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Racism and America
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5223

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Racism and America Reply with quote

It is now fifty years and one day after the bombing of the Birmingham Church that killed four young African American girls. The bombing was done by the Ku Klux Klan, and the bombers were not immediately prosecuted:

Quote:
Bobby Frank Cherry, a demolitions expert, and three other white supremacists—Robert Chambliss, Thomas Blanton, and Herman Cash—were under investigation within days of the bombing. But two years later, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover declined to pursue the case, saying the chances for conviction were "remote." In 1968, federal authorities shut down the investigation.

In the 1970s, after a U.S. Justice Department investigation revealed that former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had blocked evidence, Jefferson County, Ala., prosecutors reopened the case. More than a decade-and-a-half after the crime, the ringleader, Robert Chambliss, was convicted of one count of murder in the death of Carol McNair in 1977. He died in prison in 1985 without ever publicly admitting a role in the bombing. By this time, it was too late to try suspect Herman Cash, who had died in 1994.

The remaining two suspects in the case, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry, were finally indicted in 2000—more than two decades after Chambliss's conviction—when an FBI agent in Birmingham obtained more than 9,000 FBI documents and surveillance tapes that had been kept from the original prosecutors. Blanton was convicted of murder in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison. In Cherry's trial, several of his relatives came forward to testify against him. Cherry had bragged to a number of them over the years about the bombing. In 2002, he was convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2004. One of the prosecutors in the case, Robert Posey, said Cherry "has worn this crime like a badge of honor."
Read more: Birmingham Church Bombing - Civil Rights Cases | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmjustice3.html#ixzz2f5O1c68A

I was fourteen at the time, living in Southern California and learning to surf. I was horrified at this news, and by the news that African-American families could not buy a home in many Southern California neighborhoods because of CC & R’s that prevented selling a home to Negroes—the term in the restrictions. If I do the math right, I think Mike Fick was 20 at the time, and has claimed on this forum that he saw no issues growing up in Alabama.

Racism in America is not dead because segregation is no longer socially acceptable, Bull Connor is in his grave and we have a black President; racism has moved on to version 2.0. Racism is not dead when the right wing allies itself, without any self-consciousness, with the unabashed bigots on the fringe of the Tea Party, or repeats meme’s like “Obama the food stamp President”, and “Obama phones”, with no sense of shame. Both of these memes were developed by the far right to appeal to bigotry; to pretend not is to place your head deeply in the sand and ignore the lessons of history.

While racism is less overt than in the days of George Wallace ("segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever"), it lives on, un-repudiated by the leaders in the Republican Party. Not only are bigots like Tom Tancredo not disavowed by Republicans, they run for President. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM-cEtUfJhI

During segregation, racism was not manifest along party lines—the worst bigots were Democrats, or Dixie-crats from the South. LBJ’s success in pushing through a Civil Rights Act ended that phenomenon, and Richard Nixon—and all Republican candidates for President since—looked the other way at racism as the former Dixie-crats aligned themselves with the GOP.

The newly resurgent John Birch Society has, to be sure, a role in this history of bigotry. The father of the current Tea Party funders, the Koch Brothers, Fred Koch was one of the founders of the JBS. He is famously said to have claimed: “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America.” Of course with the Koch brothers funding efforts like ALEC, and the JBS having opposed the Civil Rights Act under the guise of protecting State’s rights, the ties to bigotry are clear. Not to mention the large presence of the JBS in and around Birmingham and supporting George Wallace. Currently, the Koch’s Tea Party group, American’s for Prosperity, are involved in efforts to roll back desegregation in North Carolina.

To remind us all, on the fiftieth anniversary of a heinous crime, that racism is not dead is not to “play the race card.” Rather, it is to remind us that reform of our institutions is a responsibility of Democracy, and to do so we must understand history. Or, to paraphrase Santayana, we will be doomed to repeat it
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Racists spread hate based on colour / race.
You spread hate based on politics.
Thank you for keeping bigotry alive and well in a different form.


Last edited by reinerehlers on Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5223

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RR said, predictably:

Only people who point out racism are racists, blah, blah, blah.

I appreciate the empathy you showed for the four little girls.
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's tough eh?
You were pointing out racism, right?
I don't follow your logic, but I guess if that's all your left with then run with it.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again with the empathy?
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it a lack of empathy because I did not comment about the four girls murdered? No.

Are you using that to deflect away from your noted hatred directed in a different manner? Yes.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5820

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Particularly this year, there has been a lot of news media coverage of civil rights activities during the early 60s. A lot of it has to do with the 50th anniversary of the march to DC, and Martin Luther King's unparalleled speech. Of course, our having a black president reminds us of how different things are today. But, even today, are we free from racial discrimination or the hate for people of color? It would be an illusion to think we are. There's enough hate on the all sides to keep things festering in the public mind. No doubt, we see it here on this forum in the commentary. Sometimes, it reminds me of when I was a teenager (mac and I are the same age), particularly listening to my father at the dinner table rag on or joking about black folks. It wasn't super ugly, but it was still that classic deep seated Southern hate that can never disappear. You know it when you hear it, whether it's bold and ugly, or very subtle in nature.

Last edited by swchandler on Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never say never. It can disappear with education and awareness. I surely hope it does in my lifetime.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5223

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, now I get it. Anything that judges people on a wholesale basis because of their profession or membership in a union is not hate-speak, it is loving criticism. Anything that points out the antecedents of political movements, and the prejudicial nature of their proposed policies and political alliances is hate-speak.

Next stop? Down the rabbit hole.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2396

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey look! It's a cute little puppy!
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