Archive for the ‘Race in America’ Category

>Standing in the school house door

July 22, 2010

>

One hundred and three students will be denied their scholarships as a result of Governor Bob Riley’s raid on Greentrack earlier this month.

This information comes from The Tuscaloosa News.

The scholarships provided between $500 and $900 each semester to the students.

“This governor, in 2010, is standing in the schoolhouse door,” Rev. John Kennard said. “He is standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent 103 of our children from furthering their education, and we’re not going to take it.”

Kennard is vice president of the group, Clergy Who Care.

Several students attended a rally organized by Kennard. They seem determined, in spite of the governor’s action.

Governor Riley’s office issued a statement yesterday about the VictoryLand profits that actually reflect his beliefs about bingo in general, thus, also about this issue in Green County.

“The casinos mislead people into believing they’re helping charities. But the reality is, the only people who actually benefit from it are the casino bosses and their cronies.”

So, the governor does not consider these students as “people,” I guess.

Governor Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door on June 11, 1963. He thought he was big stuff, but that attempt to preserve his way of life looks pretty foolish now, doesn’t it.

And remember, Republican candidate for Governor Dr. Robert Bentley wants to do away with electronic Bingo too. So he would leave these students out in the cold as well.

This is not about looking for other sources of funds for each student to continue his or her education. The students are doing that, and let’s hope they are successful.

No, it’s about stripping away a source of college education funds that the students already had secured and on which they were depending.

It’s about making things more difficult for students of color.

It plays right along with this undercurrent of racism that has swollen into a torrent over the last two days following the release of an edited video by a right wing blogger meant to further divide our nation and remind white people that they are supposed to be afraid of black people.

Rachel Maddow tells how white voters are being targeted to be afraid of black people.

Part 1, where she talks about George Wallace, and shows a comic book he used during a campaign to promote his views, and the “southern strategy” for winning political races by making white people be afraid of black people. Wallace used it in the 60’s, and it is still being used today.

Here’s part 2 of Rachel’s segment.

How long will the real racists, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, Fox News, who are among us be allowed to control the news in this way? How long will we (the big we…the media, the White House, the bloggers) continue to be fooled in this way?

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>More on the teabaggers and racism

January 26, 2010

>This video shows the link between the current tea parties and the racist white supremacy.

It’s 24 minutes long, but worth it.

The teabaggers say “Take back America.”

The white supremacists say “Take back America.”

And this is why anyone associated with Tea Parties is suspicious.

Glenn Beck is identified, along with a certain “News” network.

Yes, I know the video was aired on AlJazeera English. So?

>Beer choices reveal…not much

July 31, 2009

>I was going to write on race relations and beer summits and such, but since one meeting between a white cop and a black professor with a President thrown in (and a Vice-President in attendance in case there is a lull in the conversation) isn’t going to change the world, I will reserve the topic for my Western Tribune column (unless I come up with something else).

But the beer. What does that tell us?

Blue Moon, the choice of Sgt. Jim Crowley, is brewed by Molson Coors of Canada.


From the label: “Brewed with white wheat and oats, Blue Moon features a crisp wheat finish and the perfect combination of orange peel and coriander. Bring out Blue Moon’s natural spices by serving it in a Pilsner glass with an orange-slice garnish.”

Some say that coriander increases the level of intoxication.

I’ve had Blue Moon. I like it.

Samuel Adams Light, the choice of Prof. Henry Gates, is brewed by Boston Beer Company, a publicly traded American brewing company. It is the largest American owned brewing company, since Anheuser-Busch was taken over by Belgian-Brazilian giant Inbev in 2008.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager uses “two row barley, as well as German Noble aroma hops, and is brewed using a decoction mash, a time consuming, traditional four vessel brewing process discarded by many contemporary brewers.”

I’ve had Sam Adams. I like it.

Bud Light, the choice of President Obama, is an American style lager. Budweiser adds rice to the hops and barley, claiming it makes a lighter brew. Bud Light is the most popular beer in America. President Obama is the most popular politician in America. Yes he is.


I’ve had Bud Light, I like it.

Buckler, a low-alcoholic ( 0.5% abv) brew was preferred by Vice President Joe Biden, due to his designated driver status. Just kidding. It’s brewed by Heineken, a Dutch company.

I’ve never had Buckler.

This video is of the wedding scene in the movie “The Fall.” I will add this to my Netflix que. Anyone seen it?

Bessemer Academy

July 8, 2008

Here in Bessemer, for those who do not read the sports page, is an assertion that Mark Freeman, the former football coach at Bessemer Academy, was fired not because of financial matters but rather due to racial problems. Former players said white parents were upset because Freeman recruited too many black players and gave them too much playing time. As reported in The Birmingham News .

Brandon Heavens, a player who is transferring to Jess Lanier and who is committed to Auburn, also said his family was concerned about racial attitudes among some people, presumably authorities, at the school.

Harris Gaston, a former player who is committed to Auburn said he thinks it was about the black players that Freeman was bringing to the school.

Tavon Arrington, a player who is transferring to Hueytown said he believes that racial considerations played a role in the decision (along with money).

Julie Kelley, headmaster at the school, said race is not an issue at the school.

But Julie Kelley is not the school board, and they are the ones that answer to parents.

From what I know Bessemer Academy is a fine school and provides a quality education for students without regard to race. Former students speak highly of the school and instructors.

But let’s not forget that Bessemer Academy was founded in 1970. Without question, race played a role in the decision of those involved in creating the school. In 1970, schools and parents in Alabama were reacting to busing of students and integration. I remember it well, because I was a student at Berry High School and students were being bused in from the Shannon area. And parents of Berry kids who lived in Vestavia started a whole new school system. Regardless of what anyone says, race played a role in the creation of that school system, Bessemer Academy and all the other private schools that sprung up around then.

I have no reason to believe that race still plays a role in Bessemer Academy’s mission.

But it is entirely possible that some “old attitudes” could still be present among certain parents, who, when disappointed about their son’s lack of PT, fall back on blaming blaming black players. If so, they forget that the goal is to win games. As a team. If these parents were, say, big donors to the program or such, the board certainly might yield to their pressure to get rid of Freeman.

This is crazy, though, because a move that decreases the chances of a media grabbing successful season (because the program is not likely to be as successful) does nothing to increase their kids chances of getting noticed by college recruiters. Let’s see, what did mom used to say, “Cutting off your nose to spite your face?”

At any rate, Freeman got screwed. The players got screwed. The reputation of Bessemer Acedemy takes a hit. The football program takes a hit. Let’s hope the kids, the students, learn from this.

>Bessemer Academy

July 8, 2008

>Here in Bessemer, for those who do not read the sports page, is an assertion that Mark Freeman, the former football coach at Bessemer Academy, was fired not because of financial matters but rather due to racial problems. Former players said white parents were upset because Freeman recruited too many black players and gave them too much playing time. As reported in The Birmingham News .

Brandon Heavens, a player who is transferring to Jess Lanier and who is committed to Auburn, also said his family was concerned about racial attitudes among some people, presumably authorities, at the school.

Harris Gaston, a former player who is committed to Auburn said he thinks it was about the black players that Freeman was bringing to the school.

Tavon Arrington, a player who is transferring to Hueytown said he believes that racial considerations played a role in the decision (along with money).

Julie Kelley, headmaster at the school, said race is not an issue at the school.

But Julie Kelley is not the school board, and they are the ones that answer to parents.

From what I know Bessemer Academy is a fine school and provides a quality education for students without regard to race. Former students speak highly of the school and instructors.

But let’s not forget that Bessemer Academy was founded in 1970. Without question, race played a role in the decision of those involved in creating the school. In 1970, schools and parents in Alabama were reacting to busing of students and integration. I remember it well, because I was a student at Berry High School and students were being bused in from the Shannon area. And parents of Berry kids who lived in Vestavia started a whole new school system. Regardless of what anyone says, race played a role in the creation of that school system, Bessemer Academy and all the other private schools that sprung up around then.

I have no reason to believe that race still plays a role in Bessemer Academy’s mission.

But it is entirely possible that some “old attitudes” could still be present among certain parents, who, when disappointed about their son’s lack of PT, fall back on blaming blaming black players. If so, they forget that the goal is to win games. As a team. If these parents were, say, big donors to the program or such, the board certainly might yield to their pressure to get rid of Freeman.

This is crazy, though, because a move that decreases the chances of a media grabbing successful season (because the program is not likely to be as successful) does nothing to increase their kids chances of getting noticed by college recruiters. Let’s see, what did mom used to say, “Cutting off your nose to spite your face?”

At any rate, Freeman got screwed. The players got screwed. The reputation of Bessemer Acedemy takes a hit. The football program takes a hit. Let’s hope the kids, the students, learn from this.

In and Out of Step With Jesus

April 29, 2008

The title of an opinion column in the Birmingham News certainly caught my eye this morning. “Modern Christianity out of step with Jesus’ teachings.”

Ok, many of us have recognized this for years. Many of us have been driven away from churches or denominations for this reason. Many of us are appalled at the modern “church’s” influence on society and politics. Many of us have found Jesus’ teachings to be inspirational, along with the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and have learned to use them to guide our lives without the need to be controlled by a man pretending to be God (whether that is what many pastors and priests claim or not).

So this column by Leonard Pitts Jr. was a must read.

Pitts starts out by quoting Rev. Hayes Wicker of (no surprise) First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, who called same sex marriage a “tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.” Who is more insulted there? American blacks for whom our history is tainted with their sweat and blood, and without whom this country would never have reached the status that it did, or gays whose inequality is championed as being even worse?

Pitts says that remark is in step with much of modern Christianity, and I agree. One does not have to look far to find a preacher demonizing gays; local television one Sunday morning recently had a local church broadcast where a black pastor was sending gays to hell right and left.

Pitts quotes James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights movement, who supports gay rights, “The human rights issue is not a single issue. It is about all humankind. And all humankind has been endowed with certain inalienable rights.” Responding to the Wicker quote, Lawson said “Obviously he does not know anything about 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery as the nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and its consequences…And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus.”

I will continue to quote Lawson. “Much of Christianity in the United States has been more influenced by violence and sexism and racism and greed than by the teachings of Jesus.”

Amen.

Pitts closes with “Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Thank God someone is.”

OK. But Lawson is not getting the headlines, Jeremiah Wright is. Gee, if we study the teachings of Jesus and begin to apply them to America, we might just realize that Wright’s sermons irritate us not because they are so radically anti-American, but because they expose the truth. America is embarrassed by much of its history (as well it should be) and we have a strong desire to ignore that which pains or embarrasses us.

I for one am glad Rev. Wright has begun to explain his statements. Listen and learn, America.

>In and Out of Step With Jesus

April 29, 2008

>The title of an opinion column in the Birmingham News certainly caught my eye this morning. “Modern Christianity out of step with Jesus’ teachings.”

Ok, many of us have recognized this for years. Many of us have been driven away from churches or denominations for this reason. Many of us are appalled at the modern “church’s” influence on society and politics. Many of us have found Jesus’ teachings to be inspirational, along with the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and have learned to use them to guide our lives without the need to be controlled by a man pretending to be God (whether that is what many pastors and priests claim or not).

So this column by Leonard Pitts Jr. was a must read.

Pitts starts out by quoting Rev. Hayes Wicker of (no surprise) First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, who called same sex marriage a “tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.” Who is more insulted there? American blacks for whom our history is tainted with their sweat and blood, and without whom this country would never have reached the status that it did, or gays whose inequality is championed as being even worse?

Pitts says that remark is in step with much of modern Christianity, and I agree. One does not have to look far to find a preacher demonizing gays; local television one Sunday morning recently had a local church broadcast where a black pastor was sending gays to hell right and left.

Pitts quotes James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights movement, who supports gay rights, “The human rights issue is not a single issue. It is about all humankind. And all humankind has been endowed with certain inalienable rights.” Responding to the Wicker quote, Lawson said “Obviously he does not know anything about 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery as the nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and its consequences…And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus.”

I will continue to quote Lawson. “Much of Christianity in the United States has been more influenced by violence and sexism and racism and greed than by the teachings of Jesus.”

Amen.

Pitts closes with “Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Thank God someone is.”

OK. But Lawson is not getting the headlines, Jeremiah Wright is. Gee, if we study the teachings of Jesus and begin to apply them to America, we might just realize that Wright’s sermons irritate us not because they are so radically anti-American, but because they expose the truth. America is embarrassed by much of its history (as well it should be) and we have a strong desire to ignore that which pains or embarrasses us.

I for one am glad Rev. Wright has begun to explain his statements. Listen and learn, America.