Daily Archives: February 7, 2009

>Why

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There’s a woman I know, who got into a drunken brawl with her boyfriend….bruised, bloodied, chunks of hair pulled out. This isn’t the first time. And it won’t be the last. The next night she was buying him dinner. I wonder if her motto is, Hit me and get a free meal?
And I wonder why.
Why put up with this kind of behavior, whether she instigates or he instigates?
Why?
What is it about people that seem to want this kind of abuse–not deserve it, because no one deserves it–who thrive on it, it seems. She had no shame for the fight; she calmly asked, Did you hear what happened?
Calmly.
I don’t get violence, between adults. Between kids, especially young siblings, it seems almost normal to punch each other as a reaction, or disagreement. But when we leave our childhood, why do some of us carry this trait with us?
I’ve been furious with people in my life–after all I’m a hot-headed Italian woman–okay, I’m none of those things, but I have been furious at people. And I have never once wanted to hit someone. Even people who say the most idiotic, hateful things, I don’t consider hitting as a response.
I’ve been mad as hell at Carlos and never once, steaming with anger, have I thought to strike him. Never. it isn’t in me.
So, why is it in others?
Have they not learned to settle a dispute any other way. Use your words people.
Have they such low self esteem that a fist is somehow deserved. Lift yourselves up.
I hear the excuse. We were drunk.
Then stop drinking if it turns violent.
I hear the excuse. You made me so mad.
Then learn to stop.and.think.for.one.minute.
I hear the excuse. She started it it. He started it.
Then learn to be the bigger person the better person.
You have kids, for Christ’s sake. Is that the lesson you want them to learn, because your kids learn everything by watching you.,
Why?
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Filed under Carlos, Domestic Violence, Uncategorized

>Separate But Equal

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Plessy vs. Ferguson
Some sixty-three years before Rosa Parks, on June 7, 1892, a 30-year-old colored shoemaker named Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in the “White” car of the East Louisiana Railroad. Plessy was only one-eighths black and seven-eighths white, but under Louisiana law, he was considered black and therefore required to sit in the “Colored” car.

One drop of “colored” blood made you “colored.”

Plessy went to court and argued, in Homer Adolph Plessy v. The State of Louisiana, that the Separate Car Act violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. He was found guilty of refusing to leave the “white” car.

Homer Plessy appealed to the Supreme Court of Louisiana, which upheld Ferguson’s decision. In 1896, the Supreme Court of the United States heard Plessy’s case and found him guilty once again.

The lone dissenter, Justice John Harlan, showed incredible foresight when he wrote “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law…In my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case…The present decision, it may well be apprehended, will not only stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of colored citizens, but will encourage the belief that it is possible, by means of state enactments, to defeat the beneficent purposes which the people of the United States had in view when they adopted the recent amendments of the Constitution.”

Over time, the words of Justice Harlan rang true. The Plessy decision set the precedent that “separate” facilities for blacks and whites were constitutional as long as they were “equal.” The “separate but equal” doctrine was quickly extended to cover many areas of public life, such as restaurants, theaters, restrooms, and public schools. Not until 1954, in the equally important Brown v. Board of Education decision, would the “separate but equal” doctrine be struck down.

With the blessing of the Supreme Court, the floodgates opened in the years following the Plessy decision, almost every former Confederate state enacted “separate but equal” laws that merely gave the force of law to what had become a fact of life; slavery under a new name.
But who was Jim Crow?
It’s thought that he was a slave from Cincinnati, Ohio; others say he was from Charleston, South Carolina. Another faction holds that Jim Crow derived from old man Crow, the slaveholder. A final group says that the Crow came from the simile, black as a crow. Whatever the case, by 1838, the term was wedged into the language as a synonym for Negro.
Thus, “Jim Crow laws” meant Negro laws.

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Filed under Black History Month, Jim Crow Laws, Politics, Racism, Separate But Equal, Slavery

>Medgar Evers

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Civil rights activist, Medgar Evers, was born in Decatur, Mississippi, in 1925. At age eighteen he left Mississippi and enlisted in the United States Army, where he fought in both France and Germany during World War II before receiving an honorable discharge in 1946.
In 1948, he entered Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi. During his senior year, Evers married a fellow student, Myrlie Beasley; they later had three children: Darrell, Reena, and James. After graduating in 1952, Evers moved his family to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he worked as an insurance salesman.
In 1954, the year of the momentous Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, which should have ended segregation of schools, Medgar quit the insurance business; he applied for, and was denied, admission to the University of Mississippi Law School. His unsuccessful effort to integrate Mississippi’s oldest public educational institution attracted the attention of the NAACP’s national office.
Medgar Evers moved to Jackson and became the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. As such, he recruited members throughout Mississippi and organized voter-registration efforts, demonstrations, and economic boycotts of white-owned companies that practiced discrimination; he worked to investigate crimes perpetrated against blacks, most notably the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy who had allegedly been killed for talking to a white woman.
As early as 1955, Evers’ activism made him the most visible civil rights leader in Mississippi. As a result, he and his family were subjected to numerous threats and violent actions over the years, including a firebombing of their house in May 1963. Then, on June 12, 1963, at 12:40 a.m., Medgar Evers was shot in the back, in the driveway of his home, in Jackson.
He died less than a hour later at a nearby hospital.
A police and FBI investigation of the murder soon had a suspect–Byron De La Beckwith, a white segregationist and founding member of Mississippi’s White Citizens Council. Despite substantial evidence against him–a rifle found near the scene was registered to Beckwith, had his fingerprints on the scope, and witnesses placed him in the area—Beckwith denied shooting Evers. He maintained that the gun had been stolen, and produced several witnesses to testify that he was elsewhere on the night of the murder.
Two trials followed; Beckwith received the support of some of Mississippi’s most prominent citizens; then-Governor Ross Barnett appeared at Beckwith’s first trial to shake hands with him in full view of the jury. In 1964, Beckwith was set free after two all-white juries deadlocked.
After the second trial, Myrlie Evers moved with her children to California, where she earned a degree from Pomona College and was later named to the Los Angeles Commission of Public Works. Convinced that her husband’s killer had not been brought to justice, she continued to search for new evidence in the case.
In 1989, the question of Beckwith’s guilt was again raised when a Jackson newspaper published accounts of files from the now-defunct Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, an organization that helped the maintenance of segregation. The accounts showed that the commission helped Beckwith’s lawyers screen potential jurors, but a review by the Hinds County District Attorney’s office found no evidence of jury tampering. The DA’s office did locate a number of new witnesses, including several individuals who would testify that Beckwith bragged about the murder.
In December 1990, Beckwith was once again indicted for the murder of Medgar Evers. After a number of appeals, the Mississippi Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of a third trial in April 1993. Ten months later, testimony began before a racially mixed jury of eight blacks and four whites. In February 1994, nearly 31 years after Evers’ death, Beckwith was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He died in January 2001 at the age of 80.
It took thirty years for justice to be served. That is unconscionable.

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Filed under Black History Month, Hate Crime, Murder, Politics, Racism

>Kate v Jessica

>from Shakesville
Two Hollywood actresses are new mothers, yet they have completely different views on their post-pregnancy bodies:

Kate Winslet speaking with Cynthia McFadden on Nightline:

“I’ve decided I am going to start loving my backside. I don’t know anyone who does that, you know? And for my daughter I want to be able to say to her, I love this, I love this, look, my belly does this because I had you guys and this is what happens to breasts when you nurse two children.”
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Jessica Alba:

“I wore a girdle. Eight weeks after my girlfriend had her baby, you could see her six-pack. She told me to put an elastic band around my waist—any kind of band or girdle works. She was like, ‘I slept in it.’ I didn’t recover as fast as she did. I [still] don’t have a six-pack.”

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Filed under Celebrity, Cynthia McFadden, Jessica Alba, Kate Winslet, NightLine, Quotes, Shakesville

>And To Top It Off, It’s Awful Pretty Up There

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from WCAX.com
Those lawmakers up there in Vermont have a bill they would like to see enacted, that would allow gay marriage in the state where civil-union was introduced.
The bill is sponsored by Representatives Mark Larson and David Zuckerman of Burlington, and has the backing of 59 legislators. The Senate is also expected to introduce a bill allowing gay marriage.
“Zuckerman, a progressive, says the economy is the biggest issue in the Statehouse but says there are other committees that can handle other issues. He says the time has come for Vermont, which passed the civil unions nine years ago, to make gay marriage law.”

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Filed under Equality, LGBT Rights, Marriage Equality