Last evening, I had the pleasure of seeing The Help in a movie theater in Greensboro, N.C. The Help pays tribute to the black domestic workers particularly those who worked during the civil rights era. This particular story takes place in Jackson Mississippi, a town that is known for arresting and jailing freedom riders and the murder of civil rights leader Medger Evers. In a nutshell the town of Jackson is and will always be known as a racist violent supporter of the unconstitutional Jim Crow laws.
There of course were those whites who despised the Jim Crow way of life and would stand up to their racist associates. Such is the case in The Help. Sketter, an Ole Miss graduate who is not considered to be attractive comes back home after graduation and finds a job at the Jackson Journal giving cleaning advise to white female aristocracy. Because she was raised by the family’s black maid, she knows nothing about cleaning. While away at college, she is told that their black maid quit to go live with her daughter in Chicago, so she reaches out to a friend’s maid to solicit answers for her cleaning advice column. The maid played by Viola Davis has no choice in the matter and takes on this chore along with caring for a little girl whose mother never touches the child, cooking, washing the clothes, as well as cleaning the entire house.
While getting the advice from the maid, Sketter decides to write a book about the help, especially after finding out that the maid (played by Cicely Tyson) she loved and adorned was fired. Sketter finds that the maids are reluctant to talking to her, however, after Medger Evers is murdered for registering blacks to vote and a maid is arrested and imprisoned, the maids change their mind.
The story briefly touches on how these under paid women are cheated out of their social security contribution by employers who build separate bathrooms outside the home for the women to use. Showing that the scars of slavery run deep, it also touches on the domestic violence experienced by these women from their under paid over worked husbands who are treated less than human as well.
What it doesn’t show is the domestic violence the children experience from the mothers who of course come from a long line of domestic workers dating back to slavery.
Unlike The Secret Of Bees, the acting is superb. Nothing against Queen Latifah and Alicia Keyes, but these women were not able capture the era, thus rendering their performance dead on arrival. Perhaps they did such a poor job because they had nothing to tap into.
Oscar nominated Viola Davis who turns 46 today (August 11, 2011) was born on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Although the two time Tony and Drama Desk award winner grew up in Rhode Island, it appears she was able to tap into her southern roots for this role.
Considered as one of the best actors whether it be stage or screen, Ms. Davis carried this film on her shoulders and delivered. I can see not only another Oscar nomination, but I can envision Ms. Davis carrying the coveted statute home this time.
The film is educational as well as entertaining. You will have tears in your eyes, but there are plenty of laughs as well, as the film shows how these hard working women survived the inhuman treatment by their employers whose ignoramus mentality resembles that on Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin.
In this moronic political environment surrounding the first African American U.S. President, people regardless of color should run out in droves to see this picture. You won’t regret it. Also take look at the trailer above.
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The Febone1960.net Black History Month Calendar is back again for 2011 and this year we invite you to come and take your seat at the lunch counter as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides!
The Febone1960.net 2011 Black History Month Calendar traces the roots of an average
African American Family from slavery to present day.
Resembling Alex Haley’s Roots, the Calendar utilizes the Internet and video streaming to show daily video clips during the month of February.
Roots traced the genealogy of Alex Haley’s family back to Africa. This electronic calendar starts the genealogy at slavery. Viewers will learn about the participation of unsung heroes and their impact on the civil rights movement.
The Calendar is again being offered to all schools throughout the World free of charge starting on February 1, 2011. The viewers will be able to view a new clip each day. The viewers can view current day and previously posted clips.
The clips will be available in Spanish and closed captioned for the hearing impaired. We are also paying tribute to the unsung deaf African American heroes/sheroes as we reveal their contribution to the Civil Rights Movement.
This year we have the continued support of the National Education Association (“NEA”), Black Caucus.
We also have the support of several celebrities who have lent their voices to the project by narrating some of the clips. Natalie Cole, Josh Grobin, Angela Bassett, Giancarlo Esposito, Star Jones, En’Vogue, former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, Susan Kidd, Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd,Tamaron Hall, Eugene Robinson Suzanne Malveaux, and Michele Martin are just few of the many celebrities who wanted to support this worthy project.
It is our desire to have the calendar viewed daily by every person within and out of the
United States. Therefore, we ask that you forward this email to all your friends and
family and have them join us each and every day starting February 1, 2011 for the five
minutes video clips.
The general public may also access the calendar free of charge.
All schoolteachers and administrators need to make sure that the video clips will not be
filtered out at their schools. Please contact your media specialist and ask that they
contact the person who is responsible for the computers including the Internet at their
The calendar will accomplish the following:
• Reveal the unsung heroes of African American History
• Encourage African Americans to study their own family history
• Encourage dialog about the rich African American heritage and its’
contribution to American Society
Encourage reading and the utilization on the Internet within the
African American community
Encourage the appreciation and value education
Reveal that African American History is American History.
Please take a look at the summary and view the 2011 calendar
If you would like to link this calendar to your website please contact us
You can also follow us on the Febone Blog for written commentary and twitter for discussions
Febone1960.net thanks you for your anticipated support.
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The film has inherent value stated Hamilton College visiting film history professor Scott McDonald. This was Scott’s response to Nathan Sellers Junior’s written objection to the April 17, 2010 showing of D.W. Griffith’s “Birth Of A Nation” at the Capitol Theater in Rome, New York.
The 1915 film based on the book Clansmen. It purposely mis-characterizes the Reconstruction Era by depicting Blacks portrayed by white actors in black face as buffoon acting and power abusing politicians. Most absurdly the film also depicts formers slaves as the oppressors of white southerners with a sexual appetite for white women, thus necessitating the creation of the Ku Klux Klan.
Inherent is defined as something that is implicit, though not directly expressed. The film history of this film is not explicit but it’s falsification of the true history as it pertains to the people of color in this country is very explicit.
Mr. MacDonald who has been chosen by Art Pierce, the executive director of theCapitol Theatreto lead a panel discussion after the showing of the nearly 4 hour black and white silent film. MacDonald admits that the film is undeniably racist but he naively suggest that it is a reflection of its time, when blacks had been dispossessed of many of the civil rights guarantees put into place after the Civil War.
Art Pierce, who indicates “The Birth of a Nation” was selected because of its significance in film history also states that
he knew showing the film would stir up some controversy, but has been surprised by the amount of debate.
These comments suggest a few things. First, the men are not listening to Mr. Sellers words. Mr. Sellers argues that the showing of the film in question at this particular time, is inflammatory, unsettling, and is just wrong.
Second, the men fail to recognize that the scars of slavery runs deep and the damage cannot be eradicated with the flip of a switch.
Mr. Sellers words have more than inherent value. They are backed by a history he and our family have lived which is reflective of African History in this country.
Before we get into the real history, it should be revealed that Mr. Sellers’s maternal grandmother and this writer’s paternal grandfather are brother and sister.
Young Nathan with Grandmother Lucy Bailey Gattison
Born in Society Hill, S.C., Nathan Sellers Jr. is the son of Bessie and Nathan Sellers Sr. Nathan Jr. is also the grandson of Lucy Bailey Gattison my grandfather’s sister.
Lucy was the daughter of William Bailey, and Annie Bonaparte Bailey who were slaves. Annie along with her father, Curtis Bonaparte, and brother June were listed on their slave master’s inventory as being worth $100, $1,000, and $100 respectively.
During Reconstruction, Curtis was made a supervisor by his former slave master, and not a carpetbagger from the North as the movie would suggest. June became a registered voter, but was later placed on an intimidation list targeting all former male slaves from exercising their Constitutional right to vote.
Lucy’s father, William was born and raised in Cuba where he lived until he and his family( which included his mother, Lucy, his father Sam, and grandmother Elvira, along with wife and children) were sold illegally into bondage to a Tobacco farmer in Virginia.
Upon arriving to the land of opportunity, William was separated from his wife and children who were sent to the Hamilton township in South Carolina. Today that township is known as Society Hill, S.C.
Armed with a compass but not a gun as the film suggest, and unable to speak English, William left Farmville, Virginia in search of his wife and kids at the end of the Civil War.
William was unable to find them, and ended up marrying Annie Bonaparte. That union produced six children. Lucy’s sister Carey married Albert Delaine who was a cousin to the Reverend J.A. Delaine.
Reverend J.A. Delaine was the force behind the Briggs case which was the first five cases that became known as Brown v. Board of Education. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown, Reverend Delaine had to flee South Carolina in the middle of the night after the so-called God fearing Klan engaged in a drive by shooting at at his parsonage. As a result, Reverend Delaine experienced unemployment and was also a homeless fugitive. The State of South Carolina had sworn out a warrant making him the bad guy in the drive by. That warrant was not removed until numerous years after his death.
Besie and Nathan Sr.
Nathan’s father, Nathan Sr. defended this country in WWII. Nathan’s cousin Carud Bailey fought beside John Fox in Italy, and lost his life in a campaign that was used to determine the enemy’s strength in Somacolonia, Italy. In other words, he as well other members of the 92nd Infantry 366th buffalo soldier division were used as guinea pigs.
After returning from the war, Nathan Sr. moved his family including Lucy and all her issue to Philadelphia and eventually to Harlem, New York.
Although the family had built Buckholtz Creek School young Nathan arrived in the North as a seven year old illiterate. Apparently, Allen Coker, the grandson of Caleb Coker and nephew of James Coker (who became a self described Civil War hero as a result of being shot in the rear end) thought that Nathan and all the blacks on his plantation was not entitled to an education.
Unfortunately this practice continued way into the 70′s and only ended when the state of S.C. was forced to allow these kids to go to school for the entire school day and year.
As to the false allegations regarding the competency of the black elected officials, Carud, who is a real war hero was named Cord by his parents. My grandparents education was limited causing them to rely on some one to spell their son’s name. The spelling of his name was provided by some ignorant white man who was also given the job as a census taker.
During his 7 years on the Coker plantation in Society Hill, Nathan Jr. knew something that young Emmitt Till did not know or understand. Nathan learned about racial etiquette, and knew not to even look at a white woman let alone whistle at her. This behavior got Emmitt Till killed in Money, Mississippi at the age of 14 in the summer of 1955.
Nathan Sellers Junior has lived through the burning and bombing of Black Churches by white people who were inspired by The Birth Of A Nation in a political climate that is not so different than the climate of today. In Birmingham, 4 little girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carol Robertson and Adie Mae Collins) were killed in such a bombing as they attended Sunday School.
Neither MacDonald nor Pierce seem to acknowledge the political climate of today. It’s inconceivable that these men are unaware of the visibly armed white men in attendance at public events where President Barack Obama is present.
Because they have seen the film in question, they know about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Are they ignorant to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy precipitated by a climate similar to today’s climate. Perhaps these men themselves have been influenced by the false history rendered by Griffith whose name is no longer associated with the director’s guild award. Perhaps they ignore the violent climate of the Tea Baggers who unashamely support Literacy Test, a tool used to disenfranchise people of color of their right to vote.
If The Birth Of A Nation was a film glorifying pedophiles instead of the murderous cowards hiding behind bed sheets, would these men find the inherent value in the film or would the historical contribution they find necessary to share by showing the offensive film be reduced to a footnote?
Further, with today’s micro wave mentality which has reduced the average attention span, would it be feasible to show this 4 long boring hours of an epic? Would it not make more sense to show excerpts compared to the before technology and the technology of today in order to show the significance of the technology used by Griffith? The showing of the film only, will not highlight the historical significance that Pierce and MacDonald claims. That will no doubt be MacDonald’s mission and thus the real purpose of the panel discussion.
It is unsettling and rather arrogant that Mr. MacDonald is of the impression that the mere acknowledgment of the film’s racist depiction is a cure all for the damage that has been caused by the discriminatory practices which includes the making of such a film. The fallacy in this film aspirates the mental trick bag started years ago when Mr. Sellers ancestors were stolen from their home land. The separation of families for profit during slavery as well as the segregation brought on by the Black codes and Jim Crow laws deepened the scars of slavery. This is especially true as to blacks who were not fortunate enough to escape the bondage of a Society Hill, S.C.
Are MacDonald and Pierce uncaring about Nathan Sellers Jr. request because they are not dependent as he and our descendants are on the renewal every 25 years of the Civil and Voter Rights Act? News flash Mr. MacDonald: but for the Voter and Civil Rights Acts people of color are still dispossessed of those rights that were afforded to us through the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution during Reconstruction. That is not an issue for you and people who are similarly situated.
If we were dispossessed during Reconstruction, it can happen again in today’s political climate. That we are not willing to relive. Nor are we willing to have our decendents have to experience that life.
Gentlemen your reasoning rings as empty as the reasons offered by men who partake in the viewing of Playboy and Penthouse Magazine. Certainly if the articles were that interesting, it would not be necessary use the naked body of a woman as a centerfold inside the magazine.
Taking the history of Mr. Sellers’ family and coupling it with the political climate of today’s teabaggers and the pricing structure of the tickets for this event, along with the failure of comparison, one can only conclude that this is not about film history alone, but instead it is all about the Benjamins. This makes you no different than Allan Coker ,or the sub-prime mortgage bandits of today.
It makes you no different than those so call journalist who are petitioning the court in Florida to obtain raw footage of the young lady who was killed by the whale she was training at Seaworld in Orlando. Certainly the incident is news worthy, but we do not need to see the torment suffered by the deceased trainer at the expense of her family to understand how horrifying a death she suffered. Other than bringing traffic to the journalist websites which will result in advertising revenue, what other value inherent or not will showing this footage provide?
The same is true here Mr. Pierce and Mr. MacDonald. People of color should not have to relive those horrifying days and have their history which is finally being revealed made a mockery by the commercial showing of The Birth Of A Nation. The only value the film has as a showing in the setting which you have suggested is that of a recruiting tool for today’s hate groups.
Mr. Seller’s opposing argument for promoting hate is without a doubt true. The KKK used this film for recruitment well into the latter part of the 20th century. The claims of worry for the showing in Rome also are true. The Southern Law Poverty Center has mapped hate groups throughout the United States and clearly, Upstate New York has pockets of organized hate groups. This film could appeal to their cause.
A better solution is the one offered by Mr. Sellers and Mayor James F. Brown. They suggest that this film would be better shown for the so called inherit value of its’ film history in an educational environment like Hamilton College. There interested people of silent film can pay for a course and can get the full explanation and a comparison of the technology can be made. This cannot be done during a single showing. Likewise Mr. Pierce’ solution to screening “Within Our Gates” is not an acceptable solution since the same viewers may not show for the second film. This would, however work in the educational setting where a course is offered.
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Some years ago, a group of angry conservatives staged a march through this posh Phoenix suburb, venting their frustration with Sen. John McCain. He wished them well and, through a spokeswoman, suggested they all wear sunscreen.
McCain exhibited that same attitude during his interview with Ann Curry on language used by his former running mate Sarah Palin.
After the healthcare bill was passed last weekend, Palin posted a picture on her Facebook page this week showing cross hairs over the districts of Democrats who voted for health care reform in districts that Republicans carried.
On the page, Palin writes:
With the president signing this unwanted and “transformative” government takeover of our health care system today with promises impossible to keep, let’s not get discouraged. Don’t get demoralized. Get organized!
Palin also tweeted the page:
Don’t Get Demoralized! Get Organized! Take Back the 20! http://fb.me/uexgabjc
Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Pls see my Facebook page.
Of course Palin did the same thing during the Presidential campaign and McCain who has an adopted daughter who is black, did not reel Palin in until her hateful speech was criticized by John Lewis.
Although Lewis was called a nigger by the Republicans tea party backers, McCain refuse to acknowledge that Palin’s language is inappropriate and encourage violence towards members of Congress who supported the recently passed health care bill.
McCain appears to be exhibiting by any means necessary stance in his re-election bid for the Senate.
Two years after winning the GOP presidential nomination, McCain is facing his toughest reelection fight in nearly two decades — a primary challenge that highlights his uneasy relationship with fellow Republicans and the perils of his White House pursuit.
There is little honor in might-have-been, nothing that inoculates McCain from the economic anxiety and anti-incumbent undertow pulling at officeholders everywhere. Arizona faces one of the country’s worst budget deficits: Parks are closing, 911 service faces cuts andchildrenare being kicked off the state insurance rolls.
“It’s tough times in Arizona,” McCain recently told broadcaster Don Imus. “Really tough.”
But it’s more than that. The traits that turned McCain into a national figure — his ambition, his go-against-the-grain persona, his willingness to work with Democrats on climate change, judicial appointments, immigration and more — are being used to question his loyalty to the state and his party.
“For the better part of a decade, with his pursuit of national office, Arizona went on a back burner,” said J.D. Hayworth, 51, the former congressman-turned-radio-host who is McCain’s main GOP rival. “I think voters in the Republican primary are looking for a consistent conservative and someone who will be a United States senator for Arizona and not just from Arizona.”
McCain, 73, is clearly the front-runner in the August primary as he bids for a fifth term. He has more money, a more experienced campaign team and the support of most of the GOP establishment.
Hayworth might have appropriated the language of Scott Brown — “This Senate seat does not belong to any one party or any one personality” — but the Massachusetts senator is backing McCain. On Friday and Saturday, Sarah Retreat and Reload Palin will campaign for her former running mate.
This is a different John McCain than the buccaneer of the 2000 presidential race, who became a hero to independent voters, or even than the more conservative 2008 presidential nominee.
Although he insists he hasn’t changed, he has moved rightward, criticizing the Wall Street bailout he backed (he said he was misled), dropping his support for cap-and-trade legislation to fight climate change, and ending his push for comprehensive immigration reform. When the Supreme Court undid much of the campaign finance law that bore his name and antagonized conservatives, McCain’s response was meek. (“I am disappointed.”)
Still, some GOP voters are skeptical.
“McCain has this amnesty thing that he hasn’t been talking about much lately,” said Tony Bainum, a 52-year-old tax preparer in Mesa, Ariz., using critics’ shorthand to describe, and oversimplify, McCain’s immigration plan. “But I think it’s in the back of his mind, and I have a problem with that.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is McCain’s pugnacity. Just about every day brings a new McCain endorsement, ad or attack. Some are substantive; others, such as a back-and-forth over a Hayworth spoof showing McCain in “Avatar”-like blue paint, are not.
Hayworth, a former TV sportscaster, is hard to overlook. He stands 6 feet 5 and has a booming voice and a flair for the theatrical — during a recent Rotary Club speech he performed the plummy accents of both Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine.
He came to Congress from the Phoenix suburbs in the 1994 GOP landslide and emerged as one of the most outspoken members of that conservative class. In 2006, he was defeated after six terms by Democrat Harry E. Mitchell, and spent the next several years as a host on conservative KFYI.
Although Hayworth blames his defeat on atmospherics (read: Bush fatigue), he also suffered from ties to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the roughly $100,000 in contributions received from Abramoff’s Indian tribe clients.
It might seem a 12-year veteran of Capitol Hill with a scandal in his past may not be the best political messenger this year, but Hayworth calls his experience an asset.
“I’m at an advantage because I know what went right and what went wrong,” he said. Even so, the four biggest Arizona “tea parties” have professed their neutrality in the race.
McCain’s biggest worry is the primary date, Aug. 24, when the heat means those likeliest to vote will be the most ideologically driven: the sort of people who would picket — and risk sunburn — to show their discontent.
“J.D.’s been getting them going for the last four years on his radio show,” said independent pollster Bruce Merrill. “Those are the people he talked to every day.”
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History has a tendency to repeat itself if we let it.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution was passed by Congress in 1867. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. Most Southern states refused to ratify this amendment and therefore Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Benjamin Wade, Henry Winter Davies and Benjamin Butler urged the passing of further legislation to impose these measures on the former Confederacy.
This resulted in the passage of the first Reconstruction Act on 2nd March, 1867. The act along with a supplement passed on March 23, 1867 guaranteed the right of freed black men to register and vote.
In 1867, black men voted for the first time. Over the course of Reconstruction, more than 1,500 African Americans held public office in the South. They did not hold office in numbers representative of their proportion in the population, but often elected whites to represent them.
Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former Confederates were not willing to accept the social changes nor political domination by former slaves. The defeated were unwilling to acknowledge that their society had changed. In the words of Benjamin F. Perry, President Johnson’s choice as the provisional governor of South Carolina: “First, the Negro is to be invested with all political power, and then the antagonism of interest between capital and labor is to work out the result.
The fears, however, of the mostly conservative planter elite and other leading white citizens were partly assuaged by the actions of President Johnson, who ensured that a wholesale land redistribution from the planters to the freedman did not occur. President Johnson ordered that confiscated or abandoned lands administered by the Freedman’s Bureau would not be redistributed to the freedmen but be returned to pardoned owners. Land was returned that would have been forfeited under the provisions of the Confiscation Acts passed by Congress in 1861 and 1862.
Southern state governments quickly enacted the restrictive “black codes”. The Black Codes indicated the plans of the southern whites for the former slaves. The Black Codes would limit blacks’ ability to control their own employment. The Black Codes outraged northern opinion. They were overthrown by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that gave the Freedmen full legal equality and the reconstruction act and it supplement gave them citizenship and the right to vote.
In 1874 the white militias coalesced into paramilitary organizations such as the White League . It was a new organization that operated openly and had political goals: the violent overthrow of Republican (the party of Lincoln) rule and suppression of black voting. Democrats encouraged the poor whites to ally with them over race. As a result White League chapters soon rose, receiving financing for advanced weaponry from wealthy men. In one example of local violence, the White League assassinated six white Republican officeholders and five to twenty black witnesses in 1874. Four of the white men were related to the Republican representative.
Similarly, the Red Shirts, another paramilitary group, arose in 1875 in Mississippi and the Carolinas. Like the White League and White Liner rifle clubs, these groups operated as a “military arm of the Democratic Party”, to restore white supremacy.
An explosion of violence accompanied the campaign for the Mississippi’s 1875 election, in which Red Shirts and Democratic rifle clubs, operating in the open and without disguise, threatened or shot enough Republicans to decide the election for the Democrats.
The campaigns and elections of 1876 were marked by additional murders and attacks on Republicans in Louisiana, North and South Carolina, and Florida. In South Carolina the campaign season of 1876 was marked by murderous outbreaks and fraud against freedmen. Red Shirts paraded with arms behind Democratic candidates; they killed blacks in the Hamburg and Ellenton SC massacres; and one historian estimated 150 blacks were killed in the weeks before the 1876 election across South Carolina. Red Shirts prevented almost all black voting in two majority-black counties.
Reconstruction continued in South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida until 1877. The end of Reconstruction marked the beginning of a period, 1877–1900, in which white legislators passed laws and new constitutions that created barriers to voter registration and voting for African-Americans
From 1890 to 1908, starting with Mississippi, ten of the eleven states of the Confederacy passed new constitutions or amendments that created new requirements for voter registration, such as poll taxes, literacy and understanding tests, grandfather clauses and residency requirements. The effect on black disfranchisement was immediate and devastating. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans were removed from voter registration rolls across the South and effectively disfranchised.
One-party rule under white Democrats was established.
Reconstruction civil rights legislation was overturned by the United States Supreme Court. Most notably, the court held in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), that the 14th Amendment gave Congress the power only to outlaw public, rather than private, discrimination. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the court went further, ruling that state-mandated segregation was legal as long as the law provided for “separate but equal” facilities.
African Americans immediately started raising legal challenges to disfranchisement which lasted until deep into the 20th century.
Re-establishment of white supremacy meant that within a decade, people forgot that blacks were creating thriving middle classes in many states of the South. African Americans’ lack of representation meant they were treated as second-class citizens, with schools and services consistently underfunded in segregated societies, no representation on juries or in law enforcement, and bias in other legislation. It was not until the Civil Rights Movement and the passage of Federal legislation that African Americans regained their suffrage and civil rights in the South.
The passage of the Federal legislation or civil rights legislation not only covered African Americans, but it also covered women, religion, Latinos, Asian Americans, etc.
Fast forward to November 4, 2008, and some 44 years after the passage of the voter rights act, and the civil rights act and the death of many black and non-blacks, America elected her first African American President.
Colbert I. King posted the following article in the Washington Post. With the above historical background, true Americans may have reason to fear something awful is brewing with the Tea Party.
Take a read and decide for yourself.
A Dangerous Kind of Hate There’s an ugliness and hatred loose in the land — unleashed by the angry right.
By: Colbert I. King, Op-Ed Columinst
On Aug. 16, pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., told his congregation that he prays for the death of President Obama. In a sermon titled “Why I Hate Barack Obama,” Anderson preached: “I’m not going to pray for his good, I’m going to pray he dies and goes to hell.”
Anderson is not the only man of the cloth to wish widowhood upon Michelle Obama. In June, the Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., said he was praying for the president’s death.
Anderson, however, was explicit in his wish. “I’d like him to die of natural causes. I don’t want him to be a martyr; we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.”
I pray God will not answer their petitions. While I’m at it, I’m going to send up one for the men and women of the Secret Service who endeavor to protect the nation’s 44th president and his family.
There’s something loose in the land, an ugliness and hatred directed toward Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, that takes the breath away. The thread of resentment is woven through conservative commentary, right-wing radio and cable TV shows, all the way to Capitol Hill.
Look back to Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night and South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson’s crude “you lie” shout. Witness the boorish behavior in the GOP seats.
They are an inspiration to Obama-haters.
It’s not just those calling on God to harm the president who cause worry; consider what comes with the territory.
The day after Anderson’s “I Hate Barack Obama” sermon, Chris Broughton, a member of Anderson’s congregation, appeared at Obama’s speech in Arizona with an AR-15 and a pistol — not to harm the president, Broughton said, but to exercise his constitutional right to have weapons.
Then there are the walking time bombs.
Richard Poplawski of Pittsburgh slept with a gun under his pillow, hated Jews, feared Obama was scheming to take away his guns, and thought Obama got good press because he was black. In April, Poplawski showed he meant business. He fatally shot three police officers and wounded a fourth when they showed up at his house in response to a 911 call. Then there’s George Sodini, who went to a Bridgeville, Pa., health club in August, opened his gym bag, pulled out a weapon and shot and killed three women and wounded nine others. Sodini had planned the shooting for the summer, but delayed because, as he wrote on his Web site, he wanted to “stick around to see the [presidential] election outcome.”
Sodini wrote of Obama: “The liberal media LOVES him. Amerika has chosen The Black Man.”
Sodini’s writings revealed his contempt for black men and for white women whom he believed were beyond his reach. He wrote that, “dem white hoez dig da bruthrs! LOL. More so than they dig the white dudes! Every daddy know when he sends his little girl to college, she be [reference to sexual act] a bruthr real good. I saw it. Black dudes have their choice of the best white hoez.”
Inflamed by sexual rejection and his hatred of black men, Sodini opened fire on those attending a fitness class filled with white women he apparently couldn’t have.
Okay, now let me have it: “King, you’re generalizing, making a big story out of small, isolated examples. People like Anderson, Broughton and Drake, and shooters Poplawski and Sodini, are kooks, representing no one but themselves. Most people who oppose Obama don’t want him dead. They wish him and his family no physical harm.” I won’t argue with that.
What I will say, however, is that a lot of malicious words have been thrown around about Obama since his election: words that inflame and that inspire the kind of hatred spewed from those two Arizona and California pulpits.
Right-wing ranters don’t regard the president as a political opponent. Barack Obama, in their minds, is the enemy. He is, to them, dangerous and harmful to the country.
Do the Andersons and Drakes have a right to say they hate Obama and want him to die? Yes. Did Poplawski and Sodini have a right to trash the “liberal” press and expound their racist views? You bet.
Still, the depth of the hostility is extraordinary.
From a right-wing talk show host who opposed allowing students to see the president’s education speech: “Make September 8 Parentally Approved Skip Day. You are your child’s moral tutor, not that shady lawyer from Chicago.” And from a parent’s e-mail to a Florida TV station’s Web site: “This is exactly how Hitler rose to power in Germany, by preaching to those most vulnerable members of society.”
Smears? Paranoia? It’s all sweet music to the ears of Lee Harvey Oswald wannabes.
If the president of the United States ever needed heartfelt prayers, it’s now.