18 African American Competitors at 1936 Olympics

Jesse Owens is rightly celebrated and enshrined in history. But how many people know there were other black athletes competing in Berlin? Mack Robinson, shown here, was Jackie Robinson’s brother, btw.


At the 1936 Olympics, 18 black athletes went to Berlin as part of the U.S. team. Pictured here are (left to right rear) Dave Albritton, and Cornelius Johnson, high jumpers; Tidye Pickett, a hurdler; Ralph Metcalfe, a sprinter; Jim Clark, a boxer, and Mack Robinson, a sprinter. In front are John Terry, (left) a weight lifter and John Brooks, a long jumper. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Night Thoughts Prompted By The Monster Trump


I’m wondering if we are being played, not by either candidate, but by the real money and power that always operates behind the scenes. Nothing would be new there, but what if, as it seems to me, those power brokers have simply turned their influence and attention away from our national election cycle and are moving and shaking in an entirely different arena?


There are always disaffected extremists on the right, Tea Party, militias, etc., these days, John Birchers back when, but the Republican Party as a modern political entity has always had a solid, conservative, business-oriented, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, pillars-of-the-community core nationwide, and an endless supply of banking, Wall Street, powerful in-group, Bohemian Grove, heaviest of heavy hitters, etc., money, power, and influence.


 The fact that the grown-ups did not weigh in and take control of a party spinning out of control, and prevent Trump getting his sorry ass nominated leads me to wonder if indeed the game is no longer national politics, but in fact globalism/globalization. If that’s the case, and the forces of the right that once kept things in an admittedly bland counterpoise with a center-right Democratic establishment are not even particularly interested in, let alone involved in, the mechanisms of this American election, we are really screwed.


What, then, do these folks gain from overseeing, as seems to be the case, the rush to the right of so many western countries, most notably the UK and France? Why are they willing to be spectators to the Walpurgisnacht that is threatening Washington? Are they simply gambling that Trump will self-destruct, lose interest, lose his constituency, and Hillary will prevail? Perhaps, if we’re lucky, the outcome is already in hand, ala JFK.


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.


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.]



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



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



Deadly School Administration Bullies


school bullies.png



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

images-1 images


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.