Nat Turner to be honored on statue in Richmond

Dailyprogress.com:

RICHMOND — A state commission planning an anti-slavery monument in downtown Richmond voted Wednesday to include Nat Turner, the leader of a bloody 1831 slave uprising in Southampton County, among a group of 10 African-American figures who will be honored on the statue’s base.

The work on the new statue being done by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission has thus far avoided controversy, but the decision to include Turner — seen as a freedom fighter by many and a mass murderer by others — is likely to bring a new level of attention to the planning process for the monument meant to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery.

Turner was by far the most hotly debated name Wednesday as a panel of state lawmakers and historians tried to select 10 honorees from a list of 30 finalists.

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Alt right, Nazis and white supremacists–go home!

Washingtonpost.com:

Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members — planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” — clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19 others injured.

Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Officials would not confirm their identities nor whether the crash was related to Saturday’s protests.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who had declared a state of emergency in the morning, said at an evening news conference that he had a message for “all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth.”

Maurice Jones, Charlottesville’s African American city manager, looked stricken as he spoke: “Hate came to our town today in a way that we had feared but we had never really let ourselves imagine would.”

Charlottesville is my home town.  I was born there, raised there and I married there.  My parents met there.  My family has been there for 8 generations, at least.  This violence and chaos breaks my heart.

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Voting rights restored–No contempt of court for McAuliffe

felony-voting-rights

Washingtonpost.com:

 Virginia’s highest court on Thursday turned down a request from Republicans to find Gov. Terry McAuliffe in contempt of court over his efforts to restore voting rights to felons.

The ruling clears the way for McAuliffe (D) to continue a fast-paced effort to grant clemency to 200,000 violent and nonviolent felons. It also gives McAuliffe at least a temporary win in one of the most bitter battles of his administration, in which he has repeatedly called Republicans racists while the GOP has accused him of administrative bumbling and violating the law.

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has dismissed the case Republicans filed in their latest attempt to prevent individuals who have served their time having a full voice in our society,” McAuliffe said in a written statement. “It is my hope that the court’s validation of the process we are using will convince Republicans to drop their divisive efforts to prevent Virginians from regaining their voting rights and focus their energy and resources on making Virginia a better place to live for the people who elected all of us to lead.”
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Corey, Corey, Corey….NO! Walk this one back, please!

Stewart__9431446045910-0438

Washingtonpost.com:

 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks about the “Mexican” judge presiding over a fraud case against him has drawn condemnation from many Republicans.

Corey A. Stewart is not among them.

Stewart, the chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign and a GOP contender for Virginia governor in 2017, turned to Facebook to offer Trump his full-throated support.

When Trump travels to Richmond on Friday for an evening rally at the Richmond Coliseum, Stewart will welcome him to the commonwealth. Stewart has warned that if there are any illegal immigrants protesting at the Richmond event, “we’re going to kick their asses out of the country.”

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Time for the GOP to tell Trump to straighten up and fly right or else

It’s time for Republicans to stop equivocating.  They need to call Trump out for his racist remarks and tell him to stop or they will retract their endorsements.  They need to stop hiding behind Hillary.  Right now many of them have put themselves in the untenable position of a self-avowed racist or Hillary.  Those really aren’t their only choices.

Republicans have a choice.  They can pour their efforts into the Senate and House races as well as the various gubernatorial races around the country.  If they do not, they will lose it all.   If they lose it all, they risk losing the party of Lincoln now and forever.

Israeli killer goes to prison for life

ben david

Washingtonpost.com:

 The ringleader of a group that kidnapped and burned alive a Palestinian teenager two years ago — a revenge killing that shocked many here because of its savagery — was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 20 years.

Yosef Haim Ben-David was convicted of murder and kidnapping last month. Ben-David, 32, the owner of an eyewear shop in Jerusalem, lived in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. He is married with a young daughter and is the son of an ultra-
Orthodox rabbi.

The killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014 was part of a summer of violence that contributed to the war between Israel and the Islamist militant movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Before his sentence was read in court Tuesday evening, Ben-David made a brief statement. “I apologize for what happened,” he said. “I ask forgiveness of the family for all that happened.”

Ben-David said he had served as a volunteer for one of the emergency response teams that assist ambulance crews at the scenes of accidents and attacks. “I attended to both Jewish and Arab bodies,” he said. “I always considered the human form and respect for the dead to be holy.”

Good.  Ben-David did a horrible, evil deed.  His country, Israel,  found him, tried him,  found him guilty and sentenced him to prison for killing a Palestinian youth.   He is getting what he deserves.   Can we safely assume that when Palestinians  kill Jews their country will hunt them down, prosecute and sentence them to prison with equal vigor?  That doesn’t seem to be happening.

 

School board member threatens Godwin teachers: I’ll be looking at you

 

I would be remiss as a former Prince William County educator if I did not address the behavior of Neabsco School Board member Ms Diane Ralston who told the Godwin Middle School teachers that she would be watching them. She also suggested that those teachers who had spoken against the name change did not belong at that school.

You have to hear it for yourselves.

I have to say Ms. Raulston’s remarks were threatening and totally unacceptable. I heard some teachers had considered resigning.

Teachers: Don’t be fools. Do not resign. Hold your heads up high and continue to teach and inspire the boys and girls of Godwin Middle School. There are legal resources to handle these kinds of threats from your employer. I was approached tonight by someone who will represent you. Please contact me and I will pass along the information to you. moon.howler7@gmail.com

Ms. Raulston should consider resigning immediately. Her behavior makes her unsuited for any role of leadership in Prince William County Schools. We absolutely cannot have our teachers threatened in this way.

It’s one thing to threaten a colleague as she did Willie Deutsch, ordering him to stay out of her district. It’s quite another thing to threaten employees.

It is my greatest hope that Ms. Raulston will think about the liabilities associated with her actions and at least attempt to walk back her remarks. We cannot have teachers threatened and admonished for their thoughts and opinions.  The first amendment is still functioning in Prince William County.  Those Godwin teachers are the closest ones to the community and the children. We want happy teachers, not beaten down, scared, watched teachers.

We cannot have members of our school board bullying their colleagues or their employees.

Harper Lee dead at age 89–it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird

harper lee

 

Novelist Harper Lee has died at the age of 89.  Lee won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for her acclaimed novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

To Kill a Mockingbird essentially awakened a nation to racial inequities in our nation and has been used for more than a half century to teach tolerance and social justice issues in schools nation-wide.

Harper Lee was born and raised in Monroeville, Mississippi.  One has to consider how  brave it was  to undertake such a venture as Mockingbird.  The novel and subsequent movie dealt with all the Southern taboos–race, rape, poor whites,  mental illness, lynch mobs, generational poverty,  and Anytown, Southern, USA.

Not all kids got to read To Kill a Mockingbird.  I lived in a fairly progressive area of Atlanta when the book and movie both came out.  I never read it nor saw it playing in neighborhood movie theaters.  I sure knew when Gone with the Wind came to town, however.   When I came back to Charlottesville, the book was not on my required reading list or even the supplementary list.  I assume now the book was banned.

Ms. Lee tapped into the conscience of a nation like no other novel since Uncle Tom’s cabin.  The difference between Lee and Harriet Beecher Stowe is great.  Lee actually grew up in the region where Mockingbird takes place.  She saw and learned as a child.  Stowe’s novel relied on her imagination.

Rest in Peace, Harper Lee.  May your mockingbirds live on and in the hearts of all of us who have read your novel.  You are a once in a life-time national treasure.

mockingbird4

America, we have a problem!

Washingtonpost.com:

A former U.S. Marine was assaulted at a downtown Washington McDonald’s restaurant Friday night in an attack the victim said was racially motivated, according to D.C. police.

Christopher Andrew Marquez — who attends American University and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014 in California — said in an interview that the attack occurred after several black youths asked him whether “black lives matter” and then called him racist.

Marquez, who is Hispanic, called the incident unprovoked. It occurred at the restaurant in the 900 block of E Street NW.

According to a D.C. police report, Marquez, 30, told officers that a group of at least four youths were loud and began to argue with him. The report says Marquez told police that one youth hit him in the face with a handgun and stole bank cards and his wallet with $400 inside. The incident was first reported by the Daily Caller, a conservative Internet news and opinion site.

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Justice Scalia: When does spoken bigotry end?

Cartoon by Rob Tornoe
Cartoon by Rob Tornoe

Huffingtonpost.com:

WASHINGTON — Do black students matter to Justice Antonin Scalia?

During oral arguments on Wednesday in Fisher v. University of Texas, a contentious affirmative action case, the conservative justice seemed to call their abilities into question.

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well,” Scalia said, “as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school … a slower-track school where they do well.”

Scalia was engaging former U.S. Solicitor General Gregory Garre, who is now representing the University of Texas at Austin as the school defends its ongoing consideration of race as one of many factors in its admissions program.

Pointing to a brief the court received before oral arguments, Scalia noted “most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.”

Garre tried to interject, but the justice continued. “They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that … they’re being pushed ahead­­ in classes that are too fast for them,” Scalia said.

 

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Dancing R.I. Cop draws heat


msn.com:

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — More than two dozen protesters attended a scheduled appearance of a retired Providence police officer known as the “Dancing Cop,” but the ex-officer himself did not show.

Tony Lepore has been drawing heat after he protested outside a Providence coffee shop because an employee wrote “#blacklivesmatter” on an officer’s cup. Lepore asked that the employee be fired.

In response, Providence officials let him go from his decades-long gig directing holiday traffic with exaggerated dance moves.

Lepore says he has since been hired to direct traffic in neighboring East Providence. He says he did not attend a Christmas celebration there on Sunday after the mayor told him about the planned protests.

The above might be the dumbest story I have ever read, on all levels.

Why would someone write #blacklivesmatter on a coffee cup of a patron?   Can you imagine that happening at Starbucks?  I can’t.  I am not sure I would demand that someone lose their job but I might report the incident to the owner or manager.

Why would the city get involved?  Why would the guy be fired?  These folks all have too much time on their hands to be doing all this political stuff while at work.

Does anyone want to make a prediction about how long BLM will be relevant?  The more they bully, the less credibility they will have, would be MY prediction.

 

 

Free speech–the forgotten freedom

Washingtonpost.com:

From a statement by the group Amherst Uprising:

5. President Martin must issue a statement to the Amherst College community at large that states we do not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the “All Lives Matter” and “Free Speech” posters. Also let the student body know that it was racially insensitive to the students of color on our college campus and beyond who are victim to racial harassment and death threats; alert them that Student Affairs may require them to go through the Disciplinary Process if a formal complaint is filed, and that they will be required to attend extensive training for racial and cultural competency.

6. President Martin must issue a statement of support for the revision of the Honor Code to reflect a zero-tolerance policy for racial insensitivity and hate speech.

According to the president of the Amherst College Republicans, the “All Lives Matter” posters were pro-life posters (or antiabortion posters, if you prefer).

These young upstarts really need to take a good look at themselves, then at the Constitution.  Right now I am ready to call to repeal the 26th Amendment.  That would be a good place to start.

“All lives matter” is hardly offensive.  Since when are the students running the colleges?

 

Mizzou: The drama continues and I have a new hero

brigham

Washingtonpost.com:

Dale Brigham thought he was doing the right thing.

As anonymous death threats against minorities swirled on social media Tuesday night, setting the college town of Columbia, Mo., on edge, the bespectacled Mizzou professor began receiving e-mails from terrified students.

“Good Evening Professor Brigham,” wrote an African American student in Brigham’s Nutritional Science 1034 class. “There are online threats at our school warning the minorities to not step on campus tomorrow. I am scared for my life therefore, I will not be attending class tomorrow. When can I makeup the exam?”

[Ed. Note:  Translation:  I didn’t study for my exam because I was out being a drama king or queen.]

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Click Clack, you’re off the track–long live the first Amendment

Msn.com:

The University of Missouri’s journalism school issued a statement Tuesday commending student journalist Tim Tai for his handling of a confrontation with protesters on campus that was captured on a widely spread video.

The school also distanced itself from the professor, Melissa Click, who was seen in the video calling for “muscle” to remove another journalist from the protest site. It also hinted that her work at the school may be in jeopardy.

“The Missouri School of Journalism is proud of photojournalism senior Tim Tai,” said David Kurpius, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. “The news media have First Amendment rights to cover public events. Tai handled himself professionally and with poise.”

Click apologized Tuesday afternoon through a statement issued by the school: “I have reviewed and reflected upon the video of me that is circulating, and have written this statement to offer both apology and context of my actions.”

These students and staff have so much to learn.  Assault and battery is on-going.  Tim Tai is actually a student and has every right to be there.  Students really don’t have the right to set up perimeters.

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Mizzou: Justice or a chance to act out?


Msn.com:

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri system’s president, Tim Wolfe, and the chancellor of the flagship campus, R. Bowen Loftin, announced on Monday that they were resigning their posts in the face of growing protests by African-American students, the threat of a walkout by faculty and a strike by football players who said he had done too little to combat racism on campus.

Wolfe made the stunning announcement at the start of a special Board of Curators meeting Monday morning that had been scheduled to address the growing crisis at the Show Me state’s flagship university. The board voted in favor of accepting his resignation. Several hours later, Bowen Loftin, chancellor of the university’s flagship campus, announced he will step down from his post by the end of the year as well.

I have not been able to find any specific examples of the systemic racism that supposedly exists on the Campuses of the University of Missouri. I do know what their demands were. Some of them are absurd.

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