Worth Repeating

Racism doesn’t require the presence of malice, only the presence of bias and ignorance, willful or otherwise.

–Charles M. Blow, NY Times Op-Ed piece, a day after “a New York grand jury refused to indict a police officer who choked and killed Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk.”

A Letter (and a Photograph)

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Letter from Birmingham Jail

16 April 1963

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Continue reading

Myths (and Lies) About the South’s Secession

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Lincoln, in a top hat, with Allan Pinkerton an...
Image via Wikipedia

Via WaPo:

One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War began, we’re still fighting it – or at least fighting over its history. I’ve polled thousands of high school history teachers and spoken about the war to audiences across the country, and there is little agreement even on why the South seceded. Was it over slavery? States’ rights? Tariffs and taxes?

As the nation begins to commemorate the anniversaries of the war’s various battles – from Fort Sumter to Appomattox – let’s first dispense with some of the more prevalent myths about why it all began.

There’s more…

Message to FOX: Stop promoting racism!

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[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=john+stossel&iid=6161614″ src=”4/8/1/a/Special_Screening_Of_84d6.jpg?adImageId=12949750&imageId=6161614″ width=”234″ height=”359″ /]

Via Media Matters for America:

Yesterday, John Stossel took to the air on Fox News to defend the right to discriminate based on race. Yes, you just read that correctly. On Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, Fox News employee John Stossel said:

“Private businesses ought to get to discriminate. And I won’t won’t ever go to a place that’s racist and I will tell everybody else not to and I’ll speak against them. But it should be their right to be racist.”

Stossel is only the latest in a long line of Fox News personalities to divide America along racial lines, and it needs to stop. We need to send a message loud and clear — first to Fox, and if it’s unwilling to listen, to the sponsors who support it:

Enough is enough: Stop promoting racism on your network.

But Stossel didn’t just argue for the right to discriminate. He went a step further, suggesting the “public accommodations” section of the Civil Rights Act should be repealed, thus allowing businesses to practice racial discrimination. This is the section of the law that prohibits a lunch counter from refusing to serve African-Americans — a practice which was commonplace when the law was passed.

President Obama Admits He’s Black

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FOX News remains very disappointed by this reality.

It is official: Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president.

A White House spokesman confirmed that Mr. Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, checked African-American on the 2010 census questionnaire.

The president, who was born in Hawaii and raised there and in Indonesia, had more than a dozen options in responding to Question 9, about race. He chose “Black, African Am., or Negro.” (The anachronistic “Negro” was retained on the 2010 form because the Census Bureau believes that some older blacks still refer to themselves that way.)

There’s more…