Thursday, February 02, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
There's a gem of information in here on how fake news/alternate facts work in the public mind. VERY insightful: "In a statement, the researchers from universities of Yale, George Mason, and Cambridge in the United Kingdom, said: “A new study compared reactions to a well-known climate change fact with those to a popular misinformation campaign. When presented consecutively, the false material completely cancelled out the accurate statement in people’s minds — opinions ended up back where they started. Researchers then added a small dose of misinformation to delivery of the climate change fact, by briefly introducing people to distortion tactics used by certain groups. This ‘inoculation’ helped shift and hold opinions closer to the truth — despite the follow-up exposure to ‘fake news’.”
thank you Nick Kulibaba
thank you Nick Kulibaba
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
1. “Why is equality so assiduously avoided? Why does white America delude itself, and how does it rationalize the evil it retains?
The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity.”
— Where Do We Go From Here, 1967
2. “I contend that the cry of "Black Power" is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years."
— Interview with Mike Wallace, 1966
3. "But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?...It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity."
— “The Other America,” 1968
4. “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
— “Revolution of Values,” 1967
5. “Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that Capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor – both black and white, both here and abroad.”
— “The Three Evils of Society,” 1967
6. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
—“Beyond Vietnam,” 1967
“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans…These are the deepest causes for contemporary abrasions between the races. Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.”
— Where Do We Go From Here, 1967
7. “The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”
— “The Three Evils of Society,” 1967
8. “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.”
— Southern Christian Leadership Conference speech, 1967
9. "First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
— Letter From a Birmingham Jail, 1963
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
When I was one year old, America entered WW2. My parents like an awful lot of other twenty somethings responded immediately. Dad enlisted less than a week after the American Declaration of War. Off he went to some training base in Georgia or North Carolina. Mom, not one to sit about twiddling her thumbs, began looking for work – The bomber plant was gearing up for the war effort and paid good wages. Rosie the Riveter was a calling she couldn’t refuse.
Their one year old lucked out in several ways. Ada Petit, her new ‘mom’ surrogate (to use a Trump election term) lived in Flint, about sixty miles from the bomber plant. She already had another girl child (aged 5) for whom she was being a surrogate and her own grandson and his mom also shared her home.
As the war wore on, Dorothy Ann, the one year old, saw her mom and dad again just before daddy left for Europe. Mom had already moved to be close to work. Rubber for tires and gasoline for fuel were rationed immediately upon the USA entering the war effort. As a result the sixty-mile journey to visit her daughter was not only expensive, but when the tires wore thin on the family car, impossible.
With very few visits from her birth family, Dorothy Ann became the real life daughter of Ada Petit, her caretaker, and little sister to Madeline and Robert, her young housemates. It was a busy home where rules were enforced with love and respect.
One of the highlights in Dorothy Ann’s life was the arrival of a tall, handsome, voluble young woman at the front door of the covered porch that extended from one side of the house to the other. Edna Hayes and her equally handsome young man introduced themselves to the now four-year-old as she stood protected by hollyhocks and a huge Mexican sombrero that decorated her shaded play area.
After that first visit, Dorothy Ann never knew when the two might appear again, but the lively scream that echoed onto the front porch as the four year old realized who had come to visit let Edna know that she was welcome. Perhaps the reason for the welcome was that always there was an adventure attached to teen aged Edna’s arrival and the most memorable adventure includes a bathing suit as part of the basket of goodies.
It is important to know that Edna had quite a reputation (articles in the local newspapers complete with photos) as a swimmer. Apparently, she decided that her young niece, Dorothy Ann, would someday have a similar cause for celibre’.
The three of them drove in a black coupe with a huge beige horsehair upholstered back seat where Dorothy Ann sat quietly. She never interrupted, no matter how curious she might have been. No telling where she might be sent this time if she offended those with the power to decide.
The journey seemed short, but certainly had to take more than thirty minutes as they drove through suburban neighborhoods and out onto the two lane highway, turning off to a forested dirt road before stopping at a clearing in the forest. Encouraged to exit the two door coupe, the child pushed the front seat forward and climbed out only to find her shoes sinking into deep sand surrounding a large lake.
She had never been to a lake like this one. The canopy of trees reached right up to and over the beach where the little black coup was parked. Her feet sank deeper into the sand with every step as she walked, holding Aunt Edna’s hand, towards the water.
Alex (the name we will give to the boyfriend) carried a straw picnic basket and a large blanket, which he slipped open and shook into a huge sail before allowing it to settle onto the sand. Aunt Edna took off Dorothy Ann’s shoes and socks, shook them out, and parked them on the edge of the blanket.
Lots of excited chatter ensued as Aunt Edna slipped out of her dress under which she had a one-piece blue bathing suit with a rose monogram on the bodice. She then invited Dorothy Ann to allow her to pull off her panties and pull on a one-piece brown bathing costume under her dress. Finally, pulling the dress off over her head, and pushing her arms into the armholes of the suit, they were both ready for the water.
It was a glorious day. Edna introduced the child to the joys of swimming in a small lake warmed by a sunny hot summer day filled with the laughter and chatter of many other children and their families.
Dorothy Ann didn’t actually learn to swim until much later. Not until her 8th grade gym class in 1954 did she feel safe in water over her head. But, still today the memory of learning to float on her back, of playing in the beach sand, of enjoying a Vernor’s Ginger Ale and a peanut butter sandwich while sitting on the blanket on the beach on a hot summer’s day is one of her earliest memories of extended family, of a woman who took time to include the child who had been left behind by her parents in order to defeat the Nazi war machine.
The lesson was about inclusion in a world where exclusion was the rule. Edna, without probably realizing it, had an enormous impact on who I am and why I am at age 76 still working for inclusion in our world. It is a lovely memory and one of the first not influenced by photographs or stories told by others of the blessing bestowed on me by a family member I shall always cherish.