She Beat Big Tex’s Ass!

In 1997, in Dallas, Texas, a single mother with five children, Isis Brantley, was working in her small natural hair braiding shop doing what she had become renowned for, braiding a client’s hair.  Suddenly three police cars pull up in front, and 7 plain clothes and uniformed officers burst in, and telling her  “you are under arrest for braiding hair.”  Imagine that:  under arrest for braiding hair you say?  Unbelievable right?

She was allowed to call a friend to arrange for her five kids to be picked up from school, and then handcuffed, put into the back of one police car like a common criminal and sped off to Dallas County jail.

Following this incident, and paying her fine, she commenced to wage war on Big Tex, a war that lasted 20 years.

Finally in 2015 a US District court gave her a WIN, striking down the State Cosmetology Board rules requiring a license to braid hair.  Big Tex had violated Brantley’s rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Her battle and sacrifices gave freedom to all braiders and aspiring braiders in Texas, allowing hundreds of women to learn braiding and natural hair styling, and become self-employed entrepreneurs.

Here is her story:

 

The Hero Lit The Match Starting America’s Civil War: JOHN BROWN

To the slave owners, he was a terrorist.  To his friends such as Harriett Tubman, he was a brave man.  History has both considered him a martyr and insane.  Daring men and women who put their lives on the line to change the course of the river of history need to be a bit mentally disturbed.  His life has been written about extensively, including books by the great African American scholar W.E. Du Bois.

Had not Brown taken up weapons and attempted to start a violent overthrow of slavery, one can only speculate how much longer slavery would existed.  Obviously enslaved Africans were not going to go on in that condition forever, so no doubt eventually, with or without the help of abolitionists, they would have risen up to slay all the white slave owners and plantation overseers, and their families.  So the days of the old South were numbered, if only God knew the last days.

In 1859 John Brown had gathered men to his cause, and they attacked the armory at Harper’s Ferry.  While he succeeded, in the end he lost this battle, as he was captured along with a number of his men.  Tried and convicted, he and the men were hung.

john_brown_standard

But John won the Civil War to which he helped give the incipient momentum.

Vitor Hugo wrote, before the execution:

Politically speaking, the murder of John Brown would be an uncorrectable sin. It would create in the Union a latent fissure that would in the long run dislocate it. Brown’s agony might perhaps consolidate slavery in Virginia, but it would certainly shake the whole American democracy. You save your shame, but you kill your glory. Morally speaking, it seems a part of the human light would put itself out, that the very notion of justice and injustice would hide itself in darkness, on that day where one would see the assassination of Emancipation by Liberty itself. …

Let America know and ponder on this: there is something more frightening than Cain killing Abel, and that is Washington killing Spartacus

A TEXAS GIANT Indeed.

I realize few people will read this post, and perhaps fewer even care, but I am compelled to salute this man, a Texan, a gentleman, a true liberal, and a consummate warrior for Peace. RAMSEY CLARK, today 91 and living a peaceful life in New York, is one fellow Texan that I have the greatest admiration for.

Anyone who considers themselves a Democrat in the sense of meaning in today’s climate, must know the record of liberal activism.   Mr. Clark, one-time Attorney General Clark, was and is one of the best examples of valor in confronting the face of American majority public opinion, challenging and helping correct the course of this Nation when it strayed, as it did a number of times during his career.

Since his record is well-documented, even in a documentary film, “Citizen Clark……A Life of Principle,” I won’t write anymore today, but will leave a few links.

Mr. Clark hails from Dallas, mainly my home for many years, and I am very proud, given the negative record the City has on so many points, that we who believe in truth, peace and reconciliation, who were reviled, cursed and spit upon when we protested Bush’s attack on Iraq, can say, “He’s one of us.”

Ramsey Clark at 90: America’s Most Liberal Attorney General and Veteran West Villager (Part 1)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramsey_Clark

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3533612/

The Racial Miseducation of America’s Children

It seems like eons since I sat in my high school American history class.  At the time, history and government were by far and away my two most un-favorite subjects.  Had I only had wonderful teachers – as I had in my two favorite sujects – math and science – that might have been different, but I did not.  Today I would place the importance of those two right next to the advanced math and physics courses in importance:  the latter two helped me into an engineering career of 50 years.  The first two would have helped me be a better citizen over those years.  I haven’t been in a high school classroom since I graduated, but I have a hunch that what “kids” are being taught today is not far from what I may have been presented with, especially on the subject of the Civil War and slavery, and of course, the well-concealed subject of “whiteness,” and white people’s privileges.

More than half of teachers across America say they are comfortable talking about slavery as a condition, within their classrooms.  But no matter how good the teachers are, or how “open” they are to discussing these difficult subjects, they are challenged and controlled by the laws of their states and local school boards, and totally hamstrung with having to use text books and materials that generally fail grossly to present slavery and its full history and context, especially from the viewpoint of those enslaved.

This study pulls back the covers on the sorry state of what and how America teaches its progeny about these subjects that today continue to divide us at our dinner tables and within our places of worship as well:

https://www.splcenter.org/20180131/teaching-hard-history#summary

I live in Texas, and am a 6th generation version.  Some of my ancestors who moved to Texas before the end of the Civil War, apparently “had” slaves.  One of my G-g-g-grandfathers was a Mississippi plantation owner during the War and had slaves.  After the war he moved to Dallas, and is buried there.  I would love to have seen his eyes when I married my black Queen in Dallas, some 50 years ago.  Only last year did the Texas school book “approvers” vote to give slavery equal footing with “states’ rights” in our new textbooks.  I am happy, but sad and mad about this situation.

The problem across the US is that education is as politicized as any other “social” matter.  When you live in a society that has kept the realities of these subjects and topics essentially under lock and key, and in many states so-called “conservatives” having swallowed the keys, obviously we are years and years from resolving this educational matter.  By not resolving it, we are just renewing the policies of segregation, discrimination, hate and violence and domestic terrorism that are today the hallmarks of America core.

I have faith, though, that one day, the Truths will set America free.  Until that day, let us keep doing what each of us can to make it happen!

 

“Emancipate Our (WHITE) Selves from Mental Slavery….

None but Ourselves Can Free Our Minds.”  Parroting Bob’s words from Redemption Songs, with a twist of the trope.

The problem WHITE folks, is that Most of We white people do not even recognize our own “whiteness.”  We also are unaware that “whiteness” was essentially created during the 17th Century in Virginia, when the “slave codes” were written, drawing a line between indentured poor-ass Europeans servants and enslaved Blacks.  The intent was a result of Bacon’s rebellion, which lasted some years, and in the aftermath the ruling class of nobles recognized they needed to make the lower class servants feel like they were aligned in some way (being from Europe) with the “masters,” thereby preempting any future cooperation of the servants and poor Europeans with black slaves.  During these years “whiteness” came into being only because of the codified subjugation and harsh punitive laws pertaining to black slaves.  (Any astute reader immediately sees that this condition still exist, when less than 1% of whites control over 99% of the capital in the US; yet, the average White thinks – consciously or subconsciously – she/ he is better than the average Black.  Of course, during the Sixties Dixiecrats labeled anyone who advocated alliance of whites and people of color as “communists.”

So guys, before then we Whites were just people….just like Blacks were just people within their own continent, Africa.  Our whiteness could not exist apart from the cruelties of the original sin of institutionalized slavery in this America.  “White people” and the concomitant “whiteness” are both mental constructs that would not exist if there was never any historical or contemporary contact between those of European descent and those peoples of Africa and the diaspora.  “White” people do not exist without Blacks! (As a sidebar, many Whites have African dna – like myself.)

As for “race,” there is only one race, the human (“hue-mon”) race.  White people cannot continue thinking as “whites,” if we are ever to reach our full potential as PEOPLE, as Divine Creations.

The problem that ensued, however, is that while we Whites enjoyed and enjoy all the freedoms appertaining to “being” in the ruling authority class, we mostly are unaware of our “whiteness.”  Although we may feel the rumblings in recent years of the shift that will undoubtedly force us to confront the absence of self-awareness of our fortunate predicament and its daily manifestations and agencies to the demise of people of color, most of us just continue to move through our daily lives “dumber than a stump.”

I suggest WE all get educated and hip to our “whiteness” – beginning today.  The salvation of the so-called “free world” depends on it.  We Whites today are the gatekeepers of access and attainment in a large part of societies hierarchies.  Only when the people who are sitting in those positions of power either began to recognize their “whiteness” and begin to change themselves and their inherent biases – or when people in those positions of power began to be more and more people of color (which is not happening quickly enough by any measure) – will America (and Europe) begin to energize its full potential as a society confronting much greater problems to the survival of “hue-mon” kind.

Given that all of we Whites grew up in “whiteness,” we are blinded just like being snow blinded.  Most of us are not bad people, but out of total ignorance we accept our own lives as the “norm,” and acquiesce to situations and conditions that negatively impact the daily lives of people of color, and we do so without even thinking of it, because of our IGNORANCE.

Here are a few references to get you going on your “whiteness” educational journey:

Search Google and You Tube “Dr. Robin DiAngelo.”  She is an educator and lecturer who has focused on “whiteness” for decades, and will “wake you up.”

Search Google and You Tube for “Jane Elliott.”  She is a pioneer white educator who created the “blue eyes, brown eyes” experiment and has conducted sessions for decades.

White students undergo weekly ‘deconstructing whiteness’ program at Northwestern University

https://aeon.co/ideas/how-white-people-were-invented-by-a-playwright-in-1613

The Great Fear — The Myth of Whiteness

Here is also where you can find a very good MEDIUM blog article (unfortunately I cannot provide the url):

 

View at Medium.com

medium article

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

 

 

1619- 2019 400 Years and Counting

Angela was her name, an African woman, who might very well have been of royalty back in her home region, we don’t know.  Regardless, we can assume rightly that she lived in a well-ordered society, one full of the sounds of life, of domestic animals, of toddlers and small children playing around villages, while older girls worked with their mothers, contributing and learning the skills from a timeless past, such as pounding yam and braiding and adorning their hair.  Older boys were learning the skills of manhood, including hunting, wrestling,  and becoming warriors.  Angela’s people were colorful, were light on their feet, and the sounds of drumming and the sounds of dancing often filled the air.  When anyone of Angela’s people fell ill, there were potions and wetted plants placed topically, and the incantations of the priest to relieve the pain and illness, often as effectively as any Western treatment today.  The priest was also readily available, for the price of a chicken or yams, to perform a divination reading for those with a question about their lives (which was at least as effective as any psychologist or spiritual advisor today).  Life was good for Angela.

We will never know how she came to be ripped from the Motherland, how she survived the Passage, how she was treated by the pirate sailors who took her and others, and in 1619 sold her and some 20-30 other Africans to European American planters in Jamestown, Virginia.  We do know that Angela and the hundreds of thousands of other African peoples brought to this land and placed in involuntary servitude and treated worse than any animal for hundreds of years, retained the strength and vibrancy of their ancestry, and without their magic –  America would have been, period.

The history of early Jamestown is readily available on the web, but in the last few days the New York Times has published what will become a publishing legacy to be read by generations to come.  Here is the link:

 

Just double click the above image, and just fyi you will have to at least enter your email and go through a few commercial “ads” to get to the article, but it is well worth it.  There are multiple essays, each quite lengthy, so be prepared to spend some time – quality time.

It should be apparent to anyone who is not themselves still shackled with the collar of racism, slaves to their emotional, primeval ignorance, that any claims of America being now in a post-racial society since President Obama was elected, are patently false.  Today we see the greatest rise of racism since the lynching days of Jim Crow.  America, the very foundation of this great experiment in humanity is now at risk.  Wake up!

What could possibly go wrong in 2020?

I have always loved getting those little stickers as I leave the voting stations, the “I Voted” ones, you know.  My chest even sticks out a little more, at least in my mind.  This is a feeling that we all can partake of in this country, and at least in some other nations that right of voting is also enjoyed, although often surrounded by controversy.

I have no doubt that the election in 2020 will be surrounded by just that.  I have no doubt that BMT (aka…..crazy hair guy in the Oval Office, better known on my blog as Bottomless Moral Turpitude) will lose the popular vote by a wide margin, regardless of who the Dems put up to run.  However, as in 2016 the electoral college voting may very well  be that breathes new life into he who sucks life out of America.

The Republicans, aka Citizens Council, have totally stalled Congress from providing the level of funding to states needed to replace their voting machines and provide for backup paper ballots.  So, that is one problem.

Then there is the matter of alien forces diligently working to throw the swing states and the electoral college in their favor.  Russia obviously will want him re-elected, because many of the oligarchs stand to come out better in the long run with him remaining in office.  China and Iran likely will endeavor to push the vote toward the Dems.  So will the net result be a zero sum?  No one knows of course, but given the coziness of BMT with Vlad, and with BMT on record saying he would take information and assistance from Russia (again), the odds would tend to favor him.

I have no doubt at all that If BMT does not get the win, he and the Citizens Council will file many, many lawsuits to confuse the entire election decision, very likely the matter winding up at SCOTUS.  Well, we know how that will go.

So with all the excitement presently as to who will win the Dem nomination, ultimately it may not matter.  However, if the election seems to be going in BMT’s favor, I am equally fearful that Dems will pour into the streets in protests across the country, and do everything possible to block his “coronation.”  This could get very ugly, very fast.

I am always an advocate for having a Plan B.  I highly advise Americans who long for a new president, to have a Plan B, and be ready to put it into effect immediately at that time.

 

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