The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

Dr. MLK had powerful words for our society

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 

The Great Doctor

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stands as the paramount leader of the civil rights movement.  There were many more alongside him, most notably the other members of the “Big Six”.  They were James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and John Lewis.  But Dr. King, or MLK, as many refer to him, was the most visible light and lightning rod.

He Still Speaks To Us

His words continue to speak volumes today, calling us to continue the fight for what is right. Most particularly right now is the need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.  That is the legacy that should be made to honor both these men who worked staunchly for what they believed.  Dr. King’s own family is calling for a hold on celebrating his day until these voting rights bills are made law.  In the meantime, we hear the echoes of MLK’s quotable phrases and speeches.

Continue reading

After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

The 1/6 insurrection aftermath is heating up

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

Editor: One year ago thousands of Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol. January 6, 2021 was one of the most horrific events in U.S. history. There is increasing evidence of behind the scenes maneuvering by Trump and his inner circle to thwart the law and overturn the 2020 election. The work of the 1/6 Select Committee is plowing forward, closing in on the instigators of the insurrection. Donald Trump’s role in the plot to end democracy in the United States is becoming more clear as emails and texts are made public. In the light of the current division in the country Anna Hessel believes it is time to be honest with ourselves, face the truth of what happened on 1/6/2021, bring the culprits to justice, and then move toward healing.

By Anna Hessel

The Crush Of Charlottesville

Back in 2017, I took one of the DNA tests that are so very popular.  Since I was adopted as an infant, my curiosity about my heritage peaked with regularity – I was giddy with surprise to learn that I am multi-racial.  Thrilled that the Lord has chosen to bless me with an interesting rainbow of cultures in a world where racial tensions dolorously abound.  On August 12, I looked on in horror at a group who call themselves ‘nationalists,’ terrorize Charlottesville, VA. One of them drove through a crowd in his Dodge Challenger, injuring 19 individuals and killing Heather Heyer.  Heather was a beautiful young woman, who was a local paralegal.  Little did I know, at the time, this was a foreshadowing of worse things to come.  This hideous act prompted then-former Vice-President  Joe Biden to run for president in 2020. In my opinion, his election is the only good that has come out of this.

Worse Is Yet To Come

On January 6, 2021, a similar, yet even more heinous act of violence occurred at our nation’s Capitol Building.  I find only small comfort in the fact that James Alex Fields, the man responsible for the horrific Charlottesville attack, was sentenced in 2019 to life plus 419 years. The sentence though appropriate does not bring back Heather Heyer.  Nor does it heal the scars, both physical and emotional,  of those who were injured, or who witnessed her murder. This callous disregard for life, an act of cowardice and pure evil, a precursor to the insurrectionists actions one year ago.

Continue reading

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.

Zitkala-Sa: An American Indian Voice

Zitkala-Sa: An American Indian Voice

The legacy of Zitkala-Sa lives on as one of the most influential Native American activists of the 20th century. She left an influential theory of Indian resistance and a crucial model for reform. It was the activism of Zitkala-Sa that made possible crucial changes to education, health care, and legal standing for Native American people and the preservation of Indian culture.

Life Story: Zitkala-Sa - Women & the American StoryZitkala-Sa’s Literary Work

“Much of Zitkala-Sa’s work is characterized by its transitional nature: tensions between tradition and assimilation, between literature and politics. These tensions are most notable in her autobiographical works. In her well-known “American Indian Stories”, for example, she both expresses a literary account of her life and delivers a political message. The narrative expresses her tension between wanting to follow the traditions of the Yankton Dakota while being excited about learning to read and write, and being tempted by assimilation. This tension has been described as generating much of the dynamism of her work.” Wikipedia

Zitkala-Sa: An American Indian Voice

By D. S. Mitchell

Who was Zitkala-Sa?

Zitkala-Sa was an American Indian woman who was an influential voice for indigenous people. Red Bird was a writer, editor, translator, composer, musician, educator, and political activist.  She struggled with her cultural identity and took that struggle to the written page. She also wrote books about traditional Native American myths and stories. Her writings were well-known  to a white English-speaking readership. She is considered among one of the most influential Native Americans of the twentieth century.

Red Bird

Zitkala-Sa was born February 22, 1876 on the Yankton Dakota Reservation in South Dakota. Zitkala-Sa means “Red Bird”.  She was later given the missionary name of Gertrude Simmons.  Ellen Simmons, a Yankton Dakota woman whose Dakota name was Thate Ivohiwin (Every Wind or Reaches for the Wind) was her mother. Her father was a German-American man who left the family when Zitkala-Sa was very young. Gertrude later married Raymond Bonnin and is often known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin.

Continue reading

A Look Back at AIM and Russell Means

A Look Back at AIM and Russell Means
The Dream Catcher symbolizes Native American Culture

EDITORIAL: A Look Back

AIM and “Modern Day Warrior” Russell Means

D.S. Mitchell

*November is Native American Heritage Month. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the various cultures, art, religions, languages, music, and traditions of America’s Native peoples. It is also a good time to look back at the American Indian Movement (AIM) and its fearless warrior Russell Means.*
Introduction

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the U.S. Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of 55,700,000 acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives. Sadly the Bureau often seems to be working against the indigenous people of the United States.  The actions of the Bureau and other federal departments are often operating in direct opposition to the people that they are supposed to be protecting.

Champion For Native American Rights

History may view AIM as a militant group, but AIM saw itself as a spiritual movement. AIM encouraged participation in age old religious ceremonies that had been outlawed by the federal government after the Wounded Knee Massacre (December 29, 1890). AIM members actively and publicly participated in Sun Dances, sweat lodges and other long hidden ceremonies, hoping to re-ignite the spirit and the culture of Native Americans by bringing the long outlawed practices out of the shadows. Russell Means was an early leader of the group. Above all he was a champion of Native American civil rights. Means drew public attention to the mistreatment of native people according to biographer Michael Ray, “with audacious and controversial actions that were equal parts protest and theater.”

Charismatic Leader 

From the 1970’s thru the early 2000’s Russell Means was the face of AIM. He was as famous as Sitting Bull. Means, was tall and ruggedly handsome with long traditional braids. He often seemed bigger than life. He had a forceful and charismatic personality. He was a Native American activist, actor, painter, politician, musician and writer. Means was born in 1939 on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. His Lakota name “Wanbli Ohitika” means “Brave Eagle.” His mother was a Yankton Dakota Sioux and his father an Oglala Lakota Sioux.

A Harsh Life

In 1942 his parents left the reservation, in an effort to escape the poverty and depression of the reservation. They settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where his father worked in the shipyards during WWII. In his 1995 autobiography Russell Means described living with his alcoholic father and abused mother. It was a harsh life. In his biography he describes how he fell into “years of truancy, crime and drugs”, before finding purpose and direction in the American Indian Movement.

1964 Alcatraz Occupation

In 1964 Russell and his father joined a protest occupation of Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, CA.  The protest lasted a mere 24 hours. Native Americans were protesting against the U.S. government for its long history of treaty violations. He later remembered the 1964 Alcatraz event as the catalyst for a life time of activism for protecting the rights of Native Americans. Alcatraz was in AIM’s view a legitimate symbol of the federal government’s rejection of treaty agreements. A 1868 treaty provision guaranteed that Native people had the right to appropriate surplus federal land. Reclaiming “the abandoned Rock” became a rallying cry for Indians, many of whom viewed the island as a symbol of government indifference toward the treaties with our indigenous population.

Continue reading