Tag Archives: civil rights

John Lewis has no regrets on his criticism of the McCain camp

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – U.S. Rep. John Lewis on Tuesday said he had no regrets for claiming that Republican rhetoric in the presidential contest reminded him of words spoken by segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace — but he admitted that he could have made his point “in a different way.”

“I do not regret what I said,” Lewis said. “Maybe it could have been said in a different way, because it was not suggesting that John McCain or Sarah Palin was closely related [in] any way to the actions of Governor Wallace.”

Said the Atlanta congressman and Civil Rights icon: “It was all about what I call toxic speech — statements [and] an audience that can unleash bitterness and hatred. And I don’t need anyone to lecture me about my feelings, or what I have observed for more than 50 years.”

Last week, in the face of declining polls, Republicans concentrated on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and what they called issues of character — and what Democrats called “code words” for race.

Palin in particular repeatedly criticized Obama for “palling around with terrorists.”

“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said.

On Saturday, Lewis rocked the presidential campaign with his statement that McCain and Palin “are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

“During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate.”

In the statement, Lewis linked Wallace’s language to the1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls.

McCain immediately called Lewis’ remarks “beyond the pale” and called on Obama to repudiate them. The Republican presidential candidate continued to fume on Monday. “It’s unfair. It’s unfair and it’s outrageous,” McCain told CNN.

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Don’t Palin, Giuliani know that abolitionists and women’s sufferage leaders were community organizers

“When Giuliani sneered about community organizers on the “South side” of Chicago, it’s pretty clear what he was saying: Barack Obama spent his time rabble-rousing among black people.”Ezra Klien

Both Giuliani and Palin made the profession of community organizer out to be the butt of a joke. Palin said “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer – except that you have actual responsibilities”.

Without community organizers, African American Women like me (and countless other religious, LGBTQ, racial, etc…various social segments I could name) would have a hard row to tow trying to “pull ourselves up by our boot straps”. Um…Palin would not be able to vote without the work of community organizers. Hello?

Abolitionists organized to bring an end to slavery

Women’s Sufferage organizers worked to give women the vote

Countless Civil Rights leaders were Community organizers like Martin Luther King, Dr. Dorothy Height, and Malcolm X

Community organizers would not be a group I would come after, if I was on the Republican ticket, or any ticket for that matter. These people know how to mobilize people, real people, on a grassroots level. They know how to raise money. They know how to make change happen, even when hope is gone. They are real workers. That’s not a population that I would want mad at me if I was in the underdog position in the presidential race.

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RIP Johnnie Carr

On Friday, Johnnie Carr, the childhood friend of Rosa Parks who took the reins of the Montgomery Improvement Association from Dr. Martin Luther King, died Friday. She was 97.  Carr remained active in civil rights, running the association that led the Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1967 until her death. “Johnnie Carr is one of the three major icons of the Civil Rights Movement: Dr. King, Rosa Parks and Johnnie Carr,” Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told The Associated Press. “I think ultimately, when the final history books are written, she’ll be one of the few people remembered for that terrific movement.”

During her tenure at the association, she worked tirelessly to improve race relations, helping desegregate Montgomery schools by naming her then-13-year-old son, Arlam, as the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit.

Source: BET News 

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Man indited over nooses hanging from his truck at Jena march

The Louisiana resident, 18, faces federal hate-crime, conspiracy charges for allegedly displaying hangman’s nooses from the back of a pickup truck during a civil rights march last year in Jena, Louisiana.  As you will recall , thousands of marchers were protesting handling of several racially charged incidents.

Jeremiah Munsen, 18, of Grant Parish, repeatedly drove slowly past a group of marchers gathered at a bus depot in Alexandria, which is near Jena, as they awaited buses to return them to Tennessee, federal authorities said Thursday.  Munsen and an unnamed conspirator had attached nooses to their pickup on September 20 and driven to Alexandria specifically to threaten and intimidate the marchers, the authorities said.

A juvenile passenger was apprehended with Munsen, according to the arresting officer’s report.  The juvenile told police he and his family are in the Ku Klux Klan and that he had “KKK” tattooed on his chest, the police report said. He also said that he tied the nooses and that brass knuckles found in the truck belonged to him, the report said.

“This indictment accuses the defendant [Munsen] of conduct that constitutes a federal civil rights conspiracy violation and a federal hate crime,” said U.S. Attorney Donald Washington.

Source: CNN.com

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You might not want to elude to assassination when referring to Obama

The NY Times Political Blog reports that yesterday, in Dover, Francine Torge, a former John Edwards supporter, said this while introducing Mrs. Clinton: “Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually” passed the civil rights legislation.

The comment, an apparent reference to Senator Barack Obama, is particularly striking given documented fears among blacks that Mr. Obama will be assassinated if elected.

Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman said: “We were not aware that this person was going to make those comments and disapprove of them completely. They were totally inappropriate.”

Mrs. Clinton’s expression did not change noticeably when Ms. Torge made the comment.

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Miami police leave respected 74 year old civil rights leader in a coma

Witnesses say they saw police officers drag a 74-year-old respected civil rights leader from his home shortly before he landed in a Miami Beach hospital badly beaten and in a coma. The family of Bernard Dyer, a war vet, long-time social activist and advocate for the poor, say they want to know the circumstances that led to him having to fight for his life.

Last Friday, Miami Beach Police were dispatched to Dyer’s apartment, but the details of exactly what occurred are blurry at best. Continue reading

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Why Do We Take Off From School for Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

I thought that this  story was so stricking…just had to share it.  Blessings to everyone who has made my FREEDOM possible.  Respect!By Nancy Churnin nchurnin@dallasnews.com for WFFA 8 Dallas

Julia Jordan had a simple answer 18 years ago when her granddaughter Julie, then a high school student, questioned the point of taking the day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, complaining that the clay in her school art project would harden during the long weekend.

“I told her mother to pull her sweater up and show her the scars on her back,” Mrs. Jordan says.

Julie’s mother, Leiwanda Kayrette Stoker, got those scars from sitting at all-white lunch counters during the Montgomery bus boycott, when Alabama police and sheriffs sometimes pressed burning cigarettes and cigars into the backs of those who challenged segregation. As a 16-year-old college student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., Mrs. Stoker was inspired by Dr. King’s words and left school with fellow students to march with him. She was jailed three times. Her mother flew in to bail her out each time, eventually depositing her in Los Angeles with family to keep her out of harm’s way.

“I told Julie, ‘This is the only reason you are going to your school today,’ ” Mrs. Jordan says. “Julie cried. She said to her mother, ‘Mommy, I didn’t know.’ ”

Mrs. Stoker died three years ago from lung cancer. And that’s why it means so much to Mrs. Jordan that the stories of those who fought for civil rights, like her daughter, are kept alive in “381 Days: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Story.” The African American Museum in Fair Park is presenting the 3,500-square-foot national touring exhibition of photographs, political cartoons, illustrations, text and audiovisual elements, developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Troy University Rosa Parks Library and Museum. The display runs through Jan. 13. Continue reading

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