Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

>Racists. Who knew? (We did)

March 29, 2011

>Often I have made to connection between the Tea Party and racists. Most of the time I get criticized for assuming all teabaggers are racists when the evidence is there for a few.
Example 1. Example 2. Example 3.

Now the Tea Party Nation has emailed its followers warning that whites are headed for extinction. If that isn’t a page from the KKK, I don’t know what is.

Here is a teabagger from a rally in Birmingham.

This is the same group that denounced the United Methodist Church for being Marxist, by the way. Here is where I wrote about that.

From the email sent today from Tea Party Nation:

What is keeping America’s fertility rate up are immigrants – both legal and illegal.


and:

The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population in America is headed for extinction and with it our economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely America culture.

Racism can be against Latinos, of course, and that is what is going on here, but trust me, they feel the same way about African Americans. And gays:

There are those in America who are continuously attacking the family, bent on redefining marriage and have established anti-family government programs.

“Redefining marriage” is connected to the same-sex marriage movement, of course.

This is your Tea party, your Republican base, the congress members you elected in 2010; the group that invited Sarah Palin to speak, and Roy Moore as well. Roy Moore has indicated he might run for the GOP presidential nomination, incidentally. He couldn’t win the GOP nomination for Alabama Governor, but believes he can win the GOP nomination for president. LOL.

Anyway, if you are a Tea Party member, you are suspect, I guess. In fact, if you are a Republican these days, you are suspect.

>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?

>GOP = Tea Party = GOP

March 9, 2010

>Here are some more videos that show without a doubt that the GOP = Tea Party = GOP = Racism = GOP. Racism, by the way, is not just animosity toward blacks from whites. It can also involve hatred toward Latinos or Asians and others.

Exposing the Racism Part 1

Demand an Explanation Part 2 They call Mexicans “filthy stinkin animals.”

The GOP Supports the Teabaggers Part 3

Remember, if they are not like you, they do not like you.

>Roots of Republican Racism II

March 5, 2010

>A few days ago I posted The Roots of Republican Racism, which revealed that just a few years after Republican president Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, the party began the systematic disenfranchisement of the free African Americans.

I guess this is going to become a series because the Republican party of 2010 keeps giving us material. Anyone who follows politics knows that the GOP plays on fear as a way to influence the American public to vote their way. They have denied this, but now with the discovery of their power point playbook denial is useless.

This picture from their presentation is all over the Internet.

Here is the entire presentation in pdf.

(As an aside, what is scary about Scooby Doo? How can he be linked to the “Evil Empire”?)

Such fear tactics were used here in Birmingham when the Teabaggers held a rally in Birmingham late last year.

But the roots of using fear tactics go back at least to 1892, when a Republican newspaper in Washington, DC printed an editorial explaining how things could be if equality for blacks was actually allowed. The column was reprinted in the Tallapoosa Voice in Tallapoosa County, AL, so frighten voters.

Quoting from a Republican newspaper in Washington, D.C., the Voice
warned local whites of the “feast” that awaited them if full citizenship was
allowed for blacks:

More than twenty negro Representatives from the South will render the Republican control of the future Congresses absolutely safe and sure. Heavy taxes should be laid upon the property of the whites to develop and extend the public school system of these States. Separate schools of the two races would be abolished, and the plan of bringing the youth of both colors into close and equal relation in school and churches given a fair trial…The State laws against the intermarriage of the races should be repealed, and any discrimination against the blacks in the matter of learning trades or obtaining employment should be a criminal offence – while the colored man’s rights to hold office should be sacredly protected and recognized.

From – Blackmon, Douglas. Slavery by Another Name. pp 139-140.

Now, granted, most white voters in Alabama at the time might have been Democrats, they used the Republican message to sway the votes, through fear, at least in Tallapoosa county.

The one issue before the white people of Alabama is to maintain the integrity of
the white man’s democratic party. This is the one thing to which party organizers should look. That is the one thing the voter should address himself to.

Tallapoosa Voice, April 7, 1892

From – Blackmon. p 139.

There is no dispute that the powerful Alabama white people of 1892 were racist, after all, just a few years later they wrote our racist and elitist 1901 Alabama Constitution. While Republican racism was documented as far back as 1876 there is no denying the Democrats of the day were just as bad and stayed that way through the “Dixiecats” and on until the 1960’s when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed under the leadership of President Johnson.

Soon after that, racist Democrats left the party and joined the Republican Party and the rest is history, as evidenced by the RNC message seen this week.

>Roots of Republican racism

March 1, 2010

>The Republican Party of 2010 often cites itself as “The party of Lincoln,” in an effort to increase the size of its tent. They even went to far as to hire an African American to be the number 3 guy, (#1 – Rush, #2 – Sarah). Michael Steele is RNC chairman.

In the years after the Civil War ended, Republicans apparently began to re-think their positions (emphasis mine):

But the succeeding years would come as if the masses of poverty stricken whites
and blacks were twin siblings of a parent indulgent to one and venomous to the
other. A new national white consensus began to coalesce against African
Americans with shocking force and speed. The general white public, the
national leadership of the Republican Party
, and the federal government, on
every level were arriving at the conclusion that African Americans did not merit
citizenship and that their freedom was not valuable enough to justify the conflicts they engendered among whites. Blackmon, Douglas; Slavery by Another Name;
pages 86-87.

Blackmon follows with (emphasis mine):

As early as 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union army of liberation, conceded to members of his cabinet that the Fifteenth Amendment,
giving freed slaves the right to vote, had been a mistake: “It had done
the Negro no good, and had been a hindrance to the South, and by no means a
political advantage to the North. Blackmon; p 87.

Grant, of course, was a Republican, first elected in 1868 and re-elected in 1872.

Grant’s 1868 campaign poster, created with early “photoshop,” by superimposing his image onto the platform of the Republican Party. Library of Congress public domain

So just a decade after the Civil War the systematic disenfranchisement of the new franchisee began, under the leadership of the Republican Party. We know where this led. Segregation. Jim Crow. Plessy v. Ferguson. 1901 Alabama Constitution.

It would take a Democratic President (Lyndon Baines Johnson)to lead the way to the breakdown of Jim Crow and separate but equal, with the signing of the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and Brown v Board of Education in 1954).

(As a side note some are trying to re-create the “separate but equal” ideology in relation to same sex marriage, where certainly civil unions and domestic partnerships are not equal to marriage, in spite of what people are saying).

The Republican Party of 1876 has evolved into the Tea Party of 2009/10

Tea party leader Dale Robertson at a Tea Party.

Oh, but that’s not the Republican Party, you say.

Michelle Bachman (Republican – MN) (emphasis mine):

Well, it’s embrace the tea party movement with full arms and hold as many open forums as they possibly can to bring people in and listen to them because the
leadership right now is truly coming from the tea party movement … there’s
no question that the heartbeat of the tea party movement would be more in line
with the mission state of the Republican party certainly than that of the
Democrat party. So if the Republican Party is wise, they will allow
themselves to be re-defined by the tea party movement
. And I hope that
that will be the case.

Here’s a classic picture taken at a Tea Party.

My sources tell me the kid got out alive. “This sign is the brownest thing on this entire block” it reads.

OK. That’s enough for today. But rest assure there will be more.

New feature on Bessemer Opinions. The latest comments are now shown on the left and you can click on them to see the post from which they came. Now if you comment, others are more likely to see them. Isn’t that a good thing?

Update: The comments feature doesn’t seem to be updating as it should. I am going to leave it up and see what it does, but there have been more comments posted today on blog posts from a couple of days ago.

>Western Tribune Column February 10, 2010: Literacy tests

February 10, 2010

>In my never ending mission, the calling out of those who want to damage our country, I wrote this for the Western Tribune column this week. Teabaggers, you are not going to get away with it. American’s are smarter, and fairer, than you think.

I have inserted links of interest.

Western Tribune Column

The Tea Party may have lost any chance of becoming more than a flash in the pan when they allowed Tom Tancredo, a former Republican candidate for president, to address their first convention on their opening night.

Tancredo ran for the 2008 Republican nomination for president with anti-immigration as his number one issue.

At the Tea Party convention on Friday he brought back memories of the “Jim Crow” era as he said that President Obama was elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

Lest there be any doubt what he meant, he followed with, “People who could not spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House — name is Barack Hussein Obama.”

During the Jim Crow era laws reduced the political power as well as the social standing of black citizens.

Literacy tests were used during that era to disenfranchise blacks and poor whites by denying them the right to vote in order to continue wealthy white control. The results are lasting, most notably in that we still live under the 1901 Alabama constitution, put in place by wealthy whites in order to control blacks.

(a 1950’s Alabama voter registration application , an actual literacy test used in Alabama)

The last time a political party with similar ideals about race gained such national attention was when the States Rights Democratic Party, or Dixiecrats, formed in the south in 1948. At that time disgruntled Democrats were fighting to uphold segregation. Now former Republicans (many of whom are former Democrats) are promoting this new class warfare with one aim, stated by Tancredo: stop the black president.

A recent documentary by Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen titled White Power USA, examined the connection between the Tea Party and the white power movement. The connection is there, and it is solid.

It makes one wonder if the decision to locate the Tea Party convention so close to the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan was a coincidence. The KKK was founded in Pulsaski, Tennessee, just after the Civil War ended in an effort to preserve white control in the rapidly changing social environment. Pulaski is about 75 miles south of Nashville.

The American majority of 2010 will turn from this racially charged movement. Remember, the real majority voted for the type of change Obama is pushing, in spite of what the vocal minority is saying. Congress should respond.

>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?

>Drive-by Truckers explore the past, Birmingham votes on the future

January 19, 2010

>This day is very important for the future of Birmingham and the future of our nation.

In Birmingham the voters have the choice of electing Patrick Cooper who has a fresh vision for the city, or William Bell, part of the establishment of the last 30 years.

The difference also is in the attitudes of the supporters of the candidates. Sure, Cooper has the support of many in the LGBT community and progressive whites, and these are some of the people he has surrounded himself with.

Bell, on the other hand, has the support of Frank Matthews, who has put out divisive and homophobic campaign materials in an attempt to promote hatred and fear and divide the people of Birmingham.

The future of the nation may depend on the results of the special election in Massachusetts, where Martha Coakley and Scott Brown are fighting for the senate seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy. Brown’s campaign is being promoted by teabaggers and it looks like he has a chance to win.

If he should win, teabaggers from the across the nation will feel emboldened and no telling what will happen. But whatever, we will have to deal with it.

That being said, I think Patrick Cooper will be the next mayor of Birmingham, and Martha Coakley will be the new senator from Massachusetts. But the elections will be close.

Check out this video featuring Drive-by Truckers.

It tells of story of the racist past in Alabama from the viewpoint of Patterson Hood, one of the band members. “The Three Great Alabama Icons” and “George Wallace” are from their album, “Southern Rock Opera.” h/t to mooncat. And, h/t to Matt Osborne.

It’s interesting how some people who grew up here had to leave the state to see what was really going on. Read a writeup about the album from Patterson Hood.

“We began writing the Southern Rock Opera some years ago. We wanted to examine people’s misconceptions of the South, and study some modern-day southern mythology.”

>Racism Still Hanging On in Birmingham

February 3, 2009

>

Racism is still a presence in the Birmingham area (see the picture below).

We spent Saturday at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Baptist Church at “Celebrate Unity,” the New Baptist Covenant event, where we heard Wayne Flynt speak and lead a discussion on the origins of poverty in Alabama and in the world. Later we heard President Jimmy Carter speak and remind us that if we, as individuals, would just love God, and love the person standing in front (or beside) us, then the world would be a much better place.

The New Baptist Covenant is all about bringing black Baptists and white Baptists together to address the problems that face our country today. Poverty, for instance. As an example of working together, 16th Street Baptist has paired up with Vestavia Hills Baptist and share in worship and ministries.


You cannot go into the 16th Street Baptist Church without being reminded of the history of the place. Even if the four girls were not killed there the building would still be a historic site, being the oldest black church in the city and a place where numerous meetings occurred during the civil rights struggle.

Here is a picture of the stained glass window, which, had the face of Jesus blown out during the bombing.

So in Birmingham the Baptists are promoting unity, but a day of celebration cannot hide the fact that racists are still among us. This was photographed recently where it could be seen from I-65 near Green Springs Avenue.

One person’s comment in the email that I received this in was “Some of these idiots still show their cowardice ignorance by hiding behind sheets and cloaks of darkness…..”

There is still so much work to be done. One thing we can rely on, though, is that the old racists are slowly dying off. The young people, for the most part, reject the hatred of the previous generations. The world is becoming a better place.

>Birmingham Interstates

January 26, 2009

>A couple of weeks ago I posted this about Inaugural Festivities and in the comments, in defense of Birmingham’s $50,000 party, I wrote this:

“Since taxpayer money went toward spraying fire hoses at Birmingham residents, and toward police dogs attacking children who wanted their rights, and taxpayer money went to build an interstate that was designed to break up neighborhoods and destroy as many black churches as possible, don’t you think we can use a little taxpayer money to show how far Birmingham has come? “

Another comment followed by a retired Highway Department employee who wrote this (and more…go read):

“I am retired from the Ala Dept of Transportation (Highway Dept). The comment above about the interstate system targeting black communities and trying to break up black churches is a complete myth…”

I responded with some quotes from some research done by Raymond Mohl, a UAB professor who has studied the situation extensively, including (from this document ):

“In Birmingham, Alabama, where three interstates intersected, a black citizen’s committee complained to the Alabama state highway department and the BPR in 1960 that proposed interstate freeways “would almost completely wipe out two old Negro communities [in] eastern Birmingham with their 13 churches and three schools.” “

and

“The route had been chosen by the Alabama state highway department and approved by the Bureau of Public Roads, Whitton wrote, “based on a thorough evaluation of all engineering, economic, and sociological factors involved.” If that was the case, then it would seem that the destruction of the Birmingham black community was indeed a planned event.” “

Now it doesn’t take a genius to understand what “sociological factors” means in reference to 1950’s and 60’s Birmingham.

But I knew there was another reference, and I found it in “The Most Segregated City in America” City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980, by Charles E. Connerly, a professor at Florida State University. (The book can be found at the Birmingham Public Library , several branches have copies, and you can have one delivered to the branch near you by going to the library web site and pasting the book name in the search engine and just follow the directions.)

This book explains the racial zoning regulations that we had to live with since the 1920’s. African Americans were greatly restricted in where they could live in Birmingham. The book has maps that show the areas zoned for blacks.

The book also shows show show the original interstate plan for I-59 through Birmingham took a straight route, bypassing black neighborhoods, but how curves were added which allowed the interstate to bisect several black communities, and form a barrier between black and white neighborhoods in other areas. Oddly enough, these interstate “barriers,” on I-65 as well as I-59, fall along the same racial zoning lines that had been declared unconstitutional.

Areas in particular where black neighborhoods were destroyed include Ensley where the interstate cuts off part of Tuxedo Junction and separates that area from Ensley Highlands, the white neighborhood (of the time) to the south.

Also, in east Birmingham, a ridiculous curve was added to I-59 in order to bypass (white) Woodlawn (a route favored by the Woodlawn Chamber of Commerce). This created a dangerous sharp turn in the interstate that requires slowing. I’m sure you have driven that stretch. Your lives are jeopardized because of targeting black neighborhoods to save white neighborhoods.

“In 1960, Mrs. Lala Palmer, a resident of eastern Birmingham and spokesperson for a community organization there, publicly decried the “many curves and twists” of the proposed interstate that resulted in the bisection of the East Birmingham and East Lake black neighborhoods. Her preferred alternative, she noted “is practically straight, yet both routes begin at essentially the same point and end at the same point.” According to a telegram Mrs. Palmer sent to the Alabama Highway Department, the impact of the “curves and twists” was that the interstate “would almost completely wipe out two old Negro communities [in] eastern Birmingham with their 13 churches and three schools.” (Connerly page 159)

It is worth noting that her suggested route approximates the original Alabama Highway Department and U. S. Bureau of Public Roads planned routes.

While the book repeatedly states that “no evidence” has been uncovered that these things were purposely done, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that with the racial climate in Birmingham at the time and an Alabama Highway Department director who was a known KKK* member, that racial issues were part of these decision.

*”A notorious racist, Alabama’s state highway director Samuel Englehardt served simultaneously as a high level officer of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and of the White Citizen’s Council, which organized against school integration.” (Mohl)

We have to live with the decisions of leaders of the past, whether we like it or not. Bringing this up is not to incite but rather to educate and learn. We can learn from our history…in this case we should learn that creating barriers and divisions, whether physical (such as zoning laws and interstates) or psychological (such as policies that create second class citizens out of GLBT persons) is wrong. Like unjust, un-Christian, unconstitutional and unfair. Fortunately, we have a leader now in Washington that understands that.