JUNETEENTH

White folks probably don’t know the significance of Juneteenth, also called FREEDOM DAY, JUBILEE DAY, CEL-LIBERATION DAY, EMANCIPATION DAY.  Why should they?  How many of us knew about Cinco de Mayo  before Taco Bell came to the USA?  We, as a race, are extremely culture insensitive.

JUNETEENTH commemorates a day important in the history of African-Americans.   On June19th, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation which had been issued in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln was read to enslaved African-Americans in Texas by Gordan Granger, a Union general of the Civil War.  Texas was home to more than 250,00 enslaved blacks.

“This year’s celebration takes place during a moment of national crisis. There is a collective sense of frustration and devastation as we confront the entrenchment of racism and oppression in our systems of government, education, housing, voting, labor, health care and justice that endures more than a century after the last remaining enslaved Black Americans were freed.” splcenter.org

Millions of white Americans will join hands and link arms and connect spiritually with our brothers and sisters of color in solidarity.  We would like to believe that we do not notice skin color.  That is untrue.  We do see the differences, but what we do in our hearts with those differences determines who we will be as a nation.  Our country’s future is at a crossroads with an issue which should have been conquered with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Today, Juneteenth, let’s join in this celebration of freedom.  Tomorrow, June 20th, let’s flood social media, let’s counter any gatherings of disruptive citizens who want to hold on to racist agendas with our own agenda of peace and brotherhood founded upon the words so proudly exclaimed in our Declaration Of Independence…..“all men are created equal.”

Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be the scene of political forces on June 20th which have given a national voice to the hatred and violence of white nationalism masquerading as conservative values in both politics and religion.  We, proponents of nonviolence in actions of social justice, also have a voice which needs to be heard.  Let those voices be ringing loud and clear as we envision a nation free of racial injustice and intolerance.

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TULSA RACE RIOTS

 

amendment 4 – a bright spot in today’s dismal political news

In the 2018 elections Florida’s voters passed overwhelmingly Amendment 4 which stated that people with past felony convictions who had completed their sentences could not be locked out of the democratic process in future elections.

Governor Ron DeSantis and a majority of Florida’s lawmakers countered with SB 7066 which required people with past felony  convictions to pay fines, fees and restitution before they were allowed to vote.  Essentially, they would be forced to pay for the right to vote.  The state government, led by DeSantis, undermined the voices of millions of Florida voters.

“In a landmark decision yesterday, a federal court affirmed the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of Floridians and ruled that a pay-to-vote system is unconstitutional.

This victory with our partners means that Floridians with past felony convictions cannot be banned from voting if they are unable to pay fines, fees or restitution.”

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER

Calling out racism

Washington Post

SPLC

The above two links were part of my morning read today.  Although I have made a commitment to disengage from the name-calling and the finger-pointing, my conscience will not allow me to disengage from the issues which are controlling America’s destiny.  It is too important for our children and grandchildren for us to dismiss these issues as a passing occurrence, a blip in history.

The Washington Post article addresses the inevitable conversation with one who is racist and initiates a racial rant or an inappropriate racial joke.  (Yes, I still believe in politically correct speech, it is not a sign of weakness).  It happens to all of us at some point in our interactions with the world and more often than not, unless we are prepared to speak out, we will defer any comment or correction.  Usually, afterwards, we feel extremely uncomfortable with our decision to remain quiet.

For me, the strategy is to tune in to key words in the conversation which will engage my offense strategy.  When slurs or demeaning comments are made, I find that simply and CALMLY offering an alternative opinion is usually enough to change the conversation to the weather or the price of beef anuses on the stock exchange.  If the offender becomes agitated or threatening, plan B, escape, becomes the action of choice.  Physical confrontation never resolves any issues.  Please refer to the POST article for further pointers.  We cannot remain silent when racism occurs.

The SPLC article entitled “AMERICA, THE TRUMPED” details how the current Administration has been whittling away at our civil rights.  People of color, LGBT, physically disabled, people of faiths other than Christianity are being threatened by the powers which control our government from the Executive Branch to the Legislature to the Supreme Court.  This dismantling of rights which have been gained by blood and tears throughout America’s history often occurs behind the smoke screen of bluster and bullying which have become hallmarks of Trump’s presidency.   We must remain informed and prepared to take action in the elections of 2018 and 2020.

As I have stated, it is not my desire to dip into the cesspool which we call contemporary politics, but every voice which speaks out for civility, tolerance, and equanimity will be heard by the most Sovereign of all powers.  May we find that voice and use it constructively.clapping