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Elizabeth Warren and Pocahontas!

Friday, February 8th, 2019

by: Marceline Donaldson

It has been a busy day! The writing from a Bettina Network Lifestyle Community Member on Elizabeth Warren has caused a bit of a blowup. So you know I have to chime in. Who would guess that among hard working people; thoughtful people; intellectual people there would be this bit of racism.

Is it racist to dump on Elizabeth Warren for talking about her Native American ancestors and as some are doing, claim that is reason for the Democratic Party to rethink her candidacy for president? “Drop her” is what I have heard from some and looking for justification to back their negativity towards Senator Warren is what I have heard from others.

What is the racial mythology fueling this? The claim that Blacks, African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and all those other minorities out there really want to be White. What negates this is a White American acknowledging her Native American ancestors and at a very young age. -That is clear in the past reporting on Michael Jackson. It came out periodically. The claim that Michael Jackson wanted to be ‘white’. He used ‘white’ make-up on his face to cover his blackness, etc. etc. The reality of his life was never acknowledged.

The fact that Michael Jackson had a disease that turns your skin from dark to stark white was never injected into those conversations. Neither was the fact that makeup on the white portions of your face where the pigment has gone away does not take very well so your choice is limited and it must be the white makeup. That was constantly reported, but the facts were skewered to accommodate the mythology of White Supremacy. No matter how great Michael Jackson was – and he was pretty outstanding in his day – what he really wanted was to be white. That is the other side to the rejection of and demand for an apology from Elizabeth Warren for acknowledging her Native American ancestors.

How do I know about this disease? My grandfather had the same disease. His hands were spotted as the darker pigment was moving away and his hands and face and neck were turning white as the disease progressed. Some people live to see themselves turn completely white, some die before that happens. I don’t think it is the disease which causes their death, it doesn’t seem to have any other affect on the body.

That is only one reporting which brought out and emphasized how blacks wanted to be white. There have been more. What does that do? It shores up White Supremacy. Those who are not white want to be. The opposite – those who are seen and accepted as white hide any minorities they may have in their background. “Passing” has always been looked down on, but once you have “passed for white”, married and have children that look white you are sort of safe, just stay put and don’t bring up those minority ancestors.

What Elizabeth Warren has done is turn all of that on its head. She had a life as white – until she started talking about her Native American ancestry. What is that? It is a violation of the contract whites have with each other. If every ‘white’ persons’ minority ancestry was outed we would have chaos in this country there are so many. Slavery wasn’t mostly on plantations, most of slavery happened in one house with one white family living “cheek by jowl” with one black slave family. The result of this produced many white plus children. White Supremacy would be in total confusion and destroyed if history were more accurate. The hold that the need to be better than has on all of us becomes clearer by the decade. The hypocrisy of racism and its ridiculousness is lost on most of us.

One great example of the ridiculousness comes from the life of Senator Strom Thurmond. A son of the south and one who viciously articulated hatred of blacks who should always know and stay in their place. His political career was founded on his racism. Senator Thurmond had a black daughter who he knew, educated, with whom he had a relationship, but everyone conspiratorially around him kept his secret. Thurmond was in the forefront of those Democrats who left the Democratic Party because they saw the possibility of taking control of and changing the Republican Party into a replica of the KKK and other such groups. And as we have seen from this current man who calls himself President of these United States, he was successful.

Our hypocrisy on race is the stuff of legend. So how does White Supremacy and racism remain? It stays put because of the inferiority and arrogance of whites – conservative and liberal – who need to have that feeling of being better than to feel normal.

How does that relate to Senator Warren, her Native American heritage and the societal reaction?

If we are going to maintain White Supremacy we must abide by the rules. A cardinal rule is that one follows the mythology – in this case that blacks and other minorities want to be white. To break that happens when a white person – one who is totally accepted as white – comes out talking about her Native American ancestors – that is the stuff which gets one stoned.

Senator Warren – you are white. Defined as being better than and as a young person just getting started in your career you came out putting “Indian American” on forms that need to be filled out with race on the form. Just look at what you are doing to this society. You have upended and disregarded and violated one of the basic rules that maintains White Supremacy. The mythology which is one of the pillars holding up White Supremacy is that Blacks and other minorities want to be white and here you are coming out to say I am White but I acknowledge and respect my Native American ancestors. Look around Senator Warren, even the Native American leaders can’t handle that. Why not? If basic change happens. If everyone starts coming out and acknowledging and respecting all parts of their heritage just look at what that will mean. Those leaders of minority groups, among others, will be out of work.

Hey, you put out your heritage let me put out mine, which includes Native Americans. But wait – that doesn’t do anything. For one minority to lay claim to their ancestors in another minority group – no sweat. That changes nothing and is barely noticed. Many of my African American friends acknowledge their Native American ancestors and no one notices. The problem comes when you – white female – comes out to dare to acknowledge and respect your Native American heritage, and lordy, to even talk about it in the highest places.

And to all of those claiming you do not belong to any Native American tribe and therefore can’t be Native American, that is mind blowing. Why? Because that is the way Native Americans are annihilated – eliminated – become obsolete . That is something we have been trying to do almost since the Pilgrims landed.

If you are mixed and live as white and the generations pass, your Native American heritage is lost and it is also lost to all of those Native American Tribes. Gradually Native Americans will become extinct as we become a more mixed society. Just think of what that means if only those who are members of a Native American Tribe can call themselves Native Americans. That is a form of genocide.

My great grandfather was Black Feet Indian. He worked for and received a Doctorate of Divinity from Philips University. He was an ordained Episcopal Priest who wound up in New Orleans where he was rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; head of a school; and did a lot more. His story counts – his life was important – his ancestors deserve a place in history as who they were. He lived in an African American community and was considered African American. He was not a member of a Native American Tribe. If he and his life and his true identity are lost to history and he becomes submerged in other groups histories, Native Americans suffer as their history is degraded. That does not happen to the Irish, the French, the English or to any other group considered white. They accomplish and their progeny do not deny their ancestors because they were not citizens of Ireland or France or etc. It is tragic that we do not live in a time or in a country where your Native American heritage is not denied but celebrated.

We are watching, under Donald Trump, history repeating itself in another century with some changes, but basically the same annihilation of a group of people considered ‘minority’. The brown peoples attempting to come into the United States. Their children are being taken away from them at the gate. Native American children were taken from their parents and who knows what happened to most of them. A generation lost. That part of Native American history can only be reclaimed by those families which integrated and included Native Americans who were ripped from their families and thrown to the wind. That history will be an expansion of Native American history. For a more accurate history we need the stories from those mixed people who talk about their Native American ancestry and who tell the stories from their youth which have been passed down through the family. The Native American stories passed down through minority communities sort of remain. The Native American stories are totally discouraged from being passed down through white communities.

Your history and the history of your Native American ancestors is also a part of Native American history and should be talked about, included and accepted, especially by those Native American Tribes who are what -growing or shrinking?

Our society used to believe – if you had just 1% of minority “blood” you were a minority. That means, if you were mixed with any of the groups of the world that we call “races” and those ‘races’ were white you were considered “white” unless in the mix even as little as 1% was one of the minority ‘races”. Then you were considered a minority and then you, your history, your legacy, your life were thrown on the dump heap.

Some of us have begun to see otherwise. As blacks, latina’s, native americans, philippine’s and more begin to achieve greatness the conversation has turned. The conversation around the “black” golfer , who was number one and couldn’t be unseated, that public conversation went – he is not really black, he has these other ancestors and should not be called black. Isn’t his mother something else? How can he neglect and push aside her contribution to who he is. And she was not white, but enough to help turn the conversation. That gave us enough of a view to the future that we realized racism will continue, but it will be in us in other ways – which are beginning to be newly defined.

Minorities can be raised up into this group which espouses White Supremacy either overtly or covertly if their achievements are so great they question the negative stereotype by which we are raised. But, “whites” must give up, hide and not claim their minority ancestors. That is necessary because if it went in the other direction we would lose this great bonus of White Supremacy and many would have to live out their lives being equal to. What a death sentence to their ego.

So, Senator Warren, do you have the guts to continue respecting, honoring and raising up your Native American ancestors or are you going to be one who apologizes because you slipped and acknowledged the family history with which you were raised. Those Native American Tribesmen get it – or they should. They clearly understand that there are those outside registered tribe members who have Native American ancestors and can freely talk about them. Or do you need to be in lock step with the White Supremacist who are trying desperately to keep their ‘better than’ position by any means necessary?

And all of you Native American Tribes – you demonstrate for other things are you going along with what is happening to Elizabeth Warren? Are you going to stand up for those who acknowledge their Native American ancestors and heritage even if they are not a member of a particular tribe. Is that such a threat to you that you will jump on that White Supremacist band wagon and go along with the program? If you do, it will be to your extreme loss and to the loss of your progeny and to those who went before.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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Ethics – Character – Gerrymandering

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

by: Marceline Donaldson

Looking at the election in Ohio in a district which has been badly gerrymandered over the decades we need to seriously define what it means – especially in politics – to steal, lie, attempt to destroy an old republic trying to become a democracy using gerrymandering as one of many tools. If you want a quick end to this United States Government with all it has meant over the decades and few hundred years it has been trying to move to a place of freedom for its citizens – try lending your hand to those working hard to bring about gerrymandering in many districts so they can have power, control and more in their attempt to satisfy their greed.

I lived in Ohio for several years around the late 1970’s into 1980. It was a place I loved and would move back to in a heartbeat. I called Cincinnati home, but visited and worked all around the state.

What I remember are events which probably were the genesis for what is going on in Ohio today = the Gerrymandering part and where and how the Republicans took hold.

I was Republican in those days – and Ohio was pretty much in the Democratic Party.

Driving around the country side there was an amazing phenomena. When you came close to what was a lovely body of water – a pond, a small lake, etc. – there was a loud and ugly smell of feces. Looking into what could have caused such a smell I discovered a corporation from Germany which was financing Germans who were dairy farmers and leaving Germany in fairly large numbers to do their dairy farming in the United States.

What was driving them out of Germany were laws being promulgated which would have made them control their cows and more properly dispose of cow manure in ways that were beneficial to the rest of society and did not cause the kind of blight and nose rebellion I was experiencing driving through some farm lands in Ohio.

Those dairy farmers from Germany used the ponds as cow toilets. They put their cow’s feces in those ponds and in a short period of time – well, you know what happened.

As I looked at the map, those areas which became very Republican Conservative and today Trump supporters are the areas back in the 1970’s and 80’s which were being taken over by German dairy farmers putting their cows feces in places to wreck the beautiful pastoral quality of the land. These were not the good Germans who stayed home and obeyed laws meant to protect everyone. These were the Germans who had the mind set of some Americans who expected to be able to pollute, etc. as their god given right. So they combined.

When I last checked it out – there was no stopping them. The corporation, with lots of money, which was financing them, made it possible for many to “immigrate” to the United States so they would not have to depend upon American banks to finance their land purchases nor to upfront them the money they needed to get their dairy farms operational.

When you talk about unwanted immigrants against whom the United States should erect barriers and walls – they were the group. Trump, however, with his German ancestors who, it is alleged, had these mafia connections and gained wealth through what is also alleged to be illegal means – with Trump himself gaining his wealth through casinos,and many schemes which bilked lots of people as he filed serial bankruptcies impresses me as one immigrant family which should have been blocked at the border. I doubt that he sees anything wrong with that kind of immigration or those immigrants. They are simply taking advantage of the ‘freedom’ offered in the United States and being very industrious in the process. I think of them when I have to drink pasteurized instead of raw milk because of the way so many such people fouled up the milk supply.

It is a straight line from those events to the control Republicans were able to wrest for their own re-elections by incorporating those “immigrants” into their scheme of gerrymandering – who I am sure as time passed have became U. S. Citizens. They did not seem at all inclined to clean up their ways or their dairy farms or to stop polluting the lakes, ponds and streams of the United States with their cows feces – which means they would not be able to go back to Germany and meet its understandable requirements that Dairy Farmers respect the land and others in the areas surrounding their dairy farms.

Haven’t seen any of that in the analysis of what happened in those areas of Ohio and how what happened affected todays election and the previous elections where gerrymandering became the standard way to power and political control. People with that kind of mindset would be very open to schemes like Gerrymandering.

Anything except – be a good citizen and respect others. Sometimes you win and sometimes others win, but at all times mutual respect is the order of the day not artificially creating situations and circumstances in which you control all the time to your detriment, the detriment of others and most especially the detriment of the United States of America. We stand for something. A republic demands mutual respect. Freedom does also. Get with it and stop all of this nonsense or you will wind up with a politician in charge who makes Trump look like an angel and a do gooder instead of the corrupt power hungry, greedy, grifter, alleged sexual abuser and assaulter and pathological liar he has shown himself to be.

by the way – have you noticed the one thing all of these folks have in common? Their need to engage in sexual abuse, sexual assault and misogyny against women with its concurrent disgraceful behavior towards children.
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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.
Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you. Please also tell us if you want your name as your byline or if you want your article to appear without your name.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

The Bettina Oracle takes us back to the future with Donald Trump!

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

It is beyond belief that we in the United States are so enmeshed in evil.  Are we really so totally corrupt and from the head?

There has always been an evil side or evil group in these United States.  As you trace our history you find even from the beginning when those who first arrived, who were welcomed by the ‘natives’ – the peoples living in these United States – our history shows we responded to that welcome with evil which finally led to the Trail of Tears.  That kind of evil is still practiced against that original group living in this country.  It is still going on today.  With that unrelieved history we know there is something very wrong.

When a group, too lazy to do their own work, starts roaming the earth and brings back human beings from Africa bound into slavery and tied for generations to do the work of this evil group under the conditions of slavery and against their will the evil continues.

When so much death and destruction happens even after that and continues into today something is very wrong.

There were massacres all during slavery as many tried to escape.  After slavery there were massacres as groups of Africans, supposedly freed slaves, were bound and kept in slavery and slaughtered if they refused.  Communities – such as in Oklahoma – were massacred.

Skipping a lot because it begins to sound like “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” – an unrelieved book documenting the suffering of American Indians – and coming into today we have almost daily shootings to kill people at random.  Shootings that our laws uneffective against the guns do not stop and which brought our young people, our teenagers and younger into the conflict for the second time in modern history.  I was a part of the first bringing in of such young people to try to mitigate the unrelieved suffering inflicted upon Americans by evil groups of people and which was temporarily successful until this new age started.

We now have billionaires persecuting and oppressing others with the consequent growth of homelessness at disgraceful levels and the attempts of the few to stem and stop that growth not showing results.  We are fighting each other because the rich want to be richer; the not so rich want to be really rich and supports those they want to be like hurting themselves and their families in the process.  It is a crazy environment.  Speaking of which we have even disrupted and are destroying our own environment in which we have to live and breathe and can’t survive if climate change continues on the road we have set for it.  AND in that process we still have that evil group denying and trying to destroy those working to stop climate change – denying climate change because it means their march towards the riches they want projected by their greed will be disrupted if we work to stop or even slow down climate change.

And today – at the head of this we have #evilTrump – a president with the story following him of “golden showers”.  A president who, it is claimed, had prostitutes pee on one another to foul the bed the African American president and his wife slept in when they visited Russia.  Try to depict that as anything other than extreme viciousness and evil.  And he is the one leading this nation.  He is the one the White Evangelicals have chosen as their political leader.  He is the one they raise up when they call on Jesus in their Churches to protect them and him from who – from those actually living out the Gospel?  And that ‘golden showers’ story is one of his lesser deeds, which he denies and claims he is a “germaphobe” and couldn’t be involved in such.  However, the claim isn’t that the pee touched him, but that he was the one who had the prostitutes do the peeing on each other while he got his jollies from watching.  Isn’t that ultimate evil?   Nothing was claimed that they peed on him or even sprayed him with their pee.  And the white evangelicals will continue to hold him up and give reasons as to why they feel he is doing gods work!  In that context god must be spelled with the small ‘g’ because it is idolatrous and worship by infidels who have put up their god to gain the ascendency over the God they claim to worship. It is foul – evil – sin – the work of who they call Satan. Satan – walking freely around the evangelical churches; taking shelter in their meetings; dictating what is said and acceptable in their conferences and gatherings; holding up other men just like this head of the United States who have covered their sins so they can hold up and claim him.

It is not to be believed.  And yet, he was elected president.  Is this God’s justice from all that has happened in the past?  Does this president have the 666 – the mark of the beast on him as restitution for all we have brought about in these United States when the ground was given to all of us to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God?

Something is very wrong here and I don’t see us stopping, changing, or making this better.  I see “President” Trump appointing Cambridge Analytica’s successor to Steve Bannon in the form of John Bolton – isn’t that how evil continues?  When one person becomes too toxic replace him with another of the same ilk supported by the same group with both totally involved with Cambridge Analytica.  Not even hidden, but so sure of themselves that exchange is totally out in the open.

I see all of the evil forces coming out stronger doing their best to swamp those trying to right these wrongs and I see a totally foul president still in power and still moving to cause as much upheaval as he can.  And I hear him still being led by and managed by  Russia as an asset of Vladimir Putin.  What is wrong with you America?  Are you so scared that the increase and almost majority of brown people in this world scared you to the point of needing to go crazy in an evil way to prevent this?  Are you afraid when the majority of people in this world are those who were the minority that they will take vengeance against you?  Or are you so stuck in being “better than”.  With your claimed superiority threatened you will do anything to prevent becoming equal too all other human beings?  Have you noticed the “Russia” to which Trump seems to be promised – it is a white nation!  Immigration the way Trump is dealing with it has as its goal to make America White Again as an ally and cousin to this white nation.  And then what will they unleash as they combine with other such white nations?  They won’t be allied with France or England or other such becoming “brown” or already “brown” nations.

I guess you don’t realize that all of these “brown” people are your children?  Black and White  coming together produces Brown!

I don’t know what to make of this – except that it is evil personified!  And roaming America freely!  Like everybody else outside of the circle of evil, we have so much to say, so much to share, so much to give and instead this ugly stifles everything good and it is spreading not shrinking.  What are you going to do about all of this America? Sit by and hope it goes away?  Claim we are the world’s greatest nation and sit back and watch it all go up in fire and smoke with our president disproving that on an hourly basis?

It is time to choose – Good or Evil!  To sit back and do nothing is not acceptable.  Either you totally accept the evil that is Donald Trump or you reject it and move it aside – there is no alternative.  Those who do nothing are as doomed as those who do evil!

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.
Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you. Please also tell us if you want your name as your byline or if you want your article to appear without your name.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

 

Rummagings About Morality

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Isn’t it amazing what it takes for the experiences of your life to come together.

What is it you have wanted more than anything else in life?

For me – since I was little – it was wisdom and understanding.

Funny thing about that – it is exactly what I have received from life.  Not money – success – fame – all of that started to break in at different points along the way, but just as quickly as that breaking in started, all of those things – money, success, fame – were killed.  How and by who I will probably never know.  But wherever there were lessons to be learned I was there and the world seemed to open up to give me its ultimate secrets.  The biggest and most guarded secret is the one which showed me if the world defined money, success, fame had broken in, the wisdom and understanding would have stopped and that which had already broken in would be gone in a very short period of time.

Things that seemed obvious to me were a blank to many of my friends.  If that is not true, they were magnificent in hiding what they saw and understood. And what I understood was what one fears and that which keeps one from stepping out on faith is really who you are.  The fear is of losing those things the world has provided and putting you in a position of want – that seems to be our greatest fear.

So many things come to us for learning and almost all of them we ignore as we look and walk in the opposite direction.  We live on assumptions.  The assumptions we have put into our minds and hearts because that is what we want to believe about life and that is what we want to believe about those around us and that is what we want to believe about the world in which we live.

One grand truth, being presented on a world-wide stage these days is the moral structure needed for the world to maintain its racism, sexism and all the rest.  That moral structure is deep within our souls today and we live by that structure without ever thinking about what that has done to us spiritually.  The sacrifices we have made as human beings over the generations to satisfy our most base needs are horrifying when looked at on a world-wide scale.

How many lies do you have to tell yourself to believe and act and create your world around the incredible belief that you and those like you are “better than” everyone else.  What lies have Alabamians had to tell themselves to support and vote for Roy Moore.  We are living out a morality play each day and it is stark.  There is nothing romanticizing what is being played out on the U. S. Government’s stage.  It is and has drowned out and is quickly removing every good thing we have ever been about – and that is no exaggeration.  How did the ovens in Germany come about?  They were created by those who were born, raised, lived and died in a society which was full of normal human beings trying to survive but gradually taking that need to survive and that fear of failure to incredible heights.  They were not evil people, they were just like us.  They became evil as they became more and more entrenched in the opportunities to achieve untold wealth, great fame, etc. etc.

As human beings we seem to have been born with the need to group together with like minded, like looking, like acting human beings.  We have had our tribes which insured our continued existence.  There is nothing wrong with tribalism,  until the day comes when that tribalism slides into “my tribe is better than your tribe and your tribe must serve my tribe so my tribe can have more of what it wants in this life at the expense of your life and times.”

What do these rummaging have to do with today?  It brings to mind and heart all of the huge sacrifices we have made to create a country in which some are better than others; to have created that country on the backs of slaves who were demeaned and considered less than human; to have used the marriage laws to enslave others; and to have used women in various states to satisfy the most prurient needs of humans – which once satisfied become progressively more enslaving and violent and demeaning.

What price have we paid for that to have happened?  We live in and have created a society in which we have split the human race into sub-races, all described with some inhuman traits and all claimed as less than. The price for that has been our honor – our integrity – our beauty – our grace – our loveliness – our ability to love one another “as I have loved you.”

These times with Donald Trump have been times which have surfaced and brought front and center the sacrifices these United States have made to maintain as “better than”.  We have built what we call a “great country.”  We have built a country we consider better than all others and have never seen the sins we have put into that country’s structure.  We have built a country on a huge flaw and that flaw is today creating a huge earthquake.  What remains when the shaking and spewing up of stuff from the center of the earth stops is anybody’s guess.  We have built a country by condemning Jesus to death and then calling for a bowl of soap and water and a towel with which to wash our hands of the carnage that followed.  We have build a country and then divorced ourselves from its history.  We have built a country and taken no responsibility for the price we demanded others pay for its creation, its wealth,  and its continuation in the same vein which caused many generations to take on a system of moral values which they practice and deny at the same time thinking that others can’t see the lie!

Slavery – the Trail of Tears – the opening our doors to immigrants from all countries and then labelling them as “less than” by those deemed on top of the heap –  all have prices to pay and today we are paying those prices.

Our value system was shown as bereft when we killed African slaves who ran away, when we lynched Africans who dared to vote.  It didn’t matter whether they were 100% or 5% African, they were not on the same high level as others who were redesigned as – not human and a part of the human race – but “White” and better than those who were not white.  The north ignored the lynchings and claimed the moral high ground.  They had psychic ways to deal with such people.  It was a slow painful death they put out.  The south engaged in incredible violence and so Billie Holiday sang “Strange Fruit” and everyone knew what that meant the lynchings were so wide spread.

For years the “flowers of the South”, the “Southern Ladies”, had a stereotype and pictures which showed them as “beautifully” adorned and having their place on top of the pedestal, that very high mythical column.  They were blinded by the compliments, the supposed lifting them up above ordinary humans, the opening the doors for them by others so their gloved hands didn’t have to touch that which many mortals touched before them.  And so much more.  We bought our own horribleness because it flattered our egos and built up our vanity.  The truth of the degradation, demeaning, violence against were all denied by even – or should I say especially by – the women against whom it was thrown.

Today that has been exposed and is continuing to be exposed on all of its levels.  It has been like peeling the onion.  We are almost down to the core so the fighting and brutalizing has become blinding in its attempt to maintain what has been and move it even further by making it function in spite of the fact that the cover has been removed and we can see all of this in its stark truth.  We have become that corrupt?

Alabama is symbolic of these United States and its historic degradation of those in power.  Drunk with its own strength against others “not like them” it is almost as if retribution is at its door step.

We thought the bottom was reached with the carnage on the Petus Bridge, but that was just a way station on the way to greater evil.

To have seen yourself involved in that kind of sin and to move on to ever greater sin and to then claim god on your side, behind what you do, pushing you to ever larger acts of evil – it is mind-blowing how anyone can see you and not recoil from the evil coming from your very pores.

Today, it is not about African Americans on the Petus bridge – it is about the right of males to brutalize, sexually abuse, tear down, misuse and lots of other adjectives – women.  What will it be about tomorrow.  The same souls are calling the future.

Women in corporations were brought in to serve the men and that happened because the women had been trained to acquiesce and to demean themselves.   It becomes understandable how that could have happened when you own a small corporation where you do a lot of the work and see how you can get behind because you become overwhelmed with only 24 hours of the day.  And you then see how easy it would be to bring in people who have been labeled “less than”, “not as bright as”, not meant for the higher things in life – especially the exercise of power,”  to have them do all of the grunt work and most of the real work while you prance around like a terminally ill peacock taking credit, money, power, success.

The campaign of Roy Moore is a Calling.  It is Roy Moore set up as the bait to call folks to maintain a society which allows women to be used as sex objects and then discarded.  He is bait to call folks to lie, cheat, steal, and yes – murder – because women have been murdered in the name of preserving and passing down to our children a society which has institutionalized and wants to continue in the way it has been going for hundreds of years.  He is bait to have some folks turn away and try to set up the same structure, but less transparent.  For these United States to be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and all the rest means these United States has transgressed in gross ways against its citizens and against others around the world needed to maintain a “better than” society where the hard and dirty work is done by those scraping and scratching 24/7 just to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.  It is a society with trap doors for those who go too far and are not among the group designated as “better than”.  Why else would a man become Secretary of the Treasury who has had tens of thousands of people thrown out of their homes onto the street and who lives in a mansion which could house many more than just himself and his wife?  Why else would we have laws to prevent any other than those selected by that society to succeed with enormous road blocks to trip, fell and kill those who are able to get around those road blocks?  but we have standards which are necessary to continue the denial – we have those few to disprove the rule and maintain them vigorously.  Even the KKK had to have a few blacks to maintain their superiority and proclaim their high morality because they accepted those few – the others were not worthy, not human, not equal to.

Amazingly, my life has escaped the anger that should come from living in such a place, but it has.  Why?  Because that anger is generated in those who share the moral values of those doing the bigotry.  To see how far we have gone off the road is to understand the story of Adam and Eve on a level most ignore and just quote the Bible as a very literal book.  To demand the you read and understand the Christian and Jewish Scriptures literally is to totally miss what it is saying.  The story of Adam and Eve is the story of what could have been.  Where we started from and how far into sin, degradation and evil we have fallen.  Adam and Eve turned their naked bodies into horrible sinfulness and ugliness they had to hide.  Evil crept into their lives, which they cultivated and still today cultivate.

Many of us hoped and thought the horribleness in Alabama would give way to something more beautiful.    After witnessing that period of American history in Alabama and in other places around these United States – that example should have brought many to their knees asking forgiveness.  Instead it seems to have generated a hard hearted response – a determination to continue on the path of violence towards women as not only justified but able to give one entry into the hallowed halls of government.

So much more could be said – however – the one relevant thing is “How long, O Lord, how long!”

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From a Paranoid Reader

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Thank you for the article on “The Personification of Evil”.  It was powerful and awesome – especially because of the references you included both on Melania Trump and Joseph McCarthy.  I hadn’t thought about McCarthyism as the genesis of this Trump era, but it makes a lot of sense and clears up much for me.  I knew about Roy Cohn, but this is like weaving – gradually you come up with a beautiful product.

Maybe because I was reading that article when I also noticed news about the truck killing all of those people in New York City that my paranoia started coming out of its closet, but what a distraction away from the Mueller convictions.  It gave Trump a bit of a distraction that he may have hoped would continue and wipe the Mueller headlines out of the media reporting.

My first thought  was – Trump’s direct attempts at distractions didn’t do the job so he got help and his ‘help’ was far more successful.  The New York tragedy certainly wiped Trump off the front pages for a brief time.  Instead of wiping out an immigration program that has had one problem in over 1 million immigrants coming into this country through that program, maybe we need to start a program which sends Trump followers to another country where they can be retrained with exams to pass before they are allowed back into these United States.  Move the prisoners someplace else and take over Rikers Island for that purpose?

Trump set the pattern as he has constantly provided distractions from things happening around his problems so reporters and your average citizen would be distracted – and he has been very good at doing that – which is probably what started my thinking that maybe he was behind this tragedy.  You can’t feel empathy for people if you caused the problem with intent to destroy.

There had to be something very strong to take attention away from the indictments and the Papadopoulos pleading guilty – the truck killings certainly provided that distraction.

Like I said – I am probably very paranoid from all of this Trump business.  I never would have begun to have such thoughts before Trump’s appearance as a presidential candidate and then president.  His ‘reign’ has caused me to think differently about what I read and how I put things together.

Before Trump became president and before his campaign showed itself to be so ugly this is not something I would have thought about nor connections I would have made.

You probably won’t publish this, but I needed to get it said and out of me because it really seems like a serious possibility.

It might not come up to the level of Trump’s “birtherism”, but it is a start.  Maybe I can become a celebrity through such conjectures.

Have we all been made a bit “off” by this president?

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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In June 84,437 readers and in August 92,452

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

We went over the 2,000,000 readers mark in August, 2017.  Over two million readers have visited Bettina Network’s Blog.

If you are a member of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community you may contribute your writings, poems, thoughts, recipes, lifestyle contributions from your life, your research – scientific and otherwise, to reach a fantastic group of elegant people who care, think, are involved in life and want to hear from you. If you haven’t found it, search the Blog for the writing on Origami – not just for kids anymore – an outstanding contribution.

Your reward – great readers with whom to share your thoughts – and a complimentary one night stay at a Bettina Hedge School which you receive at the end of the year.

Email us at bettina-network@comcast.net to make your voice, your art, your lifestyle known to the rest of us so we can pick up some of your ideas before moving ahead with our lives.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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An Open Letter to Our Leaders!

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

From:  Harold E. Doley, Jr.

To:  President Donald J. Trump:

Vice President Michael R. Pence:

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell:

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan:
Congressman Cedric Richmond:

 
“Robert E. Lee stated that he would not be buried in his Confederate States of America (CSA) uniform because that act would be seditious.  At Lee’s funeral in 1870, no former soldiers or participants marching in his funeral cortege were allowed to wear CSA uniforms. 
 
There is a simple remedy for our present state of affairs regarding monuments to former Confederate generals and the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, it is to go to the U.S. Constitution. 
 
Section 110 of Article III addresses treason and sedition.  Treason and sedition are federal law/Constitution violations.  To support the Confederacy and its symbols is to be a traitor of the United States in fact and in spirit.  
 
Section 110 of Article III states: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason.”  Thatpower of punishing the crime of treason is exclusive in Congress; and the trail of the offense belongs exclusively to the Federal tribunals.
 
In 1790, the Congress of the United States enacted that: “If any person or persons, owing allegiance to the United States of America, shall levy war against them, or shall adhere to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States, or elsewhere, and shall be thereof convicted on confession in open Court, or on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act of treason…”
 
Our history books have incorrectly labeled the war between the states as a Civil War, which is a misnomer.  What occurred was a group of states succeeding from the Union and creating the Confederate States of America and attacking the United States of America.  This was a war of secession.  If it were a civil war, which is an attempt to change the government, that would have been a revolution. 
 
We laud Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans and we thank Wynton Marsalis for initiating the removal of the monuments in New Orleans.  It is ironic that the erection of statues and the naming of boulevards and schools for Confederate soldiers and cabinet members of the CSA is a romantic notion.  There was not one bullet fired or cannonball shot in New Orleans during the Civil War.  In 1862, Admiral Farragut disembarked from the USS Hartford at the Port of New Orleans, walked to City Hall and told Mayor John T. Monroe of New Orleans, either you surrender or we will level the French Quarter.  Confederate General Mansfield Lovell advised Mayor John Monroe that opposing the Union would be futile.  New Orleans, the largest Confederate city, was captured without conflict.  Therefore, the monuments and other namings in New Orleans do not have any historic relevance whatsoever.  Again, just romanticization.  Likewise, members of the white supremacy groups, Neo-Nazis and KKK, are overwhelmingly not descendants of those Southerners that fought in the army of the Confederate States of America.  For those to state that they have a kindred spirit with the Confederacy is a fantasy.  Those Americans aligned with these groups which are not based in historical connections should just be bold enough to state that they are racist, anti-Semites, and white supremacists, rather than attempt to distort that which motivates them.
 
America’s history is complicated.  My great-great-great Aunt Sarah Knox Taylor, was married to Jefferson Davis.  As an American of African ancestry and a descendent of the Mayflower (even though I cannot become a member the Mayflower Society because I fail to have one or two documents that would complete the link) my DNA confirms that lineage.   Last August, when David Duke was running for the U.S. Senate from the State of Louisiana, I challenged him publicly to take a DNA test to which he did respond on his web site.  I do not think, after looking at David Duke’s history, that he is part African-American, but I do think that he may be part Jewish.  
 
We, as Americans and our elected officials, must embrace the Constitution of the United States that was penned by our Founding Fathers, who themselves were flawed just as is our Constitution. However, the document  addresses the issues that are tearing us apart today and it gives us the solution.
 
The President and Congress should focus on the economy, tax reform, the budget, foreign affairs, infrastructure, and running the government for the benefit of all Americans whom they were duly elected to serve.
 
Harold E. Doley, Jr.
U.S. Citizen”
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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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Trump’s Campaign Promises & History

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

by: Marceline Donaldson

We need to take a look at a parallel time in history for these United States.  The time of Reconstruction was followed by the dismantling of what the time of Reconstruction wrought.  What we are experiencing under Donald J. Trump is that time after Reconstruction of horror, evil, misery under which so many suffered.

It comes under that old adage – if we don’t know and understand history, we will be forced to repeat it.  And surely enough that is what we are doing.  President Obama brought in an era very much like that time of Reconstruction.  He continued the process of eliminating our equivalent of the “black codes” which began to be dismantled under Martin Luther King, Jr’s Civil Rights Movement – only instead of concentrating on African Americans, Obama addressed bigotry across this country amongst far more than just African Americans.  His time in office highlighted just how venomous bigotry was in these United States and we all thought it was coming to an end.

After the Obama presidency, we elected a man we knew to be a liar, cheat, etc. etc.  Today, we are appalled at what he is doing.  Since he was a very public and visible person and since it was very difficult not to have known Donald Trump and his reputation, it is amazing to me that we, the citizens of these United States who elected him president could be surprised, dismayed, etc. etc. about the actions of this man who was so thoroughly known.  Who you elect is what you get.  There is no miraculous change that occurs.  Many in the media talked extensively about the “pivot” that they expected to happen.  Where did they get such an idea?  Was it from the history that rolled out before them showing that the person elected to office said what he had to say to get elected and once elected he became and started to institute policies far different from those he/she ran on?

We were appalled that President Trump rolled out policies, etc. that he ran on.  He let everybody know who he was and what he was going to do.

He also threw in the politicians lies to some folks, claiming he was going to do great things for them – which totally violated his image; what he was saying most of the time; the people around him, those total racists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other such folks supporting his candidacy who he clearly embraced and preferred in his rallies which were horrid places to be if you were non-white and non-northern european.

Many believed he would “pivot” and be someone very different when he took office.  Only, I wonder if we really believed that or deep down we actually hoped and voted for him because we didn’t want a country where everyone was marching into that nirvana of equality, justice, compassion and Donald Trump looked like the candidate who would make sure that things were put aright which this Obama guy had turned in another direction.  Trump promised to undo everything Obama had done as president and he has actively and hurriedly taken that seriously and that part of his campaign promise he is daily implementing.

Instead of a mirror image of Reconstruction, he has brought about the period of time that followed Reconstruction when work went on to bring back the “black codes” and other laws and principles which would bring the country back as close to slavery as possible.  In the process we have helped to bring this country into a time of great destruction of many of our fellow citizens.  During that time after Reconstruction, justice, equality, compassion were destroyed.  Evil, hatred, bigotry, infliction of pain was the order of the day and for the next hundred years we lived under what that period after the Reconstruction brought.

We celebrated the “first” African American elected to Congress after 1960 ignoring the fact that during Reconstruction over 100 African Americans, just out of slavery, were elected to federal, state, county legislatures and served their fellow citizens well.

Trump’s presidency looks a lot like that of Rutherford Hayes, whose term of office started with a disputed election and during which the Chinese were today’s Muslims.  The Chinese worked hard to build the railroads, but were treated very poorly and were those selected to keep out of the United States the way Trump has worked to keep Muslims from coming to the United States.

The condition of people was horrid and the gains from Reconstruction which the Radical Republicans gained, particularly for African Americans, were destroyed – mostly by the Democrats.

During all of this time I had family living in Mexico who had everything taken away from them and were treated extremely abusively by United States soldiers when the lines were drawn and a part of Mexico became America:  I had family – Choctaw Indians, who were put on the Trail of tears and suffered much:  I had family – African Americans who were active in their small town in Alabama – elected to public office there – and finally, as the political climate changed, were stripped of everything and tarred and feathered, put on the railroad track forced to walk to Texas in that condition by the Democrats:  I had family who were English, Irish, Italian, Swiss and more who gave up their “white privilege” to marry minorities who had experienced those things.

And today, I am living through the modern version of that terrible time because of the Republicans and Donald Trump and his supporters who are moving very quickly to bring us back to that time after our own modern day Reconstruction.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Trump, the United States president, who gained office by lying.

Two of his big lies are currently clearly on view:

He promised Iraqi Christians that he would support and protect them and they supported him in large blocks.  When he gained office he started deporting them by the hundreds.  They have not yet been hauled out of this country because the courts stopped Trump’s deportation of so many.  They would have faced a horrible and dangerous life if they had been deported and they still might be.

He promised to support the LGBTQ Community and just recently showed clearly that his ethics are in the gutter and his sense of values none existent to the point of not merely being “political” to gain office, but evil to gain eternal damnation.

And those are just a few of his broken promises which will cause thousands horrendous, broken, desperate lives of which he will know nothing and of which he wants to know nothing.  His life is privileged and its continuance as such is his only concern.  More power.  More money.  More glorifying of Donald Trump.

And for this we live, work, worship and die in this country.  When will it all change?  What are you doing to bring about that change?  Or are you doing nothing to help continue things as they are because you see yourselves as benefitting?  Life changes in the blink of an eye – your time is coming and soon.

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A New Harvard President!

Friday, June 16th, 2017

by: Marceline Donaldson and Harold E. Doley, Jr.

Drew Gilpin Faust, the 28th president of Harvard University has resigned her position effective June 30, 2018.

A historian and former head of Radcliff Institute, Ms. Faust did an excellent job of continuing to move this private Ivy League institution, founded in 1636 in “New Town” – later to become Cambridge, MA.,  to educate Congregational Ministers to be able to better serve their churches.

Until Ms. Faust’s tenure, Harvard was led by white males and only white males.  She broke a ‘glass ceiling’ which held until 11 years ago.

Today, that mandate has changed and Harvard University has educated and continues to educate those who have been – who are – and who will be some of this country’s greatest leaders.  Its resources are an endowment of more than $34 billion and a world-wide academic reputation.  Coming to Harvard to study is a plum for most, no matter their country of origin.

Now, Harvard must look for a president who can continue its legacy and move it even higher   – and we just might have the solution.

Harvard, of course needs to be led by a Nobel Laureate.  And it would be great to have an alumnus of Harvard be that new president.  Someone known around the world – using his or her Harvard education, which is widely acknowledged as having been one of the tools used to create that person’s legacy to the world.  To also have that person with a beginning – at birth beginning – reflect the world in all of its diversity would be quite special.  America has traditionally divided itself into many separatist camps while claiming to be a “melting pot”.  Well, it is time for Harvard to help that image of America by selecting a president whose birth, upbringing and career choices reflect that “melting pot”.

Whose life better reflects what Harvard is about and what Harvard aspires for its students, researchers and others than President Barack Obama?

His mother was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas – the heartland of these United States.  She was born on an Army base because her father enlisted in the military and moved across Europe in General George Patton’s Army.  Obama’s grandfather studied using the G.I. Bill – owned a house using the Veterans Administration mortgage program – they helped raise Obama when his mother needed that help – and his grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, moving herself up to Vice President of a bank.

From his parental legacy at birth even until today, Obama has been a product and symbol of the American Dream.

The other side of Barack Hussein Obama is his Kenyan father,  who was born in Nyanza Province.  Obama’s father grew up herding goats in Kenya and left there to accept a scholarship to study at the University of Hawaii.  There he met Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, a woman of white middle-American ancestry.  They married and produced a son at a time during which such intermarriages were not looked upon proudly or even accepted as legal in some parts of the United States.

Obama’s father attended Harvard University working towards a Ph.D. So, a part of President Barack Obama’s Harvard application would have included his standing as a legacy matriculant. It is an understatement to say Barack made good use of his Harvard education and is an incredible example for others to follow.

Having lived in Jakarta, Indonesia after his parents divorce and his mother’s re-marriage, Obama learned to function in multi-cultural settings  from an early age.

He returned to the United States at age 10 to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents who sent him to Punahou Academy where he was forced to come to grips with himself as someone oppressed by the society in which he lived.

His educational experiences included Hawaii – Occidental College in Los Angeles – Columbia University in New York City and Harvard University School of Law where he ended his schooling  as editor of the Law Review.  He graduated Harvard Law magna cum laude.

To digress just a bit, I have a daughter who graduated Stanford School of Law as editor of the law review  (sorry, a mother has to brag).

He has since practiced civil rights law with Miner, Barnhill & Galland; was a community organizer; taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School; and more.

Barack is a best-selling author and Grammy Award winner.  If you have not read his book,  “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance”, you should.  The book is literally poetry.  It has been printed in more than 25 languages.  The audio-book version is narrated by President Obama.

Obama ran for and won a seat in the Illinois State Senate and worked with both Democrats and Republicans on legislation which included health care services, ethics and early childhood education programs.

He moved from the Illinois Senate to the U. S. Senate and from there to the presidency of the United States.

As president, he showed himself quite skilled at management, having come into office at a time when he had to immediately deal with a global economic crisis and ongoing foreign wars.

He is one of the few American presidents who was not involved in a scandal of any kind and presented and continues to present an image of which all of us can be proud.  He is also one of the Americans who is greeted with accolades when he travels the world.  His reception parallels, if it does not, in fact,  exceed that of rock stars.

Harvard could not find a better president.  We only hope President Obama sees things the same way.

WE ARE:   Native New Orleanians.

Harold Doley is a former U. S Ambassador in the Reagan Administration,  a 1990 graduate of Harvard Business School’s OPM Executive Education Program, among many other accomplishments.

Marceline Donaldson is a 1971 graduate of the Harvard Business School’s PMD Executive Education Program;  former National Board Member of NOW, and of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition; founder of Bettina Network, inc.; author and contributor to books such as Elizabeth Fiorenza’s book (a Harvard Professor) as honoris causa, among many other accomplishments.

Proof reading this blog is the Rev. Dr. Robert A. Bennett, native to Baltimore, Maryland, who holds a PhD degree from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Oriental Languages and Literature with a concentration in Hebrew, Hebrew Scripture, Archaeology,  an ordained Episcopal priest who served his church as chair of its National Liturgical Commission, professor at Episcopal Divinity School for 35 years, chaired the National Council of Churches Inclusive Language Lectionary Committee, among many other accomplishments.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to bettina-network@comcast.net

 

 

 

Thank You for Your Support!

Monday, May 8th, 2017

A very big thank you

for all the support we received

as we went about managing

the Bettina Moving Sale

in Watertown, Massachusetts.

So many of you came out and looked and bought and ate cookies – horrible store-bought cookies made without the benefit of organic flour, organic cocoa, etc.  I warned them not to do that, but, next time we will do better!!

We had a few ‘newcomers’ to Bettina Network, inc’s sales, who felt being ugly was the way to go and to get the price and item they wanted, but they ran into our buzz saw called ‘Marceline’ and that was that.  To balance them off we made many new friends who we will look for at future sales.

You all met Frances, who was working her first Bettina Sale and who was a bit nervous at the beginning, but relaxed and by the end of the sale had joined in and did very well.  If you or someone you know would like to work the Bettina Sales, please call and let’s have a conversation.  Toll free at 1-800-347-9166 or 617 497 9166 or email us at bettina-network@comcast.net.

The children who came were the gems – the very young person who looked to be about 8 or 9 years old, and who was with her grandparents, very ably translating for them because they did not speak English.  She did not hesitate to correct Frances when she made a $2 mistake in our favor, making sure her grandparents’ money was correctly handled.  And then there was the pregnant mother with her baby in a sling over her shoulder – with such a presence that you knew the future was secure if there are many more young people building families like theirs. There were many realtors coming and going with their clients looking at the house.  We loved the fact that a couple of the realtors just couldn’t resist and put their business aside to participate in ours. The outstanding buyer was the family who purchased a piece of furniture and found a one ounce gold bar stuck in the back of one of the drawers and brought it to us.  Where else do you find that kind of honesty except at a Bettina Network Sale?

We are so grateful for your friendship, your business, your suggestions,  your warmth and love and look forward to seeing you next time at a Bettina Sale.

We added several new members to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community and hope you use your password and join in as we move to grow this organization.

Thank you seems so inadequate, but it is truly and seriously and deeply meant and felt.

From,

All of us at Bettina’s

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to bettina-network@comcast.net

37,456 PEOPLE

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

The Number of People

who read Bettina Network’s Blog

in November, 2016

was 37,456.

Starting this month you are able to sign up to have Bettina Network’s Blog delivered to your email box whenever a new Blog is posted.

Up until now. you had to go to the Blog to read the newest one and you didn’t always know when a new blog was posted.

Just sign up using the green form which comes up on the page about 9 seconds after you start reading.  When the page becomes green, that is your sign to join a truly great group of people who are reading what Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community has to say.

If you are a member of that community you are able to have your blogs posted.  Just send what you want to say to bettinanetwork@comcast.net and we will post your blog – maybe editing a bit, if that is necessary – and maybe having a bit of conversation with you before posting. if that is necessary.  You can send pictures, drawings, whatever, to include with your blog.

The topic is up to you.  ACADEMIC PAPERS – because we have a very large academic readership; FUN QUOTES; with the advent of Donald Trump the interest in politics has zoomed up so feel free to send us POLITICAL ARTICLES, COMMENTS< and you can even tell us how to vote – not that we will take your advice, but its worth a try.

While we are using the blog structure, this is really becoming a newsletter and on its way to becoming a newspaper – written by people in the community who want what they have to say circulated to others.  If you have a response to anything, please feel free to send that via email.  We do not have the comments section of the blog open to anyone who want to comment so you will have to email your response as an article.  This is a CURATED BLOG.

COMMENTARY on whatever; RECIPE’s for your favorite foods; “MEMU’s you have experienced which sent you to heaven; CONSPIRACY THEORIES; ART – CRAFTS – MUSIC Videos that you have created; In other words – no end to the possibilities.

And we hope the end result is of interest to all of our readers.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

The TRUMP TICKET Exposed!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2016

The Vice Presidential debates for the 2016 campaign for the Presidency of the United States happened last night.

They laid bare the American soul.

The candidate for president – Donald Trump – has shown himself to be unstable, irresponsible, saying one thing today and another tomorrow and basically someone who looks as though he is on a cocaine high.  He has also shown himself to be a liar.  One who lies to manipulate and win.

The candidate for vice president – Mike Pence – has shown himself to be the sociopath on the ticket.  A cool, calm, collected, elegant liar who is totally unaffected by his lies because a sociopath is who he is at his core.  He can lie and justify the lies of those around him without batting an eye – without his eyelids twitching – without any other physical sign showing that his body can’t stand the lying.  So you know that Mike Pence, the sociopath is an accurate comment.

This election has ‘outed’ all of the problem areas in the American populace; American history; American economics, etc.

Up until now, all of these things were pretty much hidden, with code words used, when it was necessary to talk about some of our problems without really being upfront and truthful.  And so, the problems have continued and grown worse.  We, however, have gotten better at our denials and embroidery and all the others ways we have developed to make a lie look like the truth and to make the denial of a citizens rights look as though that person is hyper-sensitive, complaining unnecessarily, and it is all their fault.  That is certainly some of what we have used to get into and continue slavery for a few hundred years; to maintain Jim Crow for a hundred or more years after that; and to force some of the citizens of the United States to use all of their resources, missed opportunities; and more to fight the racism which is constantly tearing them, their families, their friends apart.  That is how sociopath as a disease runs all through this American society.  That is certainly why we now have a Donald Trump candidacy with a Mike Pence Vice Presidial candidate and almost half the country backing their candidacy.  This election is making a major statement about the American character and it is not pretty.

To listen to the media comment on the debate,  one is struck that as Americans we all have different degrees of sociopath.

Mike Pence responded to questions about what Donald Trump has said in the past by denying everything negative.  He could do that because the media agreed to not fact check this debate.  That was a plus for and promotion of the Donald Trump candidacy.  Excuse it however you want to, that is a fact.  It was clear when the announcement was made that this debate would not be fact checked the media was opening the door for lies, distortions, and more.  And the candidate did not disappoint.

Mostly the talk has been about the cool, composed style of Mike Pence and how Tim Paine lost so many points because he was too aggressive, emotional and more. Tim Paine lost points with the media and many of its followers because he responded to a pack of lies the way most people respond to such.  Certainly not with denial and more lies on top of the lies with which one is confronted.

I am not sure I could have kept my cool if I were debating someone who was lying consistently and nothing was stopping him.  To respond in the cool composed manner the media expected of Tim Kaine would have said Kaine was bordering on the sociopath.  His upset, emotional and sometimes overly aggressive way of responding is normally how someone responds to being faced with a barrage of lies at an important moment with millions of people listening.  That must be an incredibly frustrating time.  To act any other way would be to project an emotional lie.

And why do we have folks complimenting Mike Pence for his “style” and demeanor and to give him excuses for the lies he told such as – he must not listen to the coverage given his running mate; or, he probably has immune himself to Trump’s lies and can deny all that he denied because he hasn’t heard Trump say these things – and on and on and on.

But Mike Pence prepared for this debate and one way of preparing is to go over the issues and your tickets response to the issues.  Given that, his responses to say Trump didn’t say that or to attempt to turn something Trump did say into something else in that cool way he had, these are the actions of a long terms strong sociopath.

If you didn’t recognize that – check yourself.

If you did, then you also recognized that the society in which we live is so wrapped up in its own form of sociopath that it didn’t see anything wrong with Mike Pence’s performance.

To deny the racism in this society is to lie about what you know and what your ancestors knew was true.

To deny the sexism in this society is to lie about what you know and what your ancestors knew was true.

To allow homelessness with human beings sleeping on the streets; having no jobs; no care of any kind; and being treated by many in the most rejecting, demeaning and ugly way and to deny that you know this about yourself and others and that you know this is what your society is about is a form of sociopath.

To work in a corporation and to see how it is destroying human life – the environment – plus other kinds of ugly and evil things and not address this while denying the existence of what you see on a day to day basis is a form of sociopath.

I could go through the entire list, but you get the message.

So, when a Mike Pence comes on television and lies the way he lied on Tuesday evening and to have the media saying he “won” the debate for various reasons says we have a long ways to go to reach some kind of caring humanity.  We are stuck in a lying, self-justifying, sinful place which we then justify, substitute a great style to accept the lying – its ok to lie if you do it elegantly and in an acceptable way, and more.

All corners of this society are being exposed by Donald Trump’s campaign and Tuesday evening showed us the worst.

I want to be around people who are distressed, disturbed, distraught when they are faced with lies and liars – the way Tim Paine was when he was faced with Mike Pence and his lies and denials.

I want to be around people working to make this world a better place for all of us.  Not perfect people because we only seem to reach perfection.  In actual fact we are all flawed, but working on those flaws.  To be around those with the perfect persona projected by Mike Pence on Tuesday hardens us back to the actors and others who have presented perfect images to us during their political campaigns and we bought them hook, line and sinker.  But even in the buying we knew it was a lie, we just engaged in denial to accept and promote the liars and elect them to the important posts in the land.

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________________________________________________

Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Ghanaian and Columbian Skin Care

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2016

We have not had enough time to test this out on several people over a long period of time, however, for a few days on about 3 people it has had stunning results.

A previous blog was about Pineapple Skins for Skin care – an old Ghanaian treatment.  In conversation over breakfast about that blog we had a Columbian guest who made an addition to that recipe.  So, of course, we had to try it and love the results.

In addition to the steam treatment with Pineapple Skins – add Papaya skins to the water before steaming and let the Papaya Skins and the Pineapple Skins simmer together until steam rises.  Follow the same method – put a large towel over your head and your head over the steaming pot of water and skins and let the steam from all of the ingredients get into your skin for several minutes. You can do this however you are most comfortable – either over the stove with the water simmering or move the pot off the stove and put it on a nearby counter.  If you want to continue and the steam dies down -put the pot back on the stove until the steam comes up again and continue.  We chose five minutes because that was all we could handle standing over a steaming pot.  Someone else was able to try 10 minutes.  The results were spectacular.  I would think once or twice a week – depending upon your age and the condition of your skin – would work beautifully.  Once-a-week if you are young and your skin shows no damage from age or the over use of cosmetics.  Twice a week if you are aging and your skin needs work.

Follow this facial steam bath with lots of splashes of cold water on your face and pat dry with a soft towel.

Then – if you are retiring for the night – use nothing.  If you are getting ready for the day out and about, use a capsule of Vitamin A on your skin to add to the results from the Pineapple and Papaya Skin Steam treatment.  Actually, I found it takes four capsules – clipped and used one at a time to cover my face.  I use 25,000 IU’s.  Whatever you use would be up to your judgment.  I use this immediately upon rising in the morning and after at least 20 minutes with the Vitamin A on my face I rinse it again with cold splashes of water, pat dry and I am ready for work.  If I am staying home, I let the Vitamin A stay until I remember to splash the cold water.  Using the Vitamin A, including on my eyelids and under my eyes can cause a bit of a discomfort while it is on.  I ignore it and keep going.  The result seems to be an increase in my ability to see without the use of glasses.  That might be genetic, but everyone before me had glasses by the time they were 55.  I am way past that and only need glasses when I read a lot.  During the day, I can refresh my face with more splashes of cold water when I go to the bathroom for other reasons.  That is such a rejuvenation and a perk-me-up that my face instantly responds and looks as good as it looked with the first splash in the morning.

If you try this, we would appreciate your feedback as to how it worked for you.

We chose the Vitamin A after the facial steam bath because we read the Bettina Network Blog – a long time ago – about the Vitamin A – dry milk – Vitamin E treatment which is also fantastic so we only need to use the steam – probably once a week – maybe not even.

I don’t even use powder on my face anymore.  If I have a grease spot or the weather has caused a particularly greasy face, I simply use powdered milk.  It is super fantastic.

God bless Alicia Keyes.  Hope others will join her in her dedication to no cosmetics.  She simply appears the way God made her and she looks like a fresh flower in the middle of plastic replications.  I hope she is ready for the attacks of jealousy which are definitely coming from this stance.  So many people so very threatened.

Isn’t it great what sharing can do?  The need to be better than has caused us to have to live with cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and all the rest because we can’t give credit to possible cures and improvements that other societies use on a regular basis.  We must be the continuing Colonials whose way is the only and the best way.  I think this collaboration between Ghanaian and Columbian is what it is all about.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

A Sample of Bettina Network’s Lessons and Requirements!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Bettina Network, inc. has guidelines and lessons for those who join the Network with a talent, body of knowledge, wisdom, art, craft, etc that they want to share.

To give you an idea as to what these small lessons and requirements are, we share the following:

“We understand all of the marketing behind stainless steel and other kinds of utensils for eating.  However —-

In Bettina Network, inc. as a Host Family and Hedge School Facilitator we require that you use silver utensils when serving any kind of food.  If you are using  stainless steel and/or other materials for your knives, forks, spoons and other utensils which go in the mouth, please change to silver as soon as possible.  They are a bit more expensive so you can take six weeks into joining the Network to change the utensils you use.  To be efficient in the use of your resources, you might want to sell your current utensils at an estate sale, or yard sale, etc. to find the money to replace them with silver, if necessary.

Why?  Because silver has anti-bacterial properties and we want to make sure guests and those coming to learn are as protected as possible.

Silver plate or sterling silver are equally fine.”

Some of our homes have moved even further and adopted the old German habit of using silver pots and pans for cooking.  That is the ultimate, but instead – if you can’t afford or don’t understand how to use these silver pots and pans and are a bit squeamish – you might try converting to a combination of iron and glass pots and pans.  Give the idea of silver pots and pans a bit of time and you won’t want to use anything else.  Corning used to make a fantastic set of pots with the blue cornflower on the side which is great either for cooking on top of the stove or for using in the oven for baking.  Cast iron – which you will need to  oil (season) after each use, is excellent also.  Please don’t oil these iron pots with Olive Oil.  It goes rancid quickly and defeats the purpose.  You might try Peanut Oil – Coconut Oil – or etc.  Stable oils which you use to cook foods when the temperature is higher than ‘slightly warm’.

If you have questions or comments, call or send us an email.  If you want your email published as a blog, please so indicate.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

A Solution to Police Violence

Friday, July 8th, 2016

“When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.”  That is truth and a quote from some fount of wisdom.

Back in the 1970’s when I lived in Minneapolis I was on the board of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition.  We worked hard to attempt to establish Civilian Review Boards which would work with the police to oversee their work.  Boards where complaints against the police would be brought and worked through by the Civilian Review Board.

The people who were intransigently against these review boards were none other than the police.

WHY?  Because they had sympathy for one another.  They wanted to be ‘reviewed’ by their peers.  They talked about no one else knowing the problems on the job and what they went through and etc.  In reality, what they were saying is that when they saw a brother cop in trouble because he lost his temper; let his biases dictate his actions; messed up in ways that said his emotions had taken over his job, they understood that and if that happened to them – which, because of the stress and tensions of the job it very well could –  they wanted to be brought before a group of their peers who knew that – there, but for the grace of God – goes I.

The talks, negotiations, pleadings, and more fell on deaf ears because no one wanted civilians poking around where the police had messed up or where they appeared to have messed up.

Would the installation of Civilian Review Boards have prevented these recent killings?  And prevented many of the problems which have surfaced over the decades?  I won’t pretend to read the tea leaves, but common sense, experience, knowledge, sensitivity to the human condition says – yes, the establishment of civilian review boards would have gone a long way to entirely preventing the problems we have experienced and seen or they would have gone a long way to mitigating what happens when human beings whose emotions get out of control when they are in the power seat against other human beings and just needed to reach inches for a gun – a taser – a night stick wouldn’t.

The time has come to put this ‘brotherhood” behind and to open the door, windows, passageways which are now blocked to Civilian Review Boards.  Every city needs to immediately establish such and the Civilian Review Boards so established should have real power.  The power to investigate and also to protect whistle blowers in police departments who are experiencing problems because they have brought something that they feel needs fixing to the management and more.

That will make the police forces around this country more effective, not less.  That will give them credibility and a better and stronger trust level in many communities – especially if community members can approach the Civilian Review Board with their complaints, observations, etc. to attempt to make the police force what it is supposed to be.  Perfection  does not exist.  Moving closer to working together brings an understanding and clarity of vision which does not now exist.

Without the killings in Dallas, we were headed for some real heat during this summer.  Anger, grief, bigotry, and more were being unleashed by police across the country and it was only a question of time before all of that anger, grief, bigotry and more unleashed itself and resulted in the killing of police.  A line has now been crossed and there will be no going back until some basic changes are made.  We are, after all, only human and we reach our limits quickly.

Media talkers in the cat bird seat on television are already beginning to say things like “this just doesn’t feel right”.  And so begins the attempt to blame what happened in Dallas on Middle Eastern terrorists.  Or some other group of terrorists who inserted themselves into this community business.  All we need now, to create an unimaginable horror, are great pronouncements from the Don.  Hopefully, this bloody upheaval is not the beginning of his campaign to get himself elected President.  He has certainly set the stage for this to happen.

There didn’t need to be Middle Eastern terrorists intervening.  I know how I felt all day yesterday.  I could not stop crying.  If I had not had such an upbringing with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Christ, God and all of God’s angels threatening me if I took a life I could have easily taken knives and cut police into little pieces, throwing the pieces to the flesh eating fish and felt good about it.

Middle Eastern terrorists may have their issues, but African Americans raised in the deep South during Jim Crow have anger issues which run deep.  Creole women have tempers like none you have seen before and all of that unleashed can reek unbelievable havoc. We didn’t need “foreign immigrants” to act on our behalf.

What is amazing about those comments on television that the media were spewing out this morning is that in the middle of talking about a racially charged issue they introduced their own racism.  The print running at the bottom of the screen could have read – Blacks don’t have the guts, the know how, the drive to do what those shooters did in Dallas – so this just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.  There must be some other explanation other than shootings by the protest groups.

It is way past the time to come to our senses and establish panels to air racial grievances, but we need to take three huge steps back and do exactly that.  And not panels staffed with Blacks and other minorities who the prevailing White Male power structure knows will “be nice.”  We need to establish truth panels, where there are no penalties for speaking truth and some kind of recompense for those who experienced the negative side of the truth being spoken.  We need truth panels where people in the community can go to air their past grievances with the police and a panel which seeks to bring justice out of that truth telling.  Justice, not judgment.

It is also crucially important – even more than truth panels – to establish Civilian Review Boards.

Our normal method of operating is back away from the truth.  It isn’t “nice”.  We have to smile and make nice.  We have to pretend that all is well because we don’t want to offend anyone.  When we reach that point we need to ask ourselves –  how can the truth offend?

It is time to offend.  To offend in love.  It is kind and good.   Truth helps us grow into that space where our lives can be full of unconditional love.

I go to a Church, where in some corners of the building, love and sex are equated.  That is not the kind of love I am talking about and I think most of you know the difference.

I was raised to speak truth to power.  It wasn’t until my old age that I began to realize power doesn’t want to hear truth and will destroy you for attempting to speak the truth because power judges harshly and will eliminate you for being anything other than gracious to it, turning a blind eye to its transgressions.  Power will destroy you and blame you for the destruction.

Love doesn’t judge, bur love does live in the light of truth and forces us to live in that same bright, beautiful light.  Would that all of us could sit in unconditional love for just minutes a day.  Our lives would totally change as we became accustomed to something which  answers our insecurities, our racism, our sexism, our classism, all of the needs we have to be better than; to be more powerful than; to be in the spotlight most of the time; to be prettier than; to have more of the material things in life than; to have someone who we can make the scapegoat for all of our missteps and negative things we do; on whom we can dump everything and then force over the cliff.  Love is what a good life is all about.  Not happiness, not joy, not any of the things we normally seek.  With love everything else comes to order.

Let’s get busy.  The work is huge and the time is short. Make those contacts – set up those Civilian Review Boards – get those Truth Panels going, soonest.  Even if you have to be the shadow where you can’t gain access to be an integral part of, – try it.  Even if you have to set up Truth Panels on street corners – do it.

South Africans had great experience with Truth and Reconciliation Panels.  Are we too arrogant to be that humble?  Does our side have to be right and the others wrong?  We are intelligent human beings.  Notice I didn’t write – educated, because formal, institutional education may be a part of the problem.  Intelligent, sensitive to others, needing to reach out, feeling uncomfortable where you are cast as better than.  Get all of that together and get to work.

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TO CELEBRATE JULY 4th AND TO REMEMBER

Monday, July 4th, 2016

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

(Ed. Note:  25 to 35 Million Africans were robbed of their freedom; taken from their country and put into slavery for 400 plus years – first by the Arabs and then by Europeans and Americans – Southern Americans, but the people in America who most benefitted from the slave trade were New Englanders.)

by Frederick Douglass

A speech given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say that I am to deliver a Fourth of July Oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for me. It is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable-and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you.

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, as what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. l am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young.-Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is, that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would certainly prove nothing as to what part I might have taken had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when, to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated, by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure. The greatest and best of British statesmen admitted its justice, and the loftiest eloquence of the British Senate came to its support. But, with that blindness which seems to be the unvarying characteristic of tyrants, since Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the Red Sea, the British Government persisted in the exactions complained of.

The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present rulers.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it.

Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. They hate all changes, but silver, gold and copper change! Of this sort of change they are always strongly in favor.

These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.

Their opposition to the then dangerous thought was earnest and powerful; but, amid all their terror and affrighted vociferations against it, the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.

On the 2nd of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshipers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day, whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it.

“Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.”
Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, there fore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history-the very ringbolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.

Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ringbolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day-cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.

The coming into being of a nation, in any circumstances, is an interesting event. But, besides general considerations, there were peculiar circumstances which make the advent of this republic an event of special attractiveness. The whole scene, as I look back to it, was simple, dignified and sublime. The population of the country, at the time, stood at the insignificant number of three millions. The country was poor in the munitions of war. The population was weak and scattered, and the country a wilderness unsubdued. There were then no means of concert and combination, such as exist now. Neither steam nor lightning had then been reduced to order and discipline. From the Potomac to the Delaware was a journey of many days. Under these, and innumerable other disadvantages, your fathers declared for liberty and independence and triumphed.

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too-great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.

They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.

They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settIed” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.

How circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements! How unlike the politicians of an hour! Their statesmanship looked beyond the passing moment, and stretched away in strength into the distant future. They seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defence. Mark them! Fully appreciating the hardships to be encountered, firmly believing in the right of their cause, honorably inviting the scrutiny of an on-looking world, reverently appealing to heaven to attest their sincerity, soundly comprehending the solemn responsibility they were about to assume, wisely measuring the terrible odds against them, your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep, the corner-stone of the national super-structure, which has risen and still rises in grandeur around you.

Of this fundamental work, this day is the anniversary. Our eyes are met with demonstrations of joyous enthusiasm. Banners and pennants wave exultingly on the breeze. The din of business, too, is hushed. Even mammon seems to have quitted his grasp on this day. The ear-piercing fife and the stirring drum unite their accents with the ascending peal of a thousand church bells. Prayers are made, hymns are sung, and sermons are preached in honor of this day; while the quick martial tramp of a great and multitudinous nation, echoed back by all the hills, valleys and mountains of a vast continent, bespeak the occasion one of thrilling and universal interest-nation’s jubilee.

Friends and citizens, I need not enter further into the causes which led to this anniversary. Many of you understand them better than I do. You could instruct me in regard to them. That is a branch of knowledge in which you feel, perhaps, a much deeper interest than your speaker. The causes which led to the separation of the colonies from the British crown have never lacked for a tongue. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, un folded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. They form the staple of your national po etry and eloquence.

I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait-perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact, that whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans and can be had cheap! will be found by Americans. I shall not be charged with slandering Americans if I say I think the American side of any question may be safely left in American hands.

I leave, therefore, the great deeds of your fathers to other gentlemen whose claim to have been regularly descended will be less likely to be disputed than mine!

My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and His cause is the ever-living now.
Trust no future, however pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead;
Act, act in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead.
We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome. But now is the time, the important time. Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. You have no right to enjoy a child’s share in the labor of your fathers, unless your children are to be blest by your labors. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence. Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have “Abraham to our father,” when they had long lost Abraham’s faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham’s great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchers of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout-“We have Washington to our father.”-Alas! that it should be so; yet it is.
The evil, that men do, lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.
Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.-The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fa thers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse”; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, “It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed.” But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They ac knowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may con sent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding.-There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Take the American slave-trade, which we are told by the papers, is especially prosperous just now. Ex-Senator Benton tells us that the price of men was never higher than now. He mentions the fact to show that slavery is in no danger. This trade is one of the peculiarities of American institutions. It is carried on in all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy; and millions are pocketed every year by dealers in this horrid traffic. In several states this trade is a chief source of wealth. It is called (in contradistinction to the foreign slave-trade) “the internal slave-trade.” It is, probably, called so, too, in order to divert from it the horror with which the foreign slave-trade is contemplated. That trade has long since been denounced by this government as piracy. It has been denounced with burning words from the high places of the nation as an execrable traffic. To arrest it, to put an end to it, this nation keeps a squadron, at immense cost, on the coast of Africa. Everywhere, in this country, it is safe to speak of this foreign slave-trade as a most inhuman traffic, opposed alike to the Jaws of God and of man. The duty to extirpate and destroy it, is admitted even by our doctors of divinity. In order to put an end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored brethren (nominally free) should leave this country, and establish them selves on the western coast of Africa! It is, however, a notable fact that, while so much execration is poured out by Americans upon all those engaged in the foreign slave-trade, the men engaged in the slave-trade between the states pass with out condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable.

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and American religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh jobbers, armed with pistol, whip, and bowie-knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field and the deadly sugar-mill. Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-curdling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the centre of your soul The crack you heard was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on. Follow this drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shock ing gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me, citizens, where, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors. I lived on Philpot Street, Fell’s Point, Baltimore, and have watched from the wharves the slave ships in the Basin, anchored from the shore, with their cargoes of human flesh, waiting for favorable winds to waft them down the Chesapeake. There was, at that time, a grand slave mart kept at the head of Pratt Street, by Austin Woldfolk. His agents were sent into every town and county in Maryland, announcing their arrival, through the papers, and on flaming “hand-bills,” headed cash for Negroes. These men were generally well dressed men, and very captivating in their manners; ever ready to drink, to treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has been snatched from the arms of its mother by bargains arranged in a state of brutal drunkenness.

The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a sufficient number has been collected here, a ship is chartered for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed.

In the deep, still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead, heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains and the heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror.

Fellow-citizens, this murderous traffic is, to-day, in active operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my spirit I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the South; I see the bleeding footsteps; I hear the doleful wail of fettered humanity on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight.
Is this the land your Fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?
But a still more inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous state of things remains to be presented. By an act of the American Congress, not yet two years old, slavery has been nationalized in its most horrible and revolting form. By that act, Mason and Dixon’s line has been obliterated; New York has become as Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt, and sell men, women and children, as slaves, remains no longer a mere state institution, but is now an institution of the whole United States. The power is co-extensive with the star-spangled banner, and American Christianity. Where these go, may also go the merciless slave-hunter. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for the sportsman’s gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. Your broad republican domain is hunting ground for men. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely, but for men guilty of no crime. Your law-makers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your President, your Secretary of State, your lords, nobles, and ecclesiastics enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing. Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating torture. Some of these have had wives and children, dependent on them for bread; but of this, no account was made. The right of the hunter to his prey stands superior to the right of marriage, and to all rights in this republic, the rights of God included! For black men there is neither law nor justice, humanity nor religion. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and five, when he fails to do so. The oath of any two villains is sufficient, under this hell-black enactment, to send the most pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of slavery! His own testimony is nothing. He can bring no witnesses for himself. The minister of American justice is bound by the law to hear but one side; and that side is the side of the oppressor. Let this damning fact be perpetually told. Let it be thundered around the world that in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America the seats of justice are filled with judges who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding the case of a man’s liberty, to hear only his accusers!

In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenceless, and in diabolical intent this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.

I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were nor stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it.

At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cummin”-abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal!-And it would go hard with that politician who presumed to so licit the votes of the people without inscribing this motto on his banner. Further, if this demand were not complied with, another Scotland would be added to the history of religious liberty, and the stern old covenanters would be thrown into the shade. A John Knox would be seen at every church door and heard from every pulpit, and Fillmore would have no more quarter than was shown by Knox to the beautiful, but treacherous, Queen Mary of Scotland. The fact that the church of our country (with fractional exceptions) does not esteem “the Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, im plies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love, and good will towards man. It esteems sacrifice above mercy; psalm-singing above right doing; solemn meetings above practical righteousness. A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy is a curse, not a blessing to mankind. The Bible addresses all such persons as “scribes, pharisees, hypocrites, who pay tithe ofÝ mint, anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.”

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines, who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done! These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty and leave the throne of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and with out hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. All this we affirm to be true of the popular church, and the popular worship of our land and nation-a religion, a church, and a worship which, on the authority of inspired wisdom, we pronounce to be an abomination in the sight of God. In the language of Isaiah, the American church might be well addressed, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons, and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them; and when ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you. Yea’ when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge for the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in its connection with its ability to abolish slavery.

The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. Albert Barnes but uttered what the common sense of every man at all observant of the actual state of the case will receive as truth, when he declared that “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.”

Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday School, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery, and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds, and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive.

In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? We are met on the threshold of our efforts for the redemption of the slave, by the church and ministry of the country, in battle arrayed against us; and we are compelled to fight or flee. From what quarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared-men honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example of the Hebrews, and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.2

My spirit wearies of such blasphemy; and how such men can be supported, as the “standing types and representatives of Jesus Christ,” is a mystery which I leave others to penetrate. In speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land. There are exceptions, and I thank God that there are. Noble men may be found, scattered all over these Northern States, of whom Henry Ward Beecher, of Brooklyn; Samuel J. May, of Syracuse; and my esteemed friend (Rev. R. R. Raymond) on the platform, are shining examples; and let me say further, that, upon these men lies the duty to inspire our ranks with high religious faith and zeal, and to cheer us on in the great mission of the slave’s redemption from his chains.

One is struck with the difference between the attitude of the American church towards the anti-slavery movement, and that occupied by the churches in Eng land towards a similar movement in that country. There, the church, true to its mission of ameliorating, elevating and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and re stored him to his liberty. There, the question of emancipation was a high religious question. It was demanded in the name of humanity, and according to the law of the living God. The Sharps, the Clarksons, the Wilberforces, the Buxtons, the Burchells, and the Knibbs were alike famous for their piety and for their philanthropy. The anti-slavery movement there was not an anti-church movement, for the reason that the church took its full share in prosecuting that movement: and the anti-slavery movement in this country will cease to be an anti-church movement, when the church of this country shall assume a favorable instead of a hostile position towards that movement.

Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties) is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from oppression in your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot, and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education; yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation-a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen, and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against the oppressor; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse! You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America. You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere, to love one another; yet you notoriously hate (and glory in your hatred) all men whose skins are not colored like your own. You declare before the world, and are understood by the world to declare that you “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain in alienable rights; and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country.

Fellow-citizens, I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretense, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad: it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing and a bye-word to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your Union. it fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement; the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice; it shelters crime; it is a curse to the earth that supports it; and yet you cling to it as if it were the sheet anchor of all your hopes. Oh! be warned! be warned! a horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation’s bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear away, and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!

But it is answered in reply to all this, that precisely what I have now denounced is, in fact, guaranteed and sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States; that, the right to hold, and to hunt slaves is a part of that Constitution framed by the illustrious Fathers of this Republic.

Then, I dare to affirm, notwithstanding all I have said before, your fathers stooped, basely stooped
To palter with us in a double sense:
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.
And instead of being the honest men I have before declared them to be, they were the veriest impostors that ever practised on mankind. This is the inevitable conclusion, and from it there is no escape; but I differ from those who charge this baseness on the framers of the Constitution of the United States. It is a slander upon their memory, at least, so I believe. There is not time now to argue the constitutional question at length; nor have I the ability to discuss it as it ought to be discussed. The subject has been handled with masterly power by Lysander Spooner, Esq. by William Goodell, by Samuel E. Sewall, Esq., and last, though not least, by Gerrit Smith, Esq. These gentlemen have, as I think, fully and clearly vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery for an hour.

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but interpreted, as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gate way? or is it in the temple? it is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slaveholding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can any where be found in it. What would be thought of an instrument, drawn up, legally drawn up, for the purpose of entitling the city of Rochester to a tract of land, in which no mention of land was made? Now, there are certain rules of interpretation for the proper understanding of all legal instruments. These rules are well established. They are plain, commonsense rules, such as you and I, and all of us, can understand and apply, without having passed years in the study of law. I scout the idea that the question of the constitutionality, or unconstitutionality of slavery, is not a question for the people. I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman. Ex-Vice-President Dallas tells us that the constitution is an object to which no American mind can be too attentive, and no American heart too devoted. He further says, the Constitution, in its words, is plain and intelligible, and is meant for the home-bred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens. Senator Berrien tells us that the Constitution is the fundamental law, that which controls all others. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the constitution. I take it, therefore, that it is not presumption in a private citizen to form an opinion of that instrument.

Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand, it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.

I have detained my audience entirely too long already. At some future period I will gladly avail myself of an opportunity to give this subject a full and fair discussion.

Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.

“The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from “the Declaration of Independence,” the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated.-Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.” In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,

And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign.
To man his plundered rights again
Restore.

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;

That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

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The Rev. Nicholas Hood

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

by: Marceline Donaldson, April 11, 2016

Rev. Nicholas Hood

Rev. Nicholas Hood

Andrew Young, Nicholas Hood

Andrew Young, Nicholas Hood

Some remembrances write themselves.  This one is being written through heavy grief because it is not only a memory of Nicholas Hood, but  long overdue grieving of my youth and someone who contributed majorly to who I am as a Christian today.

Nicholas Hood is in my heart and soul.

The example he set for so many will last a very long time as will the witnessing to his life, his life’s work and his God.  He was one of those who witnessed for his God in a mighty way.  When God calls one to the ordained ministry, God calls the pastor and the prophet.  When it is a genuine call to the ordained ministry the life of that person is never the same and their life forever after reflects that call.  Clearly, Nicholas Hood was called by God to the ordained ministry and he never left the path he walked following that call.

“Suffer the little children to come unto me …………….” was one part of Nicholas Hood’s ministry.  With a group of us in New Orleans, life would never be the same.  We integrated the Congregational Church’s summer camp in the Panhandle.  It was an incredible, life changing experience.  There were times around a camp fire when we heard, as young Black children, what young White children thought of those like us.  Stories of how the White children – teen agers – had been taught that integrated marriages produced spotted children.  Comments I have never forgotten.  That one stood out more than the rest because my grandfather had the genetic disease which causes one’s skin to turn from brown to milky white and I could see it spreading across his hands and in later years his face.  His father was Blackfoot Indian.  His mother was French.  I knew better than to believe the stories I heard around that camp fire, but that one got inside and it took some time before I was able to dig it out.    Nick Hood was there talking to all of us and going into detail on racism and how it works and spreads from one generation to the next.  Those were stories told to their children by parents who were full of fear and afraid their children might bring home a Black boy or girl friend and they were doing everything they could to prevent that and keep the color line unbroken.  What Nicholas Hood did for us, after that night around the camp fire, was to witness using the Gospel to put all of what we heard into a context which was powerful I can still hear parts of it.

Nicholas Hood was there at the end of that camping experience when we were on the way home and we all went into a diner to eat.  We had been so caught up in the experience of being together – White and Black – that the reality outside the camp had not been restored and we sat in the diner causing a bit of an uproar because Blacks were sitting at the counter waiting to be fed.  We were unaware of the sit-ins beginning to happen across the country.  We just wanted lunch.

Nicholas Hood brought a group of us – very young people – with Andrew Young and Martin King – across the backroads of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama as a Jr. High Choir to sing in White Churches in which Martin preached.  We spent the night in the homes of the White Jr. High Choir members before and after the service and after that when we were all quickly hustled out of the homes where we were staying back into the cars to be driven down the road at high speed watching in front of us seeing Nicholas Hood, Andy and Martin hung in effigy from the trees down the road and behind us a group of very angry whites with rifles coming to run out of town the oversexed Blacks who couldn’t be about anything except a sex orgy sleeping with the young White teenagers whose families offered us hospitality.  That was my first experience being seen, not as a human being but as an oversexed machine to whom friendship wasn’t possible – but was interpreted as some kind of sex thing.  Nicholas Hood was there to put all of that into the perspective of the Gospel.

I didn’t realize how much children absorb of Sunday sermons until I looked back and remembered some of Nicholas Hood’s sermons, which got into my soul.  I couldn’t have been more than 13-14 years old.

I’ve made lots of missteps in my life, but somehow I have always been able to self-correct.  Some compass inside always brought me back to the faith of my childhood and the example of those around me at the time.  To be able to see beyond today and to talk to those who are no longer here is a New Orleans thing and not an easy thing to handle,  but Nicholas Hood kept my deepest secrets which were never shared.  That is a gift and I am so very grateful to the giver.

Rev. Hood came to Minneapolis years ago and we spent an incredible evening going over life and where it had taken us.  An evening I have always cherished.  I’ve watched his life and how he lived it and one thing stands out above all else – his faith in God and his steps, which were ordered by God. He lived to the benefit of so many – me included.  Life happens, but it does not always happen full of love while we are doing God’s work.  We can get so confused as to what God is calling us to do.  What is the work we need to be doing for ourselves and for others?  Nick Hood’s life shows an example of someone who was very clear about the work God called him to do.

By your fruits you shall be known.  By what Nicholas Hood was about all those 92 years speaks louder than anything anyone could say, explain, add to his life’s story. By the fruit of his life – “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17″So every good tree bears good fruit,” …………  You have left clear evidence by your fruit that you are one of God’s own forever, Nicholas Hood.  May God bless and keep you close for eternity.

See also:

Tonight, I Watched My Father Die

http://www.wxyz.com/news/civil-rights-activist-former-detroit-city-council-member-nicholas-hood-sr-dies-at-91

Rev. Hood Sr.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Conspiracy Theories?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Breakfast at a Bettina Network Hedge School can be awesome as you talk to so many different people who come from amazing places with experiences that span the globe and includes ideas, history, remembrances and thought processes that sharpen your own.

I would not trade being a part of Bettina Network Hedge Schools for anything.  My intellect is stimulated on a daily basis, let alone my knowledge base.

We had an incredible conversation at breakfast about the Supreme Court nomination and  all of the push back for and against Barack Obama making that appointment.  Basically, I wanted to know what does all of this mess mean?????

What came back to me was awesome!!!!!

First was a question – why would Mitch McConnell and all of those pushing to keep Obama from making this appointment be fighting so hard against that possibility, especially if Hillary is going to be our next president?  I thought, as did others, that Hillary would more than likely make a more liberal appointment than would Obama.  He is and has been a great president, but he is, in many ways, tied to the establishment in ways that Hillary is not.

And, if Hillary is not elected president would Bernie be any more conservative?  He has shown by his Civil Rights involvements early on and his backing away from that commitment as he became more involved in his life’s work that he knows the establishment and he would not have been able to get as far as he has if he had kept his Civil Rights work active and if he had been actively involved bringing about those kind of changes in his environment.  Vermont can handle liberal, progressive, socialist changes, but it is still a very White state.  So, while his appointment to the Supreme Court would be quite liberal, his establishment ties said to some of us that he would be willing to accommodate his friends – especially those he needed to help push his presidency in the direction he wanted it to go.  But that accommodation would not be nearly close to what Mitch McConnell and those fighting with him would be fighting to achieve.  So why would Mitch McConnel and friends, not known for their liberal leanings, be working so hard to stop Obama’s appointment to give Bernie the go ahead to make this appointment?

It seems to me they know something we don’t and what they are working so hard for at the moment is for the appointment to be put on hold until someone more conservative becomes president and they can continue on with business as usual.  And who would that be?  Donald Trump or someone who will soon come out of hiding in the wings onto front stage?

There have been many conspiracy theories floating around this country connected to past presidents and presidential elections.

The one that sticks out in this discussion are the conspiracy theories around how Jack Kennedy was elected president.  Rumor had it that his father made a deal with the mafia to produce the votes needed for his son’s election – especially around the Chicago area – and they did.  Rumor continues that it was Marcello, the southern head of the Mafia in this country at the time,  who put in the demand for Kennedy’s assassination because  while the Mafia did its job for Jack Kennedy and his family, the Kennedy’s turned on the Mafia.  The father – with his Mafia connections – made the deal, but Bobby and Jack went ahead when elected, to move against the Mafia and it does not tolerate those kinds of actions without a particular kind of payback.

Looking at the candidates, it seemed to us that Donald Trump’s business interests are casinos, construction, and gambling with heavy involvements in Las Vegas and New Jersey.  That could be conspiratorialized to produce a Mafia connection linking Donald Trump’s success with the successful backing of his businesses by Mafia interests.  He may even be one of those at the top himself, as this conspiracy theory unrolled itself.

Connect that to the conspiracy theories around Jack Kennedy and you have the new President of the United States elected the way the conspiracy theorists claim Jack Kennedy was elected.  Although, according to those theories, someone intervened on Jack Kennedy’s behalf – he did not have the clout with the Mafia to do those negotiations on his own.  All those trying to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon have apparently either not made this connection or are too young to know this ‘history’.

Is that something Mitch McConnel and his group of friends would know about?  Would this be what they are structuring with this recalcitrance to allow Obama to even nominate a Supreme Court justice?  Do they know something the rest of us don’t and are acting on that knowledge to keep a clear path open for what they know is in our future?

Since we are not a part of that inner circle we can only look on and attempt to interpret what is happening from their public actions and their current public actions say they are expecting a President of these United States to be elected who would push their political and other interests and one of the biggest is who is appointed to the United States Supreme Court.  Who would be that swing vote that would bring the Court either one way or the other.

Given that Obama would probably appoint a more acceptable person to the Court in their eyes than would Hillary Clinton, we are seeing their hand tipped as to the fix that is in and the rest of us are supposed to sit back and be so involved in the fight, in the agenda they have set out for us to engage,  that our minds are engaged in a way that we cannot see and do not realize what the McConnell boys’ actions are telling us as clearly as if they had taken an airplane and done sky writing about what they know is coming down the pike.

For all of those yelling ‘racism’ that is keeping you from seeing what is actually happening here.  Clear your minds and think much more broadly.

All of the above is simply the result of a few people having breakfast together conjecturing, adding bits and pieces of history and bits and pieces of conspiracy theories which have been floating around for decades.  Nothing serious and any similarities to the American Political scene at the moment are strictly coincidental.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Theologians Worldwide Join Us!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

What a wonderful resource for you and the rest of the world to add your home to Bettina Network Hedge Schools.

Where does one go to learn about your own religion, or other religions of the world?  Not from books which give a very stilted structure and outdated information, but from someone who is doing research, writing about particular interests of theirs and yours and even more.  Maybe there is someone who has a perspective, belief, expounding on something of interest to you – stay a few days and examine what both of you are doing.

And for the theologian – what a wonderful resource to be able to talk to people serendipitously to try out your thoughts, theories and to know where just ordinary people are coming from and their interest and interpretation of your work.

For the guest traveling the world – stay with a theologian.  Have a breakfast seminar and bring up all the issues you have pondered for decades or maybe within your family for generations.  Only thinkers allowed.  Non-believers welcomed – those of very different religious beliefs and very opposing or complimentary theologies welcome.  A theologian traveling?  Why not stay with a theologian who might be doing something in which you are interested?  Want an intense few days to talk with a theologian in a different area – not at a seminar, not presenting a paper, just the two or three or four of you – hanging out for a couple days?

Call us – email us – get more information about how you might fit and what this is all about.

Breakfast Table Talk – I am sure theologians know about kitchen table talk!  Just look at what that wrought for Martin Luther.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

Musicians of the World – Attention!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Bettina Network, inc. is looking for musicians who would like to have guests, for very brief periods of time – other musicians, conservatory students, those interested in music as attendees at concerts (possibly your concerts), supporters of your musical group.  These are people traveling for other reasons for a few days who would like to combine that stay becoming more acquainted with musicians, their lifestyle and possibly take a lesson or two while staying with you.  Consider talking with us about joining Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools.  We check out all of our guests and families.

You benefit via the income from their stay; the possible lessons they would like while there; their interest in  becoming knowledgeable about your career and lifestyle.  They attend concerts while in your area and are interested to learn more about your musical interests and organizations you have founded and/or support – and more.

Pianists, conductors, harpists, guitarists, violinists, accordion concert artists, and all of you who have a love of your craft and an interest in others knowing about it on a very intimate basis.  Call us and lets talk.

We do not cater to those looking to stay and who want everything for $19/night. No couch surfers nor air-mattress lovers.  We cater to music lovers who want to see concert artists thrive; who want to know a little of your lifestyle; who want to stay with you and some may even want to study your instrument for a brief time and who understand that such a privilege cost.  Not everyone plays an instrument who would stay with you.  Some may even want just a brief introduction with no prior lessons or experience, but who always wanted to know a little something about your instrument.

Wherever you are in the world, call us – email us – write to us.  We will come out to visit; tell you more about who we are and answer your questions about Bettina Network Hedge Schools.

If you are traveling and want to stay in a home where you can keep up your skill and technique with an instrument close by, call us for that too.  We have homes where you can use the piano or other instruments for hours at a time and your host will be delighted to share.  Stay with other musicians who share your lifestyle and travel needs, especially – but not only – when you are travelling for concert work.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

 


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