Know your history: Understanding Racism In The US|Black History| From Al Jazeera

Know your history: Understanding racism in the US

“And then you might understand how the death of Michael Brown became a tipping point in the US.”

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An African American woman yells ‘Freedom’ when asked to shout so loud it will be heard all over the world at the March on Washington in August 1963 [Express Newspapers/Getty Images/File]

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There will never be an acceptable explanation for what happened between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson in Ferguson but we will never fully grasp why the stage was set for such an encounter unless we know American history.

We cannot fully comprehend why Dylan Roof murdered nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston unless we study the Civil War and the Confederacy.

We cannot truly fathom how a minor traffic stop in Cincinnati could result in a white campus police officer blowing out the brains of an unarmed black man unless we delve into the role race has played in law enforcement from the enactment of the federal Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 to today’s mandatory minimum sentencing statutes.

Examining American history provides us with the tools to analyse how the death of Michael Brown and the demonstrations on Florrisant Avenue became a tipping point and sparked a movement. Connecting the dots between the past and the present helps us to see the origins of our current national debate – about race, police misconduct, white supremacy, white privilege, inequality, incarceration and the unfinished equal rights agenda.

The pendulum

A colour-coded map illustrates the ‘Free States,’ ‘Slave Holding States,’ and ‘Territories Open To Slavery Under The Principle Of Popular Sovereignty,’. It was published in 1898 [Getty Images]

The history of people of African descent in America – which is to say the history of America – is a pendulum of progress and setbacks, of resilience and retaliation, of protest and backlash. There have been allies and there have been opponents. There have been demagogues, who would divide Americans on the basis of colour and class, and visionaries who would seek to lead us to common ground.

Image Map

The quest for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has been an American aspiration since the Declaration of Independence, but black Americans, Native Americans and women were not at the table in 1776. Forty of the 56 signers owned other people.

Lest there be any doubt about where the young nation’s sentiments lay, the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision made clear that people of African descent – whether enslaved or free – would not be considered American citizens and had no legal standing in the courts. It mattered not that some of their grandfathers had served in George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

Last month in Washington, DC, at the third annual March on Washington Film Festival, Clarence B Jones, a confidant and personal legal counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr., said “a definitive discussion and description of the institution of slavery, the concomitant supporting ideology of white supremacy and the impact it has had on subsequent generations” are missing from the history curriculum of most American high schools and colleges.

Without that knowledge, he said, it is impossible to understand America today.

“Our history has never taught the centrality of race as the key barometer to how well we are doing with the American Experiment,” added Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor Branch that same evening. “If you don’t have race at the forefront of an investigation of how America is fulfilling its goals, then something is wrong. And unfortunately right now we are paying the price for 50 years of trying to avoid and hide that subject.”

Indeed every time we see another video – of Sandra Bland, of Freddie Gray, of Tamir Rice – we witness the horrifying evidence of our national failure to confront this legacy.

What used to be called “the Negro problem”, really is a matter of the intransigence of white supremacists who are mired in the past.

Slavery was not the benign, paternalistic system described in the history textbooks of my youth. Instead, it was a brutal, often sadistic, form of domination over the bodies and minds of people who were kidnapped, whipped, beaten and raped. Generations of human beings toiled against their will without pay or legal rights.

For 246 years – from 1619, when 20 Africans were forced into indentured servitude in Jamestown, Virginia, until the end of the Civil War in 1865 – most people of African descent in America were enslaved. Those who had purchased or otherwise been granted their freedom lived a precarious, circumscribed existence.

Slavery and the slave trade were essential to the American economy and to the development of American capitalism, especially after Native Americans were driven off their ancestral land in the Deep South in the 1830s to make way for vast cotton plantations. The wealth of the nation was inextricably dependent upon uncompensated labour, which enriched not only the planters, but universities, banks, textile mills, ship owners and insurance companies, who held policies on their bodies. To settle a debt, an owner merely needed to sell one of his slaves.

By 1850, enslaved Americans, who were listed in their owners’ inventory ledgers alongside cattle and farm equipment, were worth $1.3bn or one-fifth of the nation’s wealth. When the first shot of the Civil War was fired at Fort Sumter in April 1861, the value of that human collateral exceeded $3bn and was worth more than the nation’s banks, railroads, mills and factories combined. Now numbering four million souls, they were, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has written, America’s “greatest financial asset”.

Immediately after the Civil War, during the hopeful, but brief period of Reconstruction, black people were finally recognised as citizens with rights. But just as quickly as the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments abolished slavery, provided equal protection under the law and granted black men the right to vote, Reconstruction ended with retaliatory Redemption.

When federal troops abandoned their posts in the South after the Compromise of 1877, the defeated Confederates regrouped as the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camellia. They regained control of their workforce, not by owning them, but by circumscribing their lives through terror, violence and voter suppression.


READ MORE: Reflections of a former white supremacist


In Louisiana, the number of registered black voters plummeted from 130,334 in 1896 to 5,320 in 1898. Fraudulent voting schemes pushed black elected officials from state legislatures and from Congress. During the late 19th century, there were 20 black members of Congress . When North Carolina’s George Henry White left in 1901, there would not be another until 1928, when Oscar DePriest was elected in Chicago. For virtually the first half of the 20th century the 15th Amendment had no value for blacks in the former Confederate states, where they were denied the right to vote through the cynical artifice of poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather clauses.

Jim Crow laws and Black Codes obliterated Reconstruction wins and codified racially based discrimination. The sharecropping system, which left black farmers in debt at the end of every harvest, was equivalent to slavery. Black children were allowed to attend school only during times of the year when there were no farm chores to do. Historian Rayford Logan called the period “nadir of American race relations”.

Those who got too uppity were lynched, firebombed in their homes and chased from land they owned.

In 1915, DW Griffith’s technically groundbreaking movie, Birth of a Nation, glorified the Klan and fed the trope of black inferiority and criminality. Around the same time, a migration wave began that would eventually see more than six million black Americans flee the brutality and deprivation of the South for the relative freedom of the North and the West.

Four years later, when black soldiers returned from World War I military duty in France, they were attacked during the “Red Summer” as resentful whites instigated riots in at least 34 cities, from Chicago and Washington, DC to Memphis and Charleston. Their goal was to put men who had received France’s Croix de Guerre back in their place as the Klan had done after Reconstruction. The NAACP investigated and black newspapers editorialised. During the succeeding decades – through the Depression, the New Deal and World War II – the pendulum continued to swing between progress and setbacks.

The attitudes that informed Jim Crow laws and discriminatory public policy existed in the North as well as the South. The results are evident today in major American cities, where banks refused loans to black home buyers in the 1950s and 1960s, literally drawing on maps red lines around predominantly black neighbourhoods and ensuring that those homes would not appreciate in value at the same rate as comparable white neighbourhoods.

In 1957, when my parents were ready to finance a new home in an all-black development of newly constructed residences in a suburb of Indianapolis, they were unable to secure a loan from any of the city’s large banks. Both were college graduates and business executives. Our neighbours were doctors, teachers, coaches, plumbers, entrepreneurs, realtors, nurses, ministers, architects, insurance salesmen and carpenters. Many of the men were veterans of World War II and the Korean War and therefore eligible for the GI Bill’s home loan guaranty. In other words, people who normally would have had no trouble qualifying for mortgages. Instead, they went to Mammoth Life Insurance, a black-owned insurance company then based in Louisville, Kentucky, for their loans.

In 1954, the Supreme Court’s Brown v Board of Education decision struck down so-called separate but equal education and mandated that American schools be racially integrated. As a post-Brown v Board child, I always attended integrated schools, encountering the occasional racist, but, like my parents, rolling with the punches, keeping perspective and finding progressive kindred spirits in the process. But in many communities – both in the South and the North – the diehard segregationists responded with paranoia and bitterness, decrying the evils of race-mixing and miscegenation.

In 1957, nine students at Little Rock High School were harassed and spit upon. In 1963, Alabama governor George Wallace tried, but failed, to block the enrollment of Vivian Malone and James Hood. Across the South, federal troops were called in to facilitate the process.

For a time, it seemed that American schools might be integrated, but that pendulum soon began to move in the other direction as all-white academies opened. Today, most Americans are enlightened enough not to oppose interracial marriage and are much more tolerant than their grandparents and great-grandparents, but American public schools in most areas are more segregated than ever, as Nikole Hannah-Jones’ April 2014 ProPublica investigation of Tuscaloosa, Alabama schools so well illustrated.

Pressure from Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, thousands of activists and a powerful cadre of civil rights leaders combined with the political muscle and willingness of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to push for critical legislation during the mid-1960s. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting and firing. Today, our workplaces are undoubtedly more diverse than they were in the 1950s, with more people of colour employed as physicians, firefighters, attorneys, journalists, investment bankers and professors. But it is still true that when a white person and a black person with comparable credentials apply for a job, the white person is more likely to be hired.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed poll taxes and made it possible for thousands of formerly disenfranchised black Americans to vote. Now, throughout America, there are thousands of people of colour who are city council members, mayors, members of Congress, on school boards and of course, now in the White House. During the last two presidential elections, black voters turned out in record numbers because they were motivated and because many of the old obstacles to voting had been removed.

But a backlash has developed in that arena, too. Two years ago, in Shelby County v Holder, the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, removing the “preclearance” provisions that required states   with a history of voter discrimination to seek permission for changes to electoral procedures. Despite no evidence of significant voter fraud, Republican legislators immediately passed new voter ID laws  that groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the Advancement Project argue will suppress voter turnout among black, Latino, elderly and young voters, who are more likely to vote for Democrats.

President Barack Obama‘s election in 2008 and re-election in 2012 provided evidence ofhow much the nation has changed in the last half a century . While arrival of the “post-racial” era was much overstated and a result of magical thinking, Americans rightly celebrated the progress on Inauguration Day 2009. The high of the moment, though, was accompanied by the rise of the Tea Party and the reminder of the strain of white supremacy that is baked into the American DNA.

Rattled by the presence of a black family in the White House, “birthers” emerged and fabricated a myth that America’s first black president – by some amazing feat of molecular transference – had been born not in Hawaii, where his mother was located at the time, but in Kenya. In this age of social media, Youtube and cable television, their illogical stories took flight, promulgated not just by the poorly educated prone to conspiracy theories, but by people who clearly knew better.


READ MORE: A photographic journey through race and racism in the US


When the past isn’t past

A man holds a Confederate flag as demonstrators, including one carrying a sign saying ‘More than 300,000 Negroes are Denied Vote in Ala’, demonstrate in front of an Indianapolis hotel where then-Alabama Governor George Wallace was staying [Bob Daugherty/AP/File]

William Faulkner famously said, “The past is not dead. It is not even past”. This is certainly true when it comes to the Civil War. Most credible scholars and historians agree that slavery was the root cause of the war, whether they focus on the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854, President Lincoln’s election in 1860 or a myriad of other events and factors. But for an adamant segment of the American population the reason for “The Late Unpleasantness” remains in dispute, 150 years after Confederate General Robert E Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse.

Five years ago, the Pew Research Center found that nearly half – 48 percent – of those polled believed “states’ rights” was the main cause of the war, compared to 38 percent who thought that it was slavery. Particularly disturbing is that 60 percent of respondents under the age of 30 selected the states’ rights option.

One suspects the current Red States/Blue States polarisation – where Republican-controlled legislatures resist federal programmes like the Affordable Care Act in the name of “states’ rights” – has seeped into the historical debate and conflated the past with the present.

There is so much to remind us that the past is neither dead, nor past.

Later this month, when five million Texas students return to school, they will be learning American history from a syllabus that equivocates about the reasons for the Civil War.

“Slavery was a side issue to the Civil War,” declared Texas State Board of Education member Pat Hardy, when the board adopted highly politicised standards in 2010. “There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.”

This intentionally and unapologetically ideological approach to curriculum development is akin to educational malpractice. By misinforming children, they are failing to prepare them for the very diverse world, not only that they will inherit, but in which they already live. They might as well tell them that the stork brings babies or that tooth fairies put dollars under their pillows.

In fact, the “states’ rights” that Hardy holds so dear are the states’ rights that defended segregation in the 1950s and 1960s, with complaints about “outside agitators,” Freedom Riders and other young activists who registered voters, sat at lunch counters and integrated public facilities. To the degree that states’ rights factored into causing the Civil War, it was the effort to preserve the right to continue slavery and the desire for western territories to enter the Union as states where slavery was legal. States’ rights was aboutthe planters’ prerogative to own other people rather than some highly principled constitutional debate.

When those states seceded from the union, their reasons were quite precise. Mississippi’s declaration of secession could not have been clearer, in fact: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world … a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilisation.”

Texas was equally as direct: ” We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race.”

Among the popular slogans on t-shirts at Civil War battle re-enactments and Confederate flag rallies are “Know your history” and “If this shirt offends you, you need a history lesson”.

Many of the people who agree with those sentiments will say that their ancestors were in the states’ rights camp and that they didn’t own enslaved people. In truth “more than half of the Confederate officers in 1861 owned slaves,” writes historian Joseph Glatthaar, author of General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse. As young army recruits, only a few of the enlisted men personally owned anyone, but more than a third of them were members of slave-owning families. And as young white men in America, they all benefitted from membership in a society which prospered from the system of slavery.


READ MORE: Racism in the US: What if your identity was a lie?


A nation of contradictions

A memorial plaque at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins and Carole Robertson were killed in a bombing at the church in 1963 [AP/File]

Because Dylan Roof displayed the Confederate Battle Flag and drew inspiration from fellow white supremacists as he planned his attack on Emanuel Church, many people have begun to re-examine their attachment to the flag. When they are honest, they must admit that the history of the Confederacy does not equal the history of the South. A flag that was resurrected in 1962 and unfurled at the University of Mississippi to oppose James Meredith’s enrollment and that was beloved by members of the Klan and the White Citizens Council is fraught with dastardly symbolism. So when someone says it is about “heritage, not hate,” it seems they have been duped or that they do not really know the actual heritage they profess to admire.

Inseparable from the ‘heritage’ that reveres family member who fought on the losing side of the Civil War, is the evil of a system and an economy that relied on slave labour for two and a half centuries, then on codified inequality for another 100 years,

“I am proud of the culture, grace and elegance of the Old South, of our heritage of courage, honour, chivalry, respect for womanhood, patriotism, and of duty to God and country,” a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans rhapsodised several years ago in an essay. “I love the Confederate Flag and ‘Dixie’ as stirring symbols of that heritage.”

Far be it from me to question another person’s affection for his ancestors. But I can’t help but note that all that “culture, grace and elegance” that occurred, no doubt, under fragrant magnolia blossoms, would not have been possible without the labour of those millions of unpaid people who worked not just from sun up to sun down, but through the night, to preserve that Disney-fied version of reality.

It would be easier to believe this symbol was unrelated to a desire for white supremacy if it weren’t so frequently sported by people who also have swastika tattoos and wear Nazi paraphernalia. And if their social media comments comments didn’t so closely correlate with hate group mentality. It would be easier to believe that this fealty for the Confederate flag was all about family pride if the provenance of its popularity were different.

Soon after General Lee surrendered, he took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and advised his compatriots to do the same.

“Lee did not want such divisive symbols following him to the grave,” wrote Jonathan Horn in the Daily Beast earlier this year. “At his funeral in 1870, flags were noticeably absent from the procession. Former Confederate soldiers marching did not don their old military uniforms, and neither did the body they buried. ‘His Confederate uniform would have been ‘treason’ perhaps!’ Lee’s daughter wrote.”

“Racial ignorance is a prison from which there is no escape because there are no doors,” Toni Morrison said at Portland State in 1975 . “And there are old, old men and old, old women who need to believe in their racism…They are in prisons of their own construction. But you must know the truth. That you are free.”

Fortunately, there also are young Americans who wish not to be associated with this ignorance. Earlier this year, before the murders in South Carolina, the University of Texas’ student government passed a resolution demanding the removal of a statue of the Confederate States of America president, Jefferson Davis. It took the massacre at Emanuel Church to finally shame the South Carolina legislature into removing the Confederate Battle Flag from the statehouse grounds, but at least that has happened. In response, there have been more than 130 pro-flag rallies, but the demonstrators look more marginalised each time they gather.

Since the election of President Obama, those who resent him have taken to talking about “traditional Americans,” by which they mean white Americans of European descent. This view reeks of old time white supremacy and a willful amnesia about the reality of American history.

Congress outlawed the importation of enslaved Africans in 1808, which means the majority of African Americans are descended from people who were here long before many European Americans – especially the large waves of Irish, German, Italian and Jewish immigrants who came between 1820 and 1920.

For all those many years, those people of African descent were planting rice, picking tobacco, baling cotton and building levees, but also starting businesses, founding churches, performing surgery and more.  At the US Capitol, where they worked as carpenters, stone masons, plasterers, painters and labourers, their owners were compensated for their work  though they were not. For as long as African Americans have been in America, they have played a role in its development. They are as “traditional” in their longevity and their worthiness as anyone else. In fact, America would not be America without them.

But when one segment of the population convinces itself that it has a more legitimate claim to being ‘American,’ it follows that they will think their lives are more valuable and more important. When they convince themselves that black and brown people are ‘takers’ rather than producers, they feel justified in disrespecting them,  incarcerating them and disenfranchising them.

When public policy is based on lies and misconceptions, a mentality emerges that “those people” are undeserving. It allows the Darren Wilsons of the world to convince themselves that they are victims. And it follows that the Michael Browns of the world not only do not matter, but are the victimisers.

We are a nation of contradictions. We continue to fight the same battles over and over, decade after decade, generation after generation without facing reality. We put band aids on lacerations and hope the cancer of racial hatred won’t recur.

Once again, we are at a pivotal moment. The pendulum is moving. It is as clear as it has ever been that what we know about our history shapes the way we think of ourselves, the way we think of our government and the way we treat our fellow Americans. What we know about history and what we know about current events shapes public policy. When we are misinformed, we make poor decisions.

We have come to this place because a generation of activists who lived through the Freedom Rides, the march on Selma and the traumas and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement are determined that they will not have the gains they made trampled upon. When they gathered for the March on Washington anniversary on the Mall in August 2013, they wondered who the new foot soldiers would be. They know the battle has always been fought on so many fronts by lawyers and scholars, by journalists and ministers, by community organisers and teachers. But at the March on Washington Film Festival this summer, they were heartened that a generation of young activists had emerged. DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie of We The Protestors. Bree Newsome who climbed the flagpole in Columbia, South Carolina. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi who founded the Black Lives Matter movement. And many, many more.

Michael Brown’s corpse on the scorching pavement on August 9, 2014 forced America to pay attention just as Emmett Till’s bloated body grabbed the nation in the summer of 1955. The shootings at Emanuel Church felt much too much like the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist church in Birmingham in 1963. The tanks and armoured personnel carriers on Florissant Avenue reminded us of Bull Connor’s hoses and attack dogs.  Americans of good will could no longer retreat into their comfort zones and pretend that there were not consequences for us all.

Michael Brown and all the others who died before him and who have died since made it impossible for us to look away. And that has changed everything.

A’Lelia Bundles is a former network television news producer and executive. She is the author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, a biography of her great-great-grandmother.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy. 

This article first appeared in a special edition of the Al Jazeera Magazine exploring race in the US. Download it for iPads and iPhones  here , and for Android devices  here .

Source: Al Jazeera

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After Trayvon And Into The future

I am a man, I have the right to bear arms and defend my Castle and I can stand my ground if I am threatened away from that domain and I will kill without a conscious if necessary. What about that do we not understand, it is time out for marching and singing. We as men and women have to be responsible for our lives and those loves that are dependent on us. Stop buying bling and $1000 hand bags and buy a good handgun also get your license to carry a gun. This is Texas everybody packing except you, I know you are a law abiding citizen and the Lord will take care of you. Well the Lord gave you a brain such that you can reason, would you walk into a hornet’s nest and wait for the Lord to save you, well i say not unless you are Daniel or Moses. Tea Baggers keep talking about the government gonna take our gun, hell that is code talk for get armed and you had better do the same damn thing. I am not preaching war, I love all men and women that come in peace, but I will sleep the first MF that is out of line and intends to bring harm to me or mine.

I read an article today where Zimmerman and his lawyers were scared, well they have a right to be scared and I am not talking Salman Rushdie scurd either, I am talking war zone scurd. There are some mad MF out there that definitely are not thinking about the court system making this thing right, that are about vigilante justice. So yes, be scurd, I am not saying be bitch scurd, of course we all know Zimmerman has already mastered that. I am saying there is a thing called Kevlar and he better become very acquainted with it. Some say why he need to be on guard, the African American is a passive group, when things go bad for them they march and sing. I am saying the natives are restless and so damn angry and frustrated they are killing each other.

I was born in a time of turmoil in America, but we as a whole came thru it..as a matter of fact things were pretty peaceful for the majority of the days of my life in East Texas. There were no major riots, no water hoses or dogs turned on the citizens by the police, none of that. but let it be known there was no secret that the better things of life were set aside for that part of the population that were not darker than blue. Everyone knew that with education the race would advance and the country as a whole would be all the better for it. things went along pretty good until 2008 then Barack Obama became President and that old BS came out the jar again. My advice is to put that racism and hatred back into that jar and slam the door on Pandora’s Box because the lid has only been cracked and nothing good has come out of it yet.

Many wonder what is all the uproar about. What is it They want now. Well, if you do not know, you have been walking under a veil of false security and I know that is not the case or you would wonder into those areas you know to stay the hell out of. Yes, I am talking about those seedy areas, those areas that make even the brave me, lock my doors and make sure the heat is within reach while the car is still rolling. Do not act like you don’t know, you know that area where you try to make your domicile as far as possible away from. This area is not a race it is a culture and that culture is fed by a society in total denial, that endures that this underbelly remains a permanent part of life as we know it. How you might say, well as long as there is inadequate schooling, and disproportionate dispersal of good and service including jobs, this underbelly swells like a pregnant roach and gives birth to more and more of the same populous.

There is a murmur in the air of what President Obama should do, what he has done or has not done for the African American Community. Hold UP! What the hell have you done?! Don’t, you think that if there are more jobs across America there will be more jobs for every citizen that has prepared his or herself for that opportunity. Sitting on your ass complaining, with your damn pants sagging below your ass is not gonna get your ass anywhere. Who the hell you think is going to hire you, looking like a fool and thinking you cool, while talking in a language that is incomprehensible to the majority of those in position to make a difference in your economic condition. What the hell you think somebody owe your ass something? Hell, the Government is passing out money in loans and grants like a man with his artery severed and all your ass want to do is get the money and buy cars, guns, and bling. GTFOH, ain’t no love here for that kind of thinking, I would not hire your sorry ass to mow my damn yard.

About us African Americans, we got to do better. Do you, the generation younger than 50, actually think we risk our lives for you to look like a fool, act like a fool, and waste your life like a fool? It is time for you to get a grip and realize what life is about, know what your responsibilities to society are, and what your responsibility as a sperm donor or absorber are. Walking around here making babies like it’s your job then walking away to do it all over again. Get a clue man, that is your blood. Your responsibility, and those responsibilities are far reaching. You might not be a rocket scientist, but be something, if it is nothing more than a handyman. Handymen start business and become successful business owners. You might not have prepared yourself in the first half of your life, but all is not lost, get off your ass and do something. Consider learning a trade or if you are astute enough go get a grant or loan, go back to school. This is the time to prepare yourself for the oncoming industrial buildup for the future, but you do not have forever to do it. The President is having hell getting Jobs Bills, farm Bills, infrastructure bills, or whatever it is passed to get the economy going, so get ready, the next building revolution is coming. Jobs of the future will be much different than they are today, or should I say today’s jobs will not give you the standard of living you desire. Do not be sagging and hanging and getting your record screwed up, use this time to better yourself.

Now, this group of misfits between the age of 25 and 35 you have proven to be a wasted rolled in the hay, how the hell the sperm that made you beat the other thousand is a total mystery to me, maybe you will come into your own before it is too damn late. The young women are selling blowjobs like it is a million dollar industry, while the deadbeat dads just wait fir you to get your money for they can buy big tires to go on their cars. What are you doing? You are entertainment on the court shows and the laughing stock on the “Baby Daddy Shows”. What is that all about? I’m mad at Zimmerman, but he was out there hunting a boogieman and woman that he felt if exterminated would make the world a lot better place for him and his chosen people to live. If they had gone for insanity I would have been less angry, but it is what it is.

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Looking Back Before We Move Forward ~ Part V1

As the Indian wars period ended another issue start to weight heavily on the American conciseness, what to do about slavery?.  The slaves had become one of the major issues of debate and it was not going away peacefully.  America was ready to explode like a powder keg, all it needed was a spark.  That spark came when the States started to suffer from a massive overload of manpower and a lessening need of their services.  the cotton gin and tractors were the new slave for the American dream and Negros became an in necessary burden upon the farmer and landowners.  One thing had not changed though, the Caucasian remained as lazy and as entitled as he always had been so he again went to work at a new kind of slavery called share cropping and the minimum wage.  This idea would prosper as long as there was a vast population that were on the verge of collapse.  This under educated under paid population was housed in quarters which later were replaced by the ghettos of present day America.  There is a plan behind the provitization of this underclass, anything illegal can become profit in a population such as this and he who has the resources controls the masses in this group.  From here all types of crime are incubated here from drugs, black market sales, prostitution,  and the grandfather of them all gang activities. The African American would have become as ruthless as today’s youth many years ago if it was not their early teachings in Christianity.

From this background and strong Christian values came Rev. Martin Luther King, Rev Jesse Jackson, Reverend Joseph Lowery, and many more ministers and religious leaders to keep the movement going in a direction to avoid direct confrontation with the US Military.  For this group of Civil Rights leaders were walking a very dangerous line that could have very easily fallen victim to John Edgar Hoover’s and McCarty’s Communist Witch hunts.

The
late 50’s and 60’s was a time of turmoil in the US, as a matter of fact
it was America’s 2nd Civil War, only this time it was fought with a
mixture of weapons, guns, marching, water hoses, dogs, and the First
Amendment. 

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Looking Back Before We Move Forward ~ Part V

http://www.who2.com/

Attorney Thurgood Marshall led the civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
to a successful hearing at the Supreme Court of the United States in
1954. He became the court’s first African-American justice 13 years
later. The descendant of slaves, Marshall graduated from all-black Linv. Board of Education of Topeka
to a successful hearing at the Supreme Court of the United States in
1954. He became the court’s first African-American justice 13 years
later. The court’s first African-American justice 13 years later. The
descendant of slaves, Marshall graduated from all-black Lincoln
University in Pennsylvania in 1930, then received a law degree from
Howard University in 1933. He opened his own law practice in Baltimore
and became known as a lawyer who would speak up for the rights of
African-Americans; this led him to a job with the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1936. He spent more
than two decades with the NAACP, gaining his greatest fame for the case
of Brown v. Board of Education from 1952-54. When the Supreme Court
ruled in 1954 that "Separate educational facilities are inherently
unequal," Marshall and the NAACP won a great victory for civil rights.


Marshall was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) in
1961, then appointed to the post of solicitor general in 1965 by
President Lyndon Johnson.
Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court itself in 1967, where he
served for 24 years before he retired in 1991. Marshall, known as a
liberal throughout his tenure, was replaced on the court by
conservative African-American Clarence Thomas (appointed by President George H. W. Bush). Marshall died of heart failure two years later.

Extra credit:
Texas Southern University School of Law was renamed the Thurgood
Marshall School of Law in his honor in 1976… Marshall replaced Tom C.
Clark on the Supreme Court… Marshall was married twice: to the former
Vivian Burey (from 1929 until her death in 1955) and to Cecilia Suyat
(from 1955 until his death)… Marshall is buried in Arlington National
Cemetery.

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Looking Back Before We Move Forward ~ Part IV

Let, get back on track and take a look at why and who was in charge of the domestic policies in the US.  Let us look at a few of the Presidents during the last 200 years. First, who and what is a democrat and exactly what do democrats stand for?  I will start with John Quincy Adams the last of the true backers of America’s cast system till the present.  We must understand that the ideology and makeup of the Republican Party has changed drastically since Lincoln.  As a matter of fact what was then the Republican Party is now the Democratic Party.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president (1861–1865)

The party was created in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act that would have allowed the expansion of slavery into Kansas. Their first official party meeting was held on July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan.
Besides opposition to the expansion of slavery, the new party put
forward a progressive vision of modernizing the United States —
emphasizing higher education, banking, railroads, industry and cities,
while promising free homesteads to farmers. In this way, their economic
philosophy was similar to the Whig Party‘s. Its initial base was in the Northeast and Midwest. The Party nominated Abraham Lincoln and ascended to power in the election of 1860. The party fought for the Union in the American Civil War and presided over Reconstruction. In the election of 1864 a majority of Republicans united with pro-war Democrats to nominate Lincoln to the National Union Party ticket. A faction of Radical Republicans split with the party and formed the Radical Democracy Party. This group chose John C. Fremont as its presidential candidate, before reaching a political agreement and withdrawing from the election in September 1864.

The party’s success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those disturbed by Ulysses S. Grant ran Horace Greeley for the presidency against him. The Stalwarts defended the spoils system; the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The GOP supported big business generally, hard money (i.e., the gold standard), high tariffs, and generous pensions for Union veterans, and the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans supported the Protestants who demanded Prohibition.
As the Northern post-bellum economy boomed with heavy and light
industry, railroads, mines, fast-growing cities and prosperous
agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to
sustain the fast growth. But by 1890, the Republicans had agreed to the
Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers. The high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections, even defeating McKinley himself.

After the two terms of Democrat Grover Cleveland, the election of William McKinley in 1896 is widely seen as a resurgence of Republican dominance and is sometimes cited as a realigning election. McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Panic of 1893,
and that the GOP would guarantee a sort of pluralism in which all
groups would benefit. The Republicans were cemented as the party of
business, though mitigated by the succession of Theodore Roosevelt who embraced trust-busting. He later ran on a third party ticket of the Progressive Party and challenged his previous successor William Howard Taft. The party controlled the presidency throughout the 1920s, running on a platform of opposition to the League of Nations, high tariffs, and promotion of business interests. Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were resoundingly elected in 1920, 1924, and 1928 respectively. The Teapot Dome scandal
threatened to hurt the party but Harding died and Coolidge blamed
everything on him, as the opposition splintered in 1924. The
pro-business policies of the decade seemed to produce an unprecedented
prosperity until the Wall Street Crash of 1929 heralded the Great Depression.

The New Deal coalition
of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt controlled American politics for most
of the next three decades, excepting the two-term presidency of
Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. African Americans
began moving toward favoring the Democratic Party during Roosevelt’s
time. After Roosevelt took office in 1933, New Deal legislation sailed
through Congress at lightning speed. In the 1934 midterm elections, 10
Republican senators went down to defeat, leaving them with only 25
against 71 Democrats. The House of Representatives was split in a
similar ratio. The "Second New Deal" was heavily criticized by the
Republicans in Congress, who likened it to class warfare and socialism.
The volume of legislation, and the inability of the Republicans to
block it, soon made the opposition to Roosevelt develop into
bitterness. Conservative Democrats, mostly from the South, joined with
Republicans led by Senator Robert Taft to create the conservative coalition, which dominated domestic issues in Congress until 1964.

The second half of the 20th century saw election of Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. The Republican Party, led by House Republican Minority Whip Newt Gingrich campaigning on a Contract with America, were elected to majorities to both houses of Congress in the Republican Revolution
of 1994. Their majorities were generally held until the Democrats
regained control in the mid-term election of 2006. In the 21st century
the Republican Party is defined by social conservatism, an aggressive foreign policy to defeat terrorism and promote global democracy, a more powerful executive branch, tax cuts, and deregulation and subsidization of industry.

Name and symbols

1874 Nast cartoon featuring the first notable appearance of the Republican elephant[3]

The party’s founding members chose the name "Republican Party" in the mid-1850s in part as an homage to Thomas Jefferson (it was the name initially used by his party).[4][5] The name echoed the 1776 republican values of civic virtue and opposition to aristocracy and corruption.[6] It is the second-oldest continuing political party in the United States.

The term "Grand Old Party" is a traditional nickname for the
Republican Party, and the initialism "G.O.P." (or "GOP") is a commonly
used designation. According to the Republican Party, the term "gallant
old party" was used in 1875.[7] According to the Oxford English Dictionary,
the first known reference to the Republican Party as the "grand old
party" came in 1876. The first use of the abbreviation GOP is dated
1884. Some media have stopped using the term GOP because they think
it’s confusing.[8]
More facetiously, the abbreviation is sometimes held to stand for
"God’s own party", in reference to the party’s modern-day constituency
of conservative evangelical Christians.[9] In 2008, the new Washington state top two primary had Republican candidates competing against GOP candidates in the same races.[10][11]

The traditional mascot of the party is the elephant. A political cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper’s Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered the first important use of the symbol.[12] In the early 20th century, the usual symbol of the Republican Party in Midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio was the eagle, as opposed to the Democratic rooster. This symbol still appears on Indiana, New York[13], and West Virginia[14] ballots.

After the 2000 election,
the color red became associated with the GOP, although it has not been
officially adopted by the party. That election night, for the first
time, all of the major broadcast networks used the same color scheme
for the electoral map: states won by Republican nominee George W. Bush were colored red, and states won by Democratic nominee Al Gore
were colored blue. Although the assignment of colors to political
parties is unofficial and informal, they have come to be widely
recognized by the media and the public to represent the respective
political parties (see Political color and Red states and blue states for more details).

Lincoln Day, Reagan Day,
or Lincoln-Reagan Day, is the primary annual fundraising celebration
held by many state and county organizations of the Republican Party.
The events are named after Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

Ideology

The Republican Party includes fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, neoconservatives, Moderates, and libertarians.

Economic policies

Republicans emphasize the role of free market
decision making in fostering economic prosperity. They support the idea
of individuals being economically responsible for their own actions and
decisions. They favor a laissez-faire free market, policies supporting business, economic liberalism, and fiscal conservatism but with higher spending on the military. A leading economic theory advocated by modern Republicans is supply-side economics. Some fiscal policies influenced by this theory were popularly known as "Reaganomics," a term popularized during the Presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan. This theory holds that reduced income tax rates increase GDP
growth and thereby generate the same or more revenue for the government
from the smaller tax on the extra growth. This belief is reflected, in
part, by the party’s long-term advocacy of tax cuts. Many Republicans
consider the income tax system to be inherently inefficient and oppose
graduated tax rates, which they believe are unfairly targeted at those
who create jobs and wealth. They believe private spending is usually
more efficient than government spending.

Most Republicans agree there should be a "safety net" to assist the
less fortunate; however, they tend to believe the private sector is
more effective in helping the poor than government is; as a result,
Republicans support giving government grants to faith-based and other
private charitable organizations to supplant welfare spending. Members
of the GOP also believe that limits on eligibility and benefits must be
in place to ensure the safety net is not abused. Republicans introduced
and strongly supported the welfare reform of 1996,
which was signed into law by Democratic President Clinton, and which
limited eligibility for welfare, successfully leading to many former
welfare recipients finding jobs.[15]

The party opposes a single-payer universal health care system, believing such a system constitutes socialized medicine and is in favor of a personal or employer-based system of insurance, supplemented by Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid, which covers approximately 40% of the poor.[16] The GOP has a mixed record of supporting the historically popular Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
programs, all of which Republicans initially opposed. On the one hand,
congressional Republicans and the Bush administration supported a
reduction in Medicaid’s growth rate.[17]
On the other hand, congressional Republicans expanded Medicare,
supporting a new drug plan for seniors starting in 2006. Republicans
are generally opposed by labor union management and members, and have supported various legislation on the state and federal levels, including right to work legislation and the Taft-Hartley Act, which gives workers the right not to participate in unions, as opposed to a closed shop, which prohibits workers from choosing not to join unions in workplaces. Republicans generally oppose increases in the minimum wage,
believing that minimum wage increases hurt many businesses by forcing
them to cut jobs and services as well as raise the prices of goods to
compensate for the decrease in profit.

Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party.
It is the oldest political party in continuous operation in the United
States and it is one of the oldest parties in the world. Today, the
party supports a liberal and/or center-left platform. [3][4][5]

The Democratic Party traces its origins to the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. However, the modern Democratic party truly arose in the 1830s, with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the division of the Republican Party in the election of 1912, it has gradually positioned itself to the left
of the Republican Party on economic and social issues. Until the period
following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democratic
Party was primarily a coalition of two parties divided by region.
Southern Democrats were typically given high conservative ratings by
the American Conservative Union while northern Democrats were typically given very low ratings. Southern Democrats were a core bloc of the bipartisan conservative coalition that lasted through the Reagan-era. The economically activist philosophy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced American liberalism,
has shaped much of the party’s economic agenda since 1932, and served
to tie the two regional factions of the party together until the late
1960s. In fact, Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition usually controlled the national government until the 1970s.

In 2004, it was the largest political party, with 72 million voters (42.6% of 169 million registered) claiming affiliation. By comparison the Republican Party has 55 million members. [6]
An August 2008 estimate claims that 51% of registered voters, including
independents, lean toward the Democratic Party and 38% lean toward the
Republican Party.[7] Since the 2008 general elections, the Democratic Party is the majority party for the 111th Congress; the party holds a majority in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Democrats also hold a majority of state governorships and control a majority of state legislatures. Barack Obama, the current President of the United States, is the 16th Democrat to hold that office.

Ideology

Composition of the Democratic base according to a 2005 Pew Research Center study.

Since the 1890s, the Democratic Party has favored "liberal" positions (the term "liberal" in this sense describes social liberalism, not classical liberalism). In recent exit polls, the Democratic Party has had broad appeal across all socio-ethno-economic demographics.[9][10][11]
The Democratic Party is currently the nation’s largest party. In 2004,
roughly 72 million (42.6 percent) Americans were registered Democrats,
compared to 55 million (32.5 percent) Republicans and 42 million (24.8
percent) independents.[6]

Historically, the party has favored farmers, laborers, labor unions,
and religious and ethnic minorities; it has opposed unregulated
business and finance, and favored progressive income taxes. In foreign
policy, internationalism (including interventionism) was a dominant
theme from 1913 to the mid-1960s. In the 1930s, the party began
advocating welfare spending programs targeted at the poor. The party
had a pro-business wing, typified by Al Smith, and a Southern conservative wing that shrank after President Lyndon B. Johnson supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The major influences for liberalism were labor unions (which peaked in the 1936–1952 era), and the African American wing, which has steadily grown since the 1960s. Since the 1970s, environmentalism has been a major new component.

In recent decades, the party has adopted a centrist economic and more socially progressive agenda, with the voter base having shifted considerably. Once dominated by unionized labor and the working class,
the Democratic base currently consists of well-educated and relatively
affluent liberals, the socially more conservative working class, middle
class moderates, the young, women, minorities, and LGBTS.[12] Today, Democrats advocate more social freedoms, affirmative action, balanced budget, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention (mixed economy). The economic policy adopted by the modern Democratic Party, including the former Clinton administration, may also be referred to as the "Third Way".[13] The party believes that government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice, even if such requires a larger role for government and progressive taxation.

The Democratic Party, once dominant in the Southeastern United States, is now strongest in the Northeast (Mid-Atlantic and New England), Great Lakes region, and the Pacific Coast (including Hawaii). The Democrats are also strongest in major cities.

Voter Base

Liberals

Opinions of liberals in a 2005 Pew Research Center study.

Social liberals,
also referred to as progressives or modern liberals, constitute roughly
half of the Democratic voter base. Liberals thereby form the largest
united typological demographic within the Democratic base. According to
the 2008 exit poll results, liberals constituted 22 percent of the
electorate, and 89 percent of American liberals favored the candidate
of the Democratic Party.[14]
While college-educated professionals were mostly Republican until the
1950s, they now compose perhaps the most vital component of the
Democratic Party.[15] A majority of liberals favor diplomacy over military action, stem cell research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, secular government, stricter gun control, and environmental protection laws as well as the preservation of abortion rights. Immigration and cultural diversity is deemed positive; liberals favor cultural pluralism,
a system in which immigrants retain their native culture in addition to
adopting their new culture. They tend to be divided on free trade
agreements and organizations such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Most liberals oppose increased military spending and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.[12]

This ideological group differs from the traditional organized labor base. According to the Pew Research Center, a plurality of 41 percent resided in mass affluent
households and 49 percent were college graduates, the highest figure of
any typographical group. It was also the fastest growing typological
group between the late 1990s and early 2000s.[12] Liberals include most of academia[16] and large portion of the professional class.[9][10][11]

Many progressive Democrats are descendants of the New Left of Democratic presidential candidate Senator George McGovern of South Dakota; others were involved in the presidential candidacies of Vermont Governor Howard Dean and U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; still others are disaffected former members of the Green Party.[citation needed] The Congressional Progressive Caucus
(CPC) is a caucus of progressive Democrats, and is the single largest
Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives. Its members have
included Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Conyers of Michigan, Jim McDermott of Washington, John Lewis of Georgia, Barbara Lee of California, the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, now a Senator.

Civil libertarians

See also: Libertarian Democrat

Civil libertarians also often support the Democratic Party because Democratic positions on such issues as civil rights and separation of church and state
are more closely aligned to their own than the positions of the
Republican Party, and because the Democratic economic agenda may be
more appealing to them than that of the Libertarian Party.[citation needed] They oppose gun control, the "War on Drugs," protectionism, corporate welfare, government debt, and an interventionist foreign policy. The Democratic Freedom Caucus is an organized group of this faction.

Conservatives

See also: Southern Democrats.

The Pew Research Center has stated that conservative Democrats represent 15% of registered voters and 14% of the general electorate.[12] In the House of Representatives, the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of fiscal and social conservatives and moderates, primarily southerners, forms part of the Democratic Party’s current faction of conservative Democrats.
They have acted as a unified voting bloc in the past, giving its forty
plus members some ability to change legislation and broker compromises
with the Republican Party‘s leadership. Historically, southern Democrats were generally much more ideologically conservative.
In 1972, the last year that a sizable number of conservatives dominated
the southern wing of the Democratic Party, the American Conservative
Union gave higher ratings to most southern Democratic Senators and
Congressmen than it did to Republicans. Today, Democrats are usually
classified as ‘conservatives’ on the basis of holding some socially conservative views to the right of the national party, even though their overall viewpoint is generally far more liberal than conservative Democrats of years past.

Centrists

Though centrist
Democrats differ on a variety of issues, they typically foster a mix of
political views and ideas. Compared to other Democratic factions, they
tend to be more supportive of the use of military force, including the
war in Iraq, and are more willing to reduce government welfare, as
indicated by their support for welfare reform and tax cuts. One of the most influential factions is the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a nonprofit organization that advocates centrist positions for the party. The DLC hails President Bill Clinton as proof of the viability of "Third Way" politicians and a DLC success story. Former Representative Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee is its current chairman.

Current structure and composition

Registered Democrats, Republicans and Independents in 2004.[6]

The Democratic National Committee
(DNC) is responsible for promoting Democratic campaign activities.
While the DNC is responsible for overseeing the process of writing the
Democratic Platform, the DNC is more focused on campaign and
organizational strategy than public policy. In presidential elections
it supervises the Democratic National Convention.
The national convention is, subject to the charter of the party, the
ultimate authority within the Democratic Party when it is in session,
with the DNC running the party’s organization at other times. The DNC
is currently chaired by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) assists party candidates in House races; its current chairman (selected by the party caucus) is Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Similarly the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raises large sums for Senate races. It is currently headed by Senator Robert Menendez
of New Jersey. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC),
currently chaired by Mike Gronstal of Iowa, is a smaller organization
with much less funding that focuses on state legislative races. The DNC
sponsors the College Democrats of America (CDA), a student-outreach organization with the goal of training and engaging a new generation of Democratic activists. Democrats Abroad
is the organization for Americans living outside the United States;
they work to advance the goals of the party and encourage Americans
living abroad to support the Democrats. The Young Democrats of America
(YDA) is a youth-led organization that attempts to draw in and mobilize
young people for Democratic candidates, but operates outside of the
DNC. In addition, the recently created branch of the Young Democrats,
the Young Democrats High School Caucus, attempts to raise awareness and
activism amongst teenagers to not only vote and volunteer, but
participate in the future as well.The Democratic Governors Association
(DGA) is an organization supporting the candidacies of Democratic
gubernatorial nominees and incumbents; it is currently chaired by
Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana. Similarly the mayors of the largest cities and urban centres convene as the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

Each state also has a state committee, made up of elected committee
members as well as ex-officio committee members (usually elected
officials and representatives of major constituencies), which in turn
elects a chair. County, town, city and ward committees generally are
composed of individuals elected at the local level. State and local
committees often coordinate campaign activities within their
jurisdiction, oversee local conventions and in some cases primaries or
caucuses, and may have a role in nominating candidates for elected
office under state law. Rarely do they have much funding, but in 2005
DNC Chairman Dean began a program (called the "50 State Strategy") of
using DNC national funds to assist all state parties and paying for
full-time professional staffers.[8]

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Looking Back Before We Move Forward ~ Part III



From
Harriet Tubman, Frances Harper, Crispus Attucks, John Brown, Anna Weem, Denmark Vesey,
and
Frederick Douglass, (Antislavery Activist) great leaders were in the fore front of the fight
for freedom. Now the U S has to deal with the freed man, better known as the Black
Revolutionary, leaders like
Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X Martin Luther King, Huey Newton & The Black Panthers, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr, Al Sharpton, Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and The Nation of Islam. We must not forget another great group of martyrs in this war on equality , The S.L.A., Symbionese Liberation Army‘s
sacrifices for this historic day.

Then we must go to the individual
house holds, where there were sometimes a single mother that keep
telling the youngsters "you can make it if you try", when her dreams
had been dashed by the same country that her son’s and daughter’s
dreams were now connected to.

To the fathers that stood strong and
fulfilled their duties to the family and those that tried but failed,
but continued to be that positive force in their children’s life. To
the children that still hold on to the dream and seek knowledge as a
weapon for the destruction of walls that hold them back.

"GO FORTH AMERICA AND DO GREAT THINGS"
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