National Guard

New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Besmirched By Presence Of Donald Trump, And Absence, Therefore, Of John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon

Today, in Jackson, Mississippi, a new Civil Rights Museum opens, to commemorate the sufferings of African Americans in the history of Mississippi discrimination and violence.

Mississippi is the state of the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955; of James Meredith needing National Guard intervention ordered by President John F. Kennedy in 1962-1963 to be able, safely, to attend the University of Mississippi; and of the three civil rights workers (Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney) murdered in 1964 by Ku Klux Klansmen, simply for the act of trying to register black voters. Also, the murder of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963 stands out as a deplorable moment in Mississippi history.

It is the state which has the worst image of all 50 states on racism, bloodshed, and violence in the Civil Rights Era, but also of its members of Congress historically, including Theodore Bilbo, John Stennis, and James Eastland, and Governor Ross Barnett, infamous for racism and advocating prejudice and denial of equal rights to African Americans.

The opening of this new museum is a wonderful event, but is besmirched by the presence of President Donald Trump, who has a long history of promoting discrimination, racism, prejudice, and hatred in his own life experience, and his promotion of setting back civil rights during his Presidency, including his appointment of former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General, and setting back civil rights enforcement as a policy.

Just as Donald Trump is advocating Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat, with his long record of racism, along with the record of Moore involved in sexual abuse of young women, including girls under the age of 18, now he is coming to an event which is pure hypocrisy on his part, and only promotes racial division ever more.

Therefore, civil rights icon John Lewis, Georgia Congressman, who was involved in the major events of the civil rights movement, and is much respected and honored by all decent people, will not be attending the opening of this museum on principle, a regrettable but understandable reaction by this great man.

Donald Trump Declares War On Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, And Common Decency, Empathy And Compassion!

Donald Trump, in just three weeks in office, has declared war on Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, and common decency, empathy, and compassion.

He has acted as if he can send troops to Chicago to deal with the crime problem there, forgetting that the Mayor of Chicago and the Illinois Governor have ultimate authority over problems in Chicago. The only time when Presidents have sent in the National Guard over the desires of the state Governor was in the South during the Civil Rights Era, when the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, refused to promote safety for black students at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), and when the Governors of Mississippi (Ross Barnett) and of Alabama (George Wallace) refused to obey integration orders for the state universities in 1962 and 1963 (John F. Kennedy).

He has shown signs of trying to cut off funds to California and its university system, because of a confrontational demonstration against a hate mongering right wing extremist troublemaker at the University of California, Berkeley.

He has said he will cut off all funding to Sanctuary Cities across the nation that are out to protect undocumented immigrants, who now are being arrested and deported at record rates, breaking up families, and threatening DREAM kids with the possibility of being deported to a nation they have no memory of, since they came to this nation when very young, and had no choice in where they migrated to.

There is no debate that any felon, any criminal element–drug dealers, gangs, those who have committed major crimes–should and must be deported, but the simple act of people coming here for a better life, escaping persecution and violence in many nations, and those who overstay their visas, should not be included in the deportation.

And many do not understand or realize that millions of undocumented immigrants are making real contributions to our economy, and are not breaking the law, and are not criminal elements, and the breaking up of families and deportation of children is, in itself, a horrible criminal act by the US government.

How about cracking down on native born Americans who are felons, commit the vast number of terrorist acts in this country, and use their Christian faith as a justification for their bloodshed and violence?

Donald Trump and his administration lacks any sense of common decency, empathy or compassion.

Journalist Dan Rather A True Profile In Courage: From Richard Nixon To The Bushes To Donald Trump!

Dan Rather, the long time anchor of CBS News from 1981 to 2005, is now 85 years old, but still in the battle for the truth and freedom of the press.

Rather fought against President Richard Nixon during the Watergate Crisis in 1973-1974, confronting him openly at a press conference, and was on Nixon’s enemy’s list.

Rather confronted George H W Bush in 1988 about Ronald Reagan’s Iran Contra Scandal, leading to the two men shouting at each other.

Rather exposed the fact in 2004 that George W. Bush had been reading magazines and avoiding National Guard duty during the Vietnam War, and for that, he was forced out as anchor in 2005.

Now, Rather is already exposing and condemning Donald Trump in his lies and deceit, and pointing out what any intelligent, sane person sees, that Donald Trump is an extremely dangerous man to America’s civil liberties, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly.

Dan Rather has devoted his life to journalism, and is a true hero, who should be applauded and supported in the struggle to preserve American democracy!

Mike Huckabee The New Orval Faubus, Ross Barnett, And George Wallace!

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is rapidly becoming the new Orval Faubus, Ross Barnett, and George Wallace—a defiant Governor against the Supreme Court!

Faubus, Governor of Arkansas; Barnett, Governor Mississippi; and Wallace, Governor of Alabama—all vehemently opposed the Supreme Court decision on school integration of 1954 (Brown V. Board of Education), and refused to cooperate with integration, respectively, of the Little Rock, Arkansas high school; the University of Mississippi; and the University of Alabama—and mounted confrontations with the federal government, leading to Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy to send the National Guard into those states to enforce the edicts of the federal courts.

None of those three Governors look well in American history, rather are seen as law breakers and demagogues, for opposing the Supreme Court decision.

Now Mike Huckabee stands out as a religious fanatic, a man who does not understand separation of church and state, and as a bigot in his attitude toward gays and lesbians.

His idea that the Supreme Court in Obergefell V Hodges is acting in a lawless manner is totally preposterous, but notice he does not oppose the Court when it comes up with a decision that he agrees with, which demonstrates his total hypocrisy, and his own phoniness about the teachings of Jesus, who never referred to gays and marriage in the Old or New Testament.

Huckabee has become a right wing theocratic demagogue, who seems to think taking such a stand will advance his Republican Presidential candidacy, but even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was against the majority opinion on gay marriage, says that no county clerk, such as Kim Davis, can use religious views to avoid her responsibility to do her job, as working for government is a civil job.

So either Kim Davis does  her job without discrimination, or she needs to be forced out of office, or thrown in prison until she agrees to obey the federal courts, which DO have the final say on all constitutional matters.

Marriage is not something to be voted on, but rather a basic human right, and prejudice and bias and homophobia must not be allowed to interfere with the right of two adults to marry!

45 and 40 Years Ago: Times Of Shame!

PBS last night had three hours of documentary coverage of two tragic events, occurring 45 and 40 years ago at the end of April.

In 1970, Richard Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia, an escalation of the war in Vietnam, causing massive anti war demonstrations, and the massacre of students at Kent State University in Ohio by the Ohio National Guard, a total of four killed and ten wounded; and Jackson State College in Mississippi, the killing of two students by state troopers and local police. This tragic event was covered in “The Day the Sixties Ended”, an hour presentation.

Then, five years later, on April 30, the final evacuation from Vietnam, two years after the Paris Peace Accords supposedly guaranteed two separate Vietnams, after 12 years of war, and 58,000 Americans had been killed, took place. About 130,000 South Vietnamese were evacuated, but hundreds of thousands were left behind, and ended up in re-education camps of the Communist Vietnamese government, or were “Boat People”, many of whom died in the South China Sea. A few hundred thousand ended up in the US, and others, in the Philippines and several other nations, but it was a tremendous human tragedy. These tragic events were covered in “The Last Days in Vietnam”, an award winning documentary put together by Rory Kennedy, the youngest child of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, born months after his assassination in 1968.

The sad part about these events in 1970 and 1975 is that most Americans have no awareness of these events, and we continue to make similar mistakes, as in the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, but causing the loss of American lives and treasure, and the massive loss of life among the people of those nations.

Both 1970 and 1975 are times of shame, but most Americans, being clueless, makes it ever more a shame!

Mississippi: The Bottom Of The Pit In 1962, And Still In 2014!

The state of Mississippi was the bottom of the pit of American society in 1962, when the National Guard had to be federalized to insure that one black college student, James Meredith, could attend the University of Mississippi. It was also the state where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964, while attempting to register black voters.

One would think that after a half century, Mississippi would have improved its horrific status as number 50 out of 50, but sadly such is not the case!

Mississippi stands at the absolute bottom of the pile in poverty, with 34.7 percent of children being in poverty, and 19 percent in extreme poverty, a shocking set of statistics that is totally unconscionable, as children are the future!

61.9 percent of Mississippians are in dire financial straits, and the state only gives the poorest an average welfare benefit of $140 a month, by far the lowest family benefit in the nation!

And children face arrest and jailing for as little an infraction as being tardy to school, or going to the bathroom without permission.

This horrible situation demands federal intervention in the name of human rights! This disaster hurts the black population much more, but also the poor white population is also harmed greatly!

The Democratic Party was responsible for this horror in the 1960s, but now the Republican Party must be held responsible for perpetuating this mess!

Ironically, Mississippi is among the top states for church attendance, and for promotion of “Christian” values, whatever that means, since it is NOT applied in everyday life!

50th Anniversary Commemoration Of Birmingham Baptist Church Bombing: A Time For Reflection

50 years ago today, in the most segregated city in America, led by the most divisive Governor in America at the time, hate and racism combined to lead to a horrific bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Governor George Wallace had already become the symbol of the worst in America, having stood in the door of the Registrar’s Office at the University of Alabama, trying to prevent two black college students from attending the state university based upon their race, but with President John F. Kennedy sending in the National Guard to insure their entrance and security.

Four young black girls were killed in the bombing, an incomprehensible event committed by the Ku Klux Klan, against a house of worship.

This event galvanized the civil rights movement, although it took decades to prosecute and convict the perpetrators of this slaughter.

C Span today is spending much of the day on American History TV commemorating this tragedy, and reflecting on how far we have come in fifty years, and how far we have progressed. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a direct result of this tragedy, helped along by the brilliance of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who overcame the Senate filibuster to accomplish what seemed like impossible odds to overcome opposition.

Congress awarded Congressional Gold Medals in honor of the four girls, in a recent ceremony, and bronze replicas are available for purchase through the US Mint, a great suggestion for a wonderful gift to remind the younger generation of the sacrifices of those involved in the civil rights movement.

The Smearing And Character Assassination Of Bill Clinton And John Kerry Reversed: The Rewriting Of History By The Right Wing

Many people have very short memories, and many Republicans and conservative right wing activists have the amazing ability to rewrite history, and make former “demons” suddenly seem acceptable.

So is the case with President Bill Clinton and 2004 Presidential nominee John Kerry, both of whom have suddenly become “acceptable” and “mainstream”, as the smearing and character assassination of Barack Obama continues in earnest!

Bill Clinton was savaged, accused of every scandal imaginable, brutally mistreated by the opposition party for eight years, and put through the torment of an impeachment, which everyone knew would NOT lead to removal from office, but was designed to besmirch his historical accomplishments.

John Kerry was bitterly attacked, his record distorted, his Vietnam War service trivialized because he had the gall to challenge the war as a mistake, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 42 years ago, and made out to be an unpatriotic American, while his opponent, George W. Bush, sat out his military service in the National Guard reading magazine, and often not showing up at all, all due to family connections.

Now, suddenly, you cannot hear enough praise about the Bill Clinton Presidency, including Paul Ryan this morning saying how different things would be now if only Clinton was President. This is an amazing statement, but only the most recent of laudatory comments by Republicans and conservatives toward the 42nd President.

And, suddenly, as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry is nominated to be Secretary of State, the praise and compliments from his former Republican enemies is overwhelming, and he faces little opposition for confirmation. Nothing is said about his supposed “anti American” statements on the war in Vietnam before the committee he now heads, and how he will now be leading our foreign policy, an idea which would have shocked his critics just eight years ago.

The right wing is rewriting history, hoping that the memory and ignorance of most people about past events is forgotten.

Instead, the attention is given to making Barack Obama a demon, a threat to the nation, to make him out as a man unwilling to negotiate, when it is the opposition which has been intransigent for the past four years, and is still engaged in smearing and character assassination greater than either Bill Clinton or John Kerry experienced!

One would have thought any greater assault was not conceivable, but here it is in full throttle!!

And since Obama will not be coming back for a third term, one can already see the revival of the attacks on Hillary Clinton, as the Benghazi, Libya tragedy is politicized for all it is worth. And since she is a woman, of course she must be trashed, destroyed, eviscerated as the likely future enemy, as the right wing assault machine goes into full gear to elect someone they want, to reverse things back to the “good old days” of Ronald Reagan!

But of course, Chris Christie, by working with Barack Obama, is also, already, being smeared and trashed, because he actually has some “moderate” elements in him, and some views on some issues that does not fit the mold of the far right. Chris Christie, if he runs for President in 2016, will discover just how venal and vicious the attack will be on him for being a “traitor” to the cause, just as much as Colin Powell has been experiencing recently, because of his view that the Republican Party must change its tune, its views, its image, its principles, or face extinction.

It is often said that the media are tilted to the left, when in reality, the right wing media is very much in a time of prosperity and growth, with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden helping to energize their conspiracy theories, the image that the Republic is in danger of destruction all because we have a person of color, a woman, and a man of principle and convictions, playing major roles in the development of our domestic and foreign policy!

As Second Term Of Obama Commences, An Eisenhower Second Term Is Needed!

As the second term of Barack Obama begins, and with the record of mostly troubled second terms of Presidents, one can hope for an Eisenhower second term performance.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over a second term which included:

Avoidance of war, including a summit meeting at Camp David with the Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, something no one would have believed possible.

Promotion of human rights and social justice, with the intervention of the National Guard at Little Rock, Arkansas, advancing the Civil Rights Movement.

Advocacy of the advancement of science and education as a response to the Soviet Union orbiting Sputnik I in space.

Advancement of infrastructure by promotion of the interstate highway system, the greatest transportation advancement since the transcontinental railroad under Abraham Lincoln.

If these kinds of accomplishments are possible under Dwight D. Eisenhower, with an opposition Democratic Congress in both houses, it should be possible under Barack Obama, with a split Congress, a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, working together for the public good!

The Disgrace Of The University Of Mississippi Revisited—1962 And 2012

Fifty years ago, the University of Mississippi became the center of racial confrontation, when the National Guard had to be federalized by President John F. Kennedy to have safe integration of the university, and allow the first African American, James Meredith, to attend and stay safe, as he pursued an education.

There were commemorations of this event at the end of September this year, praising how far things had improved, including the first African American Homecoming Queen. It made many people proud of how far the university had evolved.

But then, sadly, the old redneck mentality returned on Wednesday morning, as 400 students rioted after the reelection of President Barack Obama, protesting his victory in a very racist fashion.

So, while certainly it was only a few hundred hoodlums who participated in the violence, it besmirches the name of the university, and reminds us of how little change has really occurred in 50 years, as the racism of the state, which helps to keep it poor and seen as a backwater, and has led to a loss of a Congressional seat due to lack of population growth, undermines the economic growth of the state, often seen as at the bottom statistically in most categories of judgment!