Up Off Your Knees, Madam!

No one should do this in this day and age. And no one should expect or accept it. Ladies, shake hands and get on with it.

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Slowly Shifting Historical Moment?

For all my rage and sorrow, I want to go on record as saying I, for one, sense the slightest of shifts in the tectonic plates of response to the latest executions by cop of black Americans. Perhaps it was watching the life ebb from a young man who was, by the accounts of scores of those who knew him, not only a fine person, but darn near saintly. And hearing his heroic girlfriend bear witness through her shock and horror. With a young child in the car. With. A. Young. Child. In. The. Car.

Perhaps it was watching the gratuitous viciousness of the Baton Rouge officer killing a black man already brought to ground, and sensing the rushing sound of spirits of the never really “old” South rising from the dirt to dance and frolic at the scent of the earth soaking up, again, innocent black blood.

Perhaps it’s the cumulative, dawning, uneasiness of many decent if generally indifferent white people recognizing the extent of the expanding library of eye-witness videos of the brutalization and on-camera deaths of black citizens. Uneasiness at the endless loops showing men, women, and children, killed by uniformed officers of the supposed law with hardly ever any consequence or accountability. Snuff films, free and at their fingertips. And each body with a name and a story.

I am certainly not suggesting some sea change shifting of tides. I do think I sense a slight wind rippling the waters. Hope I’m right.

[That’s Whitman below.]

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Theodore Parker’s Tomb

parker tomb.pnghttps://www.indiegogo.com/projects/theodore-parker-s-tomb-restoration-and-maintenance#/

I’m spreading the word:

I vouch for this 100%. My wonderful friend, Julia Holloway, is in charge of this historic site. The cemetery, including Parker’s grave, was ravaged by a powerful storm two years ago; repair and restoration work continue. This student project film speaks with heart and enthusiasm.

I saw this damage firsthand, and have since contributed, before this fundraiser, to the recovery. We all hope you’ll join us — in for a t-shirt, in for 3 days in Florence! Have a look, and don’t hesitate to share.

Many Thanks.

Pride and Grief

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Condolences to the LGBTQ community. Condolences to all who mourn. Strength and support to all who suffer in the wake of this atrocity.

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Deadly School Administration Bullies

 

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/05/23/after-years-of-alleged-bullying-an-ohio-teen-killed-herself-is-her-school-district-responsible/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_mm-bullying-915am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

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Sadly, the default public school position is CYA, no matter how many anti-bullying “policies” they claim to have in place. And too many white parents of non-white kids still believe that the world is basically fair, and that making reasonable complaints and calling attention to a serious problem will be answered with reason and action. Not so.

That’s a deadly status quo made worse by the awful reality that teachers and administrators hold the same ignorant biases, prejudices, and stereotypes that motivate the student bullies. 

It feels counter-intuitive to many good, peace-loving, decent people, but when really toxic bullying that takes a dangerous toll on a child happens, parents have to escalate things and ride to war like avenging furies. One part of that is that a stricken child has to see that his or her parents will Go. To. The. Bleeping Mat. to rescue them from the vicious students and from the school administration adults who have abandoned them to the bullies.

Sliding Down the Razor Blade of Politics

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Trump is going to continue to use up all the oxygen in the room, in the media, in the national political consciousness. And HRC will be gasping for air and attention. The MSM dotes on him like a helicopter parent enabling a rotten, spoiled, bullying child.

Hillary has two public tonal and personality notes — monotone wonk for interviews, and ascending shrill for campaign rallies. Where Trump is clever and entertaining to his followers, and hypnotic like a poisonous cobra to the rest of us, she, unfortunately, is just very hard to listen to after about 15 minutes. And there is zero sense of wondering what unexpected thing she might say next.

Of course she will be able to nail him to the wall on all things presidential in one-on-one debates, but no voters are really going to be swayed at that point — everyone already knows that “what you see is what you get” with both of them. What is there to learn?

I hate this feeling of whiplash between thinking that this vicious ignorant buffoon could never get elected, and the sinking feeling that the outcome could be razor thin — in either direction.

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Trotter and The Guardian Newspaper

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https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/letters/2016/04/27/new-venture-should-shed-name-taken-historic-african-american-paper/Z5W0llSMVvHAG05mIMBExK/story.html

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I’M glad the Boston Globe published my Letter To The Editor, today. But, I’m sorry they chose to delete the paragraph with a bit of Trotter bio, although printing other letters of equal original length. Here’s the full text:

“It would be a demonstration of his professionalism for David Jacobs to re-name his newly launched neighborhood newspaper, The Boston Guardian. (“Publisher criticized for using name of historic African-American paper,” April 26).

William Monroe Trotter’s Boston newspaper, The Guardian, published from 1901 until the 1950s, stands as a major landmark in the history of African-American journalism. It was a civic, political, and cultural force in Boston, throughout New England, and nationally. 

Trotter, a Phi Beta Kappa Harvard graduate and member of the Niagara Movement, the forerunner to the NAACP, was both an intellectual and an activist. Locally, to give just one example, he led the protest against the Boston showing of the viciously racist 1915 film, Birth of A Nation. He was arrested in a scuffle when he and ten other protestors refused to leave the lobby of the Tremont Theater.

Nationally, Trotter and his newspaper fought against racism on many fronts, from lobbying for anti-lynching bills in Congress to powerful reporting on the 1931 trials of The Scottsboro Boys. 

Invited to the White House to discuss President Wilson’s segregationist policies, Trotter argued his case so forcefully that Wilson took offense and asked him to leave.

Knowing what he does now about his paper’s name, it’s bizarre and unbecoming for Mr. Jacobs to persist with a Guardian published for the wealthy Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. Let us hope that his regard for history, and a thoughtful recognition of Boston’s complex racial dynamics, past and present, will lead him to re-think his “Heck no” response to changing the name of his paper.”

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W. E. B. Du Bois attests to the influence and effectiveness of the Boston Guardian. In reference to W. M. Trotter’s opposition to B. T. Washington, he wrote:

This opposition began to become vocal in 1901 when two men, Monroe Trotter, Harvard 1895, and George Forbes, Amherst 1895, began the publication of the Boston Guardian. The Guardian was bitter, satirical, and personal; but it was earnest, and it published facts. It attracted wide attention among colored people; it circulated among them all over the country; it was quoted and discussed. I did not wholly agree with the Guardian, and indeed only a few Negroes did, but nearly all read it and were influenced by it.

Trotter’s wife, the former Geraldine Pindell, was equally committed to the paper and its ideals. She died in the 1918 influenza epidemic.

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Princeton Keeps Wilson School Name (For Now)

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I suppose I can (very grudgingly) see keeping the name on the WW School. It is presumed to be a locus of discussion, debate, lively exchange of ideas of all sorts, a place for thinking about stuff. The character of the School can transcend the narrowness of the man in his historical moment.

It does seem a bit much, though, to ask a “woke” student to reside in a building named for the old supremacist. I’d say agitate to change the name of Wilson College and any other buildings. He doesn’t have to have his name all over the campus.

After all, Harvard had a president named Hoar, but there will never be a residential House named for him.

 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35964791?SThisFB