Most inspiring event I ever saw on TV

Four weeks later, I was co-chairman of a newly-chartered chapter of C.O.R.E., the Congress Of Racial Equality. The other co-chair, a Black man named Frank, was a machine operator in an aircraft engine factory. I was working in a warehouse. We both lived and worked in a factory town in Southern New England.

We marched forward. Never looked back.

John Salter, a social science professor at Tougaloo College, sat with his students Anne Moody, Pearlena Lewis and Memphis Norman–a white man and three black students–at the “Whites Only” counter in Woolworth’s store lunch counter. Nobody would serve them. Behind them was a growing crowd of frenzied onlookers, police officers and news people. It was 11:15 a.m. on May 28, 1963.

#Bill Minor, then a reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, was there that day. He was the Mississippi correspondent covering civil rights events in Jackson and the state. Minor, tipped off by Medgar Evers, gathered with the other news people at the planned sit-in and watched the scene unfold.

Please read the article. Learn something about American history. This was not an isolated incident. Fightback had been going on since the first slave escaped. The racism that was part and parcel of justifying slavery lasted decades and centuries beyond the inhumane economics that justified the lies.

100 years ago, Tulsa’s thriving ‘Black Wall Street’ — Burned Down by a White Mob

Almost 100 years ago, in a small town office building, a man named Dick Rowland tripped on his way into an elevator. The car hadn’t stopped properly, and Rowland hadn’t noticed, catching his foot on the uneven ledge. As he fell, he reached out, looking for something to stop him. That something turned out to be someone — Sarah Page, the young elevator operator, who naturally screamed as a man fell on top of her.

In another place, at another time, between anyone else, the incident may have gone unnoticed. But the place was Greenwood, Oklahoma — then known as “Black Wall Street.” The time was 1921. And Dick Rowland was a black man. To make matters worse, Sarah Page was a white woman.

The immediate response was typical of the time and place. The local newspaper called for Dick Rowland’s lynching. Local white citizens obliged…”as the most brutal and destructive race riot in history unfolded, in one of the most prominent black neighborhoods”.

Over the course of 12 hours, a white mob, joined by more rioters, collectively burned down almost all of Black Wall Street. They looted businesses, shot and attacked black residents, and left the town in ruins…

According to initial reports, more than 800 people were injured, and roughly 35 had died. More recently, in 2001, an investigation by the Tulsa Race Riot Commission claimed the death toll was closer to 300…

10,000 black residents had been left homeless, and over 6,000 were held by the National Guard, some for as long as eight days.

The racist history of America from slavery times to today is never a surprise to anyone of conscience and education. That leaves a lot of folks who might wish to take a step back from what they think they know of American history.

Please read this one.

Making a video on gun violence in Philadelphia can get you killed

A man working on a video about gun violence was shot and killed in Philadelphia, police said … “This 55-year-old male was working for a production company. They were inside of a private residence. They were interviewing and filming some family members whose children were victims of gun violence in the last two to three years,” Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The man went out to his van to get more equipment and police said he was shot multiple times. Production equipment and two cellphones were found on the sidewalk … The man was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Though police didn’t initially identify the victim, his name was published a day or two later. Anthony Merriett Jr.

Oath Keeper planned coordinated action with Proud Boys before riot


Reuters

A reputed leader in the Oath Keepers militia group discussed forming an “alliance” and coordinating plans with another extremist group, the Proud Boys, ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, according to new court papers.

The court filing — detailing messages from Kelly Meggs, described by authorities as the leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers — is the first time prosecutors have suggested that the members of the two far-right extremist groups were communicating with each other before coming to Washington.

Meggs is among 10 members and associates of the Oath Keepers charged with plotting to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. The case against those affiliated with the Oath Keepers is the largest conspiracy case brought by prosecutors so far in the attack.

Several members of the Proud Boys, who describe themselves as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists,” have also been charged with conspiring to obstruct Congress.

On Dec. 19, Meggs wrote in a Facebook message that he “organized an alliance” between the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Florida Three Percenters, an anti-government movement.

We have decided to work together and shut this s—t down,” Meggs wrote…

No surprises…other than these ego-smitten, middle class reactionaries didn’t have the smarts to keep from bragging before, during and after the fact about their plan to disrupt the constitutionally-required counting of ballots.

Death threats are just another part of Trump’s political legacy


Georgia election official calls on Trump to stop inspiring death threats over election

As the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump approaches, federal officials are investigating threats to attack or kill members of Congress. This comes in the wake of the Capitol riot, when a mob stormed the building where members of the House and Senate were preparing to certify the presidential election. Some rioters reportedly threatened the lives of elected officials in both parties…

These threats do not simply reflect increased levels of anger and depravity among individual Americans. Rather, they appear to be evidence of a more systemic use of fear and intimidation in U.S. politics, seeking to force fealty from Republicans and reinforce the authoritarian turn that defined Donald Trump’s leadership.

With the advent of social media and the Trump presidency, however, the risks for public officials have grown substantially. As a professor of human rights and a practitioner of democracy-building and the rule of law, this trend symbolizes the depth of deterioration of democracy in the U.S.

Reasonably calm article befitting reporting from The Conversation. Don’t kid yourself, though. The nutballs who worship Trump are capable of exactly the sort of acts of violence feared by Republicans…and anyone else trying to keep democracy as a reasoned alternative to autocrats and penny-ante fascists like Trump.

Among the Insurrectionists

By Luke Mogelson


Balazs Gardi for The New Yorker

By the end of President Donald Trump’s crusade against American democracy—after a relentless deployment of propaganda, demagoguery, intimidation, and fearmongering aimed at persuading as many Americans as possible to repudiate their country’s foundational principles—a single word sufficed to nudge his most fanatical supporters into open insurrection. Thousands of them had assembled on the Mall, in Washington, D.C., on the morning of January 6th, to hear Trump address them from a stage outside the White House. From where I stood, at the foot of the Washington Monument, you had to strain to see his image on a jumbotron that had been set up on Constitution Avenue. His voice, however, projected clearly through powerful speakers as he rehashed the debunked allegations of massive fraud which he’d been propagating for months. Then he summarized the supposed crimes, simply, as “bullshit.”

This is Luke Mogelson’s story, published in THENEWYORKER. Click on the link in the first paragraph of his story. Read the article, a tale of woe, of ignorance, of racism and bigotry.

Protesters have been teargassed by cops in 96 cities in recent weeks

This is astonishing:

“At least 99 law enforcement agencies — many in large cities — used some form of tear gas against civilians protesting police brutality and racism in recent weeks, according to an analysis by The New York Times. This brief period has seen the most widespread domestic use of tear gas against demonstrators since the long years of unrest in the late 1960s and early ’70s, according to Stuart Schrader of Johns Hopkins University, who studies race and policing.

“Thousands and thousands of utterly ordinary people who thought they were going to an ordinary protest event are finding themselves receiving a really aggressive police response,” he said. “That itself is a bit horrifying. The police have actually succeeded in making people more angry.”

What other conclusion can you reach besides this one: The rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution were ignored by the State and trampled upon.

Last time I checked, our Constitution didn’t say it was OK for police departments to attack demonstrations asking for redress of grievances. The use of teargas on crowds is not an acceptable response to democracy in action. Not allowed just because you’re wearing a blue uniform.