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.
The movie is Battle Hymn, made in 1957. Youtube Video
CINCINNATI — Retired Air Force Col. Dean Hess, who helped rescue hundreds of orphans in the Korean War and whose exploits prompted a Hollywood film starring Rock Hudson, has died at age 97.
Hess died Monday at his home in Huber Heights, a suburb of Dayton, after a short illness, his son Lawrence Hess said Thursday.
Hess, an ordained minister, was a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel when he helped arrange evacuation of Korean orphans from their country’s mainland to safety on a coastal island, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
He was a significant figure in Air Force history, and his efforts to help Korean children are a “shining example” of the Air Force’s humanitarian airlift capabilities, museum historian Jeff Underwood said.
“What is less well-known is the instrumental role he played in training the fledgling South Korean Air Force,” Underwood said in a statement.
Hudson, one of Hollywood’s top leading men, portrayed Hess in the film “Battle Hymn” in 1957, a year after he starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in “Giant.”
“Battle Hymn” also was the title of Hess’ autobiography. He used the movie and book proceeds to build an orphanage in South Korea, his son said.
By David Horsey
The itinerary of a civil rights tour is essentially a long list of crime scenes.
The crime scenes are everywhere, from the trees where blacks were lynched and the avenues where enslaved people were marched from riverboats to auction blocks, to the countless dots on the map of the South where brave dissenters and utter innocents were beaten or killed with fists, boots, baseball bats or guns. Very, very few of the criminals who perpetrated these crimes were ever brought to justice because local and state governments and the courts were on their side.
On Monday, our busload of 52 civil rights pilgrims arrived in Birmingham, Ala., a city once known as “Bombingham.” In the 1950s and ’60s, it was the place where the hardest lines of segregation were drawn and violence was commonplace. It was the city where fire hoses were trained on black boys and girls and attack dogs were loosed on peaceful demonstrators. And it was where, on one Sabbath morning in 1963, a terrorist’s bomb placed at the 16th Street Baptist Church killed four black girls who were straightening their dresses and checking their hair in preparation for Sunday school.
Earlier in Montgomery, the Alabama capital, we had met Georgette Norman, a dynamic, eloquent black woman who recently retired as director of the city’s Rosa Parks Museum. When she talked about how things used to be, she was blunt.
“I grew up in a world of state-sponsored terrorism,” Norman said to us after we dined on Southern food at Martha’s Place Buffet. In her opinion, the country has not really come to terms with the pervasiveness of that terrorism nor with the chronic social and economic after-effects that are still with us. After Sept. 11, Americans are all too cognizant of the terror that has come from outside our borders, says Norman, but “we have yet to claim the terror within.”
Bernard Lafayette, who faced that terror very directly, talked to us at the museum housed in the former Montgomery Greyhound bus station, the site where a white mob viciously attacked nonviolent Freedom Riders in 1961. Lafayette was one of those riders. He recalled the searing moment when members of the mob turned on him and broke three of his ribs while white women across the street, holding babies in their arms, shrieked their encouragement.
At the state Capitol, our tour guide, Aroine Irby, a retired Air Force colonel, went off script as he showed us around the portico where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated president of the Confederate States of America. As a young man half a century ago, Irby said, he had joined the march from Selma to Montgomery and was walking beside a woman and her four children at the moment she was gunned down by a shooter hiding somewhere in the thicket.
David Horsey is a political cartoonist for the LA Times.
Recently Rightwing Watch found David Barton saying something stupid, and nonsensical again.
Tell me Mr Barton, if HIV /AIDS is really God’s punishment for our sexual “sins” such as homosexuality, why is it that innocent people who get brutally raped by someone with the disease can get infected? Wouldn’t God have set it up in such a way that no one would get the disease that did not actually “deserved” it? Also that off course is even assuming homosexuality is wrong and is actually something that deserves punishment. Also how do you explain all those gay people who live long happy lives, who never get a single sexually transmitted disease? You know, as much as you may not like it, they actually do exist. They’re not like Santa or the Tooth fairy.
Also Contrary to what you have stated, there actually have been successful HIV / AIDS vaccine tests, so you’re wrong again. There already is a promising vaccine for HIV / AIDS. Why has God allowed this, when you insisted that he never would? Do you really know the mind of God, like you seem to think that you do?
Tell me Mr. Barton since you’re such a “good historian,” did Alan Turing, the heroic scientist who helped crack the Enigma Code, and help the Allies defeat the Nazis, did he deserve to go to jail for the “sin” of Sodomy? Did he deserve that, in-spite of all the countless lives he saved? Where you upset when the British royal family recently posthumous pardoned him for something that most people nowadays outside of your circle, don’t even think should be a crime? Did you not know that Turing was gay, or do you think his homosexuality was a fabrication, to make “the evil” gays look good? Turing was a hero, but because he was gay, and he lived in a time when most people thought like you, he had to stay in the closet and live in fear. Contrary to what you will insist, and most people thought back than, gay people can’t stop being gay. Sexual orientation is hardwired.
Tell me why he ( or anyone else for that matter ) deserved to be punished for being attracted to someone of the same gender. Tell me why homosexual sex is so wrong, without resorting to the Bible, the type of fake “Christian Nation” history that people like you promote, or pseudoscience? You can’t, can you?
Check out the first episode of this new youtube series here.
For those of you who don’t know, Phil Plait also runs the Bad Astronomy blog. He’s a famous skeptic who specializes in debunking false claims about how the universe works. Hence his nickname and the name of his blog.
I need to give credit to Skepchick Amy Roth for alerting me to this.
Ten and a half years ago, at the Democratic convention in Boston, Barack Hussein Obama was introduced to America as a youthful, magnetic man who had burst suddenly and somewhat mysteriously onto the scene. This characterization—superficially appealing yet weightless, more symbolic than substantive—followed him throughout his presidential campaign, when Hillary Clinton cast him as an inspirational speechmaker like Martin Luther King Jr., as opposed to a viable contender for president, and John McCain’s campaign scathingly labeled him a “celebrity,” attractive but vacuous.
The lived reality of Obama’s presidency has unfolded as almost the precise opposite of this trope. He has amassed a record of policy accomplishment far deeper than even many of his supporters give him credit for. He has also survived a dismal, and frequently terrifying, 72 months when at every moment, to go by the day-to-day media, a crisis has threatened to rock his presidency to its core. The episodes have been all-consuming: the BP oil spill, swine flu, the Christmas underwear bomber, the IRS scandal, the healthcare.org launch, the border crisis, Benghazi. Depending on how you count, upwards of 19 events have been described as “Obama’s Katrina.”
Obama’s response to these crises—or, you could say, his method of leadership—has been surprisingly consistent. He has a legendarily, almost fanatically placid temperament. He has now spent eight years, counting from the start of his first presidential campaign, keeping his head while others were losing theirs, and avoiding rhetorical overreach at the risk of underreach. A few months ago, the crisis was the Ebola outbreak, and Obama faced a familiar criticism: He had botched the putatively crucial “performative” aspects of his job. “Six years in,” BusinessWeek reported, “it’s clear that Obama’s presidency is largely about adhering to intellectual rigor—regardless of the public’s emotional needs.”
Economists and political scientists will appreciate the scale of Obama’s successes over the long run, as many of them do already. But historians are storytellers, and the moody presentism that has rendered Obama an enigmatic failure will not automatically give way to quantifiable assessment. The president’s most irrational trait may be his inordinate faith in the power of reason itself.
My news aggregator found this fascinating blog post on students in a Masters level class in Medieval Studies, specifically one on ‘race and representation’.
Most interesting was the observation on how similar the way Wilson described Brown was to the way medieval authors described Muslims and other outsiders; infantilizing the protagonists of their work and demonizing ‘the other’. To me it shows how useful a good education is, and sadly, how little people have changed.
In the early 1960s, Dallas became known as the City of Hate. The city was ground zero to many of the country’s major right-wing figures—and, on the other side, to Lee Harvey Oswald. (The era is the subject of an excellent new book by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, which is excerpted here.) But one thing that stands out today is how the era’s rhetoric—with a president from a new ethnic group derided as a socialist and a traitor—has in common with our own. A gallery of images from JFK-era Dallas:Air Force One arrives The president is greeted by a Confederate flag and anti-NAACP, anti-socialist signage.
Much More: Photos: Anti-JFK Protesters
Take a look. Hard to believe it’s been 23 years.
Some of the earliest pages from the World Wide Web have been restored and are once again browsable, providing a glimpse of how the web once operated. Stanford Libraries has made these pages available with Stanford Wayback, a customized version of an open source platform that enables long-term access to archived web assets.
The first website featured in Stanford Wayback is the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory site. Originally created in 1991, the SLAC site is the earliest known website in the United States.
“Thankfully, a handful of staff at SLAC who worked on the early web fortuitously saved the files, along with their timestamps, associated with the first and several subsequent versions of their website,” said Nicholas Taylor, web archiving service manager for Stanford Libraries.