Monday, December 21, 2015

Trump's Muslim Proposal May be Necessary

Critics of Donald Trump's proposal to prohibit Muslims from entering the United States need to keep in mind that the United States is involved in a war with a group that is attempting to get all Muslims to join its unholy crusade.  War sometimes forces national leaders to take actions to defend the nation that they would not otherwise consider.   During World War II President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the bombing of German cities even though he knew innocent children would likely be killed.

I believe that the vast majority of Muslims oppose what the terrorists who call themselves Muslims are doing.   However, even if less than one in 100,000  support terrorism, that is enough to pose a threat to our safety.  Ten men brought down the World Trade Towers.  Tim McVey wasn't a Muslim but he destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., with a truck loaded with fertilizer and diesel fuel.

The situation with Muslims reminds me of Vietnam.   We weren't completely sure which Vietnamese were friendly and which were not.  We sometimes wondered if the Vietnamese barbers who cut our hair in the afternoon would try to slip in and cut our throats at night. 

The terrorists are in a win-win situation on this issue.   If we allow foreign Muslims into the country they will probably be able to occasionally  slip in a terrorist like the woman involved in the San Bernardino shooting or the man who planted a car bomb in Times Square.  If we keep them out the terrorists can use the policy to convince Muslims we hate them.

Those who criticize Trump are ignoring the fact that he is more familiar with what terrorists can do than the rest of us.  His hometown New York City has been successfully attacked twice and nearly was the victim of a third attack.  

Trump is aware of the fact that American intelligence about the Middle East has been weak for decades.  The CIA failed to warn of the attack on the American embassy in Iran in the seventies and the 9/11 attack in 2001.  

Many of the people in the Middle East hate the United States because of European and American meddling in their affairs during the 20th Century.  European nations took over much of the region after World War I and imposed artificial political boundaries.   Later the United States helped the tyrant known as the Shah of Iran take control of that country and Saddam Hussein rule Iraq.  

Efforts by Westerners to ridicule the Muslim religion also generate anti-Western hatred.  These bigots call their efforts satire, but making fun of others is only satire if they of equal or higher status.   Making fun of those with lower status is ridicule.  Making fun of those who are down adds insult to injury.

In the coming election we will need to decide whether we want to risk allowing Muslim terrorists to enter the country legally or make it harder for the terrorists by restricting the innocent majority as well as the terrorist minority.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Houston Methodist Hospital Wants Chris Dunn Dead for Christmas

The thing Houston Methodist Hospital officials want most for Christmas is the death of patient Chris Dunn.   While most of us are preparing to celebrate the birth of  Jesus Christ who healed the sick, Houston Methodist Hospital grinches are plotting to kill a patient.    The former EMT who once worked to save lives now has to plea for his life with hospital administrators who have less compassion than Ebenezer Scrooge.  

Religious organizations like the Methodist Episcopal Church established hospitals like the one in Houston(1919) to provide medical care regardless of ability to pay.. Now nearly a century later the people who run  Houston Methodist Hospital share Ebenezer Scrooge's philosophy that those like Chris Dunn who cannot pay"should die and  reduce the surplus populous." 

Dunn's case sounds like a dream case for a malpractice attorney.   

While waiting for a subsidized insurance card so he could get a diagnosis for a mass in his pancreas, Dunn began vomiting blood. On October 12 he was taken to a small hospital in Pasadena, Texas.  The hospital stabilized him but  for unexplained reasons placed him on a ventilator before transferring him to Houston Methodist Hospital. He remains on a ventilator even though his lungs were not a problem.  Doctors there told the family that he was in systematic organ failure and would die within two or three weeks ago.  That was two months ago.  Doctors think  he is dying of  cancer but have not consulted an oncologist.  Blood tests haven't show any positive markers for cancer.

Recently the hospital handed Dunn's mother, Evelyn Kelly, a notice invoking the 1999 Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) which allows a hospital to arbitrarily ignore the patient's desires and take actions that can result in the patient's death.  She contacted Texas Right to Life which is helping her to fight for her son's life.

 Someone has set up an  account for Chris Dunn so  people can donate money to help pay his medical bills. According to Texas Right to Life the family plans to challenge the constitutionality of the law which the Texas Office of Attorney General has indicated it won't defend.   Someone should tell hospital that if they succeed in killing Dunn and the law is subsequently found unconstitutional, a politically ambitious prosecutor could charge them with premeditated murder. 
When I read Dunn's story, my first thought was that if I saw this "plot" in a old movie or tv series episode I would expect the story would indicate someone was wanting to kill the patient because he thought the patient had witnessed an illegal act.  In a newer movie, the hospital would probably want the patient's organs for a transplant.  Although I now suspect the hospital just wants to get rid of a non-paying patient I wish law enforcement would investigate to make sure there is no criminal activity involved.

One thing I'm certain of is that I wouldn't want to be a patient there because they don't seem to take medicine seriously.  They appear to be motivated by making money.  Healing the sick isn't a high priority.  I also wouldn't want anyone I care about to take a chance on being a patient there.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Planned Parenthood Worse then Slavers

Planned Parenthood has found an even more morally repugnant way to make money than selling men, women and children for profit.   Lifenews has been running a series of stories about how Planned Parenthood has been selling aborted baby parts for profit.  They separate the parts from the babies they abort and sell the parts for research or medical treatment.

Maybe someone other than I could justify donating parts from aborted babies for research or treatment, but there is no way to justify selling baby parts like they were parts from a wrecked car.

I wonder if the black women who allow Planned Parenthood to abort their babies know Planned Parenthood plans to sell the baby parts for Planned Parenthood's profit like an auto savage yard sells old car parts.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Possible Stock Market Treason

Months ago I saw a rumor that some crooked billionaires had worked out a scheme to profit from a stock market crash.  At the time I thought it must be just an urban legend.  No one could be so stupid as to try to crash the stock market, particularly while the nation is at war.  Now I'm not so sure it's just an urban legend. 

Ron Paul and other hucksters are advertising that we should follow their advice to avoid the economic debacle they claim is coming.   Someone needs to tell these dopes that if they succeed in causing an economic panic they could face prison or worse.

The United States is in a war with the terrorist groups al Qaeda and ISIS.   Wars are not just fought with bullets and bombs.  Damaging an enemy's economy can also be a weapon of war.

Al Qeada's 9/11 attack didn't just kill people.  It temporarily damaged the U.S. economy.   Terrorist groups could use a major American economic calamity as evidence that the United States is finished and they are going to win.   Such a claim could be a powerful recruiting tool.

If people were to cause a stock market crash, they would in effect be "giving aid and comfort to the enemy"(i.e., committing treason).  

Stock market "panics" are as much, if not more, psychological events rather than economic events.   Getting people to believe a crash will occur can be a deliberate attempt to cause the crash.  Predicting a crash can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In time of war an American President such as Barack Obama could charge those involved in crashing the market with treason regardless of whether they were motivated by greed or actually wanted to help an enemy of the United States.   Action might involve more than just criminal prosecution.   If individuals are "giving aid to an enemy", government could convince the courts to allow confiscation of their economic assets to prevent the assets from being transferred to the enemy.

Spreading rumors of imminent stock market crashes can be considered the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater and the United States Supreme Court has said yelling fire in a theater is not protected by the first amendment.    This fact means that any television station, newspaper,  online media site, etc.  that provides a forum for spreading such rumors could be prosecuted as a "co-conspirator".

Congress needs to examine this situation to see if legislation is needed to discourage any economic problems or to provide additional grounds for prosecution.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Truth About Slavery

Many of the descendants of North American slaves have a delusion that slavery was only about white people owning black people.   The fact is that Africans were capturing, enslaving and selling each other for centuries before Christopher Columbus discovered a new market for African slave traders.   Africans continued to enslave each other after the end of North American slavery.  There are numerous reports that Africans still practice slavery.

The career of  Englishman John Newton demonstrates not only that whites could be slaves, but that those who engaged in the slave trade could also be slaves.   Newton was a sailor on a slave ship whose shipmates sold him to a West African slave trader because  they didn't get along with him.   A friend of Newton's retired ship captain father arranged to free Newton. Newton eventually got a position as the captain of a slave ship.  A religious experience convinced Newton to become a Christian minister and become active in the movement to abolish slavery.  He wrote the popular hymn "Amazing Grace" which according to gospel singer Larnelle Harris uses a west African sorrow chant for the melody.

The initial forced labor in the British North American colonies involved indentured servants who served a limited amount of time and were then freed. Many whites volunteered to  serve a period of time in exchange for funds to pay for their trip to North America.  The Africans and many Irish were forced to travel to the British colonies. Irish were sometimes sentenced to "transportation to America" for illegal acts.  Most indentured servants were white, particularly Irish, but some were Africans like Anthony Johnson who like white indentured servants was given some land after being freed.  Johnson used indentured servants on his land. 

Later when a decision was made to allow people to be held as permanent slaves, only Africans could be permanent slaves because they were foreigners.  The law didn't allow British subjects to be permanent slaves.  However, initially black children of indentured servants could be treated as permanent slaves because the mother's status as free or nor free determined the  child's status.  By the time permanent slavery began whites and blacks had been having relationships for years and produced children of mixed ancestry.   Some plantation owners forced white indentured servants to mate with black men so the children would become permanent slaves.  This practice increased the portion of the slave population that had European [white] genes as well as African [black] genes.   The slave population received additional white DNA from slave owners and overseers.

The relationships among those of mixed ancestry and between those with  mixed ancestry and whites were producing children who could " pass for white " in the 18th Century.   Some with a slightly dark complexion might have claimed to be of North American or Mediterranean ancestry to gain acceptance as whites.  The relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his sister-in-law and virtual wife  Sally Hemings provides an example of this situation.  Hemings was the daughter of a union between Jefferson's father-in-law  John Wayles. and a slave. Wayles took Hemings' mother as his concubine after his first three wives died.   Hemings was legally classified as  "white" and had  long straight hair, but the social situation and laws governing slavery likely made an actual marriage impossible.   Some of their children later passed for white after being freed and leaving Virginia. 

This situation demonstrates that slavery was no longer about "race" or "color" in 1800.  Even though Hemings was the "white" daughter of a plantation owner, she was still considered a slave who became part of the property of her father's estate when he died in 1774. 

Various accounts in the following years indicate that household servants were often of lighter complexion than field slaves.   Many suggest this situation indicates color prejudice.  The more likely explanation is that the household servants had lighter complexions because they were related to the plantation owner.

By the time of the Civil War there were a relatively small number of black slave owners and  many slaves who were light complexioned or even white.   The strange case of Jane / Alexina Morrison demonstrates that slavery wasn't necessarily about color.  According to the slave trader who sold her in Louisiana the blonde haired blue-eyed young woman he called "Jane" was born a slave. The woman who called herself "Alexina" sued him for kidnapping her after she escaped from him. The case bounced around the Louisiana courts just before the Civil War with juries siding with the woman and the courts with the slave trader.  It  apparently is still technically before the courts.   Regardless of which person was telling the truth, the fact that the courts even considered the possibility of Morrison being a slave demonstrates that white slaves were a part of southern slavery by the start of the Civil War.   Some of the escaped slaves whose narratives were published before the Civil War mentioned having seen white slaves.   

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Madam" Clinton for President

As I was looking at the Sunday evening tv schedule, it suddenly hit me that the one title Hillary Clinton should want to avoid is "Madam".   When I noticed the title of the show "Madam Secretary"  I remembered something drill sergeants warned us about during basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in 1968.  At that time women in the army were in the Women's Army Corps. 

We had already been told that male officers should be called "sir".   We were then told to call a WAC officer "ma'am", but never, ever under any circumstances were we to call a WAC officer "madam" unless we didn't want to go on living.  Calling a WAC officer "madam" implied she was in charge of a bunch of prostitutes because "madam" was the title given to a woman who ran a brothel.

Considering Bill Clinton's record,  many of us  wonder if Hillary would earn the title of Madam by letting Bill turn the White House into the "Chicken Ranch" east.    For those of you who have never heard of the Chicken Ranch, it's a place in Nevada where men like Bill Clinton go to have fun.

Hopefully, voters will be smart enough to ignore the efforts of mainstream media to force Hillary down our throats and we will never find out if Hillary would have become the White House's Madam.

I haven't wanted to waste my time watching the show "Madam Secretary", but judging from the promos, The Clinton Broadcasting System has cast a Hillary clone as Secretary of State in an attempt to con voter into ignoring the fact that Hillary Clinton was the worst Secretary of State since WWII.

Monday, August 3, 2015

How God Ended North American Slavery

The actions God took to end slavery in North America provide an example of the truth of the religious phrase "God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform."

Although southern leaders in 1860 might have been upset that there weren't  going to be any more slave states,  there didn't appear to be any realistic prospect that the United States government would end slavery in the near future.   Even if there had been sufficient sentiment in the north to abolish slavery,  neither Congress nor the President had any constitutional authority to end slavery, especially if  they tried to do so without compensating the owners for the loss of their slaves.  Even if the west could have been divided into enough states to ratify a constitutional amendment eliminating slavery, such a situation would have been decades in the future.

Slavery was unpopular in the north, but northern whites didn't want slavery in their states because they  were often bigots who hated the people most often held as slaves.  Keeping slaves out meant keeping blacks out.   Northern whites might have been reluctant to end slavery without assurance that the freed slaves wouldn't move to the northern states.  

Slavery had caused the nation to become two different economic and social entities  beginning in the colonial era.

The southern colonies were solely economic entities that had found some high value labor intensive crops that could be grown for profit in the southeastern climate.  They had early turned to forced immigration of Irish and African workers to supplement voluntary immigrants to obtain the necessary labor.   The first workers were temporary indentured servants who served for several years and were then given their freedom.  Plantations later switched to having the Africans become permanent slaves.  English law didn't allow English subjects to be permanent slaves, but plantation owners got a law allowing "foreigners" [i.e., Africans] to become permanent slaves

The northern colonies drew more from religious dissidents: such as  Pilgrims and Puritans in New England and Quakers in Pennsylvania.  

The debate over slavery in 1860 reflected this difference.  Southerners viewed slavery as an economic issue. They had depended on some form of forced labor [indentured servants or permanent slaves] for 240 years and couldn't envision a different labor system for agriculture,   Residents of northeastern states viewed slavery as a religious issue in 1860, even though they had earlier sailed the ships that brought the slaves.   Residents of western states viewed it as a racial issue.  They didn't want blacks either as slaves or free people.

On the surface, the specific reasons Confederate states gave for seceding from the Union weren't  sufficient to justify such a drastic action.  There was no significant threat to the south or slavery.     However, a more general reading of the reasons indicates the leaders of the Confederate states no longer felt they were part  of the United States.  Confederate leaders felt their states were alienated from the United States.   They had unrealistic expectations.  For example, they complained about not being able to expand the slave trade to the plains and mountain states, but the climate of those areas could not have supported plantation type slave agriculture.

The slow progress of the war against the tenacious Confederate army created concerns that European powers might decide to support the Confederate states.  This situation forced  President Abraham Lincoln to gamble by issuing a wartime executive order called the Emancipation Proclamation to punish slave owners in the rebellious states by freeing their slaves.  The Proclamation could have caused the four slave states that had remained in the union to secede.   The Proclamation neutralized Britain which had been leading the effort to eliminate the international slave trade.

Prior to the war most of the states that remained in the union had prevented blacks from voting.  The length of the war angered northern residents so much that by the end of the war they were willing to "punish the southern states" by ratifying constitutional amendments to guarantee the freed slaves, and their own black residents, the right to vote and equal protection of the laws.

The protection of the rights of former slaves would remain an elusive dream for a century after the Civil War, but the war provided the only opportunity to provide the promise of a society in which skin color wouldn't matter.   It would have been difficult to have gotten the 14th Amendment ratified in 1960.  Without that amendment the civil rights legislation of the 60's might not have been possible.

The adoption of the Civil War's civil rights amendments represented a miracle as did the elimination of North American slavery.   In 1860 there was no realistic way to end slavery other than through transformation of the southern economy from an agricultural orientation to a manufacturing orientation which could have taken decades.

Confederate leaders took the only action that made elimination of slavery possible.  A peacetime president had no authority to act against slavery.   However, a wartime president could act against slavery because war creates its own reality.   If the war had ended quickly, President Abraham Lincoln would not have had a reason to act.  

The Confederate army's ability to force a lengthy war pressured Lincoln into making slavery an issue for diplomatic reasons.  The length of the war created animosity in the north against the south and a desire to punish the Confederate states.   The abolitionists were able to exploit this anger to get the northern states to forget that their own black residents would get the same rights.

I'll let readers decide for themselves.  Did North American slavery end because of a "happy accident", or did God affect the minds of those involved so that they unintentionally took the actions that would end slavery and at least potentially guarantee the freed slaves equal rights?  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is Trump Right About Mexico?

Is Mexico adopting an old British practice from the colonial era?  Is Donald Trump correct when he says Mexico is sending some of its criminals into the United States mixed in with otherwise law abiding immigrants?  

During the colonial period Britain cut the cost of operating jails by sentencing some of its criminals to  "penal transportation to" the North American colonies.  After the American Revolution "transportation" meant being sent to Australia or New Zealand.   The practice was particularly common with Irish and Scottish criminals and is mentioned in some Irish folk songs.  .

Later criminals would slip into the United States  along with honest immigrants. Some of those with criminal pasts, including some Nazi war criminals, came to the United States to try to change their lives and become honest citizens.   Back when America had a frontier, Americans who started out on the wrong side of the law would move to the frontier to try to start over.

Mexico, like the United States, has multiple government units of various sizes.   Government corruption is a problem in Mexico.  It is very possible that some Mexican government agencies are helping or encouraging criminals to go to the United States by mixing them in with honest people who are entering the U.S. illegally.   The Obama administration's lax enforcement of immigration laws could encourage such a  process.

I don't know if Mexico is encouraging some its criminals to come to the U.S. or not, but the claim should not be automatically dismissed.  We know Mexican drug lords are smuggling drugs into the U.S. so Mexican criminals are able to enter the U.S.  CNN reports that Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman  controls 80% of the drug trade in President Barack Obama's home town of Chicago.  Let's hope Guzman doesn't control Obama.

Trump's claim deserves a thorough investigation.

I'm not going to do a separate post on Trump's comment about Captain John McCain nor am I going to repeat it or provide a link.  I disagree with what Trump said, but I recall hearing a similar criticism being made from some of those in the military a few decades ago.   I don't recall the details of the earlier criticism.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Did Southern Politicians Cause Chattanooga Killings?

Did the extreme amount of attention southern politicians gave to the Charleston killer cause the recent Chattanooga killings?  Was the Chattanooga killer hoping for the same amount of attention the Charleston killer received?   The timing  of the Chattanooga killings could be a coincidence but such killings are not  that common and  two of them have occurred in southern states within a month of each other.   They occurred in the same time period as the  trial of the Colorado theater killer with its national publicity.  I didn't catch the man's name, but a recent newscast included a comment by the relative of a theater victim about how publicity may encourage such incidents.

I'm not suggesting the Chattanooga killer suddenly decided to commit murder because of the Charleston killings.   It is likely he had been thinking about doing something like that.  I am asking if the response to the Charleston killing pushed a man who was thinking about killing over the edge to become a killer.

The Chattanooga killer may have had different attitudes including different criteria for his victims, but racism appears to be a major factor.   His actions appear to have been directed against the American "race" in general rather than against different color groups within the American race.  That's right white folks, racist killings can be directed against whites as well as blacks.  He apparently selected his victims based on the uniform they wore rather than the color of their skin.   Although he was raised as an American, he appears to  have developed a strong identification with his Middle Eastern roots.

The death of the Chattanooga killer will make it harder to determine what he expected to accomplish, but perhaps he left something behind that would indicate if he expected to be able to terrify the entire southern populace the way the Charleston had terrified southern blacks.

One thing many normal people may not understand is that some people would rather be a pariah than a nobody 

Did Southern Politicians Cause Chattanooga Killings?

Did the extreme amount of attention southern politicians gave to the Charleston killer cause the recent Chattanooga killings?  Was the Chattanooga killer hoping for the same amount of attention the Charleston killer received?   The timing  of the Chattanooga killings could be a coincidence but such killings are not  that common and  two of them have occurred in southern states within a month of each other.   They occurred in the same time period as the  trial of the Colorado theater killer with its national publicity.  I didn't catch the man's name, but a recent newscast included a comment by the relative of a theater victim about how publicity may encourage such incidents.

I'm not suggesting the Chattanooga killer suddenly decided to commit murder because of the Charleston killings.   It is likely he had been thinking about doing something like that.  I am asking if the response to the Charleston killing pushed a man who was thinking about killing over the edge to become a killer.

The Chattanooga killer may have had different attitudes including different criteria for his victims, but racism appears to be a major factor.   His actions appear to have been directed against the American "race" in general rather than against different color groups within the American race.  That's right white folks, racist killings can be directed against whites as well as blacks.  He apparently selected his victims based on the uniform they wore rather than the color of their skin.   Although he was raised as an American, he appears to  have developed a strong identification with his Middle Eastern roots.

The death of the Chattanooga killer will make it harder to determine what he expected to accomplish, but perhaps he left something behind that would indicate if he expected to be able to terrify the entire southern populace the way the Charleston had terrified southern blacks.

One thing many normal people may not understand is that some people would rather be a pariah than a nobody     

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Will "Killer" Jenner Gambit Backfire?

I just looked at tonight's tv schedule and ABC could be the biggest loser.  ABC's decision to put the ESPY awards on ABC instead of ESPN could be one of the biggest scheduling mistakes in American tv history.   Even the ESPN channels, which are the normal home of the ESPY awards, have more appealing programs.   "Home Run Derby" and "the Pan American Games" are easily more appealing shows than a silly awards program whose big winner has been known for over a month. 

The E! network which is owned by NBC is taking advantage of the free publicity ABC has provided about "Killer" Jenner to run three 1-hour programs about Jenner becoming a female  impersonator.  The last I heard Jenner is not having surgery to become a woman by replacing his male genitals with female ones. Thus  he will be  a female impersonator rather than a woman.   If I were actually interested in seeing Jenner in a dress I would watch those programs instead of sitting through nearly three hours of a program I wouldn't otherwise have an interest in just to see him get an award.  E! or news programs will likely show the award presentation later.    NBC itself has "America's got Talent" for the first hour followed by a reality show called "American Ninja Warrior".

The 3-hour length of the ESPY award program makes it much less attractive to viewers.   The length implies the program will feature a lot of award categories most viewers won't be interest in.     One of the most common complaints about awards shows is that they are toooooooo long.  One of the biggest reasons people sit through awards programs is to find out who wins.   ABC had eliminated the mystery by saying the big award will go to Jenner.

Of course ABC could not very well suggest that Jenner was competing against others for the award.  If others were being considered for the award their efforts would be shown.  ABC couldn't very well show a clip of Lauren Hill playing her last basketball game to raise money for cancer research followed by a clip of Noan Galloway competing on "Dancing with the stars' using an artificial leg and then show Jenner putting on a dress.  If they did that   one would believe Jenner was a legitimate winner.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Killer to Get ESPY "Courage" Award

It was in the county of Los Angeles, California.   It was Saturday Feb. 7, 2015.   At 12:12 P.M. the call came in.  ESPY's future hero then known as Bruce Jenner had been courageously driving along the Pacific Coast Highway at just over 46 mph  casually smoking a cigarette like an old movie hero.   He was apparently unaware of the danger ahead where some vehicles were stopping at a traffic light.   ESPY's future hero didn't have to worry.   The big Cadillac SUV he was driving would protect ESPY's hero from injury when he couldn't stop fast enough to avoid hitting the Lexus ahead of him.  The impact caused the Lexus to cross over into the oncoming traffic lane where the driver Kim  Howe died when a hummer hit her vehicle.

Jenner probably wouldn't be charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide, which in California can carry a penalty of one year in the county jail, even if he weren't a celebrity because his mistake of following too close is too common.      It appears to be a only  coincidence that after the accident Jenner changed his appearance and name.

Perhaps the advertisers of the ESPY's, such as Capital One,  should be commended for risking acquiring a negative image from sponsoring a courage award for a man who less than six months ago accidentally killed a woman whose only "crime" was being in his way.   Jenner's recent life differs substantially from the life of other award recipients,   Other recipients dealt with conditions that threatened their lives or in a few cases they received the award posthumously.  Jenner negligently took an innocent life.   Most of us would think someone wanting to give an courage award to a killer would at least wait a year or two to show respect for the victim.   Apparently the ESPY advertisers don't think a celebrity killing an ordinary person who has done nothing to deserve that fate is any big deal.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Why Did South Reward Racist Killer and Encourage Racism?

Why did the southern states reward a racist murderer by making him the most significant southern political figure since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?    Are southern politicians so ignorant that they don't understand that the people who commit such crimes do so to get attention?  Why are they aiding and abetting his effort to steal the Confederate Flag and make it a symbol of racism?  Why are they trying to cause whites to be mad at blacks and possibly hate them?

My favorite phrase by the late radio commentator Paul Harvey was often used after a story about someone like the man who killed nine in a Charleston, S.C., church.   Harvey would end the story with, "he'd like me to mention his name."    Southern states have done more than just mention the Charleston killer's name.   They have made him a major historical figure by basing policy decisions on his action. 

I remind readers that I am neutral about the Confederate flag because my great grandfather was in the Union army.  I have been concerned about racism since I was in the 7th grade and read a couple of biographies about Jackie Robinson who became one of my childhood heroes.

There are no inherently racist symbols.   Racists may attempt to use objects or designs as racist symbols, but the symbols can only become racist if others allow the racists to have a monopoly on the use of a symbol.

I got a bit of cultural shock shortly after I arrived in Vietnam.  A bunch of us replacements were flying north to An Khe from Long Binh.  We landed at an air field I think was at Nha Trang and got off the plane for a short time.  Across the road I saw some type of Vietnamese compound.   Swastikas were on top of each of the two posts at either side of the entrance.  The only difference from the Nazi symbol was that these swastikas were resting on one of the arms like on a base.  One of the men who knew more about eastern religions than I did told me swastikas  were used as peace symbols in the Buddhist religion.  The symbol is also sacred in Hinduism and Jainism.   For the first few months I was in  Vietnam the post office where I worked was in a compound that had what appeared to be graves with tombstones that displayed the swastika the same way an American tombstone might have the letters "R.I.P."

Generations of southerners have used the Confederate flag to commemorate the efforts of their ancestors to defend their homes and communities against attack in the Civil War.  Then a cowardly murderer in effect said he wanted the flag to only be used to indicate racism.  Southern  political leaders then  bowed down to him and essentially said:  "yes, Mr. Killer if you say the flag stands for racism we'll let you steal the flag from the families of southern Civil War veterans."

Southern blacks need to understand that freedom means more than just not being the property of a plantation owner.  Many southern blacks are virtual slaves because they have allowed their fears to enslave them.  They need to recognize that they cannot truly be free until they stop fearing ghosts from the  past.

Blacks need to get over the phobia they have about the Confederate flag.

Racism doesn't come from pieces of cloth or other symbols.  Racism develops when people feel somebody has hurt them and decide to dislike all of those who are similar to the person or persons who have wronged them.   When I was in college I worked one summer with a young man who hated all blacks because a black truck driver had killed his parents in a traffic accident.  

The Confederate flag is important to many white southerners because it provides a tie to their ancestors.   They can feel important because they feel their ancestors were important.  

Those who want to eliminate that flag are implying they hate the Confederate flag and by implication the people who consider it important.  Some whites will respond to that hatred by developing hatred of their flag's "enemies".   Telling those who support that flag that they are racists will cause many to become racists.

Dr. Martin Luther King's most important teaching was that you cannot defeat hate with hate. As Marvin Gaye sang in "What's Goin On":  "Only love can conquer hate."

  Southerners who want to defeat racism should embrace the Confederate flag and those who consider it important.   The Confederate flag was not racist.  Both blacks and whites fought under that banner.  As I noted in a previous post both blacks and whites owned slaves and there were white slaves as well as black slaves.   Those plantation owners who sold the lighter complexioned slaves were likely selling slaves who were their sons or daughters, nieces or nephews.

We should not forget the Civil War and those who fought in it.  We should use  it as a reminder of what can happen when politicians fail to find compromises on difficult issues.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

We Need to Plan Boycott of ESPY Award Advertisers

I don't know anything about how to go about getting people to participate in a boycott of advertisers.  However, I think it would be a great idea to boycott ESPY advertisers considering the extreme disrespect Disney / ESPN has shown to real heroes by using the Arthur Ashe courage award for a publicity stunt.

As I suggested in a previous post I started suspecting that Disney arranged for the actor formerly known as Bruce Jenner to get the award after  I discovered that Disney had premiered its own reality show about a man becoming a woman called "Becoming Us" at the same time as the Vanity Fair article about Jenner becoming a female impersonator and the courage award announcement.  

[News stories have misrepresented Jenner's plans.   Jenner doesn't want to have sex with men so he isn't homosexual.  He doesn't want a sex change operation so he isn't a transsexual.  He simply wants to pretend to be a woman.   An entertainer who appears as a female is called a female impersonator. A non-entertainer who does that is called a transvestite.]

There is an old saying in the field of counter terrorism that can apply to other areas of human behavior.    "Once is an accident.  Twice is a coincidence.  Three times is enemy action,"

It is unlikely that those three events occurred at the same time by coincidence.  The fact that Disney was in direct control of two events and could have influenced the third indicates that Disney arranged for the Vanity Fair article and the award announcement to coincide with the series premier.  

My understanding of the way programs are scheduled is that schedules are usually set months in advance because of the time needed to write, cast and perform the program.   Disney likely told  ESPN someone at Disney would select the winner of the Arthur Ashe award so the people at ESPN  wouldn't announce giving the award to a legitimate candidate.  Disney  probably didn't tell the people at ESPN the name of Disney's selection at first to avoid the name becoming public before Disney was ready.  The claim by people at ESPN that they weren't considering anyone else for the award essentially proves my case.

I've had trouble thinking of expressions bad enough to describe the actor formerly known as Bruce Jenner and the people at Disney and ESPN.  I've forgotten a lot of the "military language" that might work, but it wouldn't do any good to remember them because the text editor would delete them.    There are some western terms that might be appropriate like "skunk" and "sidewinder" [ a type of snake that moves sideways].  I've decided to borrow an expression from Jed Clampett on the "Beverly Hillbillies"  -- Jenner and company are "lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut."  Walter Brennan's character "The Colonel" in "Meet John Doe" used the term "heelot" meaning a "lot of heels" -  people who try to get your money.

Jenner and the heelots at ESPN / Disney seem to believe that the rich should not only have all the money, but all the honors.   Those who believe that someone as wealthy as Jenner should receive a "courage" award for taking money to live out a long time dream must have warped minds.

Giving such an award to Jenner at the present time is particularly inappropriate considering the people whose dreams were recently taken from them by an evil madman in Charleston, S.C..

Lauren Hill was a young woman who played college basketball until a fatal form of cancer cut her life short.  When she found out she wouldn't be able to realize her dreams, she dedicate her remaining days raising money so that the disease that stole her dreams wouldn't steal the dreams of any other young people.

Sgt. Noah Galloway volunteered to risk his life protecting us through military service.  An explosive device in Iraq that took his arm and leg forced him to change his dreams.

This isn't the first time Disney has stomped on someone's dream.   If I were Walt Disney, I'd try to come back from the grave and haunt the sidewinding heelots who run the company.

Many of  your daughters know a lot more about a group called the Cheetah girls than I do.   I have read about the courageous creator of the book that the group is based on. She is far more deserving of a courage award than Jenner.   Deborah Gregory was raised in foster care from the age of 3 and aged out of the system at 18 -- that is no one adopted her.    The young black woman didn't let that background hold her back.  She began designing clothes and worked as a runway model before becoming a writer.   She thought she had it made when Disney offered to buy the Cheetah girls and offered her a share of the profits.  She didn't know Disney would claim the people in charge of the project were apparently so incompetent that the project wouldn't make a profit -- or at least so Disney claimed.   Disney's claim would be enough to discourage me from investing in the company.   If Disney lied about the project's profitability that would be an even bigger reason to not buy Disney stock.

Last fall Disney stabbed many of its employees in the back by replacing them with immigrants.   "[A]bout 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost."  Disney's action demonstrates that the biggest threat to well paying jobs is legal immigrants rather than illegal ones.  

A company that would treat the creator of a major revenue source like Cheetah Girls the way Disney did and turn the jobs of its employees over to immigrants wouldn't hesitate to abuse a courage award named after a courageous black athlete as part of a publicity stunt.  I hope someone knows an organization that could organize a boycott of ESPY advertisers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Black Americans Should Thank Confederate Leaders for Their Rights

It is unlikely that the Civil War amendments would have been proposed and ratified if Confederate leaders hadn't precipitated the Civil War.   The fact that the civil rights amendments were an inadvertent result of the Civil War doesn't detract from the fact that the war resulted in ratification of constitutional amendments that outlawed slavery and would eventually guarantee all black Americans equal protection of the laws and  the right to vote.   Blacks should embrace the Confederate flag to show their gratitude for the benefits blacks received from the Civil War.   Incidentally I'm the great grandson of a Union army veteran and have on special feelings for the Confederate Flag". 

People should stop using the Confederate states and the Confederate flag as scapegoats for American racism.  At the time of the Civil War northern whites appear to have been far more racist than southern whites.  Slavery at the time of the Civil War was not just about color.  Although most slave owners were white, there were black slave owners.  Although most slaves were black, there were some white slaves.

The white children of female slaves also became slaves.  For example, President Thomas Jefferson's slave concubine Sally Hemings was also his sister-in-law.  Hemings, who was legally classified as white, was the daughter of a union between Jefferson's father-in-law and a slave.  Several of their children subsequently passed for white after being freed and leaving Virginia.

The strange case of Jane / Alexina Morrison demonstrates that slavery wasn't necessarily about color.  According to the slave trader who sold her in Louisiana the blonde haired blue-eyed young woman he called "Jane" was born a slave. The woman who called herself "Alexina" sued him for kidnapping her. The case bounced around the Louisiana courts just before the Civil War with juries siding with Alexina and the courts with the slave trader.  It  apparently is still technically before the courts.   Regardless of which person was telling the truth, the fact that the courts even considered the possibility of Morrison being a slave demonstrates that white slaves were a part of southern slavery.

The fact northern states prohibited slavery didn't mean they treated blacks fairly.   One of the reasons they didn't want slaves was because many northern whites were bigots.  They  hated blacks whom they considered inferior and didn't want them around regardless of whether they were free or slaves.   A northerner would have been far less likely to have had the type of relationship Jefferson had with Hemings.

"[R]ace prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known." --Alexis De Tocqueville, �Democracy in America� 1835

At the start of the Civil War black Americans had few rights even in the states that didn't allow slavery.   Most northern states, including recently admitted Kansas, prohibited blacks from voting.  Many limited blacks to performing the least desirable jobs and living in the least desirable locations.   Indiana wouldn't allow blacks to attend school.  Illinois tried to keep them out entirely.

"When the Civil War ended, 19 of 24 Northern states did not allow blacks to vote. Nowhere did they serve on juries before 1860. They could not give testimony in 10 states, and were prevented from assembling in two. Several western states had prohibited free blacks from entering the state. Blacks who entered Illinois and stayed more than 10 days were guilty of "high misdemeanor." Even those that didn't exclude blacks debated doing so and had discriminatory ordinances on the local level."

Two Civil War era incidents demonstrate the racism of northerners and the United States government. 

On November 29, 1864, a unit of the Colorado Territorial Militia murdered peaceful Arapaho and Cheyenne women and children at Sand Creek.    Almost exactly four years later on November 27, 1868, George Armstrong Custer led a unit of the United States cavalry to murder peaceful Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle and his people on the Cheyenne reservation on the Washita River in Oklahoma territory.

The Civil War allowed Abolitionists  to gain power and push their agenda which included rights for blacks.   It is unlikely they could have gained approval for amendments guaranteeing blacks equal rights, especially the right to vote, without the Civil War.   States that didn't allow blacks to vote would have been unlikely to ratify a constitutional amendment approving that right  except as a means of punishing the southern states for the Civil War.

The southern states didn't have slavery because the white residents were racist.  Slavery developed in the early colonial period because of the difficulty of attracting farm labor.  Land owners initially used "indentured servants"  who served for a period of time before being given their freedom.  Initially most indentured servants were white, especially Irish who were forced to come to America so the English could take their land.  The first Africans arrived at Jamestown in 1619.  They were treated just like white indentured servants with some landowners giving them land after they finished their period of indenture.

Later landowners decided they would rather have permanent slaves even though that hadn't been the British practice. The fact that Africans were considered foreigners provided a loophole to treat them as permanent slaves. The color difference was a bonus that made it easier to slave from non-slave.  The idea that they might be inferior developed as a rationalization for treating them differently. 

The southern region slipped into the trap of slavery during the colonial period and no one at the time of the Civil War could figure a way to change to a different labor system.   Slaves had become a significant financial asset and abruptly freeing slaves without compensating the owners, at least in the form of some type of loans, would have been the equivalent of burning up money.   Without compensation the owners would have lacked money to rehire the former slaves as employees.  Without money the former slaves would have been unable to buy food.

Jim Downs in his book "Sick from Freedom" indicates that the abruptly freed slaves suffered
"the largest biological crisis of the 19th century".  Mass starvation and rampant disease affected as many as 1 million of the 4 million slaves.   The racism of northerners likely contributed to this crisis because many of them didn't care what happened to the former slaves..

A growth in immigration capable of  creating a labor surplus conceivably could have eventually caused a shift to paid workers by giving companies with paid workers a competitive advantage.   If a slave died the business had to purchase a new one. If a paid employee died, the company just hired someone else.  A slave owner had to continue to provide food, clothing and shelter to slaves during economic downturns to protect his investment.  Paid workers could be laid off.
The Confederate states decision to leave the Union wasn't just directly about the slavery issue.   The southern agricultural economy needed different economic policies, particularly on tariffs, than the northern economy.  People in the region, including some of the more knowledgeable slaves, may have developed a common identity of being victimized by the northern states because they lived in the south. They may have agreed with leaders that their states no longer had a stake in the union.   Such an attitude could explain why some blacks, both slave and free, decided to fight for the confederacy.  Slaves might have been worried that the war would replace one master with another.  They didn't know President Abraham Lincoln intended to free them until after the war.  White soldiers who didn't own slaves [
only 33% of families owned slaves] may have held such an attitude in addition to being worried about how an invading army might treat them and their property.  Some white soldiers had only limited incomes and the military service was an improvement.  Northern soldiers may have been fighting to end slavery, but southern soldiers had more complex attitudes. 

American racism has nothing to do with the Confederate Flag or the Confederate States of America.  The real racists are just trying to use the Confederate Flag as a scapegoat for their own efforts to divide Americans into phony racial categories.   Censoring the Confederate Flag or removing the statues of  Confederate leaders will do nothing to reduce racism because these symbols are not responsible for perpetuating the outright lie that black Americans and white Americans belong to different "races"

The Confederate Flag is no more inherently racist then the crosses that the Ku Klux Klan liked to desecrate by burning.  The best way to discourage the use of the Confederate Flag by racists is to convert it into a symbol of racial unity.   This action should be part of a process in which those people who had ancestors living in the south prior to World War II recognize they likely have cousins whose skin is of a different color than theirs.

Sex across the color line in the south likely began even before an African named John Punch married a white woman who was probably an indentured servant in about 1835. Barack Obama's mother was one of the descendents of this union.   In early Virginia young people often had to marry across the color lines because the number of man in a color group didn't always equal the number of women.  Later when Virginians decided to have blacks be permanent slaves, rather than indentured servants, many planters required their African male slaves to marry their white (primarily Irish) female indentured servants so the resulting children could be kept as permanent slaves.  A change in laws made a child's status as slave or free determined by the mother's status.  It was only free white women who were prohibited from having sex with black men because they children would have been free.  Some of the descendents of these mixed marriages would eventually be able to pass for white and become part of the white population.

Slavery typically includes sexual relations between men in the master class and women in the slave class.  Some of the descendents of these relationships might eventually pass for white as was the case with children of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.   After slavery sex between white men and black women was allowed. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had an Irish ancestor.  Sen. Strom Thurman had a black daughter by the daughter of his family's housekeeper.   These type relationships mean  many southerners have cousins of a different color.
Those who talk about southern racism ignore the north's own racism.  The Roberts Case which provided the "separate but equal" doctrine  for the Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision allowing racial segregation  was a Massachusetts court case.  Lawrence, Kansas, which was a center for anti-slavery sentiment had segregated schools. 

Southern racism didn't become a serious problem until long after the Civil War.  For a brief period in the late 19th Century blacks and whites were working together politically.  Then southern white leaders began encouraging racism to keep themselves in power.  These racists received major assistance from the Supreme Court when it condoned racial segregation in the Plessy v. Ferguson case.   They later received assistance from Hollywood with the extremely racist movie "Birth of a Nation"

The Chicago race riot in 1919 in which 34 people died demonstrates northern racism in the early 20th Century.  The riot was one of many Red Summer race riots in northern and southern cities which included a lynching of a black prisoner in Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1992 the acquittal of white officers who beat a black taxi driver named Rodney King triggered a race riot.

The use of demonstrations to deal with racial discrimination began in northern cities in the 1930's with the "don't shop where you can't work" department store boycotts.  Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., led a bus boycott to force the hiring of black bus drivers in New York City.

The Board of Education in the Brown v. Board of Education case which outlawed school segregation was in Topeka, Kansas.  Wichita, Kansas, high school students conducted a sit-in to force a drug store to integrate its lunch counter in 1958.    Housing segregation remains a reality in many northern cities.  Recent controversial incidents of police killings of black men have occurred in cities that were in the Union during the Civil War. 

Northern states allow the operation of "Jane Crow" health facilities.   A "Jane Crow" health facility is a facility that primarily treats minority women but isn't as strictly regulated as facilities treating white men.  Such facilities violate federal civil rights law.  Tonya Reaves died as a result of a botched abortion in one such facility, which lacks a license to operate,  in President Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Banning Confederate Flag Conflicts with Dr. King's Teaching

Treating the Confederate Flag as a hated enemy because some low life racists have misused it conflicts with Dr. Martin Luther King's teaching that we should love our enemies.  Instead of trying to ban the flag, black leaders should be embracing it so they can turn it into a symbol of racial harmony.   Turning the Confederate Flag into a symbol of racial harmony would rob racists of an opportunity to misuse a popular southern symbol to further their goals.

Using the Confederate Flag as a scapegoat for racism would conceal the real nature of American racism today and in 1860.  Racism then and now has always been an American problem not a southern problem. 

Banning the Confederate Flag because of the recent murders by a coward in Charleston, South Carolina, would reward the pariah by making him a major historical figure.   History books would mention him as the man responsible for eliminating the Confederate Flag.  His name might even appear in the future on shows like "Jeopardy".   [As Paul Harvey used to say: "He would want me to mention his name."]

We might consider him a pariah, but to others of his ilk he will be a hero.    He will have shown them that the easiest way to get what Andy Warhol calls "their 15 minutes of fame" is to commit a heinous crime. 

Normal people don't understand that some people would rather be regarded as a pariah than a nobody.  Some people satisfy their desire for attention through vandalism like breaking out windows in buildings or cars. Others use spray paint on buildings or public works.  Unfortunately, a few use arson or murder to get attention.

Bullies are a significant problem in our society.   The worst thing you can do if you are worried about a bully is let him know how he can get to  you.   The bully boys in the white sheets are already jumping on the Confederate Flag issue to convince white southerners to support the Kooky Krazy Klutzers.

I'm the great grandson of a Union Army veteran so I don't really understand the attitude southerners have toward the Confederate Flag.   I wonder if it is related to a military tradition which began when the caisson  carrying a dead soldier from the battlefield  during  the Napoleonic wars was covered with his national flag.  When my dad died we received an American flag from the government honoring his service in World War II.  When I die my family will receive a flag honoring my service in Vietnam.

Many of the Confederate soldiers were fathers.  Others were uncles of individuals who might not have been born yet.  Southerners may feel the way they do about the Confederate Flag as a way of remembering family members who died to protect their relatives and neighbors.  Many of the Confederate soldiers likely shared the attitude of  Virginian Rufus Peck:  "I hadn't a single regret. I felt I had answered the country's call and discharged my duty, but all the time I was fighting for what my state thought best and against my own convictions." 

Many of the "Johnny Rebs" were black men who had no way of knowing that the war would eliminate slavery.

Confederate soldiers were not the bad guys in the Civil War.  The bad guys were the politicians on both sides who couldn't work out a compromise on controversial issues like slavery and tariffs.

I'll deal more with the issue of racism and the Civil War in a future post.   Those who think the south had a monopoly on racism in 1860 need to recognize that it was members of the Colorado Militia flying the American flag, not Confederate soldiers, who murdered peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho women and children at Sand Creek on November 29, 1864.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Journalists Share Blame for Charleston Tragedy

American journalists are partly to blame for the recent racist shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, because they continue to perpetuate the old southern racist myth that black Americans are a separate "race" from white Americans.   Journalists seem to support the "one drop rule" or "part black all black". For example, they continue to refer to Asian ancestry golfer  Tiger Woods as "African American" even though his mother has Asian and Dutch ancestry and his father has Asian, European and North American ancestry as well as African ancestry.  These racist journalists even refer to a child who has a black parent and a white parent as "biracial" even though the black parent might have more recent ancestors from Europe and North America than from Africa.

The extremely racist term "African-American" implies that blacks are Africans living in America rather than Americans with some African ancestors.  The only African ancestors most descendents of American slaves had left  Africa over two centuries ago.  The number of Africans arriving in the United States dropped substantially after the government banned the importation of slaves in 1808.  Some  African ancestors of black Americans left Africa four centuries ago.  Twenty Africans arrived at Jamestown in August, 1619.  Others had been living in the Spanish controlled areas of what became Florida, Georgia and South Carolina before the English established Jamestown or landed at Plymouth Rock.  It was the Spanish who gave the Africans the name "Negro" which is Spanish for "black". 
The dark skinned peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa might be  of a different race  from the light skinned peoples of northern Africa and Europe,  but Americans have had too much sex across the color line over the last 400 years to be of different races. 

Sex across the color line in North America has been documented as far back as the 1630's when African John Punch married a white woman believed to be an indentured servant.    Punch is believed to be the first permanent slave in Virginia.  Previously "slaves" were called indentured servants and they served for a specific number of years.   His descendents were called "Bunch" and are believed to include diplomat Ralph Bunche and Stanley Ann Dunham, the mother of President Barack Obama.   The small population of early Virginia meant that people often had to find mates across the color line.

In the mid 17th Century slave owners  decided to turn the dark skinned slaves into permanent slaves with white slaves continuing to be indentured  servants.  To increase the number of permanent slaves some  slaves owners required white female slaves  to mate with African male slaves so that the resulting dark skinned babies could be kept as permanent slaves.  The white male slaves would then be left to mate with African female slaves.

The early Africans began a long association with the various North American peoples.  The first association of an African with North Americans occurred in 1526.   In the English colonies some villages would accept escaped slaves into the village and others would not.   In the early 19th century the Cherokee and some others held black slaves.

Virtually all the  African ancestors of slaves arrived before importation of Africans was outlawed in 1808.  Only about  500,000  Africans were imported into North America during the period of the North American slave trade.   This number is significant considering that the total U.S. population in 1790 was only about 4 million with  about 20% or  757,000 blacks.  

The only inherent difference between black and white Americans is a half dozen genes that control skin color.  A person can have a dark complexion even though a majority of skin color genes come from European ancestors because the genes that code for dark complexion are dominant and only a couple are needed for a relatively dark complexion.  One of the genes that codes for a dark complexion is common among peoples of North America and Asia as well as Africa.

The slave genome continued to receive new DNA from plantation owners and overseers until slavery was ended.  The most prominent example of this practice in the United States was the relationship between President Thomas Jefferson and his concubine Sally Hemings.

Southern laws prohibiting sex across the color line were ignored if the female was black such as in the case of the  mother of  Sen. Strom Thurmond's black daughter. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is known to have had a white male ancestor who provided his "Y" chromosome. In the South white men could rape black women without fear of prosecution until the 1960's.  

It's likely that some children of mixed ancestry were passing for white by the early 18th Century.  Many whites who researched their ancestry after the "Roots" television series were surprised to find ancestors whose military records included the letter "C" after the name for "Colored".  President Warren G. Harding acknowledged he had some black ancestors. Some believe that  four other white presidents  may have had African ancestors.   It is particularly likely that President Abraham Lincoln got his dark curly hair from a black ancestor.  Many of his contemporaries believed he had slave ancestors.   Most white people who have African ancestors probably don't know it because that type of information usually was kept secret when a person passed for white.

It's time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race  whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.
Those who are serious about eliminating racism need to begin by eliminating racist terms like "African-American" and racist myths like the idea colors separate us into different races. They need to concentrate on how we are the same rather than how we are different.  We need to recognize the wisdom of the Lakota phrase Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related) .

Black leaders along with politicians and journalists should forget the spurious issue of the Confederate flag.  As the great grandson of a Union army veteran, I don't really understand why southerners have a fascination with the flag, but it is not inherently a symbol of racism. I've always understood it has a defiance of authority.   Eliminating the flag will do absolutely nothing to eliminate racism.  The action might actually encourage violent racists.  With one violent act a coward terrorized the black population of the south.  Racists may think that all they will have to do is wave a confederate flag and black people will hide under their beds.  Normal people don't understand that some people, especially some men, would rather be a pariah then a nobody.

Eliminating the flag will make the little coward who committed murder in God's House a major hero among his kind and a major historical figure.  He will be mentioned in history books as the man who caused southern states to change their flags.  To borrow a quote from the late Paul Harvey: "he [the killer] would want me to mention his name."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Disney Apparently Ordered Award for Jenner

In my previous post I discussed the possibility of bribery being involved in the selection of the so called courage award for the actor formerly known as Bruce Jenner.  I had planned to ask in this post if Disney might have ordered ESPN to give the award to Jenner because it was thinking about a movie deal with him to take advantage of his previous association with the popular Kardashians.   Then I discovered that Disney had premiered its own reality show about a man becoming a woman called "Becoming Us" at the same time as the Vanity Fair article and the courage award announcement.

There is an old saying in the field of counter terrorism that can apply to other areas of human behavior.    "Once is an accident.  Twice is a coincidence.  Three times is enemy action,"

It is unlikely that those three events occurred at the same time by coincidence.  The fact that Disney was in direct control of two events and could have influenced the third indicates that Disney arranged for the Vanity Fair article and the award announcement to coincide with the series premier.  

My understanding of the way programs are scheduled is that schedules are usually set months in advance because of the time needed to write, cast and perform the program.   Disney likely told  ESPN someone at Disney would select the winner of the Arthur Ashe award so the people at ESPN  wouldn't announce giving the award to a legitimate candidate.  Disney  probably didn't tell the people at ESPN the name of Disney's selection at first to avoid the name becoming public before Disney was ready.

Jenner is in no way qualified to receive the Arthur Ashe award because he hasn't done anything yet except talk.  A recipient of the Arthur Ashe award should first demonstrate he can walk the walk and not just talk the talk.   In the past the award was given only after the recipient had done something, usually over a significant period of time except in tragic circumstances such as the Columbine massacre.  Recipients have generally either encountered  personal tragedy such as dread medical disorders or murder or done something significant to help  others.   

If the award was really about the homosexual/transsexual situation, the logical recipient would be long time female impersonator RuPaul Charles, the so-called "drag queen " who has been impersonating women, onstage and offstage,  and helping others to do so for  years. RuPaul has improved the image of those female impersonators called "drag queens" who had previously been at the fringe of the entertainment field.   RuPaul is a recording artist whose recordings have appeared on the charts in both America and Britain.  RuPaul's acting credits include appearing as a woman in movies based on the wholesome American family sitcom "The Brady Bunch".

Jenner doesn't look like he will be significantly different from any other female impersonator.  RuPaul is obviously a better choice than  Jenner if the award is to go to a female impersonator.  But then RuPaul is a  black man of ordinary means who entered the business at the bottom and worked his way up.   Jenner is a rich white guy who until recently was part of the Kardashian family media "circus".  This situation has allowed Jenner to enter the female impersonator business at the top with Jenner's own reality show instead of having to earn the opportunity through performances.

I believe Jenner is getting preferential treatment because of his association with the Kardashians, but if I were black I ,might think otherwise.   In fact if I were black and a member of a civil rights organization I would be encouraging my fellow members to demonstrate against Disney / ESPN because of the misuse of the Arthur Ashe award to benefit a white entertainer. 

Jenner is getting an opportunity to realize a long standing dream and get paid for it.   Other suggested candidates had to give up their dreams, or at least alter them.   There is a saying that if life throws you lemons, you should make lemonade. Lauren Hill and Noah Galloway didn't just make lemonade.  They made lemon meringue pie.    

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Did Jenner, or E! Network, Pay for Arthur Ashe Award?

I'm not accusing anyone of bribing ESPN or its employees at this point.   I'm just looking for a logical explanation for giving the wealthy actor formerly known as Bruce Jenner an award for courage for a decision that required no special courage because the decision is going to make him even richer.  I also want an explanation for why ESPN which is owned by ABC is going out of its way to promote a program on the E! Network which is owned by NBC.   A bribe is a logical possibility considering Jenner's purported wealth and the tendency of many rich people to think they should be able to buy anything they want. 

I'll suggest another possibility in my next post.

How can anyone with an ounce of sense give a courage award to someone for accepting a reality show contract to appear as a woman, or, for that matter, as Count Dracula or a clown?   I don't recall anyone giving Jamie Farr a courage award for playing the crossdressing Cpl. Max Klinger on "M*A*S*H*".  Would Jenner have gotten a courage award if Paramount had given him a contract to appear in public and on television as part of a new "Star Trek"  series in which he  played an alien such as a Klingon, a Bajoran, or maybe even a Cardassian?  

Perhaps if Jenner's "condition" had kept him from getting a contract there might be some merit in considering his action courageous.  How can doing something that is financially rewarding be considered courageous?  Giving Jenner an award based on his "condition" implies that he is afflicted with something dreadful like Jim Valvano's cancer or Pat Summitt's dementia.

The whole decision smells like there is more than one dead skunk in the middle of the road.   The timeline for Jenner's various publicity activities strongly implies that Jenner, or more likely his publicity agent, had arranged with ESPN for the award before the interview with Diane Sawyer was telecast on April 24th.  ESPN's announcement just after the publication of  the Vanity Fair article appeared  sound's like they scheduled the announcement in conjunction with  publication of the article. The claim that they hadn't been  considering anyone else implies they made the decision long before the article was published.  The award will be given out just before Jenner's new series starts.

Considering the prestige associated with the Arthur Ashe award, the expectation would be that potential nominees would be selected by at least the end of March so they could be properly evaluated.  The people at ESPN seem to be saying they waited until the last minute and grabbed Jenner's name  out of the news.   Wouldn't it be more believable to think that they worked out a deal to give Jenner the award as part of his publicity campaign for his new show?  Or, in other words the award is just part of a publicity stunt.  It is common to pay those who help publicize a tv series.

Friday, June 19, 2015

ESPN and Capital One Are Dishonoring Real Heroes

The decision by ESPN and Capital One to allow the actor previously known as Bruce Jenner to desecrate the Arthur Ashe courage award dishonors real heroes.  Jenner has done nothing to deserve the Arthur Ashe  award.

Jenner's decision to be the character Caitlyn in an E! Network reality show is a common type of  action in the entertainment industry.  There is nothing unusual about an entertainer with a male body impersonating , or playing, a female character.  His action involves no more courage than all entertainers must have to perform before an audience.   His theft of the Arthur Ashe award to make himself look courageous is nothing more than a sick public relations stunt.  

It doesn't take courage for someone to take a high paying entertainment job that doesn't involve physical danger like the driver of a truck load of dynamite would face.   Many of us old guys would be willing to let our hair grow, or wear a wig if the hair has stopped growing, and put on a dress for the kind of money Jenner is getting from the E! Network..   Some of us might be willing to go even farther than Jenner is willing to go and let them remove what David Letterman calls our "junk".   When a man reaches 65 it sometimes isn't much more than junk anyway.

Giving a courage award to someone who has done nothing courageous dishonors those who have actually done something heroic.  Giving an award named after the black man who integrated the American Davis Cup team to a wealthy white entertainer so he can further his career is sick.    When Arthur Ashe discovered he had received an HIV infection from a blood transfusion he worked to educate people about the disease and founded Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.   Jenner's decision to do a new reality show playing a woman doesn't remotely compare to what Ashe did.

The actions of a young college woman named Lauren Hill does compare favorably with  Ashe's actions.  When she found out she was dying of an incurable cancer she dedicated the remainder of her college basketball career to trying to raise research funds so other young people would not have to share her fate.

Sgt. Noah Galloway didn't get a fatal disease in Iraq, but he did lose an arm and a leg.   If I had suffered that type of injury in Vietnam I would probably have spent the rest of my sitting in front of a tv set.   Galloway chose to fight back like Arthur Ashe and became a motivational speaker and even finished 3rd in the show "Dancing with the Stars".

Both of these individuals demonstrated far more courage than Jenner has. I recently saw a news story about a young father who demonstrated far more courage than Jenner.  When a man attempted to steal his car with his son inside, this courageous father jumped on the moving vehicle and held on as long as he could. 

The men and women who have served in the War on Terror have demonstrated far more courage than Jenner.    The same can be said of those who work as police officers or firefighters.

If Jenner accepts the award he will mark himself as a coward rather than a hero.   Jenner's attempt to steal the award reminds me of an old Warner Brothers cartoon about a phony hero dog.   At the start of the cartoon "Fresh Airedale"  the dog helps a burglar by serving as a lookout until the car chases the burglar.   When the dog hears someone coming he pretends he has chased the burglar away.  When the dog hears about another dog being called the "Number 1 Dog" he travels to the Number 1 dog's home and attempts to push him into a pond.  The phony hero misses and ends up in the water.  The Number 1 Dog rescues the phony, but is exhausted by the effort.  The phony revives first and when he hears people coming acts like he rescued the Number 1 Dog.    The dogs in the cartoon were males, but Jenner wants to be referred to as a female.   When you get older you sometimes have trouble remembering some words.  Does anyone remember the word for a female dog?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

E! Network Paying Jenner for "Sex Change"

The E! Network has destroyed the story by the actor formerly know as Bruce Jenner that his decision to adopt a female persona is a result of some feeling he really is a woman even  though he still wants to have sex with them.  E! is doing a series on Jenner's transformation into a female character named Caitlyn.  Now don't we all feel sorry for Jenner having to take all that money to the bank.  I wonder if he will be crying all the way to the bank.

Jenner has no intention of becoming an anatomically correct woman.  He prefers to have sex with women which indicates his brain is male rather than female.   His brain and body are of the same sex which means he is not transsexual.  He merely wants to be a character called "Caitlyn" during the day.  At night if he can find a woman to go to bed with he plans to still be Bruce.

The term for entertainers who wish to  perform as female characters is "female impersonator".  Males who aren't entertainers who like to dress as women are called "transvestites".   Such men don't want to be women.    Twin advice columnists Ann Landers and Abigail van Buren used to claim they had been told transvestites were better lovers than other men.   However, I'm not aware of any scientific studies on the subject.

Men should be allowed to dress as women if they can do so without looking too ridiculous.  If women can get jobs digging ditches and driving dump trucks, men should be allowed to look beautiful if they can.  However, I can understand why women don't want such men in their restrooms.  Old overweight guys like me or men who look like the actor who played the character with the metal teeth in the James Bond movies probably shouldn't try to look beautiful.

 Those who think Jenner is being courageous ignore the fact that we accept it when entertainers do  what might be considered outrageous appearance or behavior for non-entertainers. Music videos by singers like Madonna can have a weird appearance.   We may even prefer that entertainers act weirdly.   That way we can say maybe we can't sing or act like Pat Superstar, but at least we're normal.  Circus owner P.T. Barnum recognized in the 19th Century that people would spend money to watch a "freak" show.

 Jenner is not homosexual, but people today accept homosexual entertainers.   Singer Sir Elton John remains popular even though people know he's homosexual. Ross "The Intern" Matthews  on the Jay Leno show was openly homosexual.  

Liberace was a very popular pianist in the mid 20th Century in America and Britain even though many recognized that he was homosexual.  He denied it but his speech, clothing and mannerisms fit the stereotype people had of homosexuals.   His denial may have helped his popularity among those who thought they knew his secret.   They would have watched for clues they thought indicated he was homosexual.   People at the time knew that homosexuals usually didn't admit it.

The exception to acceptance of homosexuals would be men who want women to see them as sex symbols.   Women aren't as likely to swoon over men who "don't like girls".

Female impersonators like Jenner have long been accepted as entertainers.  People like to watch men impersonating women.  Many people consider such situations inherently humorous which could mean Jenner has a better chance of success impersonating a woman than if he played male characters.

 RuPaul Andre Charles has had television shows for years.  Frank Marino has made a career in Las  Vegas impersonating Joan Rivers, including 20 years at the Riviera Hotel.   Australian John Barry Humphries  has played the aristocratic character  Dame Edna Everage for 50 years in Britain and America. The character started out as a housewife.

Robin Williams [Mrs. Doubtfire] and Dustin Hoffman [Tootsie] appeared in successful movies in which the male character each played impersonated a woman to get a job.  Actors Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari started their careers playing women on the tv series "Bosom Buddies."    Jamie Farr helped make the popular series M*A*S*H* a success by playing a character who was trying to get out of the army by wearing women's clothes.

When E! was paying Jenner to be a husband and father he acted like he was a normal heterosexual male. Now that it wants to pay Jenner to be a female character Jenner claims to really be a woman.  Jenner seems to be whatever sex the network is paying for.