Posts Tagged ‘racism’
This guy was just trying to pick up his kids and got tasered for it. This is the America that we live in.In News on August 29, 2014 at 8:57 am
Last night I went to a book signing in Mount Dora, Fl. The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America“, Gilbert King spoke about his book, the case and then answered questions from the audience. The Groveland Boy case happened in Lake County where I live and involved four young black men who were accused of raping a young white girl. All four were innocent. The story is quite complicated and very interesting. Thurgood Marshall came to Lake County to represent the young men. As the story progresses two of the young men were being transported from the prison back to a Lake County courtroom for their second trial when the sheriff, Willis V. McCall, shot them on the side of the road. He thought they were both dead but one survived.
There is so much more to the story than I am going to tell you here so I am going to ask you to read the book. It’s an important story that needs to be told again and again. It was amazing to listen to Mr.King and also some of the audience told their personal stories. There were surviving family members of the Groveland Fou present and as I waited in line to have my book signed I talked to the man in front of me about the book, race and life, it turns out that he is a descendant of one of the Rosewood families. Rosewood. Fl. was a black settlement in Levy County Florida that was burnt to the ground and the families run off in response to a lynching. In 1997, the movie Rosewood was released.
These stories are important and many times our history is swept under the rug if it is unpleasant and that was done in the case of the Groveland Boys. Most residents of Lake County have never ehard of the case and are not aware that it was not just local news but national and international news. They are not aware that the monies that helped win the case of Brown vs, Brown came from cash the NAACP raised in response to the injustice of the Groveland Boys case. Even many of the surviving family of the Groveland Boys were unaware of details of the case. It was the earlier generations way of protecting them from the sadness and fear.
Please visit Gilbert King’s website for more information and PLEASE READ THE BOOK.
THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY OTHER BLOG AT WWW.GOODINKLINGS.COM
Every time I watch videos taken during the Civil Rights Era I cringe at the images, I feel sadness that any human being is treated so poorly by communities and I feel shame. I also feel hope, because while there is still much more work to be done there has been progress. Yes, there are still injustices and prejudices but there is also a deepening of acceptance in society not just for people who’s skin is a different color than our own but for those who have a different sexual preference or a different religion. For that reason I have hope. I know I have taught my children tolerance and compassion and that is where change starts in our homes. You have to see the child to understand where change needs to begin.
This is an important video. Privately owned prisons are altering the very fabric of our society. They are not invested in prisoner education, reform or providing services to help them succeed after incarceration. They want prisoners to return. Being privately owned they benefit from keeping costs down by providing less than adequate food and shelter. many times they are short staffed and poorly supervised. As you will see in this video the big private prisons are lobbying and throwing money anywhere that they can to keep prison populations at high levels. They lobby against immigration reform, as well as legalization of marijuana.
Here are some facts found in this video:
From the years 1990- to 2009 prison populations in the US ave increased by 1600%.
Crime rates have decreased over the past decade.
Private prisons have spent $45 million towards lobbying from 2002-2012. (That does not include outright bribes, etc.)
Some states enter into contracts with the big private prisons that state that if the prison population falls below 90-100% that the state will provide more prisoners or pay for the empty beds.
On any given day 70,000 kids are in detention centers.
Nearly HALF of the prisoners in state prisons are in for non-violent offences.
This is not a left wing or right wing issue. This is a human issue.
I am so very fortunate to have many, many friends of every ethnic and economic background both heterosexual and homosexual. They are wonderful people. It makes my head spin when I hear racist comments…when I see children shunned because their clothes are from a discount store….when parents, teachers, neighbors, bosses, religious leaders and all manners of judgmental people tell another human being they need to be something they are not.
I watched this video and it broke my heart that so many young people would be put through such a program at an age when they are trying to figure themselves out. Shame on this man. Shame on a society that thrives on hating others. Shame. Shame. Shame.
The graphic was borrowed from:
An article from The Human Rights Campaign that is very thought-provoking.
Back in July of 2012 a D.C. police officer who was sometimes called upon to be part of the presidential motorcade threatened to shoot First Lady Michelle Obama. During his recent hearing on the matter he says he was just joking. You can read the full article here:
And then there is Pete Santilli, a radio host that said that Former-First Lady Hillary Clinton needed to be “shot in her vagina” for her Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Read about that here:
Both of these instances are examples of the hatred that seems to be growing in our society. First of all, these are women and since when is it ok to talk about women in that manner? Second of all, these are First Ladies present and former. There was a time when we as a society treated our leaders and their wives with respect and I don’t understand what has happened. Maybe you, dear reader can explain.
The people who made these remarks are grown men that should have better directed moral compasses. One is a police officer and the role of a police officer is to serve and protect, not threaten and the other is a public figure that also should be held to a higher standard. But neither have been held to any standard. The officer was not charged in the incident but put on desk duty and it still has to be decided if he will be internally disciplined. The radio host still is on the radio. Of course the Secret Service is keeping a closer eye on him.
These are supposed to be adults. How in the hell are we going to raise another generation to be respectful when you have people running around being hateful, racist, misogynistic and just plain disgusting? How many times have you heard that the youth of our nation’s problems start in their home? Do they really? Couldn’t they start with the influence of hate and violence that is not just perpetrated through rap videos and video games but out of the mouths of people in leadership roles? Police officers, radio hosts, government officials, religious leaders, the press and on and on and on………………..
Think about it. If you would like let me know what those thoughts are. Keep in mind that if you plan to make vile, abusive comments they will be deleted ASAP. I like to think that the people who read my blog are decent, concerned adults that want a better life for themselves and their children.
I live in a rural county of Florida. Lake County used to be a big deal in the Florida orange industry until several freezes wiped out much of the groves. It has changed quite a bit in the last 27 years since I first visited family here which led me to move here in 1987. It is a beautiful area and before I go any further let me say that I love living here but just as many other counties across our country it has a dark past.
See, Lake County at /one time had a national reputation for violence towards African-Americans. The Ku Klux Klan was very powerful throughout Central Florida and Lake County was no exception, which leads me to the point of this blog post, last night I read in one of the local magazines. This is the kind of magazine that is written for the sole purpose of flattering advertisers. There was an article where a notorious case of racial hatred was mentioned and the slant of the articles sent me into an absolute foaming at the mouth fit. Here’s why.
In 1949 there was a case where four young African- American men were accused of raping a young woman. Two of the suspects had recently returned for military service and had caught the eye of local Klansman and their supporter Sheriff Willis V. McCall. I am not certain form what I have read if McCall was a card-carrying member of the KKK but he was a violent racist man who was eventually suspended from office after winning several reelections over a African American prisoner being kicked to death. McCall resigned in 1973 after many years of alleged corruption and abuses of power. This Groveland Four case became national news for several reasons. Two of the men were in Orlando at the time of the alleged rape and another was 17 miles away. The story itself is long and involved and included the participation of Harry T. Moore a civil rights activist that worked to gain African American voters and Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Untied States Supreme Court Justice. After the arrests of the four men area residents demanded that they be given up immediately to be lynched. The sheriff refused so angry mobs of citizens went to Groveland and shot into homes and set many on fire. The residents of Groveland had been told that they were coming and many were loaded into pick-ups and taken out of town before the rioters arrived.
There are so many facets to this story I could go on and on but the most vile occurrence was when Sherriff Willis V. McCall was transporting two of the defendants from Raiford State Prison back to Lake County for their retrial, the first trial having been overturned by the Florida Supreme Court due to pretrial publicity. Sherriff McCall pulled over on the side of the road and shot the two handcuffed prisoners. McCall says they tried to escape but the one that survived tells a different story, which you can read here.
The article that I read yesterday made McCall sound like he was in some way doing his duty as sheriff to protect these young men. The author sis say that McCall was racially- biased and she did say that the young men were brutally beaten to obtain “confessions” she did not say that the young men were handpicked because they were considered “troublemakers” by Lake County standards because two of them still wore their military uniforms at times and were considered “uppity”. She did not mention the murders of the two young men on the side of the road. She did not mention the razing of Groveland. She mentioned that McCall tried to “placate” and angry mob by arresting the four men. She also mentioned that the KKK stirred up trouble through rallies and demonstrations. Does a night of terror where people’s homes were set fire and shots were fired qualify for as a rally?
She also suggested reading the book “The Groveland Four: The Saga of a Legal Lynching by author Gary Corsair. I happen to have this book on my bookshelf and it tells a much different story than her article. I purposely have not named the magazine that published this article because the editor and many of the staff are friends and I am going to take this up with him directly.
The reason I get so very angry about such white-washing of the truth, no matter how well-meant is that in my opinion if we do not stick to the facts of our history, no matter how abhorrent, how do we raise our young people so they will be better than ourselves and our forefathers?
Books to Read:
It’s odd how some days have a natural theme of their own. Unintentionally you are surrounded with information that is all tied together. Yesterday was such a day. Yesterday’s theme was racism.
Earlier in the day I came across a reading of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, this lead me to follow other YouTube links. In college I studied African-American history and literature. When I home-schooled my daughter I taught her much of the same. To me I think my fascination with this history is the strength of the human spirit. The beauty of the soul that continues to have hope in the direst of circumstances enthralls me. I came across a PBS special on a remarkable book and its background. Its title is simply, Slave Songs. The songs of slavery offer inspiration, painful naked truth and many were used to hide codes to lead escaping slaves.
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
HISTORY DETECTIVES | Slave Songbook | PBS
Here are a few:
McIntosh Country Shouters preform Adam in the Garden
Louis Armstrong: Go Down Moses
Black Gospel Quartet Singing: Roll Jordan Roll (Acapella)
And my favorite
Hazel Miller – This Little Light of Mine
There are so many more songs that I haven’t mentioned.
Still on YouTube I also found some wonderful videos about the period in history known as the Harlem Renaissance. There was I. Too, one of my favorite poems. This is a very powerful poem by Langston Hughes, an incredibly talented man. Then there is one of my favorite authors of all time, Zora Neale Hurston, read “Sweat” .
I, Too by Langston Hughes
The History of the Harlem Renaissance
Biography of Zora Neale Hurston
Today there is a book signing in the small town of Mount Dora, Fl. it’s a book about a dark part of Florida history. The book is called “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America“ by Gilbert King More of the story of the Groveland Boys can be found on PBS’s site, The Legacy of Harry T. Moore “.This part of Florida’s racist history is a fascinating and terribly sad story.
Then there was a conversation I had with a friend. She is a beautiful 25 year old woman and she also is an amazing artist and one of those people that as soon as you meet her spirit attracts you. She is also bi-racial. Here’s what she told me when we discussed race.
“I am so offended when people ask me. ‘What are you?’ What kind of questions is that? What are you? Am I a dog or a freak? Who the hell do these people think they are? I choose to not let my race define me. I am me.” Me being me, I told her to answer, “I am a human being”, and walk away.
Racism is still creeping through our society and eating away at people’s hearts. It disturbs me on a profound level. The only protection we have against evil such as racism and hatred is our history and education. I find it terribly, terribly sad that so many people do not know the African-American history. When I took an African-American literature class the teacher pointed out to the class that I, a white woman in her 40’s and the only white person in the class knew more about their history than they did. She said it was shameful. Sounds harsh but it opened up a door in many of the young people’s minds and they started listening and asking questions. They became my friends and would talk to me about their history and we would discuss the good and the bad. I came away from that class having had the richest educational experience of my life.
One of the things that make me the proudest as a parent is that my children are color-blind when choosing their friends. My son’s best friend growing up was African- American and it wasn’t until years later that my son realized that when he was invited to join in a parade that was planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Day that he was the only white person in the parade. He never noticed. My children choose their friend by their character not their color.
There has been progress made in the fight against racism but there is so much further to go. I hope that in some small way this post has enlightened you, maybe educated you or at least made you think. Whether you are white, African-American, Asian, Latino or any other ethnicity the dark history of our world needs to be studied, if it’s not we are in danger of repeating it. We need to come together as the Human Race.
The introduction video was Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, it is sung by Rev. Timothy Fleming Sr. at the Rialto Center in Atlanta, Ga.. Powerful.
I am reading an interesting, thought-provoking book that at times made me feel like someone punched me in the gut and at others took my breath away with tenderness. This book tells of the complicated relationships that occur in a society where it is OK to own another human being.
The book is Wash which brilliantly delves deep into the minds of slaves and their owners in the newly minted United States of America. It blows my mind how she captures their individual voices. I have spent time in African American history and literature studies and I will say that this book should be included in the curriculum for both.
The economics of slavery here and around the world has always been complicated. This book delves picks at the festering sore on the body of a nation that allowed human beings to be a commodity. Richardson, a slave owner who returns after spending years in the Revolutionary War is released from a prison camp to come home to find his farm near ruin. He decides to use his slave Washington as a breeder-for-hire. Imagine that. Wash and the women of other plantations are forced to breed mostly under the watchful sometimes lustful eyes of their captors. Wash is shunned by the women and hated by the male slaves.
There are so many layers to this amazing work that I don’t want to go into here. I would love for you to pick up this book. As I tell my children when we discuss the sad times in our history when we forgot we are human that the only thing that stands between us and another era of hate is our knowledge of the past.
It is important to remember and educate our generations. I read about an incident recently that puts that in perspective for me. Rapper, Little Wayne, included some lyrics in a recent song that mentioned a young man named Emmett Till. If you don’t know who Emmett Till is please take a few minutes and educate yourself on what the hate of racism looks like on a 14 year old boy. The lyrics were very offensive especially to the family of Emmett Till. Stevie Wonder has also spoken out on this incident. In my opinion, if Little Wayne truly understood the history of African-Americans and what his forefathers suffered so that he can have the right to create the lifestyle that he has created for himself, he would NEVER had included Emmett in his song.
I used the story of Emmett Till’s to teach my children what damage racism can do. I believed that by them being shown what happened to someone their own age that was hated solely for the color of their skin that they would understand racism in a more personal way and they do. They are now grown and when I mentioned the Little Wayne controversy they were appalled and saddened.
Read “Wash”, share it with your children, other family and your friends. Thank You Margaret Wrinkle for an amazing journey.
If you do read this book I would love to hear your thoughts.