Black History Is Everyone’s History

Black History Is Everyone’s History

The contribution of black Americans to this country is huge, and undeniable and deserves to be taught in American schools, north or south.

Black History Is Everyone’s History

Editor: As 2022 Black History Month ends it is important to acknowledge the contribution of black Americans to the arts, sports, science, technology, and innovation. Let’s celebrate their amazing contribution to our country and support the rights of all citizens to participate in the American Dream in all its promised dimensions.

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 A Black Mark Not On Our History

As Black History Month comes to a close, let us acknowledge those African Americans that have made a positive impact on the United States and the world.  We all recall as children eating peanut butter spread on crackers as we learned about George Washington Carver, but little other significant Black history has been taught in our schools.  African-American contributions to our society remain mostly hidden; not celebrated, or taught in schools.  Black history has little representation in curriculums, what a shame; it should be an integral part of  our education, just as it has been an integral part of life and history. History and culture of African-Americans needs to be taught, alongside other cultures, including the typical Western European WASP and Greco-Roman past. Nothing is done in isolation, certainly not improving the world.

Black History Is More Than A Month…

Founded by historian Carter G. Woodson to honor the attainments of black men and women, it originally began as a week-long celebration known as “Negro History Week” in February of 1926, a week in which the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass occurred.  Dr. Woodson was himself the son of a slave and although he did not begin his high school education until the age of 20, delayed by his need to earn a living in West Virginia coal mines, he went on to study at Berea College, the Sorbonne, and the University of Chicago.  He eventually earned his PhD at Harvard, only  the second African American to achieve this, his predecessor being none other than W. E. B. Du Bois.

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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.

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EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

The dark days of the Nazi control of Europe led to the death of millions.

EDITORIAL:

Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

D. S. Mitchell

Martin Hartman is a tall slender man. His thinning white hair is brushed back, his jacket zipped against the winter wind, as he leans against his cane for support. There is a deep sadness in his eyes and a soberness in his demeanor. You can tell he has a story, and he wants to share it. Martin Hartman is my neighbor.

Martin was born in Holland in 1924. Prior to the Depression of the 1930’s, his family had owned a prosperous construction business. His family like many others had suffered during those economically depressed times, but by 1940, the 97-year-old said, the economy “had begun to turn around,” things were looking up he confirmed. The future looked promising.

There had been rumblings of war, but few took them seriously, after all WWI was a mere twenty two years in the past. No one could imagine the world once again plunging into conflict. The next few days would change his life and those of his friends and family forever. “I was 16. It was May 10, 1940. We heard bombing and saw planes. It was the German invasion, and the blitz was over in three days.” The squashing of Holland’s defenses was quick, but far from painless.

After the German invasion, they began barricading city blocks and then sweeping the apartments for young men to fill the military ranks due to troop loss. Hartman describes it, “Gradually Nazism crawled into Holland. Good people were killed, or sent to prison . . . Jews and ministers.”

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OPINION: Gaza Unrest

Opinion: Gaza Unrest

AK 47's loved by American gun culture

OPINION: Unrest In Gaza

The Never Ending War

The current conflagration in Gaza is not unexpected. There has been at least 100 years of war in the region. Who knows where to start the story? Each war, no matter how long or short has added to the story. For convenience I will start in the early 20th century, during WWI.

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

Mandate For Palestine

The conflict has its origin back in the early 20th century. Palestine was being ruled by the Ottoman Empire. During WWI the Turks were defeated and the Empire collapsed, leading to the Mandate for Palestine, which gave Britain administrative control of Palestine and Transjordan. During this time, the majority of the inhabitants of this land were Arab, while the Jews were the minority.

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We Share A Dream

Honor MLK today by doing something for someone else. Make today a day of service.

We Share A Dream

By Anna & Wes Hessel

Thank You, Dr. King…

We celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest and most humble human beings to ever live, Dr. Martin Luther King, a Godly man of peace and gentle warrior.  He selflessly championed for civil rights and worked to change the world into a better place.  Many hard won civil rights from that time have been attacked during the Trump administration but now with the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. King’s legacy will continue to live on.  The Biden-Harris inaugural team has instituted a day of service to honor the remarkable Martin Luther King, Jr.

 The Son of a King

Born the son of a preacher man, Michael King, Jr., entered life in 1929 on January 15th in Atlanta.  His father, Michael, Sr., was himself the scion of a pastor.  Junior joined senior in 1934 on a sojourn through  Rome, Tunisia, Egypt, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, commissioned by the church the elder King pastored.  The final stop was in Berlin for the Baptist World Alliance’s international conference.

The Fight for Reform

There both Kings saw firsthand the spread of Nazi influence.  The BWA issued an official policy statement, saying, “This Congress deplores and condemns as a violation of the law of God the Heavenly Father, all racial animosity, and every form of oppression or unfair discrimination toward the Jews, toward coloured people, or toward subject races in any part of the world.”  Having visited sites in the German capital which were involved with the Reformation movement started by Martin Luther, Michael Sr. began to call himself, “Martin Luther King, Sr.” and renamed his son accordingly, making it official on junior’s birth certificate in 1957.

Growing Up Black

Junior had befriended a Caucasian boy before they both entered first grade, but because of their skin color difference, they went to separate (segregated) schools.  The white child’s parents a short time later then cut off contact between the two, citing race as the deciding factor.  When the younger Martin Luther went to his parents about the break, they sat him down to detail the slavery of blacks and resultant racism.  When confronted with all that had been perpetrated against people of color, MLK said later he became, “determined to hate every white person”.  His father and mother, though, taught junior that Jesus called for the love of everyone.

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World On Fire

firefighters working to put out fires started during protests

WORLD ON FIRE

Trevor K. McNeil & D. S. Mitchell

Better Angels

Humans are complex. Neither angels nor devils, but something in between. As with many things it is a continuum. Abraham Lincoln understood this perfectly and touched on it when he referred to “the better angels of our nature.” As with human nature, so with human action. Which assists in understanding our history of civil disobedience. Particularly when it happens to turn ugly. Such as when legitimate protests based on genuine grievances turn into deadly riots.

Rebels With A Cause

Henry David Thoreau was a vocal abolitionist, anti-expansionist and a  conductor of the underground railroad. In 1849, Thoreau, an infamous proto-anarchist, published his essay “Resistance to Civil Government”.  “Anarchist” in this case meaning classical Anarchism. A political ideology that accepts rules, but opposes the notion of rules in a top-down coercive system, where using lethal violence, or the threat thereof, to keep the populace under control.  Thoreau advocated “resistance to an unjust state.” He said, “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government”.  Thoreau said “the government that governs best is that which governs least.” Though notice the phraseology. Government. To govern. There being a vital difference between a government and an administration.

 Historical Perspective

America has a long, rich history of civil disobedience. “Fight the Power” being the unofficial national motto. Setting the American Revolution aside, one of the places this first came into focus was in lower Manhattan in 1863. From July 13th to July 16th, during the throes of the American Civil War, hundreds of citizens, many of them immigrants took to the streets to protest the draft that would send them to fight the Confederacy. What started out relatively peacefully soon grew into a large violent, three-day riot. In the end an estimated 120 people lay dead.

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Guilt By Association

Guilt By Association

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Little Bit of History Repeating

History is more of a cycle than a straight line. Those who have looked at it closely recognize trends have a tendency to repeat. Themes and progress ebb and flow in the oceans of time. Sadly, there are some areas where the water is darker than others. One such dark spot in the ocean of time is the anti-Chinese sentiment in North America.

An Ill Wind

One of the more damaging aspects of coronavirus, aside from the death toll, is the misinformation being spread about it. One being the Anti-Chinese sentiment, fostered and fueled by President Trump and his surrogates. Attempting to redirect blame from his colossal mismanagement of the pandemic response Trump continues his attacks on China. Our boneheaded and close to illiterate president regularly promotes the idea that the virus “came from China.”

Historical Reference

Did it spread through China first? Yes. Do we know for a fact that it is where the virus originated? Hell no. In fact, the Chinese point an angry finger to the United States military. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is new and poorly understood. The prevailing theory is that the original carrier was a bat. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but bats fly. Over a fair bit of distance. As a historical reminder the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic did not originate in Spain, but rather Kansas and was spread by American soldiers.  Not that it matters anyway. The country of origin not nearly as important as how to stop the spread of SARS CoV-2 and cure the disease among those who contract it.

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Resolutions For The Next Decade

Resolutions For The Next Decade

By Anna Hessel

Resolving for the New Decade

Happy 2020!  This start of a new decade makes me ponder the tradition of New Year’s resolutions.  Hopefully, we are all resolving to show peace to all, abolish intolerance, and offer acceptance to those who are different from us.  I realize many of us have personal resolutions to enrich and better our own lives, but I think there are times when we must be resolute in our compassion to pray and work to fulfill the needs of others.

Where We’ve Been

In the latter half of the past decade, we have regressed from working to provide health care for all Americans, to legislation designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We’ve gone from sanctuary cities to children in cages at our southern border. We’ve gone from the establishment of affordable housing to the greatest percentage of homelessness in American history.

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News That Bites: Try A Little Kindness

Try A Little Kindness

By David L. Shadrick

Hello and welcome to Calamity Politics and “News That Bites” with David Shadrick and Calamity Clown.  Calamity has stood us up. She sent me a note scribbled on the back of a Nancy Pelosi fund raising letter telling me she intended to spend the afternoon curled up in Bernie Sanders’ lap, while he reads his “Medicare4All” plan aloud. 

It Ain’t Easy

This is probably the hardest article I have ever tried to write.  It shouldn’t be that hard to simply remind everyone that we all need to be a little bit nicer to each other.  As the world around us experiences the chaos that is existence, we need to remember to take a few extra minutes to embrace kindness, as a life choice.

Reserve Your Condemnation

When I do fundraising I often times have to remind volunteers not to become agitated or angry when someone doesn’t make a donation, or worse, is disrespectful.  I remind them that there are so many charities begging for money; and people have limited resources. I know what it’s like to be on a fund raisers platinum mailing list.

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Racial Bigotry: Center Post Of Trump Immigration Policy

Looking Bigotry In The Eye

By D. S. Mitchell

Concentration Camps

I’m watching “A.M. Joy”. The primary focus of the discussion this June 23rd, 2019 morning is the deplorable treatment of children in Trump’s concentration camps on our southern border. Where getting a bar of soap, a tube of toothpaste, a clean diaper, or a bath is not on the Border Patrol agenda, at least for the first month.

Cries In The Night

The cruelty and immorality of border separations and detainment should enrage us all. The images of children being ripped from their mother’s arms or the unanswered screams of, “papa” are alarming.  The trauma of these events will affect these people the rest of their lives. People are suffering. People are also dying. Six children have died over the last year while in Border Patrol custody. At least twenty-two adult immigrants have died in ICE custody over the last 24 months.

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