Behind the Aegis
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Number of posts: 39,902
Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
Number of posts: 39,902
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When Ruth Clattenburg found her son inside the apartment they shared off West Bitters Road the morning of February 21, 2010, he'd been dead for hours. Shot execution-style in the back of the head, Troy Martinez Clattenburg, 24, was propped up against a dryer in the hallway between his bedroom and bathroom in boxers and a T-shirt. After frantically notifying neighbors, the mother rushed back to the apartment to cover her son with his favorite blanket, trying to warm the cold body.
When details of the crime first began to surface, Clattenburg's death seemed to be textbook example of murder sparked by anti-gay hate. Cody Carmichael, who was eventually charged, convicted, and sent to prison for the murder, told police Clattenburg made an unwanted pass at him as he and another friend drank and smoked pot inside Clattenburg's apartment. Carmichael told investigators he left, borrowed a black .380-caliber handgun from the friend, and returned to the apartment. When Clattenburg turned his back after opening the door, Carmichael fired a single round. According to an investigator's report, Carmichael told police that Clattenburg "did not see it coming."
Clattenburg's mother never went back inside the apartment after her haunting discovery. And in the two years since the murder relatives of Clattenburg, along with local activists, have criticized authorities for not prosecuting the murder as a hate crime, either at the state or federal level.
Although the family "wanted a hate-crimes charge from day one," as Clattenburg's sister Ginger Hicks put it, the family never got one. "Hate-crimes laws were passed to protect people like my brother Troy, and who are they protecting if nobody's familiar with it and nobody's using it?" Hicks asked.
"It's obviously too late for Troy, but what about preventing other tragedies?"
Hat-tip to douglas9 who has posted this in "Good Reads" here.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:13 PM (2 replies)
(This story is a few months old, but I just saw it and thought it was very nice and I was needing something nice.)
When the Columbia Library closed each night at ten, it was the custom of John Spofford Morgan, who was studying for a master’s in international affairs, to hop on the subway and head downtown to the New Verdi on West 72nd. Back then, there were two kinds of bars for gay men, he says: pickup joints and old-friends joints. The New Verdi was the latter, but it turned into the former when at around 10:30 on May 17, 1947, Louis Halsey walked in. “Love at first sight,” says Lou now. “Was it?” John wonders. “For me it was slower.” In any case, Lou and John spent the night together, just as they have spent most nights in the 64 years ensuing. Last month, they got married.
John is 94, recovering from a broken hip but otherwise as hale and handsome as Lou, 88, says he always was. One snapshot shows the pair on a beach in Beirut in 1952. Lou looks like Tony Curtis, glossy and pompadoured. John looks like JFK except, as his mother used to complain when people compared their families, “we have chins.”
Both served in the Navy in World War II, but on different oceans, as in a way they were from different worlds on land. John, who still speaks in the accent of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century elite, worked as an economist. Lou, of Hungarian-immigrant stock, cut hair for decades at the Westbury Hotel. He wears rings and bright colors; John emphatically doesn’t.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 26, 2012, 03:24 AM (6 replies)
For Alan Turing’s many admirers, the centenary of his birth on Saturday is an occasion for both celebration and mourning. Here, after all, is the architect of the modern computer, the code-breaker whose ingenuity ensured an Allied victory in World War II and the father of artificial intelligence. Yet Turing was also a victim of a pernicious and paranoid strain of sexual hypocrisy in 20th-century England. Nor, in the 21st, has the victimization wholly ceased.
From early in his adolescence, Turing understood that he was gay and saw nothing wrong with it. If the society in which he lived criminalized homosexuality, he believed the fault lay with the society, not with the men and women it vilified. He made little effort to disguise or efface his desire for other men, and when, in the early 1950s, he embarked on a businesslike affair with a youth in Manchester, his sense of how the world should be clashed with how it was.
Suspecting his boyfriend of robbery, he summoned the police to his house. They ended up arresting Turing under the “blackmailer’s charter,” which criminalized “acts of gross indecency” between adult men in public or in private. It was under this law — not repealed until 1967 — that Oscar Wilde had been sentenced to hard labor in prison.
To avoid a similar fate, Turing agreed to submit to a course of estrogen therapy intended to cure him of his homosexuality; as a result, he grew breasts and became impotent. Yet even after the treatment ended, the police, fearing that he might defect to the Soviet Union, stayed on his trail, interrupting every effort he made to live life as he saw fit. In June 1954, Turing committed suicide by biting into an apple laced with cyanide — a nod to his favorite film, Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”
more @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/alan-turing-father-of-computer-science-not-yet-getting-his-due/2012/06/22/gJQA5eUOvV_story.html
Hat-tip to Sgent who has posted this story in LBN: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014150355, please visit and "K&R" that thread!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:35 AM (0 replies)
Many people aren't aware of this event. Being Oklahoma, I was surprised at the number of people here who had never heard of it. It is now being taught in public schools after years of never being mentioned. Here are a few educational/informational links.
The history of the United States has produced much in the way of race riots, from the New York City riots of 1862 to the Los Angeles riots of 1991, this country has experienced much civil unrest between blacks and whites. The year 1919 was particularly noted for the large number of riots in the urban areas of the North where returning white veterans of WWI competed with Southern Blacks for jobs during the post-war depression. Again, in 1923, a racial confrontation erupted in Rosewood, Fl. There eight blacks and two whites died during the destruction of the Black community of Rosewood. However, the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 was perhaps the costliest incident of racial violence in American history. At the same time, it is perhaps the most marginalized, being almost forgotten until this decade.
The Riot began on May, 31,1921 because of an incident the day before. A black man named Dick Rowland, stepped into an elevator in the Drexel Building operated by a woman named Sarah Page. Suddenly, a scream was heard and Rowland got nervous and ran out. Rowland was accused of a sexual attack against Page. One version of the incident holds that Rowland stepped on Page's foot, throwing her off balance. When Rowland reached out to keep her from falling, she screamed. The next day, Rowland was arrested and held in the courthouse lockup. Headlines in the local newspapers inflamed public opinion and there was talk in the white community of lynch justice. The black community, equally incensed, prepared to defend him. Outside the courthouse, 75 armed black men mustered, offering their services to protect Rowland The Sheriff refused the offer.
A white man then tried to disarm one of the black men. While they were wrestling over the gun, it discharged. That was the spark the turned the incident into a massive racial conflict. Fighting broke out and continued through the night. Homes were looted and burned.
The Tulsa Race Riot was a large-scale racially motivated conflict on May 31 and June 1, 1921, between the white and black communities of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which the wealthiest African-American community in the United States, the Greenwood District also known as 'the Negro Wall Street' was burned to the ground. During the 16 hours of the assault, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, more than 6,000 Greenwood residents were arrested and detained at three local facilities. An estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire. The official count of the dead by the Oklahoma Department of Vital Statistics was 39, but other estimates of black fatalities have been up to about 300.
The events of the riot were omitted from local and state history; "The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Blacks and whites alike grew into middle age unaware of what had taken place." In 1996, the state legislature commissioned a report, completed in 2001, to establish the historical record. It has approved some compensatory actions, such as scholarships for descendants of survivors, economic development of Greenwood, and a memorial park, dedicated in 2010, to the victims in Tulsa.
Historical events, be they great or small, do not exist in isolation, but are a product of the age during which they occurred. Often times, the reasons why a particular historical incident turned out the way it did can be readily located, while for others, the causes may be more difficult to locate. In both cases, one rule still holds true: that the events of the past cannot be separated from the era when they occurred.
The same applies to the Tulsa race riot as well. To understand the riot, one cannot begin with the first shot that was fired, nor even with the seemingly insignificant chain of events that led to the first signs of real trouble. Rather, we must begin with the spirit of the times. Only seeing the world as Tulsans did in 1921, and by grasping both their passions and their fears, can we comprehend not only how this great tragedy could occur, but why, in the end, that it did.
Of all the qualities that impressed out-of-town visitors about Tulsa in the days before the race riot, one of them was just how new and up-to-date everything seemed. From the modern office buildings that were rising up out of downtown, to the electric trolleys that rumbled back and forth along Main Street, to the rows of freshly painted houses that kept pushing the city limits further and further into the surrounding countryside, compared to other cities, Tulsa was nothing short of an overnight sensation. Indeed, Tulsa had grown so much and so fast -- in a now-you-don't-see-it, now-you-do kind of fashion -- that local boosters called it the Magic City.
The elixir which had fueled this remarkable growth was, of course, oil. The discovery of the nearby Glenn Pool -- reputed to be the "richest small oil field in the world" -- in 1905, and by the farsightedness of local leaders to build a bridge across the Arkansas River one year earlier, the sleepy rural crossroads known as Tulsa, Indian Territory. was suddenly catapulted into the urban age.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:35 AM (3 replies)
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