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Monday, July 15th, 2019

TRUMP Death Camps

So far, the total number of children killed – about which we have been told – is 7. Who knows if that is accurate or not.

For adults, we understand one male from Honduras was killed a couple weeks ago and no other figures have been disclosed.

Some say they died. When you are not in control of your circumstances and you are put someplace where you are in harms way and the object of your being placed there is to remove you – killed is what has happened. Some would call it manslaughter, I would call it murder. Those who were there knew exactly what they were doing and what the result would be. A lot more will follow and the killings will begin to sharply escalate while we argue and talk about how awful Trump is, but we keep Trump in place until he has brought this society back to white supremacy.

We understand some of those working at the Trump Death Camps have started wearing face masks. Some say because of the horrible stench from the conditions in the Death Camps. Some say because disease is so rife and so many are ill this was necessary to keep the guards from getting sick and dying.

In spite of all the horribleness of those Trump Death Camps, they still exist and are growing exponentially larger. Does our history of slavery; internment of groups we make ‘less than’ as we did the Japanese; the torture and slaughter of African Americans in the village square and among the trees as ‘strange fruit’ for voting; the destruction of so many African American lives over the past generations since slavery and so much more – has that made us unable to do anything except talk about how awful Donald Trump is without moving to stop him claiming our talking about it is enough and we are doing what we can. Is the United States so structured that people like Trump and conditions such as we are experiencing today happen with a country structured so this cannot and will not be stopped, but be allowed to play out?

Now you know what happened in Nazi Germany under Hitler. Non-Jews were able to go on with their lives because the ugly was kept from them – for the most part. And when did this happen? When Jews were being destroyed in the Jewish Ghetto? No, when Jews were starting to break out of the Jewish Ghetto and were starting tp establish substantial lives accumulating wealth, art, businesses.

Although many really knew what was happening, they allowed it to continue because they enjoyed that feeling – thank god I am not a Jew. I am better than that.

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Evangelical Christians as Trump supporters don’t understand his evil?

Really?

First off – Evangelicals are not Christian. They claim a form of Christianity, but it is with a small “c” – christians. They worship Baal, but call him god and try to give him the attributes of the Christian God with his son Jesus the Christ because that makes them look and feel better. They are a group which has elevated their culture to a place where they call it their religion and their faith and they structure this ‘religion’ so that it protects them and their culture and keeps them feeling and acting “better than” being allowed to destroy others.

The evangelical christians knew who they were supporting. They understood Trump better than most. They have walked in his shoes and lived parts of his life – especially if they have become extraordinarily wealthy. Take a look at the history and structure of this group.

First – remember when Jimmy Carter ran for president? One of the first blocks he ran into were the ones created by those who took a look at where and how he worshipped; those who questioned his Christianity because he was going to a Church which did not allow African Americans into the Church to worship on Sundays. If they did manage to get in they had to sit in the back of the Church. There were incidents after Carter announced his candidacy and in the end, he left that Church and worshipped where all were welcome. That is true of Jimmy Carter even today. When he recognized that the god being worshipped in the Church he attended had a small g – he removed himself because his worship was of God. That was a long time ago and evangelical christians showed their racism/bigotry back then assuming it was just fine and the way they chose to live in a manner ‘better than’ established by their ‘god’ for their superiority over others.

Second – the most segregated hour in these United States is Sunday morning at 11am – the time most Christians go to their worship services. Segregated into whites going to white churches with one or two blacks and blacks going to black churches with no whites. That has been the case for generations and continues to be the case even today. So – tell us again about evangelical christians and Donald Trump. They support him because they understand and agree with his morals, his character, his evil. They practice it themselves – remember Roy Moore? The man who as accused of sexual assault against young underage girls and was banned from the local shopping center because of it? A Trump supporter and back running for something with a lot of support from those who attend and belong to the gathering of people he joined and who he meets every sunday in a place called “church”.

Third – remember the history of many evangelical preachers/ministers? They tend to live “high on the hog”. Private planes – mansions – lots of money and display incredible wealth. They also have been the topic of news coverage with their sexual assault on young women and men; their adultery; their ripping off their membership, among others – and go ahead with the list of things for which Trump has been accused and you have the kind of person evangelical christians recognize in Trump as being like their leaders. A flock will recognize its own.

Now lets ask that question again? Why would a group of evangelical christians support Donald Trump and not be appalled by his values, his lifestyle, his hypocrisy, his racism – sexism -xenophobia, etc. All of the bigotry he preaches and practices? Because they have been doing such and supporting the likes of Donald Trump all of their lives. Because they have turned their “Church” into a cultural center – a place where the culture, not God is worshipped. Once that happens, whoever supports and promotes their culture is their god who they believe in and follow – especially if that culture is touted as being “better than” – and that for this generation of evangelical christians is Donald Trump.

I watched “Morning Joe’ on television this morning. It was all about excusing Trump and talking about and giving excuses as to why evangelical christians are not who they really are. Truth was missing.

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Tiger Woods – No Surprise!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

We received little notes from Bettina Network Lifestyle Community Members about the award Donald Trump bestowed upon Tiger Woods.

Several expressed surprise that Tiger Woods accepted the award – given the stand many African American and even mixed race African American sports figures have taken. So why is Tiger Woods standing there grinning and proud?

We didn’t understand the surprise of some of our readers and contributors because – “birds of a feather”.

That should give you some idea of the common values Trump and Woods share. That kind of sexism, that disrespect for, that misuse and abuse of women crosses racial, national, and all other barriers.

Think back a bit. What do you know about Tiger Woods beyond his great talent in the golf game? Remember his ex-wife’s anger when she found out just how ‘outre’ he was with women? Remember the stories which surfaced in the media about how he ‘shacked up’ with multiple women after his golf tournaments and carried on multiple affairs while his wife took care of home and children? Remember all of the womanizing you heard and/or read about concerning how Tiger Woods lived his life? Does that remind you of anyone? Maybe the man putting the necklace (some call it the Medal of Freedom) around Tiger Woods?

Now who is surprised? We are, that so many of you are surprised and/or expected Tiger Woods to refuse the award on principled grounds. Expect him rather to ask ‘what’s that’ – principled grounds?

The surprise should be all of the media reports with no one mentioning that history – those connections between Woods and Trump – etc. Or have we become a society which accepts all of that as normal and those commonalities having nothing to do with why one is chosen? Who you are as a person needs to be the rock foundation from which other talents and accomplishments radiate.

Have we lost our way expecting awards such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom be given to someone who examplifies greatness in what they do as well as who they are and how they have lived their lives – as an example of someone who walks this earth who we would be proud to have our children emulate? A great talent is a wonderful gift. A life well lived is what we give back. An award such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom needs to be given to someone whose life embodies both the gift and what the giver returns to the society. At this point Tiger Woods has shown and cultivated his God given gift. He has given back, however, much that muddies the earth, confuses its children and supports the likes of a Donald Trump and his presidency. From looking at Tiger Woods’ children, imagine them crossing the border – or trying to cross the border from Mexico to the U. S. How do you think he would be treated by those carrying out the dictates and policies of the man putting that award around his neck. Do you think Tiger, having been asked the question would call for the bowl of water, soap and a towel? With the acceptance of that award from Donald Trump, Tiger Woods symbolically did just that.

https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-gives-tiger-woods-presidential-medal-of-freedom-2019-5

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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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Ethics and Integrity in Business

Monday, April 29th, 2019

We have published blogs on the beginnings of Airbnb and outlined how and when the idea was stolen from an African American woman by three white males who were sent to her home to get info on the business she had been building for many years. If you want to know more about that, search this blog for Airbnb. The complete story is in a couple of blogs. some are titled as follows:

Sex Trafficking, Airbnb and more!

Ethics and Integrity in Business

BILLIONAIRES UNITE!

The ‘Sharing’ Community????

Happy New Year – 2016

She was going to a Venture Capital group in Central Square Cambridge, MA which gathered on Thursdays. She was there most Thursdays with her name and company in their computer system and she asked for meetings with relevant people and an indication of interest each Thursday. There was never anything forthcoming.

Instead of working with her to gain investment support, the Capital Network sent Brian Chesky and his friends to see what she was doing and to bring back as much of her business information as possible. They followed through on that visit by stealing her ideas, gaining the venture capital support she was seeking, and her name and company name were taken out of the Capital Network’s computer – on which those who attended on a regular basis signed in to and were admitted to these Thursday sessions. Her business plan was also stolen and she had to re-register for the Thursday gatherings re-entering her name into their computer system. At the time, the reaction to her appearance was really strange and the reasons for it didn’t become apparent for a couple years down the road.

All of this to satisfy the mythology that the business ideas, acumen, experience, success etc. comes from the white male community with the assumption that others have not yet reached that level of business ability. When, in fact, the reason for this monopoly of white, mostly northern european males’ hegemony over the substantial businesses that make up this society had more to do with their questionable ethics and lack of integrity than anything else.

Venture Capitalists have made sure that this is the only avenue the current potential billionaire businesses have and the only way they can come into being. The venture capitalist community has been a very racist/sexist group of people and they have kept the gate closed to all except their own kind and this shows up clearly today and will be even clearer and exceptionally vile in the generations to come. Most of the civil rights work of the past generations will/is being negated by the way these venture capitalists are working to establish a “New World Order” which clearly will not include those not like them – racially, culturally, etc.

This, however, is not the only business nor the only minority person so negatively affected by that particular form of racism/sexism in the society. This way of segregating and oppressing goes back many generations. Most businesses thriving mightily today show themselves as first thought of, established and the start-up part of those businesses – the part that required much blood sweat and tears to get it through to smoother sailing has been done by minorities.

It is an example of why the top 1% of the wealth in this country is now held by that same white male group, how that came to be and the structures they use to insure that this will forever be unless something and many someones intervene in drastic ways – or the ethics and integrity of the entire society demand they clean up their act – make amends – and open the doors to everyone leaving the great ideas with the people who came up with them and are in the process of bringing them to life..

We will continue at later dates with more specific examples – check the blog to make sure you don’t miss any of these stories:

Did you ever wonder where Trump Shuttle came from? Donald Trump, his family and their incredible business ideas? Or – is there another story circulated only within the African American community.

A black man approached Donald Trump with his idea and with the work he had done and was doing building a short term shuttle from Cape Cod to Boston/ New York/ Washington, D.C. etc.

It was a dream of his and a business he had been building one small step at a time because of his limited funds and the refusal of others to invest in his venture. – until along comes Donald Trump.

The African American made many trips to New York to Donald Trump’s offices with his business plan, sharing his experience in this area and he made many return trips as Trump indicated he wanted to invest in this business and gave this Black man things to do so that he, Trump, could invest.

The man came to visit us before and after each one of these trips and talked about his visit to Donald Trump; Trump’s interest and promise to invest because he thought it was a great idea; Trump’s request for the man to do additional work, which Trump always applauded – according to the feed back and notes we saw.

When all was in great shape and “they” were ready to move ahead with the introduction and execution of this new shuttle service, Donald Trump slammed the door on this black man and would not see this African American anymore; was very nasty to him when he called expecting to move ahead; Trump cut off all contact. This gentleman had been paying his own way to visit New York and Trump at a substantial expense to his current business and he always left the work he did with Trump, pending the additions and changes which resulted from those meetings.

After that abrupt and ugly cut off – well, look at this – Trump announced the formation of Trump Shuttle and as he unrolled this business it was an exact copy of what the two of them had been planning and working on for months.

And so, another African American’s business ideas, acumen, hard work, start-up – stolen by another white male business man who simply and blatantly stole his years of development and the initial work of establishing such a business and strategizing/planning for its future.

There are many more such stories. They basically show the lack of integrity in the corporate/business world and the acceptance as normal of such things happening.

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Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale

Project 2 – #WellsFargoBoycott

Project 3 – Growing Bettina Network’s Blog into a major media outlet bringing to the public news, recipes, thoughts, reviews of businesses, etc. from the perspective of those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

You can send a check to Bettina Network, inc. P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 to support this blog! Please make your check out to “Bettina Network, inc.” since the blog income is not the foundation income.

If you prefer your gift go to the Foundation, make your check payable to Bettina Network Foundation, inc. The money we receive for the Foundation currently is going to support the Wells Fargo Boycott.

_________________________________________________________

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

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.co







The Story – a new editor

Sunday, April 7th, 2019


“What is racism, bigotry, ethnocentrism, homophobia, etc.?

The actual experiences of people who have had to endure the bigotry of others while they tried to move along and achieve their life goals gives an understanding of bigotry which helps us root it out of our lives and out of the institutions in which we live and work. With that in mind, we hope you learn from and can use the stories in this series.

In instances of bigotry, it is the person who is acted against – the person who has been forced to experience another’s bigotry – who is chastised or loses an opportunity or is moved out of a home or denied entrance to an educational institution for which they qualified and ‘but for’ would have been accepted. This needs to stop. Especially, we need to stop the denial when we come across an instance of bigotry. We cannot afford to call for the bowl of water, soap and a towel to wash our hands leaving the responsibility for our sins on others or on the institutions which we created.”

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I was in the process of going through papers which a friend of mine is packing to send to Amistad Research Library in New Orleans. In the process I discovered a treasure trove of stories of people experiencing bigotry. I volunteered to continue this series because of that and hope you will send your stories with any supporting evidence you have for our files.

A disclaimer – I am not a writer, more an organizer of papers and things so bear with me here. I thought this story was one not to be passed by. Let me know your thoughts as you read it:

Before I started this job I knew nothing about seminaries, churches, ordinations. As I am now knee deep in boxes of papers on that subject, my suggestion for a book for someone who is a writer would be – what happened at Episcopal Divinity School, which is now seriously diminished in size and influence and what is happening and has happened in the Episcopal Church.

My curiosity was stimulated when I ran across a letter on Trinity Church Copley Square letterhead from the Rev. Spencer M. Rice, Rector to the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Massachusetts. I am copying that letter to this blog – when I figure out how to do that – commending Marceline Donaldson for ordination …”who is sponsored for Holy Orders by the Rector, Vestry, and congregation of Trinity Church in the City of Boston.”

I’ve known Marceline for many years, but knew nothing of this. How she is still standing is an amazement to me. Besides this letter from the Rev. Spencer Rice are letters from the Rev. Henderson Brome, Rev. Edward Sims, Bishop Coburn and more all glowing with their recommendations. Marceline was not ordained and, in fact, was asked to withdraw from Episcopal Divinity School and she dropped out of the ordination process.

What happened? I would like to publish the entire file. However, basically racism, sexism and apparently the power and control needs of a few people. From the file records – Carter Heyward, George Hunter, John Skinner, and Edward Stiess – a committee of the faculty who stopped more than one black woman’s progress through seminary and ordination – were the instigators behind this. Another black woman from Ohio who was a student at the seminary went through a similar process with the same people and suffered the same fate. Her name is Lillian Bannister.

Since I have to send this box off on Monday and I haven’t figured out how to scan these letters into the computer to attach to this blog let me copy it for you. The original of these letters and this file will be at Amistad Research Library if anyone is interested in exploring and writing about these events.

The Catholic Church has been exposed on many levels, but the Episcopal Church – which has been shrinking dramatically – has not been so exposed and maybe it is time.

This letter is on Trinity Church Copley Square Stationery

5 February 1986

The Standing Committee

Diocese of Massachusetts

One Joy Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Re: MARCELINE DONALDSON

Dear Standing Committee Members:

It is my privilege to commend to you Marceline Donaldson, who is sponsored for Holy Orders by the Rector, Vestry and congregation of Trinity Church in the City of Boston.

When I came to Trinity Church on 1 May 1982, Marceline Donaldson was teaching in the Church School as a volunteer. She was cherished by the Director of Christian Education as one of the most able teachers with whom she had ever worked.

During the academic year, 1982-83, Marceline taught three sections of an adult education course entitled, “Formerly Marrieds.” This course was for the pastoral assistance of those who were either in the process of divorce, or who had recently experienced the same. Marceline deported herself as an organized sensitive counselor who was of great assistance to those participating in these groups.

During the academic year, 1984-85, Marceline in concert with her husband, taught an adult education course on the Old Testament. In this course and the above offerings, Marceline was prepared academically, and was of great assistance pastorally to all those who attended these offerings.

Throughout the twelve months of 1985, and continuing to the present in 1986, Marceline has functioned as a lay reader and a chalice bearer at Trinity Church every Sunday at either the 8:00 a.m. Holy Communion service or the 6:00 p.m. Holy Communion service. In the discharge of these duties, she has been punctual, prepared, and spiritually focused.

On October 20, 1982, I received a letter from The Very Reverend Harvey Guthrie, then Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge. A copy of his letter is enclosed for your advisement. Harvey’s warm enthusiasm for Marceline’s presence in and contributions to the E.D.S. family constitutes its own witness.

Scarcely more than a year later, I received a call from Marceline, indicating that she had been summoned before a committee of the faculty (Carter Heyward, George Hunter, John Skinner, and Edward Stiess) on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 16, 1984, at 10:00 am. in Wright Hall Conference Room.

Marceline asked me if I would attend this meeting as her Rector and friend because thirty days earlier, another black, middle-age woman was expelled from E.D.S., and Marceline was apprehensive about such a forum. I did attend.

It would be impossible to recapture in a letter the degradation evidenced in this session. As Arch-deacon for the Diocese of California under both Bishop Pike and Bishop Myers, with personnel responsibilities for fifty-two mission churches, and as Chairman of the Board of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in San Francisco, I have never experienced anything like this meeting. Had one participated in such a meeting in the aforementioned responsibilities, one would expect to be summoned into Federal Court within hours.

Charges were emotionally hurled at Marceline without either evidence nor written documentation. It was as close to a kangaroo court as I ever hope to experience.

Whereas the Dean of E.D.S. sent me a three page letter as Marceline’s Rector, when he and the faculty were more than pleased with her, I received no letter nor written information about her performance prior to this session; I received no written invitation from E.D.S. to this session; and I received no written documentation as to their judgment following this session.

In thirty-one years of priesthood, I have never experienced such a blight on the soul of the Church as this hearing.

It is a credit of no small magnitude to Marceline that she has deported herself with balance, compassion, and achievement after this most unfortunate experience.

The Rector and Vestry of Trinity Church support Marceline Donaldson for Holy Orders without reservation.

Very sincerely yours,

/s/ / Spencer M. Rice

Rector

cc: The Rt. Rev. John B. Coburn

The Rt. Rev. David E. Johnson”

_________________________________

After having read the rest of the file, which had more of the same, I went home in shock and wanted to do something, but what? Having read the beginnings of “The Story,,,” I thought this was probably the best beginning. The second step would be for someone who is good at research to take this up and put it into a book. Especially since there were many glowing letters about Marceline in the file and much more that could be explored. She will not, however, be cooperative, but the files at Amistad should help along with those located elsewhere in many different locations.

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When you start digging and bigotry moves beyond the grand institutional sweeps into the individual stories, you begin to realize the horror of the experience of being an African American woman, man, Native American woman, man, Latina American woman, man and all the rest of those we demand accept our treatment of them in such a way that damages the soul of those putting out the horrific treatment of other human beings, bigotry takes another definition.

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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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Native American or White!!!!

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Because God knows in this society you can’t be both and be proud of your entire ancestry!

I am Native American and I need to weigh in on this conversation.

It is an amazing conversation to me because we are talking about the fact that Elizabeth Warren’s ancestors at some point “passed”. We are looking at a time in history when 1% was the criteria for whether or not you were a minority. If you had 1% African blood you were African. If you had 1% Native American blood you were Native American. If you had 1% Chinese blood you were Chinese – at least in America.

Today we are dumping all over Elizabeth Warren because she attempted to claim her Native American heritage. That is such a threat in a racist, bigoted society that we get up in arms about it and begin to dump on the person who is causing this uproar. MAKE HER APOLOGIZE SO THE REST OF US CAN RELAX AND NOT BE THREATENED WITH THE POSSIBILITY THAT ‘OUTING’ YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY MIGHT BECOME THE NORM!

Once upon a time, not that many years ago we would have dumped on Elizabeth Warren for trying to “pass”. Today we dump on her for trying to acknowledge her ancestry -trying to respect the stories that circulated in her family when she was a girl – because the ancestry she has held up as a part of her ‘racial’ identity is of a group considered a part of the oppressed minority in this country. We can’t have that! Just think of the chaos that will ensue! Most of you would have to move to the ghetto!

We are even trying to re-write history to get people to believe that if you were Native American during the time when Elizabeth Warren filled out the forms everyone is holding up you would have received some kind of special consideration and that special consideration would have gotten you rights, privileges and other goodies from this society that non-Native Americans could not have received.

Get real people! Stop lying and trying to redeem yourselves and your society at someone else’s expense.

There has never been a time in this society when you would have gotten any small part of the “goodies” passed around to everyone else if you were Native American. You would have been discriminated against and you would have been pushed aside and pushed back in favor of white males – and then black males – and then white females – and then black females – and then male Native Americans and at the bottom would have been any leftovers doled out to female Native Americans, but there never were any. That is history – what you are trying to create is another myth to ease your guilt at your participation in this racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. etc. society.

Today, Native American tribal leaders are concerned because they have profits from the gambling casinos on their reservations which are given to those members of the tribe who “qualify” and the tighter the definition of those who are members of the different tribes who “qualify” the more money and benefits they receive and the less competition for leadership of the tribes.

Remember when the United States took Native American children from their homes and families and reservations and put them into pograms where they were to be acculturated? They were never returned home and they and/or their progeny are someplace in this society where they have ‘integrated’, ‘intermarried’ and whatever else happened to them which successfully insured they would have no connection to any Native American tribe. So what are they? and where are they? Are they Indian Mongrels? No family – no ancestors they can admit to without risking the scorn of a nation? And what of all those other Native Americans who intermarried and became Irish, English, French, etc. plus Native American? Is their history also to be hidden because society does not want to see it to have to acknowledge that a Senator of the United States who was an attorney tenured professor of law at Harvard University is part Native American? My God – there goes the unravelling of hundreds of years of creating and nurturing White Male Supremacy in all things!

That is what this comes down to! Does this Elizabeth Warren thing challenge and upend White Supremacy? You can bet the store that it does, especially in the eyes of those who need to be White better than Black, better than Native American, better than etc. which is most of you. Isn’t that a large part of what elected and is keeping Trump in office? His racist, bigoted appeal to our lowest nature succeeds.

How do you explain such achievement, as attained by one like Elizabeth Warren who has Native American blood? Shouldn’t that disqualify her? How could she and her family have done such a thing to this society?

We have had other members of the White Privileged Supreme Society members who have been “outed”. Major difference – they didn’t out themselves to claim their minority heritage.

Wasn’t John Kerry accused of having Jewish ancestors or was it Madelin Albright? And then there were those accused of having African ancestors who they didn’t acknowledge and being dumped on because of it and because they were accused of ‘passing for white.’ When that is the narrative with the society doing the outing White Supremacy is safe. When the narrative is about someone the rest of you considered “White” and who is fairly frequently throwing up in your face that she really also has Native American ancestors – that is a very different narrative and threatens the very fabric out of which this society was woven.

Elizabeth Warren acknowledges her Native American ancestors without shame and in fact with some pride and so she has to be excoriated because that is totally unacceptable in this society. What if others started to do the same following her example? What a mess we would then have on our hands.

Bigotry pops out in many different ways and this is one way bigotry has jumped out without a white sheet and pointy hat, but with the same emotion and to do the same job.

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In Memory of Francis Albert Dynan

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

by:  Frances Maloney

It is written of Mary of Magdala, that, after the disciples had returned to their homes, Mary lingered like a humming bird before the silent face of the tomb, weeping.  “And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.  And they said to her, “woman, why are you weeping?”  She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.”

I am that woman.  And so, I am deeply grateful to Mary Flynn, Katherine, and Suzanne, and to all of you who grieve Frank’s passing, for allowing me to join you in this company of mourners.  Frank and I did not attend Frank’s parents’ funerals, because Frank chose not to go without me, and I wasn’t sober.

Frank was merciful and kind, honest and true, first with himself and with God, then with all of us, indeed with all creatures, great and small.

Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro has provided this prayer for bride and groom that I think was fulfilled in our marriage:

“Dear God,

You have brought this couple together

that they might risk the joys and sorrows of love.

They have said “yes” to You and to each other.

We now ask that you bless them

with love and compassion

righteousness and truth.

Guide them in ways of deep and loving

friendship that they may forever

cherish, honor, uphold and sustain

each other and the divine image

that is our deepest self.”

Ma, that is, Frank’s mother (of blessed memory), taught me to pray, “Thank you, God, for all you have given me, for all you have taken away, and, for all you have left me.

Left me, are vital memories, full of Frank’s spirit and likeness.  For example, one day, when we lived in Ann Arbor, a bee appeared in our apartment.  I was terrorized and called on Frank to save us.  Well, Frank took what seemed like an hour to tackle that bee, amused at my distress.  Anxiety turned to wonder as I watched him carefully collect the bee into the palm of his hand and lovingly escort the bee outside, a sweet man doing a sweet thing.

Like Frank himself, the honey bee

The humble, the lowly honey bee

Needed to feed the earth

Needed to feed the earth.

By his spirit and example, his farmer’s faith and heart of a fisherman, Frank drew me to something better than I had ever known, becoming my personal rock, my personal redeemer.

Remembering the concluding line of a poem by Langston Hughes, as reads, “Yet you never know, when a woman like me is free.”  I testify that I never want to be free from the Love of God, as expressed by my only husband to his only wife.

Frank was patient, Frank was kind

Frank was glad for the well-being

    and success of others, such as

    his brother Joe, who was a

    blessed father and grandfather

Frank envied no one

Frank was generous, unassuming,

    faithful, devoted

Not egotistical, not ‘in your face’

Not rude, never selfish

Frank’s heart was a vessel of gratitude

Frank was slow to take offense,

    harbored no resentments

Frank was merciful and forgave in truth

Frank was moral

Frank was ethical

Frank did Matthew 25:34-36

Frank was courageous and brave

Frank bore all things, believed all things,

Hoped all things

Endured all things.

Francis Albert Dynan nearly died in infancy.  In Vietnam, he was flown around in helicopters packed with explosives.  Surviving these, Frank never missed, for an instant, his work as an instrument of peace, in thought and deed.

Frank and I never parted without desire and hope to behold each other again.

Francis Albert Dynan, how do I love thee?  I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of Being and ideal Grace -, and, if God choose, precious, gracious, loving, compassionate man, my Rabbouni – I shall love thee better after death.

Ed.Note:  Francis Jean Maloney served in the United States Army as did Frances Albert Dynan.  They met while serving together in Germany and married.  After several years, they divorced, but in spite of their legal status they remained friends and remained married and true to one another for the rest of their lives.

Francis Maloney came from an amazing family.  Her mother was the first African American to perform with a major symphony orchestra in the United States and her father was Surgeon General of Liberia.  Frances was homeless for a time.  What she experienced and suffered should make all of us think about how we treat those who served these United States.  She is currently on the board of Bettina Network Foundation, inc. and is a tremendous asset to the Foundation and everything it does.

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Omarosa – you go girl!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

“Don’t diss me until you have walked in my shoes.”

It should be amazing to hear, see and read all of the press coverage about Omarosa and her firing by the White House, but it isn’t. What should be amazing about it? The fact that she lasted as long as she did even though she was over the area set aside for minorities. To remain for any length of time in such a position in the Trump White House must have taken a lot of will, political skill and knowledge of self-preservation.

We are seeing the racism of those doing the anti-Omarosa reporting come through like spotlights. It is historical.

For example:

– Omarosa was held in the “Situation Room” for some two hours and was taken into that room, one black female, by four white men. I’ve seen that before and it is meant to scare the same way white sheets and pointy hats and burning crosses are meant to scare. However, the only thing we hear the media addressing is the fact that Omarosa recorded the ordeal and what an awful person she is for having done so. Some have even gone to the lengths of claiming that she should be prosecuted for having jeopardized the security of the United States through this act. Does that sound similar to “lock her up”? Is that a clear blame the victim?

It seems to us the only way the national security of the U. S. was jeopardized was by General Kelly using a secure room which should be used for national security meetings, etc. and used it as a setting to intimidate and restrain a black woman in a room against her will. There is no other way to describe what happened to Omarosa during her time in the Situation Room except as a time of instilling fear and intimidation. How come holding an employee of the White House against her will is not worthy of coverage? Unless, of course, this is seen as normal because it is a black woman and because we want to make sure the victim is blamed where race is concerned. No or very little blame has been incurred by General Kelly and his three co-intimidators. Holding someone against their will is generally called kidnapping – “lock him up.”

– And – One needs to go back into the history of the relationship between Trump and Omarosa before reporting how they are the same! That is the most ridiculous claim of all. Let’s paint both with the same brush! Even making the claim that Omarosa, while like Trump, is much worse. Those are flabbergasting charges.

When you look back at the history of their friendship the extent of Trump’s racism didn’t become clear until he was into his run for president. Whenever a black – especially a black woman, works with whites you have to and are raised to turn a deaf eye and ear to a lot of the racism of your friends, co-workers, acquaintances. That is just survival in these United States. Some people handle that better than others. That appears to be what happened to Omarosa, especially looking at the blacks who surrounded her and seeing the blacks who knew the way to attempt to make claims on Trump’s pocket book and power – ie Kanya West.

Looking at the Apprentice TV show, it had a fairly large number of blacks on the show and it was not easy to pick up racism. Not many of the blacks on the Apprentice picked that up – if they did they certainly kept that discovery to themselves. One assumes also that as the star of the show the people picked were chosen by Donald Trump. However, in this ‘dust-up’ we learn and we learn it from Omarosa that Donald Trump did not choose the people who appeared, there was a production company which did that which accounts for the diversity.

– We have yet to hear anyone talk about Omarosa’s composure, her ability to handle the press when they try to demean her in the middle of an interview, how put together she looks always and the way she carries herself.

Maybe we just don’t remember that during the transition period Omarosa was a part of what was happening in Trump Tower and seemed to be the one sitting in the back of the room closely observing the comings and goings. So – when she makes the comment that as president, people will bow down to Trump and be obsequious as they try to share his power (not her exact words, but the sentiment of the famous taping that is playing over and over on news reports) it is more a statement of truth then one of Omarosa bowing down to Trump. She is in the middle and sees people coming and going who once criticized Trump now bowing down to be included somehow – let us remind you of Mitt Romney, Al Gore, etc. etc. people who would not be expected to show up at Trump Tower because of their strong and accurate criticism of Trump. Omarosa’s character and ethics are criticized using that film clip to do the criticizing, but she is simply telling the truth. We don’t want to be faced with the hypocrisy of our leaders – we want that to slide as they become a part of this Trump Administration. That is how the game is played until along comes this black women who stands in front of the camera and articulates exactly what is happening and points out our hypocrisy in that process. She wasn’t puffing up Trump’s ego – she was truth telling.

– What is also clear is the way the press refused to interview Omarosa during her tenure on the White House staff and the fact that no one said she formerly worked at the White House so was the only staff member with any experience on such a staff. That part of her background was enclosed in silence while other parts – which reflect the stereotype of black women – is pulled out and paraded around.

– To look at the entire picture of Omarosa’s life it was clear that we were headed for such a moment as this. A doubly oppressed minority with Omarosa’s family history and her beginnings in fairly poor surroundings, it is no surprise that having been taken up by Trump as she was moving upward on her own steam, aggressiveness, life-history she would praise Trump. Who gave her such an incredible opportunity? To have moved from Omarosa’s beginnings to Senior aid in the White House is an awesome achievement. She was grateful as many are who experience a life beginning of serious and severe oppression.

To her credit, however, Omarosa was not tone deaf. How she conducted herself in what had to be horrendous surroundings in the middle of people who showed themselves to be totally racist and sexist is nothing short of brilliant. That she woke up from those surroundings to take such a clear, strong, stance and came out of it with what she needed to prove what her life was like during her time in the Trump bubble shows who she really is and the strength of her character.

When you compare that to others who came out and felt they had to sign the NDA AND ACCEPT the $15,000 or other figure per month to keep silent speaks volumes about Omarosa, who was offered the same deal and refused it instead, opened the door to the White House for the rest of us to see what her life had been like and what life in the White House is like. Omarosa gave us another pathway to understand what is happening in these United States.

Do you know what it is like to be in a situation and treated in the horrendously negative way she was treated? What do you do? Some would move out, resign and be grateful for the $15,000/month offer.

“Until you walk a mile in my shoes don’t let your self-righteousness cloud your eyes and ears and keep you from learning from my experience. Is your life so pure you can so negatively judge me?”

When you come from Omarosa’s background to double down and try to make a success of where you are because you know those opportunities are not overwhelming determines your daily life and decisions. She was alone in a White House that was very hostile to her yet she stayed and still worked to attempt to open doors for blacks and that in spite of the fact that neither blacks nor whites reached out to her, but instead negatively characterized her, judged her and treated her like a piece of disposable dirt. It is pretty bad and it is a trap from which it is hard to extricate yourself.

Omarosa had to have a sense of justice to tape, write and go out in the front of a storm to confront and expose. She also has to have a strong sense of who she is to go up against all the negative comments about her “lack of credibility.” What lack of credibility. She was rarely covered by the press for anyone to know who she was – lots of assumptions because she was a friend of Donald Trump and backed him even when his extreme racism began to show. That is not lack of credibility.

At one time I would have said that is lack of good judgment. However, seeing what she was doing with her time in the Trump White House and how she documented what they were doing for a future release time I have changed my mind about that. It seems to me Omarosa was taping people and situations during her time with Trump because her way out was going to be to document everything she saw and experienced. To let all of that out in a book which she probably saw as an alternative to the abyss which awaited her whenever she did decide to leave or would be removed from the White House. She certainly has eliminated the prospect of being called a “go for coffee girl.”

Omarosa is a touch stone for a whole lot of blacks. Those still in the Republican Party and feel they are contributing to moving blacks ahead – staying to be able to document history correctly; feeling that they are keeping really horrendous things from happening to blacks inside and outside the Republican Party; being present to document their experience which could be skewered by others if she didn’t. That is just a few – there are many more.

Omarosa is no better nor worse than the black attorney who is called on to represent clients accused of racism – that happens so much it is automatic and to be expected, We see the black attorneys complimented for their work not dissed for allowing themselves to be so negatively abused; women called to diss other women because coming from a woman it is a stronger dissing; blacks called on to make negative claims against other minorities and so much more.

Omarosa is and has been a black woman whites don’t understand; don’t like; don’t want around because she violates everything about blacks and the black experience that they think they know and understand – she can’t be trusted therefore her character and ethics are in question; but mostly she is the foil against whom we see sharply the failings of other blacks, male and female, those who parrot and are promoted by whites to do their bidding in exchange for 20 pieces of silver and a brief time appearing to be considered equal. She uncovers those blacks as they try to put her down and uncovers those whites who desperately want to protect and continue to cultivate “their” black who helps them hold the line against the onslaught of equality.

Put all of the above against what you will hear over the next few days about Omarosa. You can agree or disagree, but this is what we see.
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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.

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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.

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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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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

 

 

Back to the Edmund Petus Bridge

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

by Marceline Donaldson

Something is oddly familiar in this “stand-off: now going on amongst our government officials, politicians, hopefuls and a very oppressed group which Alabama and others are trying desperately to contain and keep in their oppressed state.  Even the current Governor of Alabama has come public and done a modernized version of Governor George Wallace’s stand to keep African Americans from voting and therefore from their civil rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

When I heard Governor Kay Ivey on television taking her incredibly historical stance, I could not see her face for the imposition of George Wallace’s face over her face and figure on television.

Nothing hurts more than one of your own, standing up in the most self-righteous and arrogant way, selling you into slavery and she did that beautifully.  She did not lose her very southern lady-like composure in the process of spouting and spewing evil.  Clearly, the Republican Party has maintained its position as “Keepers of the Bigotry” which has long characterized Alabama.  Have you thought about or read the story of what happened on the Edmund Petus Bridge?  Do you see the parallels?  We’ve had the slaughter of the women.  It should now be time for the healing oil and who will do the pouring of that oil to heal our sins?

True – other states and areas do the same, but somehow the theatrics in Alabama and its connecting its maintenance of bigotry to a religion with its own theology is unique.  We know well this heretical religion.  The one which has been developing since slavery and which was used to justify and maintain slavery.  We have lived with it in many places across these United States and still are living with its remnants. You know the religion.  The one where you went into one of its churches and found you could only sit in the back pews, if you were African American – or you could only sit in the balcony – or you were taken out of the church by the ushers if you were African American because you were not allowed into those particular churches.

They still exist today and you can tell them almost upon entering into their ‘holy’ places.  You look on their altar and you see those officiating are almost uniformly white.  Maybe a child of color or two, but the adults of color are missing.  You hear their sermons and they lack that something you hear in other churches.  Their ‘leaders’ are ‘leading’ to gain a foot up in their jobs or chosen vocations.  They are doing everything they can to help those like them maintain their facade of being ‘better than’.  Those more enlightened heretical churches are doing some of the most foolish things you can imagine, but as you watch, they call those things their ‘holy rituals.’  And it becomes clear after a short time that they are keeping the bigotry and maintaining the image of superiority of the white males of Northern European ancestry – those in their midst and the others spread around the globe. You have to leave that space because what you also see and experience is their meanness when pushed to see and remove the bigotry and heresy they practice.  It is time, however, for them and us to do just that!

The blanket has been ripped off.  The psychic violence and physical and emotional destructive confrontation on the Edmund Petus Bridge has happened as the current Governor has let the rest of us see and hear her ‘religious’ beliefs, which are indicative of the many in Alabama who she represents – male, female of all stripes and colors.  She has made a very clear statement that she prefers her political party with all of its shame and sin to anything else because she knows they will continue in the ways of the vile past and they will continue holding her and others like her up in their belief that they are ‘better than’ everyone in the world not like them.  Her very words, however, show clearly that she is not free and equal, she is the governor, but she clearly neither respects her gender nor others around her who are neither white nor of Northern European ancestry.

Governor Ivey today – as did Governor Wallace in yesteryear – has given the green light to the worst kind of evil.  She has called her state to shame themselves.  She has declared her bigotry and the fact that she is conscious of her bigotry and will continue to practice it because that is what she sees her position as governor calling her to do.   She has called her state to let the world know that the citizens of Alabama prefer their bigotry and will maintain it defending themselves against positive change even while exposing their children to the sin of pedophilia, psychic and physical sexual abuse, lying, cheating,  which she has depicted as just fine and good and righteous choices if made defending their ‘white is better than’ status and their declared right to dishonor – disrespect – and so much more – those with whom they share this earth if those people are neither ‘white’ nor ‘male with Northern European ancestry’.  What lessons those children are learning from their parents.

We are back on the Edmund Petus Bridge.   Because of the lessons this current generation learned, while children watching their parents as they cheered for George Wallace and his friends  on the bridge using it as their bully pulpit.   They watched as some of their adult neighbors brutalized, beat and tried to slaughter African Americans and those supporting them on that Edmund Petus Bridge.

The children were present and silently watching that entire drama and so today we have that generation, all grown up, doing their best to follow in the footsteps of their parents, their friends, their government figures, their politicians.  They are going where this evil is leading and, in the end, they will pay the price.

Many of those children have adopted the religion of their parents – who themselves adopted and adapted the religion of the slaveholders and slave owners before them.  They have seen their parents and grandparents erect memorials to those who did their best to keep human beings enslaved because they wanted ‘free’ labor and wanted that ‘better than’, ‘white is superior’, white supremacy identity.  They saw the KKK in their white sheets and pointy caps circling those lit crosses.  They saw African Americans turned away at their city halls in brutal ways when they tried to vote; these children knew the U. S. Constitution was being violated in the process; and they were present in the home where their mothers and aunts and female cousins were treated as second class citizens; they were present in the rest of society to see those same relatives, all dressed up and play acting to avoid their reality as they were treated as the household servants.  They understood who they were and the positions they would take before they reached voting age and they are now taking those positions.

When you sow the wind – you reap the whirlwind.

Alabama is and has been reaping the beginnings of that whirlwind when you look closely and you see it is one of the poorest states in the Union; when you see jobs scarce; when you see children going without; when you see the low level of education throughout the state; when you see the priorities of the politicians and government officials who are absorbed in maintaining their ‘better than’ status at a very high cost to everyone in the state; when you see the corruption overlooked because the ‘official’ is guarding your ‘better than’ identity; when you see all that has been wrought against Alabamians through their keeping their slaveowners religion above all else and crafting a political party which does the actual work the theology of that religion leads them to do.

It is one of the great tragedies of these United States.  AND – not to be overlooked is the fact that our current president – Donald J. Trump – is very popular in this state which condones and gives him positive feedback on all of his evil deeds.  When you see this state raising up politicians who follow his footsteps as he has followed in the footsteps of Roy Cohn, Joseph McCarthy, Adolph Hitler, Stalin and today Vladimir Putin, as well as the leaders of the mafia organizations around the world.

Sieg Heil Kay Ivey!  There were also Jews who sold out other Jews in Nazi Germany and even today there are African Americans selling out other African Americans for what they think will raise them up to the status of ‘almost, but not quite equal to’ – ‘at least not like them’ – ‘different from those others’ – etc.

“Man’s inhumanity to man” – needs a political correctness overlay “We all die and move on out of this earthly sphere – yet we act as though some are better than and their human bodies will not rot.  The color of their skin and the kind of genitals they have will preserve them”.  Folly of follies are these humans, especially when they try to be ‘better than’. – At that point, the evil starts pouring out of them and their actions conform and are uniformly sinful no matter their money, status, history, education…….

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The Last Word: Stay Woke – A Memorial to Dick Gregory

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

By:  Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.           
August 23, 2017

“It is through our struggles that we gain victories”

Stay Woke are words to remember from my best friend–the one and only Dick Gregory. Who in Black America (or America for that matter) hasn’t heard of Dick Gregory?  I certainly had known him for years before he left us a few days ago. I didn’t meet him in person until 1986 when Congressman Mervyn Dymally invited him to come to my home state in Louisiana while I was a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the old Gillis Long district.  Mr. Gregory spoke for a fundraising event for my campaign, and he didn’t ask for a dime–not even his airline ticket.  That was impressive because others required all kinds of things, including what they wanted in their hotel rooms to drink while there!

After the campaign was over, I moved to Washington, DC, and one day out of the clear blue, he was stranded in Baltimore and needed to get back to DC that night. I guess my reputation for helping anybody I could was out there already and he had heard about it!  He called me and asked if I would travel to Baltimore to get him; I did.  We became friends on the ride back to DC, and that has never changed. He began bringing over veggie burgers and cooking them while inviting friends by to see how great they tasted. I met so many wonderful people through him.

He soon became known as my best friend and running buddy.  We attended many events together, but the term running buddy came from the fact that we’d run on every track we could find, run through Rock Creek Park or get up at 2 am to test new health equipment about which somebody had told us.  I wasn’t crazy about getting up that early in the morning, so I wound up buying a lot of the strange equipment so that we could use it anytime! Consequently, my home became filled with all kinds of exercise and health gadgets.  He introduced me to just about every vitamin ever made. At that time, I had a health products business so it fit right in with what he was advocating.

He saw the thousands of books at my place, so he decided to add to my collection!  Aside from introducing me to his huge required newspaper and magazine reading, he began buying two of every book he thought was worthy of reading. That was a lot! The reason for buying the second copy was for me to read to him–sometimes for hours where I literally had to prop my eyes open to finish books late at night.

The second reason was his frequent travels, and since I had every book he had, he could call me to jog his memory on certain information.  Since he had no concept of time, he often called from other time zones in other states and countries so that I could get out of bed, go downstairs and find what he needed. He also wanted to see every movie of significance, so it was nothing for me to be picked up to hang out with him for two or three movies in a single night. I had my first arrest for a good cause with him. We were joined by George Clooney, Martin King, III, Ben Jealous and others. As a lawyer, I was called on frequently not to go to jail, but to bail him out of jail for protesting about various wrongs, so my arrest record for picketing is not nearly as long as his.

Ultimately, we began participating in so many marches and protests that we made signs for numerous causes and kept them in the trunk of my car so that we could stop and participate with others as we were passing by.

I will fast forward to 2011 where we witnessed the British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill in Louisiana. Many under-served people were not getting paid for their losses, but big companies were. A group led by Dr. Arthur Rocker, met at my home and we discussed what we would do about it. situation.  Immediately Dick and I agreed to join the cause.  We made several trips to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas advising people of their rights to be made whole.  We picketed BP.  We went to London, England to try to seek relief for the under-served.  We picketed the BP offices there while not even knowing the laws related to picketing.

We returned to the U.S., met with and picketed more BP offices in the U.S. At the time Dick left us on Saturday, BP has yet to pay poor and marginalized people. Despite the fact that it is impossible to fill his shoes, my last words to him were promises to carry on his legacy of service to our people and finish the projects we’d started together. Dr. Rocker and I will be returning to that Gulf Coast battlefield in a few days and we’ll carry Dick’s spirit with us.

In honor of all Dick Gregory has done for us, let us honor his memory by practicing some of the things he taught us.  He wanted us to Stay Woke and not believe everything we see!  He wanted us to know that all things are not what they appear to be.  He wanted us to rid ourselves of anger, fear, hatred and jealousy.  He wanted us to know that love is much more powerful than hate. I had the last word with him on last Saturday night after Lil and his family said their goodbyes. I could never fill his shoes because they are much too big, but I had a talk with him and promised to do my best to do the things I know he would do if he were here.  That is how I will honor my friend, the one and only, Richard Claxton Gregory from whom I learned so much.

 
E. Faye Williams, MPA, PhD, D.Min, Esq.
President/CEO, National Congress of Black Women, Inc. 
1250 4th Street, SW, Suite WG-1, Washington, DC 20024 
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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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Donald Trump = U. S. Terrorist

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

It is now conclusively proven  – Trump is a terrorist.  This weekend broadcast that for the world to see.  He is the Hitler of this ‘Alt-Right’ movement.

We now also know where the Nazi’s went when they were thrown out of Germany.  Their heirs and progeny are carrying on their mission in the United States.

What an optic for the young people in this country.  When those from about 15 years of age and under see what is happening day to day what is it they see?  What lessons are our children learning?  Well – for starters – when they were born and came to even a small awareness of being a part of these United States, they saw the country with a president who was African American and he governed with elegance, style and caring.

And then came an election when Barack Obama could no longer run for president, having served two terms, a new president was elected and this time he is white.  Our children see and are learning that maybe a white man for president of these United States is not such a good thing.  He is crude – limited in intelligence – substitutes an evil shrewdness for that lack – brings to power with him in his administration the neo-Nazi’s, the racists, the white nationalists, etc.  And they destroy the country that has been built with the blood sweat and tears of many.  Mostly, he is a man walking in Roy Cohn’s shoes and finding that even the shoes of his mentor are too big for him.

The terror, the Crystal Nacht re-enactment, the Nazi’s reborn and demonstrating their furiousness at the justice, equality, caring that has come into these United States since they last tried to rule the world rejoice about one thing – they celebrate their father- Donald Trump – who has given them new life  and the space to cultivate and spread their evil across the United States and eventually across the world.  Is that why his Congress has only a 15% approval rating?  Because they are his choir – closest to his throne and bent on keeping him in power so they can benefit from the crumbs thrown their way?

This father of the reborn Nazi’s, White Nationalists, KKK and others of the same ilk is in his death throes knowing his time in power is very limited and knowing very well that he will unceremoniously  be removed for his prior sins in a very short time, is leaving office with as much “fire and fury” as he and his can muster.  He is leaving office with a massive coming together of those who supported his election to the presidency as he and his underlings could muster.  He is treating the rest of us to a bit of theatre  such as the world has never seen before.

In other places around the world, his cousins, who tried to stage such a Nazi comeback, have been rebuffed by their citizens.  In these United States, however, that has not been true.  We have welcomed and lifted up the neo-Nazi’s in the name of the Republic.  We have been very slow to reject and move out someone with his followers who have been and are still threatening the power and justice of these United States.  Somehow, many seem to believe their white privilege will be maintained by this group and if they just keep quiet they will also benefit and live to take over as the saner side.

The slogans being thrown around this weekend in Charlottesville are interesting and probably quite true.  The identifier slogan _Blood and Soil_ hanging out there to make sure you recognize who they are and from whence they have come – their history and ancestors.

Another which rang quite true – “No Jew will replace” – with variations on that slogan was one we heard chanted frequently.  Also quite true.  They have totally closed the door to make sure Jesus, a Jew, would not be able to come anyplace near where they are standing and holding ground. Even Donald Trump has dropped the act of pretending to be a follower of Jesus.

It has become quite clear that while the KKK tried to imitate and thereby gain entrance into parts of a believing and faith filled group such as Christians when they started with their mis-use and abuse of the symbol of the cross, this time around they have apparently thrown out the cross and come out into the sunshine and fresh air with their filth.  They apparently don’t realize that fresh air and sunshine is exactly what will destroy them and their followers.  “No Jews..” is a very accurate statement for them to make.  Jesus was many things, but by birth and life and his teachings he was most definitely a Jew.

This has been a week-end that will go down in history.  With the interpretation of historians 20 years from now we can only guess how the United States will fare under their pen.

What led to this?

One striking thing is the reason the Nazi group and its followers gave for organizing this week-end.  To prevent the removal of a Confederate Memorial Statue.

Take a look at Germany after the war and how it conducted itself trying to restore its country and its people back to some kind of normalcy – which means respect for others – equality – justice.

One thing they did not do was to allow statues, memorials, and other remembrances of the Holocaust to happen.  You will not find bronze statues of Hitler and his Lieutenants anyplace in Germany.  You also could not find copies of “Mein Kampf”.  They did everything they could to wipe the slate and start down another path.  The memorials you will find, the ceremonies of which you could be a part are for the victims, not the perpetrators of that Holocaust.  Our memorials, statues and ceremonies are for the perpetrators of slavery, for those who benefitted.  If you are in the African American community you will find memorials to the victims, but in very few other places will you find such.

What did the United States do after the ‘Holocaust’ of slavery – which went on a lot longer and destroyed and killed many millions more people.  We have statues and memorials and ceremonies and Confederate flags and everything we could find to keep alive the feelings and story and everything else of those who benefitted from slavery and brought so many to their deaths.  By those statues we constantly glorify the fight and stance taken by those who attempted to maintain slavery in these United States.  We want to keep a story alive about their valiant efforts, their life giving for this cause of maintaining the enslavement of other human beings.

Whenever, today, we threaten to remove one of those statues and/or memorials or take down one of those flags from our Capital Buildings and/or grounds the earth moves and shakes and becomes a horrendous place to be within a radius of whatever statue is so threatened.  We want to remember and celebrate that time in United States history.  We do not want to wipe it out – we want to bring it back.  “Make America Great Again” – goes one of our most recent slogans.  Make America a slaveholding country again.  Make America a country which uses and abuses others to gain wealth, privilege and strength so we can move more decisively against more and more people to bring them into our fold to use and abuse.

Isn’t that where the immigration controversy comes from?  The Trump’s have their products made in another country.  Why?  Because they, like others who do the same, can make slaves of and abuse those who are destitute making them work for a living at slave wages.  Isn’t that a real life example of what the demonstration by the “Alt-Right” this weekend is really all about?  The threat that America may lose the ability to pay $1 for a product and selling it for $100.  Keep the world under our thumb and we can abuse its people and use them to create the billions of dollars of wealth that is being accumulated by a few – almost exclusively all white, all male and all northern europeans – well, except for those being used to disprove the rule.

And at the same time immigrants we are keeping out of this country and those we are throwing out are all – really? – brown.  And brown people now make up over 40% of our citizenry.  What happens if we don’t stop immigration – we will be a country ‘flipped’.  And then what?

May God forgive us all.  Those who act – those who allow themselves to be acted upon – those who watch and keep themselves clean and away from the fray so they can live to benefit from it all.

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And God laughed………..

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Well, once again the United States Court system has come through – keeping to its Constitutional mandates.

This time, however, there is a side issue and in that issue one can see God’s hand.

The decision to block Donald Trump’s bigotry as it constantly spews out of the White House and out of his every pore – was made by a judge from Hawaii.

If we have to explain that to you, you have not been paying attention.

You may have other kinds of religious “Amens” to this and please feel free to use them.  My grandmother would say – “Thank you, Jesus.”

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Aileen Clark Hernandez – (1926-2017)

Monday, March 13th, 2017

by:  Marceline DonaldsonI won’t say rest in peace.  I will say I hope you are living your life after life in a heaven in which everyone is equal – where love abounds – where justice has no meaning because the evils of this life have all fallen away.

At the end of life, one begins to think of what has my life meant! Did I spend my time wisely?  Did I work to make this world better for those I am leaving behind?  Did I do justice, love mercy, walk humbly as I tread this earth?  Can I expect to be welcomed in heaven because my life on earth was lived without making others feed my ego by feeling and acting better than?

I think Aileen can say yes to all of those questions.  She worked hard and produced much.  Not the material things in life, but those things which really count over the long term.

I first met Aileen in the 1970’s when I was elected to the National Board of NOW.  Got to know her even better when I went to a national board meeting in San Francisco with my youngest daughter who was about 4 years old at the time – and we stayed with Aileen.  The week we spent with Aileen was one I shall never forget.  I could have decorated Aileen’s house, it was that comfortable and familiar.  NOW members took turns during the meeting taking care of Jacqueline.  NOW’s commitment was to making sure board members felt free enough to bring their children.   We stayed in touch for a brief time after that, but then……

What most amazed me was her commitment to history.  She had incredible files, unbelievably organized, of everything she had done which would be of interest to historians down the road.  Her commitment to equality and justice was deep and dictated how she spent her time.  I am very grateful to have met Aileen and to have had the chance to see and be involved – for a brief time – in her life.  It was one of those times which changed mine.

When I met Aileen, we realized we had a lot in common.  Both went to New York University.  Both raised with parents who designed and sewed theatrical garments.  Both loved fashion – probably as a result of that upbringing. Both had a passion for  doing what we could to change this world for the better – and so much more.  She was a mentor for me and I am sure for many other women.  I count myself as being blessed to have had  mentors, throughout this life who have been strong, committed, beautiful people with an understanding of how we are all related and all working to bring about equality, justice, love for one another.

Aileen Hernandez

Writing these memorials is becoming a much too often occurrence.  I guess I have reached that time of life when people you know leave – frequently – for a different place and then it is time to fill those gaps in your memory because other things took precedence and you are left regretting not having called.  That is happening to me far too often.

That speaks to the way we have ordered our lives.  the activity, the action, the cause, the work of the moment becomes all consuming and involvement with friends from a lifetime ago gets pushed back for another day.  And the surprise and regret comes when you realize that day is not coming until your eyes close for the last time.

Aileen’s work and accomplishments were many and huge.  She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.  Twenty years from now, that newly coming to adulthood generation will look back to ask why she did not receive the acolades to measure her life’s work.  And the answer will be clear.  She was a woman who worked hard for women’s rights, equal rights and justice for minorities and for the union movement.  That combination is lethal in this society.  We don’t want to hold up such icons because they might just become the trail blazers to attract our children to become like them.

Aileen Hernandez, Pauli Murray and others have clearly shown the sexist lie to the now re-surfacing comments about the feminist movement being a white women’s movement.  The gains of that movement have had to push through racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia and more to be achieved and even then those gains have been tenuous as the next generation tries to negate and destroy that move forward which freed us all for a brief moment.

Thank you, Aileen, for having been so consistent in your life and your work.  Thank you for being one of those bright lights and beacon to all of us showing us how to walk through some difficult times.  Thank you for having the courage to be one of those founding NOW at a time when the fight for the equality for women sorely needed such an organization.  Thank you for being there at a time in my life when I needed mentors, showing me there is a path you can follow because others have been there and walked through the stuff that gets thrown at you as a strong feminist and that gets thrown from all sides.

I know those greeting you on the other side are rejoicing and celebrating your life on this earth.

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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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Truth Telling Time!

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Copied from Face Book – an Article from the New York Times along with comment by Marceline Donaldson.

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JACK GREENBERG – NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

by: Marceline Donaldson

I read this morning of the death of Jack Greenberg and it hit me much harder than I would have expected.

Jack Greenberg, Percy Julian, Dolores Orey and so many others are among the people who surrounded me at a very dire time of my life.  I am so grateful for the fact that they lived and loved and shared and were there.  I am grateful for the way they lived their lives.  I am grateful for the way they gave to society to stand between the oppressed and the oppressors with the law as their weapon.

Reading about Jack Greenberg’s death feels to me as though an era has passed.

As a very young girl, who lived in a middle-class Black community surrounded by people who made her feel that she was really incredible and could do anything she set her mind to –  it was a recipe for constant conflict with a racist, sexist society and its institutions throughout the rest of my life.

Living in a society which did all it could to teach me that I was inferior; my hair wasn’t good enough; my skin wasn’t white enough; my brain wasn’t intelligent was defective and inferior; my birth and life’s goal should be to walk steps behind, to serve Whites, to not be pushy and absolutely to not rock the boat.  Given the lessons this society tried to teach me, the way of this country should be the way it was then and my job and life should be lived not challenging, not noticing the differences in treatment, accepting whatever this society forced on me and doing it without complaint.  The same lessons – but in a different era – which were given to the slaves were also given to Blacks not in slavery, but fighting for their civil rights.   Those that fought back and tried to escape were crazy and somehow emotionally off base, while those who accepted and did everything they could to glorify and serve their masters and mistresses were sane, substantial and who slaves and years later, more contemporary Blacks, should be.

If I did that, it was clear I would be able to live a very nice, quiet life as the wife of a very nice quiet man and have very nice quiet children.  Not very well off economically, but comfortable enough for a Black family.  If I rocked the boat; challenged the racism and sexism in this society; brought those challenges outside of the community in which I was raised there would be hell to pay.

I used to wonder why the reality of Black history was only taught in Black schools.  In White schools, not even the handful of Black children who attended those schools knew much about the oppression; the hell; the violence; the protests, revolutions, mass deaths that Blacks had gone through over the years.  As I grew older and moved out of that Black community, I realized why that was so.  If Whites are kept ignorant of Black history – especially the racial oppression and violence perpetrated on Black communities – the denials could be kept, continued and the racism could thrive.

My grandfather, O.C.W. Taylor, was principal of a school in New Orleans, but his love and passion was journalism.  He co-founded the Louisiana Weekly with C. C. Dejoie, Jr. and had a television and radio show on WNOE in New Orleans.  He was also involved in rocking boats and causing huge waves.  When he did all of this, I was right there – at four or five years old, probably younger and very definitely as I grew older.

He brought people to New Orleans through his work – like Thurgood Marshall,-  to be a part of panels discussing civil rights.  He was also a part of severing the organizational ties between the NAACP and what became the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  I think, but for the efforts of those who were behind that separation,  Brown vs the Board of Education would either not have happened or something like it would have happened years later and much diluted in its affects.

My most fun memories of those days was of sitting at the table at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans with all of those men listening to their conversations.  I don’t know if I understood it all, but those times certainly formed who I am today and how I have lived my life.  Today, I see this little girl at this table with all these men and it is amazing that it is me. Today,  as an adult, looking at those pictures on paper and in my minds eye, I see someone very small, looking totally out of place.  Then, at the time it happened, my feelings were that I was totally equal to any of them and joined the conversation whenever I had anything to say.

Jack Greenberg was a very young man, at the time, and just becoming involved with this group.  It was not an all Black group and that felt very right.

It was normal and good, at the time, the way Blacks and Jews worked together on fighting for the civil rights of everybody.  Later – as society began to notice the giant steps taken with this melded group, there began to be efforts and some very successful, to propagandize the Black community to reject its Jewish brothers and sisters and to have only Blacks involved.  Everyone had a theory as to why this was necessary.  None of those theories acknowledged the strength of that group which wound up at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant and made so many forays into the thick of racism and eventually sexism moving those barriers back a little at a time.

Years later – working for the Pillsbury Company and finding myself in the middle of racism and sexism in Corporate America, all of that came flooding back and I called the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  Highly indignant that I was experiencing racism and sexism in a job, especially when I was just out of Harvard Graduate School of Business, I was outraged.  Somehow, that was supposed to inoculate me from such experiences.  Instead, it showed me the reality of life in these United States for a Black woman.  I saw the structures which supported the racism and sexism I was experiencing – their history – where they came from – how they were established and maintained.  It was an incredible awakening.

I wasn’t able to reform and remake this society, but before it crushed me, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund took the case of Donaldson v Pillsbury, knowing it would be difficult because it was the first management case filed by a Black woman.

There I met Jack and Deborah Greenberg.  Two very committed people.  I had met Jack before, but didn’t realize that until my grandfather told me the stories of my youth and identified some of those who peopled my growing up years.  Jack and Deborah’s lives were wound up in the LDF and they were very good at what they did.  I was not simply a “Plaintiff”.  The rest of my life was important to them.  They invited me to LDF Yearly Conferences; I attempted to raise money in Minneapolis through a Black and White Ball for LDF and they tolerated that; I spent a lot of time in New York because my life elsewhere was falling apart.  The helplessness of what I was experiencing was mitigated by Jack and Deborah and Percy Julian and Dolores Orey having me sit in on the discussions of my case and contributing;  listening when my anger went over the top; allowing me to be equal and acknowledging my humanity while it was being destroyed everyplace else.  When my car was set afire I called LDF; when people circled my house in a very threatening way and I was alone in the wilds of Wayzata, Minnesota with three small children, I called LDF and Percy came to visit; when all kinds of other things happened during that time frame – I called LDF – and they responded.  As I looked at how they operated over the years, what I saw was the person who headed the organization, Jack Greenberg,  had a humanity which permeated the entire group.

My grandfather filled in the blanks for me on why Thurgood Marshall looked to Jack Greenberg as his successor at LDF.  And from my experience with the group, it made a lot of sense. I didn’t know about Jack Greenberg’s family history with anti-semitism until years later.  It was not something he paraded out to justify his work or his involvement in civil rights.  And, not everyone with that family background feels called to attempt to address the evils they experienced, but thank God Jack Greenberg did.

Towards the end of my active association with Jack and Deborah Greenberg, Percy Julian, Dolores Orey and others, I was caught up in a group of people who were lobbying to replace Jack Greenberg with an African American because they claimed the organization should have  a Black head.  It was amazing to me because of the work Jack had done and was doing.  What was this about?

As I talked to more people, it became clear that it was about propaganda being inserted to undermine the LDF.  There were White propagandist in the midst doing everything they could to convince me and others that our efforts should be placed in achieving this separatist goal.  It was very sad.  Especially since many of the Blacks involved with this separatist time had done nothing to begin to contribute to the Civil Rights Movement.  They talked loud and long, but they were contributing and working in the movement to re-establish Jim Crow in the country and this was just one of many places they wanted to see that total separation happen.  It was tragic. It was also clear that if they succeeded all the work of Jack Greenberg, Thurgood Marshall and others would be reversed.

I was back and forth to New York about that time and none of those machinations seemed to bother Jack.   He just continued with business as usual.

And now, Jack Greenberg, Percy Julian and Dolores Orey have all died.  Memories of them and their lives are still very much alive and will always be as long as we value the present by looking to the past and making that a total picture as we move into the future.  There isn’t much greater than to know  your history as you live your present.  Deborah Greenberg moved on to work with others to found the Women’s Legal Defense Fund.

It was a rare time – a painful time – a truly beautiful time – which showed the human spirit in all of its grandeur.  When pressed and there are attempts to enslave, oppress, make others less than – there are those who take the other side and spend their lives doing everything they can to remove those pressures and make life better for us all.  At the top of that list was Jack Greenberg.

My prayer for Jack is one of giving thanks that he lived and made the decisions he made on how to live his life.  Without him and all the others we would all be a little less than we are; a little more oppressed; lacking an incredible example of a life well lived and a life given to very effective service to others.

Rest on your laurels Jack and the knowledge that many remember you and your achievements and your spirit.  As you now find Thurgood Marshall again and all of those with whom you worked who have gone before, it will be an awesome reunion and the reward for a job well done.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jack-greenberg-civil-rights-lawyer-who-helped-argue-brown-v-board-dies-at-91/2016/10/12/066a55a6-90c0-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html

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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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Sandra Bland – Strange Fruit

Friday, July 24th, 2015

imagesOnce upon a time, the “Strange Fruit, hanging from the trees” used to be from trees with green leaves, a trunk and branches growing up from the ground splattered with red.

Today, the “Strange Fruit, hanging from the trees” is hanging from man-made trees with blue reflected all around.

But look!  Isn’t that the old white cloth under the blue?

And aren’t those tall pointy white hats pushing out from under the official issued uniform?

Really strange and awful fruit, rapidly spreading the disease of racism all across the country.

Being covered up by fear – that fear keeping those who could act from doing so.

Why!  Oh God, Why!

This strange fruit is is Black and female –

the fear is that riots will invade those lovely, green, middle-class communities.

Rather let the strange fruit multiply and just hang there in silence.  Much better than to act.  The sacrifice of the few for the many.

But doesn’t that spread?  isn’t it happening more rapidly?

Terrorism?

Not from the Middle East!

White – Male – Conservative – with strings into the groups of old

The Klan, the Citizens Council, the neoNazi …………………….why bother with a list, you know the names

This isn’t simply racism – this is Racism and Sexism.

Life is becoming ever more strange and silent.

The silent majority is back and in control!

Let the media slip in little bits and pieces to make it sound less awful; less threatening; let us not place blame where it belongs, but obfuscate.

Won’t that protect those of us who count?

Homicide, murder, reduced to a paid vacation, sometimes called Administrative leave – which happens before exoneration.

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