As thousands marched across Selma’s Edmund Pettus bridge this weekend, a small band of white people were less than a mile away, mourning the loss of the Confederacy and guarding a memorial to a white supremacist.
Live Oak cemetery is a burial site for Confederate soldiers in the civil war and contains the grave of Edmund Winston Pettus, the general - and member of the Ku Klux Klan - after whom the town’s bridge was named.
There has been a growing campaign to rename Selma’s bridge given its association with the Confederate south, and dozens of students had planned a peaceful march to the cemetery. They quickly changed plans after discovering the neo-Confederates were waiting for them.
“‘March’ is a military term,” explained Todd Kiscaden, 64, who had traveled to Selma from his home in Tennessee to defend the memorial site. “In any military context, if you’re going to march on my castle, I’m going to man my barricades.”
Selma is most famous for the violent assault on peaceful civil rights marchers on the town’s bridge in 1965. But the Alabama town was also the site of another clash: a notorious civil war battle in which Union forces defeated the pro-slavery Confederate army.
The cemetery where Pettus is buried also contains a memorial to the fallen soldiers, and a controversial monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the lieutenant general in the Confederate army and first Grand Wizard of the Klan.
The graveyard has long been a flashpoint between African Americans and pro-Confederate historians in the town. The graveyard has been the focus of protests before; the memorial has been vandalised and, three years ago, a bronze bust of Forrest was stolen. Kiscaden, from the group Friends of Forrest, which tends the memorial site, said they were in the process of replacing the stolen bust.
Sunday’s aborted march to the cemetery was organised by Students Unite, the Selma-based youth group behind a viral online campaign to rename the Edmund Pettus bridge. They planned to march peacefully and respectfully to the graveyard, to draw protest against the Pettus bridge name and the existence of a monument to a white supremacist.
“We’re a non-violent group,” explained John Gainey, 25, executive director of Students Unite. “We didn’t want a confrontation.”
“The people in the south - the white people, who were being abused - organised a neighbourhood watch to try to re-establish some order,” he said of the nascent Klan. Slavery in the south was “a bad institution”, he said, but possibly “the mildest, most humane form of slavery ever practiced”.
“If you look at the wealth created by the slaves, in food, clothing, shelter, medical care, care before you’re old enough to work, care until you died, they got 90% of the wealth that they generated,” he said. “I don’t get that. The damn government takes my money to the tune of 50%.”
Kiscaden and Godwin insisted they were not racist. But they made plain that they hankered for a revival of some of the ideals most Americans believe were defeated in 1865.
Since the end of the Civil War almost 3 years ago, the revolution has been hijacked, and another Civil War has started. How did Libya come to this?
This started right with the election of the General National Council. Though the MB-Aligned Islamist lost, they were gradually able to take power, largely through intimidation, and assassination.
In addition, as the GNC was under their control, a number of members, notably a Nouri Abusahmain. He personally divert money into creating the Libyan Revolutionary Operations Room. This organization would later abduct the then-Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in a coup attempt.
The GNC was believed by its opponents to be allowing Islamist groups to conduct assassinations, and kidnappings, especially in Benghazi. Prominent Islamist incidents in 2013-14 included the kidnapping of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in October 2013, and the kidnapping of Egyptian diplomats in January 2014. Both incidents were carried out by the LROR.
In October 2013, following the kidnapping of the prime minister, Abusahmain used his presidency to change the agenda of the GNC in order to prevent a debate over disestablishing the LROR. At the same time, he cancelled a request to establish a committee to investigate the allocation, by Abusahmain himself, of 900 million Libyan Dinars (US $720 million) to the LROR and various other Islamist armed groups.
In Benghazi, now a center of fighting, there has been allegations that the GNC turned a blind eye to the various radical militias that popped up, including Ansar Al-Sharia, which would attack the US Consolate in Benghazi on September 11th, 2013.
As the second Civil War came closer, in April of last year, an Anti-Terrorist camp, called, Camp 27 was seized by forces under the command of the Libyan Shield Force, which has links to Al-Qaeda through its leaders. This Ibrahim Tantoush has also been cited by the UN as a Terrorist.
Another angle on this is the women’s rights one. Since the GNC was hijacked, they have been following the pronouncements of a Sadiq Ghariani. Unfortuately, people have been intimdated and killed for opposing him, with Hamida Al-Hadi Al-Asfar being tortured and killed in August of 2013 and no arrests being made. In an earlier incident, in April of the same year, two politicians, Ali Tekbali and Fathi Sager were arrested. The following section, from Wikipedia and sourced from Amnesty International, and the election results last year:
In June 2013, two politicians, Ali Tekbali and Fathi Sager, appeared in court for “insulting Islam” for publishing a cartoon promoting women’s rights. Under sharia law they were facing a possible death penalty. The case caused widespread concern although they were eventually acquitted in March 2014. After the GNC was forced to accept new elections, Ali Tekbali was elected to the new House of Representatives.
The last piece of the powder keg was when the Islamist-hijacked GNC tried to try to vote itself more time without elections. This occured in the late part of 2013, into 2014. This was not handled well by people in many regions, and protests continued for months. In Feburary of 2014, Gen Haftar commanded that the GNC stand down for elections. The GNC responded by calling him a dictator, and calling his demands ridiculous. The GNC would only allow new elections in May, after General Hafter started a Military Operation against the GNC. The Islamists promptly suffered a devastating defeat. However, Islamists, mostly supported by Misrata, refused the results, and started attacking. They eventually took Tripoli, and the Airport, forcing the government to Tobruq. Islamist units militias in Benghazi started attacks on Haftar’s forces, with the city see-sawing in terms of control. One thing of note here. The Islamist forces fighting in Benghazi are under the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, under which is Ansar al-Sharia. Another group is Libyan Shield 1, based out of Misrata, and was set up in 2012 by the Libyan Ministry of Defense. I would argue this is a sign that, since it was set up by the Government, it is still presumably under control of the MB-Government in Tripoli, which means at some level, they approved the attack on our consulate. I would at that, the New Yorker puts a pretty good summary of the Libyan Government in Tripoli.
The group aligned against Haftar, Libya Dawn, is an uneasy coalition; it includes former Al Qaeda jihadists who fought against Qaddafi in the nineties, Berber ethnic militias, members of Libya’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a network of conservative merchants from Misrata, whose fighters make up the largest block of Libya Dawn’s forces.
So, what do we have as a picture here? Well, the MB seems to have a lust for power that means they are quite willing to cause civil war, murder opponents, use thuggery to get their laws past, and disappear people at will, as happened in Tarhouna today, against an elder opposed the MB. The Muslim Brotherhood is also not representative of Islam, as shown by their willingness to kill other Muslims who think differently than they do. And they are also incompetent in governance, as shown by the Corinthian Hotel attack last month, which literally happened under their nose. And, as a result of the fighting caused by the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS now has control over the area of Derna, along with the area around Sirte. They seem to have also eliminated Forces friendly to the MB in the east.
This represents a major threat to Europe and NATO, as this is right on Italy and Greece’s doorstep. The US, which is for some inane reason remaining neutral, needs to start assisting the Government of Tobruq against both ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, considering the Government in power in neighboring Algeria is partially controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, a major investigation should be done to see if they are supporting the MB in Libya.
I would completely support attacks by the US and NATO against the Tripoli Government, and ISIS. In addition, there should be an assistance force, to help train the military and government in Tobruq, and a Marshall Plan to rebuild the Nation of Libya after the actions of Gadhafi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
I also think that, after this, the Muslim Brotherhood should be designated a terrorist organization by the United States.
It’s good to be reminded how fortunate we are, how much we take for granted.
Sarah was born and raised in Hagadera refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Now 21, she has become a wife and mother without ever setting foot outside the camp.
“I feel like I am Somali,” she says, tenderly rocking her two-week-old daughter, Somaya. “My parents are Somali. I believe that someday Somalia will be peaceful and I will go there.”
Today, over 1 million Somalis remain displaced outside their country. With the crisis well into its third decade, UNHCR has launched a Global Initiative on Somali Refugees in a bid to find solutions. The aim is to empower Somali refugees so that, one day, they can return home and rebuild their nation.
“Now we are all educated,” says Sarah, proudly. “We have knowledge in all different areas. I think when we go back to Somalia we will develop the country, one way or another.”
Find more stories like this at tracks.unhcr.org
As awful as all that is, it appears that things might finally be looking up for Somalia after 25 years of government collapse, civil war, drought, piracy, and terrorism. See the articles below for more info.
While this doesn’t quite rise to Sarah Palin-level word salad, I can’t quite make out what Glenn Beck is trying to say here. The Republicans, having won the midterms are going to rise up and overthrow … themselves? “Americans want us to stop dividing ourselves…” from a man whose entire career is based on identifying people in poor, disempowered & marginal groups - black, Latino, gay, poor - and blaming them for everything that’s wrong in America?
Kinda like a pyromaniac setting an oil storage tank on fire, blowing up an entire neighborhood, and then saying, “Well, what the community really needs is for people to just chill out and stop running around on fire.” Say what? Um … those matches in your hand, dude?
So if it’s not going to be the GOP starting a civil war, it’ll be … the Democrats? Because Civil War is bad and Democrats are bad, and argle bargle someone make the voices in my head stop no I’m sorry please don’t bring out the chalkboard I’ll be good I promise.
I guess when your entire livelihood is based on making people afraid, you have to dig deep and hard to unearth something to be afraid of. Because if you’re not afraid, I mean absolutely soul-deep terrified of something, then the entire rationale for voting Republican pretty much … disappears. And then people start wondering what the hell they just voted for - as opposed to voting against. And that seriously can’t happen.
We have a very bad scenario headed our way, where somebody — because the Democrats won’t be blamed on it, they’ll say, ‘We didn’t have anything to do with it, and … we’re not as extreme as [Obama]’ — and so somebody is going to play the middle ground between the ‘evil’ Republicans and this president, and I think it could get ugly. I think we’re in the most dangerous period now [that] The Republic has been in since the Civil War, from now until probably spring of 2017.
Oh my God, the stupid, it burns! Brian Tashman reports on a double six pack of derp.
On his radio show last month, Religious Right broadcaster Kevin Swanson hosted a neo-Confederate author to discuss how Abraham Lincoln used the Civil War — or as he called it, “The War Against The South” — to impose socialism on America.
Swanson is adding Lincoln to the list of people, such as Mark Twain, who he believes ruined the country by replacing Antebellum slavery with Big Government socialist slavery.
“It’s the socialist utopians that come into town and they promise deliverance from local fiefdoms only to create a large tyranny in the Soviet Union, Soviet America and Soviet China and Soviet everywhere else in the world,” he said.
By the way, I have a question. Had Lincoln even heard of Marxism? I mean this was long before the Soviet Union, the first officially communist country. Sure the communist manifesto last I checked was written in the late 1840s, so its ideas were around during Lincoln’s time but how popular was in America before the Civil War? That’s even ignoring the fact that extremely few people would choose to live as slaves in the antebellum over life today in twenty first century “soviet America.” Off course we’re not talking about people who understand history when we’re talking about people like Kevin Swanson or Walter Kennedy, are we?
Less Than Half of Mississippi Republicans Say They Would Support United States Against the Confederacy
I’ve lived in Texas all my life, so racism isn’t anything that shocks me. Why should it? I see it all the time. To see a Confederate flag displayed somewhere, or hear someone use the “n-word,” isn’t anything out of the ordinary. Hell, many of the people here truly believe “the South shall rise again.”
You know, the well known phrase often used by racists referring to the time when slavery was still legal in the South.
Well, a recent poll done by Public Polling Policy found that only 41 percent of Republicans in Mississippi would support the United States if there were another Civil War. Thirty-seven percent said they would support the Confederate States with 21 percent saying they weren’t sure.
That means a full 59 percent of Mississippi Republicans aren’t loyal (or aren’t sure if they’re loyal) to the United States of America.
Seriously? They actually teach that? If slavery was so “good” that whites “envied” the “freedom” of enslaved blacks, why were there so many abolitionists, and why the hell didn’t more whites fight for the right to become slaves instead of freeing them? Oh and racism was “caused” by the very people who fought to end slavery, not the people who fought to justify it? This is some kind of really weird bizarreo world racist stupidity. “The 5,000 Year Leap” and “The Making of America,” shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a public school history class, for any grade. Either that, or the teachers need to not use them as history textbooks and instead use them as an exercise in critical thinking skills and show their students how to spot nonsensical propaganda.
Elias Isquith has more,
Tea Party activists rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 19, 2013. (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
The nonprofit Americans United for Separation of Church and State is calling out one of the oldest public charter schools in Arizona for using two books from crank and Glenn Beck favorite Cleon Skousen that promote racism and a Christian nationalist interpretation of American history, reports the Arizona Republic.
The school, Heritage Academy, is apparently using two of Skousen’s most popular books, “The 5,000 Year Leap” and “The Making of America,” in an attempt to educate its student body of the ways in which America was actually founded by hardcore Jerry Falwell-style Christian conservatives.
This is not the same thing as trying to indoctrinate children, however, claims Earl Taylor, the school’s founder and principal. “Our purpose is not to convert students to different religious views,” Taylor promised. “It is to show them that religion influenced what the Founders did.”
Worse still, some parts of the Skousen books being given to Heritage Academy’s students — and presented as textbooks, rather than historical documents — also depict American slavery in a racist and risibly sympathetic light.
Kyle Kulinski at Secular Talk reports on this rather disturbing story ( foul language warning )
Yeah the confederates were such “Godly gentlemen” yeah, “Godly gentlemen” who thought this was okay.
Who says racism is dead? We really should redouble our efforts to fight it, if people like Malcolm Butner can still get into positions of power and not lose their job over racist outbursts like this. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near an important government job like housing chairman, in any state. Thank God we did away with Jim Crow and we still have the 1964 Civil Rights Act in place. Also we should all be glad the Confederacy lost, otherwise there could still be parts of North America where one’s legal status was determined by their “race.” We should all be thankful that people like him didn’t get their way.
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the general who ousted an elected president and is set to become Egypt’s next head of state, called on the United States to help fight terrorism to avoid the creation of new Afghanistans in the Middle East.
In his first interview with an international news organization in the run-up to the May 26-27 vote, Sisi called for the resumption of US military aid, worth $1.3 billion a year, which was partially frozen after a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Asked what message he has for US President Barack Obama, Sisi said: “We are fighting a war against terrorism.”
“The Egyptian army is undertaking major operations in the Sinai so it is not transformed into a base for terrorism that will threaten its neighbors and make Egypt unstable. If Egypt is unstable then the entire region is unstable,” said a quietly spoken Sisi, wearing a dark civilian suit.
“We need American support to fight terrorism, we need American equipment to use to combat terrorism.”
It is possible, that Egypts actions in the last few years do not make it the most strident partner in this battle:
“The army could not have abandoned its people or there would have been a civil war and we don’t know where that would have taken us. We understand the American position. We hope that they understand ours.”
The Brotherhood was banned as a terrorist organization in December. Former president Mohamed Mursi, ousted in July after mass protests, is facing capital charges, while the group’s spiritual guide, Mohamed Badie, has been sentenced to death along with hundreds of supporters among the Brothers.
Outreach? It is true that these past few years of GOP reflection and re-orientation has now sped past
outreach and right into “reach-around” territory:
In his column last week, Daubenmire said “an argument can be made that the wrong side won the [Civil War]” since “government tyranny has exploded since the battle over states’ rights was lost.”
“It has been said that the Gettysburg Address was the most famous speech in American History, but that it would have carried more weight if President Lincoln was referencing the brave Confederate soldiers who were fighting against big-government tyranny,” he added. “Has there ever been a more Christian general than Robert E. Lee?”
A study of the war will show that the fight was over states [sic] rights more than slavery, and an argument can be made that the wrong side won the war. Government tyranny has exploded since the battle over states’ rights was lost. It has been said that the Gettysburg Address was the most famous speech in American History, but that it would have carried more weight if President Lincoln was referencing the brave Confederate soldiers who were fighting against big-government tyranny. Has there ever been a more Christian general than Robert E. Lee?
That is right - because when 40% of your citizens exist in bondage, enforced by the state, nothing. and I mean nothing, represents smaller, freer, less oppressive governance.
‘outreach’ ‘reach-around’ continue…
(Big thank you to RightWingWatch - who continue to do an excellent and thankless job of watching these loons day in and day out - takes a hardy soul.)