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The protest in Libya is all over the news. The poverish citizens have grown tired of the iron fist ruling of veteran leader Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and his spendthrift sons.

We are appalled at Gaddafi’s use of force. Defying demands to step down, Muammar Gaddafi ordered air-strikes against the Libyan protesters.

American citizens now watch in horror as the protesters fight for democracy unfolds. Similar to the civil rights movement in the United States the protesters have taken to the streets demanding democracy.

Because of our democratic society here, we vote for our government officials. As a result, we are under the impression that such barbaric behavior displayed by the defiant dictator would never be considered here.

If Americans think that such barbaric behavior couldn’t happen in our country, think again. We are still learning about the horrors of the Jim Crow era where racial etiquette was and still is the rule of the day.

The latest revelation is the medical crime perpetrated against 5 year old Vertus Hardiman.

Imagine being a 5 year old black boy who is subjected to a radiation experiment that leaves your head deformed. Imagine that the high volumes emitted also leaves a hole in your skull. That exactly what happened to young Vertus.

A film has been made of his ordeal. Entitled Hole In the Head: A Life Revealed Vertus Hardiman, it explores the ugly secret of Hardiman’s experience with an unethical medical profession. Vertus was one of ten children, experimented on with radiation by a county hospital in Indiana during 1927. All attended the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Indiana. The experiment was misrepresented as a newly developed cure for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. In reality the ringworm fungus was merely the lure used to gain access to unsuspecting children whose parents signed permission slips for the treatment blindly. No doubt racial etiquette influence their decision to use these children as guinea pigs.

Vertus Hardiman was the youngest victim and now at age 84, unburdens himself of an incredible story of this stark medical crime. The crime had severe physical complications for Vertus – namely, a harshly irradiated and malformed head, with an actual hole in the skull.

Remarkably, not one person in Vertus’ community had ever been aware of this situation – because he always wore a wig and woolen beanie right up to the time he made the disclosure.

During filming Vertus reveals his secret and in his own words says, “For over 80 years only four individuals outside a few medical specialists have ever seen my condition; I hide it because I look like some monster.” Over his life he was criticized, teased and scorned by those who had no idea what the wig hid for 80 years.

Four additional survivors of this horrific event had astonishing similarities, but none as far-reaching and severe as Vertus.

This documentary also shows that the Lyles Station experiments were not an isolated event. One such example involved radiation experiments performed against one hundred thousand darker-skinned immigrant children in Israel in 1951, a tragedy financed by the United States Army. Amazingly, many of these victims arrived on U.S. soil in cages for further study, an attempt to determine human reaction to over-exposure to radiation.

This story should encourage at high levels a hunger for education, especially for an accurate all inclusive account of American history. Never again should the Jim Crow atrocities be permitted to occur in this country.

Take a look at the trailer above. If you are not a registered voter, after seeing the trailer, you should run out to nearest Supervisor of Elections office and register. Those who are registered should learn about your candidates and vote not by block delivered by some poverty pimp, but judiciously.

Remember just like Gaddafi, Jim Crow had children, and grandchildren who are now public officials riding the Tea Party Express.

We should no doubt support the protest in north Africa, but we should also stay vigilant of threats to democracy in this country, cutting them off at the path. Remember, Never Again!

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    Posted 3 years, 7 months ago.

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    Anchorman Take Co-Anchor, Reporter & Audience By Surprise On G-Shot

    A New Orleans newsman took the traditionally awkward on-air banter between anchors to a new low last week.

    Following up on WGNO-TV reporter Catherine Shreves’ segment on a woman who used “G-Shots,” a collagen injection designed to improve sexual satisfaction for women, anchor Michael Hill deadpanned: “So she’s enjoying penis a little bit more, is she?”

    Hill’s co-anchor Jessica Holly looked stunned as a shocked Shreves laughed nervously.

    “Oh, she is enjoying her, her sex life a little bit more, she and her husband,” Shreves stammered.

    After shooting Hill a glare, a stern Holly shot back: “Thank you for clarifying, Michael.”

    The video has gone viral since airing Thursday, earning about 30,000 YouTube hits and thousands more around the Web.

    The website Deadspin.com said it got an e-mail from Hill in which he defended his comments. “Why all the fuss about one word uttered after a segment rarely seen on any traditional station’s late newscast!” the e-mail reportedly read. “The topic invites discussion, debate and commentary. Nothing wrong with also ‘injecting’ or ‘inserting’ a little humor … even for the prudish to the prurient!”

    The ABC affiliate has not commented on Hill’s comment, which is being compared to those uttered by Will Ferrell’s crass Ron Burgundy in the big-screen comedy “Anchorman.”

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      Posted 4 years, 5 months ago.

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      Dorothy Height’s Death Marks An End Of An Era

      Dorothy Height With First Lady Michelle Obama

      Dorothy Height With First Lady Michelle Obama

      Funeral services for Dr. Dorothy I. Height, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW),will take place in Washington, D.C. beginning Tuesday, April 27 and end with funeral services at Washington National Cathedral on Thursday, April 29, according to former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, who is overseeing the arrangements. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy.

      The 98 year old founding matriarch of the American civil rights movement died last Tuesday at Howard University Hospital. The cause of death was not disclosed.

      Dr. Heights crusade for racial justice and gender equality spanned for more than six decades, and as president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, she was the most influential woman at the top levels of civil rights leadership.

      Although she never drew the media attention that conferred celebrity and instant recognition on some of the other civil rights leaders of her time, Ms. Height was often described as the “glue” that held the family of black civil rights leaders together. She did much of her work out of the public spotlight, in quiet meetings and conversations, and she was widely connected at the top levels of power and influence in government and business.

      As a civil rights activist, Ms. Height participated in protests in Harlem during the 1930s. In the 1940s, she lobbied first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of civil rights causes. And in the 1950s, she prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to move more aggressively on school desegregation issues. In 1994, Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

      In a statement issued by the White House, President Obama called Ms. Height “the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement and a hero to so many Americans.”

      She “devoted her life to those struggling for equality . . . witnessing every march and milestone along the way,” Obama said.

      In the turmoil of the civil rights struggles in the 1960s, Ms. Height helped orchestrate strategy with movement leaders including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph and John Lewis, who would later serve as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia.

      In August 1963, Ms. Height was on the platform with King when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. But she would say later that she was disappointed that no one advocating women’s rights spoke that day at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Less than a month later, at King’s request, she went to Birmingham, Ala., to minister to the families of four black girls who had died in a church bombing linked to the racial strife that had engulfed the city.

      “At every major effort for social progressive change, Dorothy Height has been there,” Lewis said in 1997 when Ms. Height announced her retirement as president of the National Council of Negro Women.

      As a champion of social justice, Ms. Height was best known during the early years of her career for her struggles to overcome racial prejudice.

      She was also energetic in her efforts to overcome gender bias, and much of that work predated the women’s rights movement. When President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, Ms. Height was among those invited to the White House to witness the ceremony. She returned to the White House in 1998 for a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of that legislation to hear Clinton urge passage of additional laws aimed at equalizing pay for men and women.

      “Dorothy Height deserves credit for helping black women understand that you had to be feminist at the same time you were African . . . that you had to play more than one role in the empowerment of black people,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) once said.

      As president of the National Council of Negro Women, Ms. Height was instrumental in organizing and sponsoring programs that emphasized self-help and self-reliance.

      Those included nutrition, child care, housing and career counseling. In response to a public TV program, “The Vanishing Black Family,” Ms. Height helped create and organize the Black Family Reunion Celebration, which has been held on the Mall and in cities across the country annually since 1985. The gatherings are intended to honor the traditions, strength and history of African American families while seeking solutions to such social problems as teen pregnancy and drug abuse.

      “The reunion is as important today as some of our marches were in the past,” Ms. Height said in 1992.

      In 1995, Ms. Height was among the few women to speak at the Million Man March on the Mall, which was led by Louis Farrakhan, the chief minister of the Nation of Islam. “I am here because you are here,” she declared. Two years later, at 85, she sat at the podium all day, in the whipping wind and rain, at the Million Woman March in Philadelphia.

      Dorothy Irene Height was born in Richmond on March 24, 1912, and she grew up in Rankin, Pa., near Pittsburgh, where she attended racially integrated schools. But she felt the lash of racial bigotry early in her life. A music teacher in her mostly white elementary school appointed her student director of the school chorus, but a new principal forbade her to take that position. At the next school assembly, the chorus refused to stand and sing until Ms. Height was reinstated as leader, and the principal relented.

      The principal subsequently became one of her staunchest supporters, Ms. Height recalled in her 2003 memoir, “Open Wide the Freedom Gates.”

      As a high school senior and the valedictorian, she won a national oratorical contest, and with it a $1,000 college scholarship. But the college of her choice, Barnard in New York, had already admitted its quota of black students — two. When Ms. Height applied, she was informed that she would have to wait at least a semester before she could enroll.

      Instead, she went to New York University, where she graduated in three years and received a master’s degree in educational psychology in her fourth year.

      As a young woman, Ms. Height made money through jobs such as ironing entertainer Eddie Cantor’s shirts and proofreading Marcus Garvey’s newspaper, the Negro World. She went nightclubbing in Harlem with composer W.C. Handy.

      Ms. Height began her professional career as a caseworker for the New York City welfare department. She got her start as a civil rights activist through the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and from the pastor’s son, the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who later represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives.

      Ms. Height later said that as an officer of the Harlem Christian Youth Council, “I was one of the multitude whose first experience as a civil rights activist was in walking and talking with merchants on 125th Street.”

      After attending an international church youth conference in London in the summer of 1937, Ms. Height returned to New York with the conviction that she needed to operate from a broader base than that of a welfare caseworker. She found her opportunity that November at the Harlem branch of the YWCA during a visit by Eleanor Roosevelt.

      Mary McLeod Bethune, president of the Harlem YWCA, was impressed by Ms. Height’s poise and style in greeting the president’s wife, and she promptly offered her a job.

      Quitting her job as a welfare caseworker, Ms. Height joined the staff of the Harlem YWCA. She remained a full-time YWCA staffer until 1975, serving the last 18 years simultaneously as president of the National Council of Negro Women.

      As a child, she had once been turned away from the Pittsburgh YWCA swimming pool. As a YWCA staff member, she was instrumental in bringing about an interracial charter for Ys in 1946.

      In the 1940s, Ms. Height came to Washington as chief of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA branch. She joined the staff of the national YWCA board in 1944, and, until 1975, she remained on that staff with a variety of responsibilities, including leadership training and interracial and ecumenical education.

      In 1965, she organized and became the director of the YWCA’s Center for Racial Justice, and she held that position until retiring from the YWCA board in 1975. She was a visiting professor at the Delhi School of Social Work in India, and she directed studies around the world on issues involving human rights.

      Ms. Height became national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1947, and she held that position until 1957, when she became the fourth president of the National Council of Negro Women.

      Over the next four decades, she established a national reputation as a graceful and insistent voice for civil rights and women’s rights. She was tall and stately and spoke in a tone that always commanded attention. She rarely had to raise her voice.

      “If the times aren’t ripe, you have to ripen the times,” she liked to say. It was important, she said, to dress well. “I came up at a time when young women wore hats, and they wore gloves. Too many people in my generation fought for the right for us to be dressed up and not put down.”

      Ms. Height never married. She is survived by one sister, Anthanette Height Aldridge of New York.

      As the women’s rights movement gained momentum in the early 1970s, Ms. Height forged alliances with white feminist leaders, while disagreeing periodically on matters of tactics and racial emphasis. “African American women have advanced in every field that women have advanced, but the sad point is that those are the few and not the many,” she said.

      Under her leadership, the National Council of Negro Women sponsored voter registration drives and organized an education foundation for student activists who interrupted their education to do civil rights work.

      Another 1960s program, Wednesdays in Mississippi, was a favorite of Ms. Height’s. It consisted of weekly trips to Mississippi by interracial groups of women to assist at Freedom Schools and voter registration campaigns. This was often perilous work, especially during the summers of 1964 and 1965, when the hundreds of young civil rights volunteers who streamed into Mississippi were routinely harassed, sometimes beaten and, in a few cases, killed.

      In the 1970s and 1980s, the council helped organize and operate development projects in African countries. It ran a “pig bank” project in rural Mississippi in which pigs were given to poor, hungry families so they could raise them, with the understanding that two pigs from subsequent litters would be put back into the bank for another family.

      Over the years, there were fundraising drives for a statue of Bethune and acquisition of a large and imposing headquarters building in downtown Washington to house the National Council and the Dorothy I. Height Leadership Institute. The building, with white oak woodwork, a marble staircase and fluted cast-iron columns, stands at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, the site of what was once a slave market. For years after stepping down as president of the National Council, Ms. Height made daily visits to her office there, using a walker or a wheelchair as she became infirm.

      On her 92nd birthday, she received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest decoration Congress can bestow. But Ms. Height often urged her co-workers to “stop worrying about whose name gets in the paper and start doing something about rats, and day care and low wages. . . . We must try to take our task more seriously and ourselves more lightly.”

      For a summary view on Dr. Heights, please click to view video below.

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        Posted 4 years, 6 months ago.

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        I Did Not Have You In Mind When I Named My Dog

        I have three dogs who are rescues. Their names are Dinah, Carmen and Ruby.

        One day when I was walking them, my neighbor’s sister was visiting from out of town. The sister’s name is Carmen. My Carmen who at five is still full of energy was being her usual self, and had to be called down. Carmen the woman was sitting with her sister of the front porch. Carmen the woman asked her sister how did I know her name and why was I calling out to her without looking her way. The sister explained to her that my dog’s name was also Carmen. Of course Carmen the woman was incensed.

        After Carmen the woman returned home, my neighbor shared the story with me. Carmen the woman asked her to ask me how would I feel if she named a dog after me. After laughing about it, I told the neighbor to tell her sister I would be honored, and not to take it personally since I did not have her mind when I named Carmen.

        Like my friend Patrice Rushen, I name my dogs after jazz singers, musicians or a song. Patrice who adopts greyhounds have named her dogs Ella, Carmen and Quincy, after Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, and her mentor Quincy Jones.

        My mix chow Carmen of course is named after Carmen McRae, Dinah also a mix chow is named after Dinah Washington, and Ruby my gentle pit bull was named as I was listening to Thelonius Monk’s “Ruby My Dear”.

        In the above video other dog owners share how they arrived at naming their dogs.

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          Posted 4 years, 6 months ago.

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          MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – At least two people were killed in a large explosion at a gas power plant on Sunday, officials report.

          Gordon Holk, general manager of the Kleen Energy Systems plant, confirmed the two fatalities but did not have the number of injuries. The plant was under construction and not supplying energy to anyone, he said.

          Middletown police has revealed to the media that the explosion was ‘huge’ and there were multiple injuries and fatalities.

          At least 51 people were in the plant when the explosion occurred around 11:30 a.m., Holk said.

          A fire caused by the explosion was out and crews were searching the rubble.

          “We’re in a search and rescue mode,” said Middletown deputy fire marshal Al Santostefano, who confirmed multiple injuries.

          Black smoke was seen billowing from plant under construction along the banks of the Connecticut River.

          The explosion at about 11:30 a.m. could be heard from as many as 20 miles away, and some mistook it for an earthquake.

          “I felt the ground shake and thought a tree had fallen nearby,” said Ethan Goller, who at the time was working in his garage in Ivoryton, 20 miles from Middletown.

          A local resident, Bernadette Nyland, stated that she was in her yard when the explosion occurred.

          “They were doing the firing of the engines this morning and so something went wrong and it blew up and flames came shooting up almost as tall as that stack,” she told the station.

          Middletown, a college town, is 23 miles south of the city of Hartford.

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            Posted 4 years, 8 months ago.

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