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To Know There Is To Go There


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 at 6:31 am. Add a comment

    A Wise Latino Woman And Teachable Moment(s)

    The Gates arrest is a story that just keeps on giving. Sgt. James Crowley arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on July 16, 2009 for disorderly conduct after he responded to a call for a possible break-in.

    The arresting officer and the former perp appeared to have been locked in a pissing contest until the President of the United States stepped in to defuse the escalating matter by retracting his “stupidly” remark he used in describing Sgt. Crowley’s behavior in arresting Gates for disorderly conduct in his own home.

    The focus of course is on race.

    Gates who was insisting on an apology and if not given, threatening a lawsuit and Sgt. Crowley who insist that he had done nothing wrong and also threatening a defamation suit against Gates are now both headed to the White House tomorrow to discuss their differences over a beer with the President.

    Yes the President called Sgt. Crowley after his union the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Assocation held a press conference to show their solidarity for their branded comrade. The police association took offense at the President’s use of the word stupidly. The law fighting rank and file mistakenly thought the President was calling them stupid, instead of referring to the action of Sgt Crowley as being stupid. Together they were asking for the President and Governor Deval Patrick who are both friends of Professor Gates to apologize for their solicited comments made with regards to the arrest.

    “This is every black man’s nightmare, and a reality for many black men. You want to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest” exclaimed the Massachusetts Governor.

    During a news conference on health care. Lynn Sweet the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times asked the President what did the arrest mean to him and to race relations in America.

    In reviewing the clip above, the President made the following statements regarding the matter:
    I should say at the out set that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little bias here. I don’t know all the facts, what’s been reported though, is that, the guy forgot his keys; jimmied his way to get into the house. There was a report called into the Police station that here might be a burglary taking place. So far so good…. the police are doing what they should, there is a call and go investigates what has happen. My understanding that at that point Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in, I’m sure there is some exchange of words, but my understanding is that Professor Gates then shows his ID to show that this is his house, and at that point he get’s arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped. Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say #1 any of us would be pretty angry, #2 that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and # 3 what we know separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos, being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that’s just a fact, when I was in the state legislative in Illinois, we worked on a racial profiling bill, because there was indisputable evidence, Blacks and Hispanics were being stopped disproportionately and that is a sign, an example of how race remain a factor, in this society. That doesn’t lessen, the incredible process that has been made. I am standing here as testimony to the progress tat has been made and yet, the fact of the matter is that this still haunts us and even when there are honest misunderstandings the fact that Blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently and times for no cause cast suspicion even when there is good cause. And that is why I think the more that we are working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we are eliminating potential bias the safer everybody is going to be.”

    In a impromptu news briefing the President informed the public about his beer drinking invitation to both men and stated that the situation could be used as a teachable moment.

    Today, Ed Davis the Cambridge police commissioner suspended Officer Justin Barrett for referring to the black scholar as a ” jungle monkey” in an email, written in reaction to media coverage of Gates’s arrest July 16. the email was allegedly sent out to Barrett’s National Guard colleagues.

    Justin Barrett

    Justin Barrett

    Remember Kent State? Well apparently this is not the same National Guard. They have also suspended Barrett.

    Anyway the President might need to adjust his words again and make it teachable moments. Because this situation is full of teachable moments.

    First of all, criminal defense attorneys know all too well that police officers will lie in their reports to justify their use of excessive force and/or abuse of authority. Now that we have had the chance to hear the 911 (see video above) and dispatch tapes (See Video at bottom) we can see that Crowley’s arrest report (see report at the bottom) on Professor Gates is latent with inconsistencies.

    Sgt James Crowley Cambridge Police Department

    Sgt James Crowley Cambridge Police Department

    Sgt Crowley reports that he was responding to the break-in by two black males with back packs. Not only does the caller Lucia Whalen not mention the race of the two men at the door, but she isn’t sure that there has been a break-in. Ms. Whalen only states that she thinks without certainty that one might have been Hispanic, after she is pressed to give a description. Ms. Whalen as well as the dispatcher states that there were two suitcases on the porch, and not back packs as Sgt Crowley wrote up in his arrest report.

    It should be noted that Ms. Whalen acted like a responsible citizen by calling authorities. Unfortunately, Sgt. Crowley attributed to her statements that she did not make thus making it appear that Ms. Whalen was practicing racial etiquette. A White House invitation should also be extended to this fine citizen.

    I think its safe to say that most people think of homeless individuals when they hear back packs. I think it is also safe to say that unfortunately many associate homelessness with crime. This scenario sets the scene for a sympathetic Sgt who only has Professor Gates safety in mind. This is certainly not the portrait of a racist.

    Now as we continue down the road of inconsistencies, other than the parking lot of a Donut shop, common sense will tell you that the presence of numerous police cars with police officers standing on the outside of them will draw public attention and gather on-lookers. The tape clearly indicates that this small gathering was a result of Sgt. Crowley. Crowley is heard on the tape acknowledging that Gates had provided the proper identification and appeared to be the owner of the house, yet he insisted on involving that more police be sent including the Harvard campus police. This continuing intrusion into of Gates privacy would set anybody off, including Colin Powell. Any insults hurled at Crowley was done in doors, and could in no way have disturbed anyone but Crowley. If the Professor was a little loud on his front porch in front of the small on lookers, good for him. It might have even saved his life. The Professor’s so-called behavior belligerent behavior would have brought attention to the appearance of the Professor in case the Sgt decided to get a little rough, or worse utilize excessive force.

    The teachable moment: Sgt. Crowley for personal reasons falsely arrested the Professor, and therefore, abused his authority.

    Now the teachable moment doesn’t stop there. As stated, Sgt. Crowley has attempted to paint himself as a Negro loving white police officer who had the professor’s best interest at heart. His report even states that he was so concerned about the professor that he changed the handcuffs from back to front and even with inside to get the professor’s cane. Well between Crowley and the Black Sgt on the scene, somebody is lying. The Black Sgt stated that it was he who convinced Crowley to change the cuffs to the front so that the Professor could use his cane. The good old Sgt also said that he wanted to make sure that the Professor’s house was secured, so when the maintenance man showed up to fix the door, he checked with the professor to make sure it was okay.

    Damn, what a nice Cop. Sgt Crowley could never be considered a racist. Especially since he was selected by a black police officer to teach about racial profiling. Wow!

    Sgt Crowley as well as many whites don’t want to be considered a racist, and I suspect they equate a racist with the likes of Bull Connors. No way you might say that Sgt. Crowley acted like Bull Connors the former Birmingham Alabama Police Commissioner who used fire hose and police dogs on peaceful demonstrators.

    Sgt. Crowley may in fact not be a Bull Connors, but he sought and achieved the same result for the same reason.

    The result was to humiliate the African American scholar for having the audacity to step out of the bounds of racial etiquette and challenge Crowley’s authority.

    Back in the 1960s Civil Rights era, African Americans demonstrated to have their constitutional rights as citizens recognized. Demonstrating was their right of freedom of expression which is afforded under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Bull Connors representing the sentiment of many white citizens was not about to consent to equal treatment of African Americans. African Americans cry for freedom of oppression in the form of demonstrating ran afoul of racial etiquette. This was something the white citizens would not tolerate. To quiet the non violent black civil rights protesters, Bull Connors humiliated them by having them (children included) sprayed unmercifully with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs as well as placing us under arrest for disorderly conduct. This did not sit well with numerous white citizens as they watched the horror unfold on the evening news. Bull Connors instantly became a racist monster.

    Bull Connors motivation was definitely the preservation of racial etiquette.

    Racial etiquette is the customs and rules of behavior created in the Jim Crow south during reconstruction and it’s chief purpose was to maintain white male dominance over minorities.

    Although, it is said that Charles Hamilton Houston slayed and buried Jim Crow, it must be recognized that Jim Crow had children who carried on with the Jim Crow practices and beliefs. These practices and beliefs migrated from the south.

    In his effort to preserve racial etiquette, Bull Connors, abused his authority.

    Crowley may not have used the same techniques as Connors but he too abused his authority in the name of racial etiquette.

    While many whites accepted Crowley at his word and feel that Gates was out of line, minorities in this country are far too familiar with the practices of racial etiquette. These practices goes back to slavery, and were utilized to break the spirit of the dark individuals brought to this country in captivity and made to labor for free. These Africans were treated no different than animals as they were shackled and branded to show ownership.

    U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

    U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

    The practice of racial etiquette continue today and was quite noticeable in the confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor. In showing pride of her Latino roots, Judge Sotomayor was racked over the coals, labeled a racist and sexist and ultimately, made to regret showing such pride. Sotomayor’s admission of regret garnered her the vote of S.C Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and her nomination is now headed for vote before the full Senate.

    What Sotomayor experienced is something that all minorities face if they show pride in their culture. Minorities are only accepted if they assimilate to whites. Otherwise you are considered Un-American.

    CNN Rick Sanchez

    CNN Rick Sanchez

    Rick Sanchez of CNN came to this realization after filming a segment about wise Latino women which included his non- English speaking mother. Sanchez who has a popular show on CNN was visibly hurt after receiving negative comments about his mother’s inability to speak English. Sanchez responded in a blog about the sacrifices his mother made so he could speak English and realize the American dream.

    This was totally unnecessary. So was the arrest of Professor Gates.

    To not accept Gates’ Harvard identification which showed him to be employed by the distinguished institution was motivated by racial etiquette. It sent a loud message that this black man couldn’t possibly be a professor at Harvard. Gates could have done the same as Sanchez, but he decided to stand up for his rights and sent a loud message back to Crowley. Many whites and a few African Americans like Larry Elder think that he over reacted in challenging Crowley’s authority. Whites and apparently Larry Elder are not treated in the same matter constantly, so they have no idea how degrading it is. Yet they feel that it is better for minorities to submit to such treatment. To suggest that minorities continue to take these insults with a smile is unknowingly motivated by racial etiquette. Yes this includes the shallow Mr. Elder.

    Racial profiling is also another form of racial etiquette, where Latinos and African Americans are stopped for no reason other than their race. This segment of America society is falsely arrested and branded by way of finger prints, mug shots and issued a police identification number. It a way of control. The arrest record can prevent minorities from obtaining security clearance and certain licensing, thus eliminating them from certain types of employment and business ventures. It makes it difficult to create a economic base within legal means thus inducing violate crime within the community and acting as a barrier to the American dream.

    By arresting the Harvard Professor, Crowley shackled him and branded him with finger printing, and mug shots. Crowley made Gates a member of an exclusive club by issuing him a police identification number.

    Bottom line: Sgt. Crowley’s actions was a form of racial etiquette and just like Bull Connors he abused his authority.

    Over beer, Crowley should apologize for his behavior. Crowley should also publicly apologize to both Gates and Whalen. Further, the DA office should move to expunge Gates’ arrest record including finger prints mug shot and police identification number.

    The final teaching moment is that nothing is going to change until racial etiquette is eliminated and it can’t be eliminated if whites and Larry Elder continue to insist that minorities submit to disparate treatment.

    Elimination also requires that the U.S. Supreme court revisits the majority opinion in the Ricci v. DeStefano decision and rid it of the unequal duty of showing heightened disparate treatment before a Plaintiff can prevail.

    Maybe a wise Latino woman will lead the high court to a better conclusion. That for sure will be a teachable moment.

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      Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 5:08 am. Add a comment

      African American Scholar and Historian John Hope Franklin Will Be Missed But His Legacy Will Endure

      John Hope Franklin died Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the age of 94.

      John Hope Franklin died Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the age of 94.

      “Because of the life John Hope Franklin lived, the public service he rendered, and the scholarship that was the mark of his distinguished career, we all have a richer understanding of who we are as Americans and our journey as a people.” These are the words spoken by President Obama on learning of the death of John Hope Franklin. Franklin departed this world on Wednesday March 25, 2009 at the age of 94. The revered historian died of congestive heart failure at the Duke University hospital in Durham.

      Dr Franklin taught at many leading universities and, in what is believed to be an American record, received more than 130 honorary degrees. Before his death, he had taught for a decade at the prestigious Duke University were he was professor emeritus of history.

      Known as the pioneer of African-American studies the scholarly Franklin chronicled the struggles of black Americans and this country’s efforts to confront its racial legacy. Dr. Franklin chronicles can be read in his book “From Slavery to Freedom: A History Of Negro Americans”. Considered the original text on the black African American experience in the U.S., the book helped integrate black history into American history. The text which has sold more than 3.5 million copies has gone through multiple editions since it was first published in 1947 and has remained relevant for more than 60 years after it’s publication for it still remains required reading in college classrooms.

      Dr. Franklin conducted his research for the book in libraries and archives that didn’t allow him to eat lunch in its’ dining facilities or use the bathroom because of the color of his skin.

      Born and raised in the all-black community of Rentiesville, Oklahoma, Franklin like all blacks in that era was subjected to humiliating practice of racial etiquette. Later he would be instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of the dispecable practice of racial etiquette.

      The legal team that argued Brown v Board of Education. LtoR: George E.C. Hayes, James Nabrit II, Jack Greenberg, Spottswood Robinson, Thurgood Marshall,  Oliver Hill, Robert Carter, and Louis Redding.

      The legal team that argued Brown v Board of Education. LtoR: George E.C. Hayes, James Nabrit II, Jack Greenberg, Spottswood Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill, Robert Carter, and Louis Redding.

      Dr. Franklin’s research helped Thurgood Marshall and his NAACP legal team along with others to prevail in Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation by over ruling the “separate but equal” doctrine in Plessy v. Ferguson.

      “It was evident how much the lawyers appreciated what the historians could offer,” Franklin later wrote. “For me, and I suspect the same was true for the others, it was exhilarating.”

      As the first black department chair at a predominantly white institution, Brooklyn College, Franklin broke numerous color barriers that included the first black professor to hold an endowed chair at Duke; and the first black president of the American Historical Association.

      Frustrated by racism’s stubborn power, yet refusing to give up, he often regarded his country like an exasperated relative,. “I want to be out there on the firing line, helping, directing or doing something to try to make this a better world, a better place to live,” Franklin told The Associated Press in 2005.

      After Barack Obama broke the ultimate racial barrier in American politics on November 4, 2008, Franklin called President Obama’s ascension to the White House “one of the most historic moments, if not the most historic moment, in the history of this country.”

      Obama’s achievement in obtaining the Presidency fitted with Franklin’s mission as a historian documenting how blacks lived and served alongside whites from the nation’s birth. Black patriots fought at Lexington and Concord, Franklin pointed out in his authoritative text “From Slavery to Freedom,”. We crossed the Delaware with Washington and explored with Lewis and Clark.

      “Working in a profession that more or less banned him at the outset and ended up its leading practitioner he always managed to keep his grace and his sense of humor, said Tim Tyson, a history professor at Duke.

      Late in life, Franklin received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Spingarn Award.

      Recognizing scholarly contributions that give “eloquence and meaning … to our ideas, hopes and dreams as American citizens.”, President Bill Clinton honored Franklin with the Charles Frankel Prize in 1993.

      Dr. Franklin with President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Dr. Franklin with President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Clinton also awarded Franklin the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian prize, two years later, and gave him a role outside of the world of academia as chairman of Clinton’s Initiative on Race. It was a job of which Franklin said, “I am not sure this is an honor. It may be a burden.”

      “John Hope Franklin was one of the most important American historians of the 20th century and one of the people I most admired,” Clinton said in a statement. “He graced our country with his life, his scholarship, and his citizenship.”

      Dr. Franklin Inside His Green House

      Dr. Franklin Inside His Green House

      In his advanced age, Franklin spent most of his time in the greenhouse behind his home, where he nursed orchids, and very little time in libraries. Dr. Franklin stated that he fell in love with the flowers for the same reason he fell in love with history- because “they’re full of challenges, mystery”

      In June, Franklin had a small role in the movie based on the book “Blood Done Signed My Name.” The drama tells of the acquittal of a white man who commits the public slaying of Henry Marrow, a black Vietnam vet in Oxford, N.C. in 1970. Tim Tyson, the book’s author, said he wanted Franklin in the movie “because of his dignity and his shining intelligence.”

      Franklin and his wife, Aurelia, in Cambridge, Mass., 1941.

      Franklin and his wife, Aurelia, in Cambridge, Mass., 1941.

      Franklin attended historically black Fisk University, where he met his future wife, Aurelia Whittington. Aurelia was not just his wife but she was his, editor, helpmate and rock for 58 years, until her death in 1999. Plans to follow his father into law, was abandoned after hearing the lectures of Ted Currier, a white professor, who convinced him history was his field. Currier borrowed $500 to send Franklin to Harvard University for graduate studies.

      Franklin’s doctoral thesis was on free blacks in antebellum North Carolina. Dr. Franklin’s wife spent part of their honeymoon in Washington, D.C., at the Census Bureau, helping him finish the doctoral thesis. The resulting work, “The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860,” earned Franklin his doctorate and, in 1943, became his first published book. Four years later, he took a job at the disitinguish Howard University. This was the same year “From Slavery to Freedom” was published.

      Some of Franklin’s greatest moments of triumph were marred by bigotry. For instance, the joy at being offered the chair of the Brooklyn College history department in 1956 was tempered by his difficulty getting a loan to buy a house in a “white” neighborhood.

      When he was to receive the medal of freedom, Franklin, a long time member hosted a party for some friends at Washington’s Cosmos Club. A white woman lacking in intelligence walked up to him, handed him a slip of paper and demanded that he retrieve her coat. Politely, Dr. Franklin told the foolish woman that any of the uniformed attendants, “and they were all in uniform,” would be happy to assist her.

      Tulsa Black Wall Street After 1921

      Tulsa Black Wall Street After 1921

      Tulsa Oklahoma Black Wall Street before 1921

      Tulsa Oklahoma Black Wall Street before 1921

      Named after the educator John Hope, Franklin was born Jan. 2, 1915, in a town outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his parents moved in the mistaken belief that separation from whites would mean a better life for their young family. In 1921 his father’s law office was burned in the race riots in Tulsa, Okla., along with the rest of the black wall street businesses that occupied the black section of town.

      Mollie, his mother, was a teacher, who began taking him to school with her when he was 3. By the age of 5, he could read and write and sadly by 6, he first became aware of the “racial divide separating me from white America.”

      Franklin, along with his mother and sister Anne were ejected from a train when Mollie refused the conductor’s orders to move to the overcrowded “Negro” coach. Trudging through the woods back to Rentiesville, young John Hope began to cry.

      In response, his mother pulled him aside and told him, “There was not a white person on that train or anywhere else who was any better than I was. She admonished me not to waste my energy by fretting but to save it in order to prove that I was as good as any of them.”

      This writer is in agreement with President Obama, who stated “Dr. Franklin will be deeply missed, but his legacy is one that will surely endure”.

      Dr. John Hope Franklin is survived by his only child John Whittington Franklin.

      On the Net: * Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Web site: http://www.duke.edu/johnhopefranklin

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        Posted 5 years, 6 months ago at 10:20 am. Add a comment