Member since: Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Number of posts: 24,450
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Article. By David W. Blight. 2011.
The people’s history of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day, originally published in the New York Times. Used here with permission of the artist Owen Freeman. (Click photo for artist’s website.)
Thousands of black Charlestonians, most former slaves, remained in the city and conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war. The largest of these events, and unknown until some extraordinary luck in my recent research, took place on May 1, 1865. During the final year of the war, the Confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some twenty-eight black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”
Then, black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. The symbolic power of the low-country planter aristocracy’s horse track (where they had displayed their wealth, leisure, and influence) was not lost on the freedpeople. A New York Tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.”
At 9 a.m. on May 1, the procession stepped off led by three thousand black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body.” The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses. Then came black men marching in cadence, followed by contingents of Union infantry and other black and white citizens. As many as possible gathering in the cemetery enclosure; a childrens’ choir sang “We’ll Rally around the Flag,” the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and several spirituals before several black ministers read from scripture. No record survives of which biblical passages rung out in the warm spring air, but the spirit of Leviticus 25 was surely present at those burial rites: “for it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you… in the year of this jubilee he shall return every man unto his own possession.”
Over time several American towns, north and south, claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. But all of them commemorate cemetery decoration events from 1866. Pride of place as the first large scale ritual of Decoration Day, therefore, goes to African Americans in Charleston. By their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of flowers and marching feet on their former owners’ race course, they created for themselves, and for us, the Independence Day of the Second American Revolution.
Posted by sheshe2 | Sun May 24, 2015, 07:36 PM (1 replies)
Yup, I know. It is all Obama's fault. All of it. It always has been. If you listen to some , you would believe he crashed the economy on his own. He created NSA. He is worse than Bush. He is Republican lite. Dear Gawd. Some here elected him or so they say. Then you left him without back up.
I have to ask, what "Republican Lite" would support Gay marriage? Then support a woman's right to chose and her equal pay? Would they be supporting voting rights? Civil rights? Gun laws? Obamacare? You are lying to yourself and the rest of us by saying this. Shame on you!
It is always so much easier to place the blame elsewhere and never take any responsibility yourself.
Selective memories at times. He never once said Yes I Can. He said Yes WE Can. We, collectively, must stand up and be heard. Everyday we should be fighting tooth and nail for what we believe in.
I for one will not stop until I am 6 feet under.
If your only goal is to get to the top of the page, keep on bashing. It is a proven theory here. I have been told by someone that it works for them, sadly it does.
Posted by sheshe2 | Sat May 9, 2015, 09:28 PM (56 replies)
I underestimated the amount of racial bigotry we still have in this country and admire him for being so strong.
Posted by sheshe2 | Tue May 5, 2015, 09:58 PM (0 replies)
Here, he was coming back from Sandy Hook. Tears.
Nope....we were never asking for the son of Gawd. We were asking for some sun. He gave us that.
POTUS just dropped the Mic for the ages.
POTUS speech at Selma was a love letter to America.
3:51 PM - 7 Mar 2015
View image on Twitter
Trymaine Lee ✔ @trymainelee
THIS photo of Obama and John Lewis in Selma yesterday. The long arc of 50 yrs ago bent toward his presidency. (WashP)
12:24 PM - 8 Mar 2015 Selma, AL, United States
Yup, yes...so many hate me here for supporting this President. I don't care. Best President in my lifetime. He has stepped up to the plate every damn day. He does it with humor and grace. Yes dignity so much dignity. He has been been vilified from day one and he lets that roll off his back. The right hates him, the left, some seem to think he is a POS. Sad that.
He has given us more peace and stability with other countries than we have seen in a very long time. Our standing has risen.
He gave us hope with healthcare. Is it perfect, no. We got the best we could at that time. No preexisting conditions, children stay on there parents plan until they are 26. So much, so much more.
He is the best President of my lifetime. Best. Ever!
edit to ad~
Posted by sheshe2 | Thu Apr 30, 2015, 02:14 AM (12 replies)
After All This, Has He Earned Nothing?
By Liberal Librarian
“There are no wage/labor/environmental protections!”
That’s just false. The summary shows this. You can only believe this if you, without evidence, assume the summary is false propaganda.
And that last point leads into the meat of the essay.
“Obama must be lying. He’s sold us out. He’s the corporatist we always knew he was.”
Pres. Obama has operated under a handicap for the 6 and a half years of his presidency.
No, I’m not talking about him being the nation’s first African-American president. There is that. But I’ve come to realize that’s not his largest handicap.
No, I’m referring to the almost messianic hopes pinned on his presidency.
Yes, his campaign and governing themes have been “hope” and “change”. But I defy anyone to point to me where he says “I am the hope,” or “I am the change.”
People heard the words “hope” and “change” and zoned out after that, without listening to the full message. “You are the hope.” “You are the change.”
Nothing is easy. Pres. Obama didn’t promise a path laid with primroses. He emphasized that nothing changes without struggle, without sweat. But Americans, being Americans, pinned all their hopes on a magical being. And when life, being what it is, turned out to be much messier than they had envisioned, they turned on a dime and blamed Pres. Obama.
“He betrayed us! There’s no change, no hope!”
Read More http://theobamadiary.com/2015/04/24/after-all-this-has-he-earned-nothing/
Good read, very good read.
Posted by sheshe2 | Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:37 PM (141 replies)
Evelyn pulled her wheelchair close to the bathroom sink and went through her morning ritual. Combing her black hair. Brushing her false teeth. Putting on her makeup.
"Sit down, I want to talk with you," she said.
I sat on the closed toilet seat, two cameras on my lap, ready to photograph her, as I had so many times before.
"How's your dad?" she asked.
"He is not well," I said. "He is struggling."
She stopped applying her makeup and turned to me. "Look. He is likely not going to make it, and you're going to have to be OK with that."
It was classic Evelyn, blunt and to the point. Her lipstick done, she rolled her wheelchair slowly backward, then reached over and flicked off the light. "Didi, come get me," she called to her caregiver, who was cooking breakfast.
She left me sitting there, alone. She had just said what the doctors would not. My father was dying.
Love. Forgive. Be present. And then let go.
This is a good read, sad but good. http://www.latimes.com/local/great-reads/la-me-c1-caregiver-20141218-story.html#page=1
Posted by sheshe2 | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:50 PM (13 replies)
Below the Medicare "Doc Fix" Surface: President Obama's Big Liberal Health Care Rout No One Noticed
That most likely means that should Congress choose to offset this deficit increase, they are likely to come either from a further increase in taxes or payments (Republicans have crowed about this bill's provision raising the Medicare Part B rates on wealthier seniors, believing it would help shoot down public support for Medicare ), or in cuts to other programs - and there the largest chunk of spending belongs to Defense.
Sure, they can try to cut the ACA or Medicaid later, but without being able to link it to the scary prospect of Medicare payments going down by 20% or a quarter, they will have a tough time justifying such cuts, and Democrats will have an easier time blocking them. They can try to raise the Medicare eligibility age, but they would have to allow the people in the gap to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act, meaning they will end up making more people eligible for Obamacare! And, they would have to fund that too.
For these reasons, this was a pretty brilliant play on the part of the President and the Democrats. They used the doctors' lobby - which for some reason beyond my understanding often backs Republicans but have been seeking a permanent repeal of the SGR - to neutralize GOP threats against the two (count'em, two) other progressive priorities: Medicaid and Obamacare.
And oh, the law the President just signed also extends the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two more years. You will recall that one of the first things Barack Obama did when he became president was sign a massive expansion of CHIP.
So while the media is either ignoring the story altogether or huffing and puffing about the fact that it isn't mostly paid for, the legislation the President signed yesterday is a massive progressive rout on health care policy: it solved Medicare payments, protected Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act from a politically potent axe, and expanded CHIP. The Rigth simply got rolled (and you can tell they got rolled by the loud houls coming from the Right precisely because they didn't get to cut other health care programs into oblivion).
Well done, Democrats. Well done, Mr. President.
Read More http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2015/4/15/president-obamas-big-liberal-medicare-rout-doc-fix
Posted by sheshe2 | Fri Apr 17, 2015, 08:21 PM (63 replies)
Sugar and spice and everything nice…
A powerful photo series smashes through those age-old expectations by depicting little girls as they truly are: Brave, joyful, defiant, curious. And even a little bit messy.
Kate T. Parker is an acclaimed Atlanta-based photographer, but she’s also the mother of two young girls. It’s that last role that inspired her beautiful and aptly titled collection, “Strong is the New Pretty.”
“I wanted to celebrate these girls as they are, not how females are expected to be. I wanted to celebrate them, just as they are, and show them that is enough. Being pretty or perfect is not important. Being who they are is,” Kate says, adding, “There’s a lot of pressure for girls (and women) to look a certain way, act in certain manner, and I wanted to let my daughters know that who they naturally are is enough.”
Take a look
The intent of the collection isn’t to pigeon-hole all girls as tomboys and athletes, just as it’s not meant to dismiss outright pink and princesses. Kate says she just set out to show that little girls can’t be forced to fit the confines of a single cookie cutter mold. They are mermaids and skateboarders and everything in between. They are whoever and whatever they want to be.
“If your daughter is obsessed with pink, princesses, and ballet, amazing! Or if she is a soccer playing, tough-as-nails bookworm, great!” Kate tells PopSugar. “Allow your girls to be who they are, whatever that is. Create an environment for them to feel secure and confident in their own selves. Let them know that whatever it is, whoever they are, that’s OK. And not only OK, it’s great.”
Read and See More http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/strong-is-the-new-03262015pretty-photos-show-secret-side-of-girls/
Girls after my own heart. I was such a tomboy. I played with trucks, one of my favorite vehicles was a tractor that had sparks that flew out of the stack. My greatest joy was when my dad tossed me dress and all into the cab of his truck, way up high in the sky.
There were few trees I didn't climb, and Lol~ some I fell out of. My mom and aunt had to soak my knee one time in the tub for an hour to get all the grit out of the cut. As kids we would go into the pine forest for hours, playing cowboys and Indians. Built forts and made bows and arrows out of branches. On Sundays my mom would pull my dress out of the closet for church. It took me years before I stopped bursting into tears when I saw it and hid under the bed, 'cause I didn't want to wear the stupid dress and I sure didn't want to go to church.
See, we can be anything we want to be. These are awesome photographs of girls, being who they want to be. The beauty and spirit in these photos is awesome.
Posted by sheshe2 | Mon Apr 6, 2015, 08:01 PM (37 replies)
My, how we have aged, look at us. Look at us because we are beautiful and strong and determined.
How Gloria Steinem Reacted When People Called Her 'Pushy' In 1971
Gloria Steinem broke down the double standards powerful women face -- all the way back in 1971.
Resurfaced by WifeyTV in honor of Steinem's 81st birthday this past Wednesday, a 1971 CBC Archives clip shows the feminist writer and activist reacting to critics who call her "pushy" and a "bitch." In the interview, CBC director Carl Charlson plays Steinem a recording of an acquaintance talking about the criticisms she often hears about Steinem.
The voice on the recording says that Steinem is often assumed to be a "real bitch" and "very aggressive and pushy." "Everybody’s always asking me about what kind of girl is she?" the woman on the recording says. "You know they have these whole preconceived ideas of girl who gets to where Gloria is in life, what one has to do."
Far too often, women are penalized for being seen as "pushy" or "bitchy." The idea that a woman can't make it to the top of her field while also being nice continually perpetuates sexism in the workplace. And, sadly, this isn't a new concept if Steinem was dealing with it nearly 45 years ago.
Angela Davis speaks on struggles of feminism
"In 1971, I was in jail," said Davis, drawing scattered laughter from the crowd. "While I was in jail, I tried to participate as much as possible in movements that were unfolding in the so-called free world ... There was a huge reproductive rights rally scheduled in San Francisco. I was in Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge.
"I was asked to write a statement that very specifically engaged with the issue of abortion rights. Of course, I was in favor of women's abortion rights, but I did not want to take women's abortion rights out of the context of the broader conglomeration of issues that constitute women's reproductive rights.
"At that time, we had learned that vast numbers of Native American women had been sterilized. We'd also learned about the extent to which Puerto Rican women were used as guinea pigs by pharmaceutical companies in the production of what was then the new birth control pill. So, I wrote a statement in which I tried to make connections between women's reproductive rights and women's right to be free from forced sterilization. The statement wasn't read.
"My position was, I cannot talk about abortion rights in isolation from these other issues. I've come to understand that when we talk about feminist epistemologies, we speak precisely about the ability to think, together, about things that often do not cohabit the same analytical space."
We are rising up again and again and again.Help us.
Edit to add.
We are not as pretty as we were back then. Yes we have aged. Yet our spirit is ageless. We are forever young in our quest.
Posted by sheshe2 | Wed Apr 1, 2015, 11:19 PM (48 replies)
A lot of people in the media miss a story like this because they're lazy. I've seen a couple of articles (here's the worst) about the President's recent commutations and they all zero in on a narrative that was started a long time ago about him being stingy with clemency. All that was required to adopt that narrative was counting.
But if you read the President and Attorney General's comments when they kicked off the Clemency Initiative, you knew what had held things up in the beginning and what they were doing to change the process. It was inevitable that - before his second term was over - there were going to be some big announcements. Furthermore, if you pay attention to what the White House said about this announcement, you know there are more to come.
What the clemency initiative tells us about President Obama
At the end of his first term, President Obama had granted clemency to one person. Of course this led many people to conclude that he didn't care about criminal justice reform or correcting the racial disparities in that system - especially those created by our "war on drugs." As of this week, we know those conclusions were premature.
The shift started early in the President's second term when he basically announced an end to the war on drugs saying, "we simply cannot incarcerate our way out of the drug problem." Then last December, he commuted the sentences of eight federal prisoners who were serving long sentences due to crack cocaine convictions prior to the Fair Sentencing Act. Of course there were plenty of progressives who took that as an opportunity to talk about the thousands of others who were not granted clemency and lecture President Obama about the importance of courage.
The pardon attorney, former military judge Ronald Rodgers, sends his recommendations of whether or not to grant the petitions to the Deputy Attorney General’s office, which then sends them on to the White House. The pardon attorney was recommending that the president deny nearly every single petition for a pardon or a reduced sentence, according to one senior official in the Obama administration.
We also know that the President didn't like the kinds of recommendations that he was getting.
The president complained that the pardon attorney's office favored petitions from wealthy and connected people, who had good lawyers and knew how to game the system. The typical felon recommended for clemency by the pardon attorney was a hunter who wanted a pardon so that he could apply for a hunting license.
We are in the process of learning that the work on all this has been underway for quite some time. Armed with a scathing report from the Inspector General's Office that concluded in December 2012, Ronald Rodgers is now gone from the pardon attorney's office and will be replaced by Deborah Leff who has been Senior Counselor for Access to Justice at DOJ, an initiative launched in 2010 to:
Read More: http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2014/04/what-clemency-initiative-tells-us-about.html
But this was never about a lack of courage. Instead, its about a cultural bureaucracy that needed to be reformed.
One little thing I found interesting is that he only has a couple of choices for what he wears. His reasoning is that his days are so busy and full of demanding/difficult decisions, he doesn't want to waste time on his attire. Overall, he limits any kind of distraction that would sap the energy he needs to do the job.
Paying attention to that, it makes sense that he wouldn't sit down and videotape a conversation with someone like David Simon just for kicks (as much as he might enjoy that). Everything this man does on the job has a strategic purpose - even the fun stuff.
Read More http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-media-miss-story.html
Good read, very good read.
Thank you President Obama and AG Holder.
Posted by sheshe2 | Wed Apr 1, 2015, 09:04 PM (3 replies)