rickard said. “That’s where I was involved and that’s where Mandela was caught.”

A friend and co-defendant of Mandela’s, Denis Goldberg, told The Sunday Times that the former South African president, the country’s first-ever black leader, “always knew” about the CIA’s role in his arrest but upon his release believed that it no longer mattered.

The South African government criticized the U.S. following the revelation and said that Washington is still working against the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party. “We have recently observed that there are efforts to undermine the democratically elected ANC government,” Zizi Kodwa told Fox News. “They never stopped operating here.”

Mandela’s Gun is about Mandela’s brief period as a rebel before his incarceration. Rickard died in 2015 and worked as a diplomat in South Africa, with no formal link to the CIA, according to the BBC. Mandela died at the age of 95 in 2013.

 
 

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US Navy Officer Arrested for Spying for China

The Spy v Spy game never stops…

Active duty U.S. Navy officer charged with spying

A U.S. Navy commander has been charged with espionage and attempted espionage, and communicating defense information to a foreign nation, CBS News has learned.

The officer, whose name is redacted from the charging document, was charged with two counts of espionage, three counts of attempted espionage and five counts of communicating defense information.

Charging documents assert that the commander shared secret information relating to U.S. national defense to a representative of a foreign government.

The commander was also charged with one count of prostitution and one count of adultery.

The U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) reports that several sources familiar with the case said the country to which the commander passed secrets was China.

USNI also reports the commander was Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, who served on some of the Navy’s most sensitive intelligence gathering aircraft. USNI reports Lin was a Taiwanese national before his family moved to the U.S. One source confirms to CBS News the name of the officer is Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin.

An Article 32 hearing was held on Friday, April 8.

The investigation is being conducted jointly by the FBI and NCIS.

The last notorious case of a Navy officer spying happened in the 1980s.

John Anthony Walker worked as a Soviet spy while serving as communications specialist for the U.S. Navy.

He led a ring that delivered key information to the Soviet Union from 1967 until 1985. Walker’s covert dealings made it possible for the Soviets to unscramble military communications and find U.S. submarines at any time.

He had already retired as a Navy officer when arrested in 1985. Other members of his ring included his sailor son Michael, his brother Arthur James Walker, who also served in the Navy, and his friend Jerry Alfred Whitworth, who trained in the Navy’s satellite communications. Though Walker is thought to have won a high military rank from the Russians, he also became a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society.

Many believe that John Walker’s actions were the biggest security breach of the Cold War. Once arrested, Walker would only agree to plead guilty if his son was granted leniency for his minor involvement. Walker was given three life sentences, and died in prison in 2014.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in International Terrorism, Uncategorized

 

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KFC Has a New Col Sanders…And He is Black

K-Fried continues the hilarious and brilliant ad campaign using stand ins for the long deceased Col. Harlan Sanders, this time with a black actor playing the Col..

David Alan Grier will be the new Col. Sanders

Kentucky Fried Chicken has a new Col. Sanders — and he’s black 

The #OscarsSoWhite pendulum has swung the other way — now Col. Sanders is black.

“Breaking news: David Alan Grier has been cast as the first African American Colonel Sanders in the new KFC ad campaign,” Grier tweeted Thursday morning, revealing that he had been cast to portray the iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken pitchman in the white suit and string tie.

The Original Col Sanders

No other details were provided.

Grier is the latest — and, by far, the most eye-catching — actor to play Col. Harland Sanders in KFC’s ongoing effort to rebrand itself.

In May, the company launched an ad campaign that revived the late Sanders in the form of “Saturday Night Live” comic Darrell Hammond.

Hammond’s gig was short lived, and he was replaced by fellow “SNL” alum Norm MacDonald, who also ended up being replaced when comic Jim Gaffigan took over.

But Grier, 60, is the first to cross what might be the ultimate racial divide — and fans were instantly offering suggestions.

“Please do the KFC commercial dressed as Col Sanders but with Maya Angelou voice?” tweeted Keith Arsenault.

Another KFC fan reminded Grier that he was stepping into a controversial role, especially given that racist Alabama Gov. George Wallace reportedly once considered Sanders to be his running mate on a segregationist third-party presidential bid in 1968.

“Damn David,” tweeted J. Cobb, “you’re gonna break Mr. George Wallace’s heart.”

Last year, “Saturday Night Live” veteran Norm McDonald donned the white suit.

KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN Last year, “Saturday Night Live” veteran Norm McDonald donned the white suit.

Making matters worse for Grier is the legacy of Sanders himself. The original pitchman for the “finger-lickin’-good” chicken led a storied life, enlisting in the Army at 16, and being home just three months because he was too young to serve.

Sanders’ pal, former Kentucky Gov. Lawrence Wetherby, later gave him the honorary rank of colonel — and the title stuck. Sanders was a constant TV presence — and remained so even after he sold his company in 1964. He died in 1980 at 90.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Forgotten Americans Cable… A Network By and For Native Americans

Back in the mid 90’s I did a project working with the Tribal Councils to get Internet into the Libraries and  Schools on Native American Lands. Internet access on the “Reservation” still remains an issue. With the commercialization of satellite based services like Direct TV and Dish – it is now possible to receive cable TV service (at a hefty price) almost anywhere in North America.

What you will not be seeing on Native America TV

A TV Network for Native Americans

Canada already has a similar cable outlet dedicated to indigenous peoples, and the U.S. is preparing to follow suit.

If there’s one thing most television lovers and critics have come to agree on in the last few years, it’s that the medium has become more racially diverse. If challenged by a skeptic on this subject, I’d cheerfully rattle off the names of great and popular shows currently on air starring and created by people of color. See? Progress!

And yet, maybe not so much. I can count the number of Native American characters—not even shows—that I’ve personally seen on TV in the last year on one hand. There’s the Wamapoke Indian chief Ken Hotate, who appeared in the final season of Parks and Recreation, played by the wonderful Jonathan Joss, who is of Comanche and Apache descent. There’s the terrifying 1970s enforcer Hanzee Dent, a second-season Fargo fan favorite, played by Zahn McClarnon, who’s of Hunkpapa heritage. And then there’s the spoiled Manhattan socialiteJacqueline Voorhees from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, played by Jane Krakowski, who’s Polish, French Canadian, and Scottish.

Which goes some way toward illustrating the need for an outlet like All Nations Network—a cable channel featuring TV programming created for and by native peoples that its creators hope to launch soon in the U.S.,according to Variety. Though details are sparse at the moment, the channel will get some help from Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, a similar outlet that launched in Canada back in 1992 and that now serves 10 million households. The U.S. has seen other efforts to cater to native peoples on TV—Red Nation Television Network is an online-only streaming service that dates back to before Hulu, and the PBS affiliate FNX: First Nations Experience launched in 2011 but is currently available only in Southern California and a few other areas. If a channel like All Nations Network succeeds, it would be a way for American Indians to do something as simple but crucial as making their own stories rather than waiting for mainstream TV to catch up.

So why doesn’t the U.S. already have a widely available, dedicated TV channel for Native Americans? Heather Rae, a producer, filmmaker, and actress of Cherokee descent, told me that studio executives and financiers often balk at the idea of what they see as narrowly targeted content. “The perception is that Native Indians are a vanishing and near-extinct part of the [U.S.] population,” she said. It’s hard, in other words, to convince many distributors and carriers of the commercial viability of a project like All Nations Network.

Kelly Faircloth further discussed the financial difficulties over at Jezebel:

Of course, the American TV business is a different beast [than the Canadian TV business]. Compare the position of the CBC with PBS. Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, mandates that cable carriers include APTN, which means it’s in millions of homes across Canada. In the U.S. cable is a dollar-driven scrum where new channels like Current have trouble gaining traction. It’s unfortunately all-too-easy to see unimaginative execs and advertisers looking at Native Americanpoverty rates and taking a pass…Read More Here

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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ISIS Terrorist Executes Own Mother…

The resident Board Troll and ISIS Sympathizer likes to point out that the “evil” Obama has killed a number of terrorists…

This is what the Destructive Flapjack is supporting.

ISIS fighter executes own mother in Syria for ‘apostasy,’ rights groups say

An ISIS fighter has executed his own mother before a public audience, an expat Syrian rights group said.

The 20-year-old killed his mother in the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital, as hundreds looked on near the post office where she worked, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

ISIS had accused her of apostasy after her son turned her in, the activists said. She allegedly had been “inciting her son to leave the Islamic State.” She wanted to escape with him and told him “that the coalition will kill all members of the organization.”

The observatory reported that the victim was in her 40s. The activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that she was 35.

Treason.

Ali Saqr al-Qasem wh shot and executed his own mother, Leena al-Qasem

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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