American History

The New “I Have A Dream” Speech, Why I Believe In America.

I thought that I would never hear a sweeter refrain than I Have A Dream by Dr Martin Luther King. Then I read “I Believe In America” by Dr Ben Carson.

No one else has articulated better the essence of American Culture and Christian Values than Dr Ben Carson. He makes the case for American Culture and Christian Values better than anyone I have heard to date. His Declaration of Beliefs is a modern classic.

 

Listen to the words.

 

Why I Believe In America.

In a very telling moment, Hillary Clinton maligned me and millions of other Americans as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic “deplorables.”

I’m so tired of this line of attack that normally taunts conservatives.

Well let me be very specific in my response.

Why I Believe In America.

I believe in expanding opportunity, not welfare; that’s not racist.

I believe every life is worth protecting, particularly the unborn; that doesn’t make me sexist.

I believe marriage is between one man and one woman; that’s not homophobic.

I believe in borders, the rule of law and our sovereign right to decide who to let into our country; that’s not xenophobic.

I believe radical Islam is a mortal threat to America and Western civilization; that is common sense, not Islamophobia.

My nationwide ‘Fight for the Court’ project is about explaining and protecting our Constitutional values. As you can see, they’re under constant assault, and if we allow the Left to institutionalize their vision of a European-style, government-dominated, secular society through our courts, we are going to lose our country for a generation.

If you’re tired of being vilified for believing in the Constitutional, Judeo-Christian values that made America great, please help me send a message by signing up to join me now.

We must use moments like this as opportunities because this is not just name-calling. The Left is using every tool at their disposal to whitewash our history and undercut our institutions.

The difference is that I believe in our nation as it was founded. I believe in “We the People,” but it requires us to constantly reach out, inform, and mobilize conservatives.

There are a lot of challenges before us and a lot of problems to solve. I’ve decided to concentrate on a few. ‘Fight for the Court’ is about protecting our Constitutional values.

Elections every few years are our opportunity to correct course if necessary, but the Supreme Court can be lost for a generation or more.

I ask you to join me by signing up and helping us to continue this fight.

Of the three branches of the federal government, the judiciary branch was supposed to be the weakest.

However, after decades of judicial overreach, the Court has accrued so much power that the opinions of nine unelected judges can dramatically affect the lives of every American.

This means that 2016 is not just about who will sit in the Oval Office. It’s about what kind of justices will be nominated to the Court — and the next President may have to fill two to three seats.

Whether it’s the protection of religious liberty or the 2nd Amendment, the legality of executive amnesty, or the future of school choice, we are facing two very different futures and we must ensure that every American understands the stakes.

Help us keep this issue front and center. Help us fight for the Court.Thank you for your commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Did You Call Me?

What did you call me? Don’t say that to my face! I dare you. I double-dog dare you!!

My Fellow Americans, be careful. Words are powerful, and we are in the midst of a Cultural Revolution in America.

Don’t call him African-American. He is an “American” pure and simple.

He has no contact or connection with Africa.

But, he is thankful to his distant ancestor who survived the kidnapping from Africa and the treacherous trip across the Atlantic thru the Middle Passage African grave yard.

As the last living descendant of that former slave, he has no cultural affinity to the African Continent.

Liberals preach diversity and label him an African-American; but, they do not persist in labeling European descendant as English-Americans or French-Americans or German-Americans, etc. They are simply “Americans”.

So is he; and so are we, who are “We The People”.

We are all Americans, first and foremost.

The Diversity propaganda is Liberal Jibber-jabber designed to divide Americans along racial and ethnic lines. It is divisive.

In “the most honest book to emerge from Africa in a long time” (USA Today), a black American correspondent for the Washington Post reports on the horrors he witnessed in Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa, and other troubled African nations-and reflects on his own identity.

Curious minds may ask why is this the first (and only) African American to admit that he is glad his grandmother made it to America – when he sees the fate of his brothers who are still in Africa????? Most of them would still be kicking a football in a dusty bowl in Ghana!!!!

That is a very good question. I challenge your basic premise that this is the first and only African American to admit that he is glad his grandmother made it to America from Africa. 

I have heard many say it, but they were not quoted. Not many Black Americans are quoted in the main stream media, and most do not write books or have public podiums from which they can shout their opinions on American life and culture.

Many Americans of African descent were raised on a diet of Liberal Left Wing propaganda praising the virtues of diversity, reverence for your “roots” in Africa, and disdain for most things and people who do not lean positively towards Black Culture. 

The English and Spanish Languages teach that most things Black are inherently inferior to white culture. A white Jesus, Santa Claus, Cinderella, and Snow White are praised and worshiped while Black Peter, Martin de Pores, A’int Jamima, and Uncle Ben are ridiculed as stereotypes. 

I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course. I am serious for the most part; and, things had changed in America for the better before 2008. Then the Divider -In-Chief started organizing us into competing groups of “special interests”. This is not a new book, and probably not a best seller; but its message is timely. It is being popularized by Doctor Michael Savage, the well known talk show host.

By Keith B. Richburg: Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

amazon.com.

Paperback, 266 pages

Published July 1st 1998 by Mariner Books (first published February 5th 1997)

Original Title

Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

ISBN

0156005832 (ISBN13: 9780156005838)

Edition Language

English

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Commander Merle James Smith, Junior, U S Coast Guard (Retired); This Is Your Life

Before there was Affirmative Action at the United States Coast Guard Academy, there were athletic scouts and the recruitment of star athletes.

The Chief Scout at the Coast Guard Academy was Captain Otto Graham, formerly the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns professional football team.

Merle James Smith, Junior was recruited into the Coast Guard Academy to play football. Captain Otto Graham, the Athletic Director, said he needed a defensive tackle and a wide receiver on the varsity football team. That was on or about 1960 or 1961.

https://judgelondonsteverson.me/tag/merle-smith-coast-guard/

The Coast Guard Academy made a small step for America, and a giant step for African Americans. It had done the right thing for the right reason. This was not the most popular thing to do at this time.

Considering what was happening a bit further south in America. In places like Little Rock, AR. and Birmingham,AL what had been accomplished at the Coast Guard Academy with little or no fanfare was creating major social upheaval. Some Southern communities responded with police dogs and fire hoses.
Some time later it was discovered that this football player, Merle Smith, Junior may have had some African blood. And the rest is history.

 How many years must a man faithfully serve, before he is given the Honor he is due?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

50 years is only half a Century; but it is never too late to tweak Posterity.


CDR Merle James Smith, Jr., an authentic American Hero, from the Old School. He achieved honor and glory the old fashioned way; he earned it!!

 http://capitolwords.org/date/2012/05/14/S3126-3_tribute-to-merle-j-smith-jr/

(CDR Merle Smith, USCG (Ret.) and Judge London Steverson, USALJ (Ret.) drink a toast to their 52 years of friendship at the Coast Guard Academy Eclipse Week Celebration honoring the 50th Anniversary of  CDR Smith’s graduation from the Academy as the  First Black Graduate.)

Congratulations Commander Merle J. Smith, Junior. Today you are the most interesting man in America.

You deserved the 13 Gun Salute and the full Regimental Parade given to you on April 10, 2016.

 This recognition is well deserved and long overdue. Honoring the first Black graduate honors all Black graduates.

The Academy was founded in 1876. The exclusion of African Americans from the Academy from 1876 until 1962 is a tragic fact of American history.

On April 10, 2016 fifty-four years after he was sworn in as a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy, CDR Smith was honored for being the first American of African ancestry to graduate from this historic institution.

The Academy was not aware initially that there was an African American cadet at the Academy. He had not been recruited as a “Black cadet”; nor, was he recognized as one by the Coast Guard Academy Admission’s Office.

Possibly, he was not recognized as an African American because he did not physically resemble one. None of his school records labeled him as Black, and he had not been recruited as a minority candidate.

When Black spectators from the New London community came to watch the corps of cadets march in parade, they frequently mistook Anthony Carbone and Donnie Winchester as the possible Black cadet. Carbone was an Italian, and Winchester was a Native American. They both had considerably darker complexions and more course facial features than Merle Smith.

CDR Smith’s appointment had been tendered before President Kennedy issued the directive to find and appoint Black candidates for the Coast Guard Academy.

His father, Colonel Merle Smith , Senior, was the Professor of Military Science at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland; and, he had formerly been an Army Staff officer at the Pentagon.

The only two Black cadets to have been recruited under President John F. Kennedy’s Directive were London Steverson and Kenneth Boyd. They entered the Academy in 1964 and graduated in 1968.

This official portrait should be sent on a cross-country all Coast Guard Units/Facilities Tour to educate the troops and the corps on African American achievements since CAPT Mike Healey. This should be done before the portrait finds its permanent resting place at the Coast Guard Academy.

Rear Admiral and Mrs James Rendon, congratulate CDR Merle James Smith II, USCG (Ret.) on April 09, 2016 at the Annual Eclipse Awards Banquet at the United States Coast Guard Academy. RADM Rendon is the 41st Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
The Eclipse Banquet was to honor CDR Smith for his achievement of being the first Academy graduated of African Ancestry.

A 13 Gun Salute and a full Regimental Parade for CDR Merle James Smith, Jr. to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his graduation from the U S Coast Guard Academy, the first American of African Ancestry to do so.

Vice Admiral Thomas R. Sargent III, USCG, a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 1938, presents LT Merle J, Smith II, the Bronze Star, with “V” for Valor.

(http://www.uscg.mil/history/WEBORALHISTORY/FCGH_VADM_Sargent_Interview_1.asp

VADM Sargent III, was also a veteran of Vietnam service. He loved to tell stories of his experiences in Vietnam.

QUOTE:

The other little story is I went to Vietnam and I was assigned a hotel room.  It was an annex.  I can’t remember the name of the annex but it consisted of one room with a toilet and they used to turn all the electricity off about nine o’clock at night, and then I . . . anyway, I completed my work there and called up for a car to take me to the airport.  I called, naturally, the Army motor pool and a little Vietnamese gal answered the telephone and I said, “This is Captain Sargent.  I’d like to have a car take me to the airport”, and I gave her the time and she said, “Captains no rate cars.”  Well captains in the Army didn’t rate cars but captains in the Coast Guard and the Navy did, and she hung up on me.  Well the telephone system in Vietnam was not very good and so it took me another 20 minutes before I finally got through.  Another Vietnamese girl answered the phone and I said, “Let me talk to your supervisor”, and low and behold Lomca [phonetic] answered the telephone as a Sergeant and I said, “This is Captain Sargent.  I need a car to take me to the airport”, and he said, “Listen buddy. I’m a sergeant, you’re a sergeant. I don’t rate a car and nor do you”, and he hung up on me again and I thought, “Oh, something’s got to change”, so I called up once more. I got him again and I said, “This is Colonel Savage, United States Coast Guard.  Send my car down.  I want to go to the airport.”  He said, “Yes Sir”, and so I signed for the car as T. R. Salvage, and I don’t know what happened to it but it worked, and the reason I picked out the name Savage is because when I was a cadet [at the Academy]  there was a certain Lieutenant Commander [Robert T.] McElligott who became a rear admiral who was a physics instructor.  I was sitting in class and for some reason or other Admiral McElligott couldn’t remember my name and so he asked a question and then he said, “Mr. Savage, I want you to answer it”, and I didn’t.  I didn’t even pay attention because Savage didn’t ring a bell and he yelled, “Mr. Savage”, and I suddenly realized he meant me and I said, “Yes Sir.”  He said, “Put yourself on report for inattention in class.”  “Yes Sir.”  So that’s why I remember the name Savage [chuckle].

UNQUOTE. 

The Academy was not aware initially that there was an African American cadet at the Academy. He had not been recruited as a “Black cadet”; nor, was he recognized as one by the Coast Guard Academy Admission’s Office.

Possibly, he was not recognized as an African American because he did not physically resemble one. None of his school records labeled him as Black, and he had not been recruited as a minority candidate.

Some time in 1962 rumors began to be circulated in the Black Community of New London, Connecticut that there was a Black cadet at the Coast Guard Academy. How did those rumors start? It was suggested at the time that Doctor Bill Waller,  the Chemistry Professor at the Academy had  started the rumors.

I can verify that Doctor Waller was indeed the source of those rumors. In 1967 Doctor Waller invited me to his home on several occasions on a Sunday afternoon. He told me himself that he had put the word out that there was a Black cadet at the Academy. He also said that several members of his church had come back and told him that they had stood outside the Academy fence and watched the entire Brigade of cadets march on Saturday mornings. But, they were not able to definitively pick out the Black cadet. They reported that they had seen several who looked like they could be Black. Doctor Waller said that he had also watched the cadets marching on Saturday mornings and  he believed that several cadets with very dark tans could have been mistaken for a Black cadet. They all had shaven heads, and some were darker than Merle Smith. He mentioned Anthony Carbone, Donnie Winchester, and Tony Alejandro.

(Doctor William Waller, Chemistry Professor at the Coast Guard Academy)

When Black spectators from the New London community came to watch the corps of cadets march in parade, they frequently mistook Anthony Carbone and Donnie Winchester as the possible Black cadet. Carbone was an Italian, and Winchester was a Native American. They both had considerably darker complexions and more course facial features than Merle Smith.

    (The Chief Scout at the Coast Guard Academy was Captain Otto Graham, pictured above)  Captain Graham was the Academy’s Athletic Director. He was formerly the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns professional football team. While at the Academy, Captain Graham set many records. After Merle J. Smith, Jr was recruited, the Academy Football Team went undefeated in the 1963 season.                                                                                                                                                              

(Pictured above, are some of the members of the 1963 Varsity Football Team. Number 83 is Merle Smith.)

Was that a coincidence or was it in part due to the addition to the team of  Number 83, a wide receiver and defensive tackle from Maryland by the name of Merle Smith?

    (Pictured above is Ensign Merle James Smith, Junior)

 

On June 8, 1966, the US Coast Guard Academy in New London graduated the first African American student, Ensign Merle James Smith, Jr. Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree as part of a class of 113 cadets. The Coast Guard Academy began in 1876 on the topsail schooner Dobbin and moved to its present location in New London, Connecticut, in 1932. – See more at: http://connecticuthistory.org/academy-graduates-first-african-american-student-today-in-history/#sthash.KMltQkUo.dpuf

(Pictured below, Colonel Merle James Smith, Senior, presents his son, Ensign Merle James Smith II, his Graduation Certificate and his Officer’s Commission at the Graduation Ceremony in New London, CT in 1966)

(Pictured in the background is Admiral Willard J. Smith, The Academy Superintendent)

ADM Willard J. Smith served as the 13th Coast Guard Commandant from 1966-1970. He was the first aviator to hold the rank of Commandant Of The Coast Guard, the Coast Guard’s highest-ranking position.

 http://connecticuthistory.org/academy-graduates-first-african-american-student-today-in-history/

On a warm sunny day in May 1966, Merle James Smith, Junior, became the first American of African Ancestry to graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut.

Upon graduation he was first assigned a the Communications Officer aboard he USCGC Minnetonka, a 255-foot medium endurance law enforcement vessel. Later he was promoted to the post of Operations Officer.

Because of his exceptional performance of duty and expert leadership abilities onboard the CGC Minnetonka, Ensign Smith was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade), and given command of his own ship, the 82 foot Patrol Boat, the CGC Cape Wash. The Cape Wash was home ported in Monterey, California.

On or about 1970, after being promoted to the rank of Full Lieutenant, LT Smith was given orders to the War Zone in Viet Nam.

In Vietnam, LT Smith was to command two vessels, the CGC Point Mast and the CGC Point Ellis. LT Smith and vessels under his command directed more than eighty Naval Fire Support Missions. He participated in support operation mission, called Operation Market Time.

In another mission, called Operation Sea Lords, LT Smith’s vessel accounted for the destruction of ten enemy bunkers, four rocket launchers, thirteen structures, and nineteen Sampans.

Commander Smith has many awards and medals. His decorations include The Bronze Star With A “V” For Valor, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Citation, the Presidential Unit Citation,, the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry, and many other awards and decorations.

CDR Smith is the first American sea service officer  of African Ancestry to command an American Federal vessel in combat, and to receive the Bronze Star.

When he returned from combat service in Vietnam, CDR Smith was assigned to the International Affairs Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, in  the Volpe Building, at 7th and D Street, SW, Washington, DC.

He attended the National Law Center at George Washington University. In 1975 after completing Law School he was awarded his Juris Doctorate Degree. He then received a new assignment. He became the Deputy Chief of The Coast Guard Military Justice Division.

He retired from Active Duty in 1999. He lives in New London, Connecticut with his wife, Dr. Linda Blackmann Smith, and their two children; Merle Smith , the Third, and Chelsea.

In 2006 while teaching law at the Academy CDR Smith was retained as the Individual Military Counsel (IMC) for Cadet Webster Smith who became the first Coast Guard Academy cadet to be court-martial in the history of the Coast Guard Academy. CDR Smith is no relation to Cadet Webster Smith. Cadet Webster Smith was detailed a Navy Judge Advocate Ggeneral (JAG) officer as his detailed military counsel. The Individual Military Counsel is the lead counsel. He is a civilian and he is in charge of the defense team.

CDR Smith received a Pioneer Award. What does that mean? A “Pioneer” is a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.

The Award could have been called the Trailblazer Award. Trailblazer is a synonym for Pioneer. The term trailblazer signifies those who strike out on a new path or break new ground, either literally or symbolically, using skills of innovation or brave constitutions to conduct their lives off the beaten path. Often known for independent thought, rugged individualism and pioneering ways, trailblazers throughout history have included cutting-edge inventors, explorers and healers. Trailblazers throughout history all have shared an innovative spirit that kept them going when told their endeavors would be fruitless or against impossible odds. All have made their mark on history and mankind by refusing to quit and pushing ahead, most often into uncharted territory. When Merle James Smith entered the Coast Guard Academy in June 1962 he was sailing into uncharted waters. He had no chart, compass or navigator; yet, he reached his destination.

In 2007 CDR Smith was inducted into the Coast Guard Academy’s Hall of Heroes. On November 08, 2014, another member of the Class of 1966 was also inducted into the Hall of Heroes. He was CDR James Ellis. On that day the Pentagon, the Defense Department and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave an award to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for its support of the Vietnam War.

 http://www.theday.com/military/20141108/heroes-have-their-day-at-cga_

Standing next to CDR Ellis after the ceremony, CDR Smith said, “He’s the same guy. He hasn’t changed a bit. I have always respected him and liked him.”

“It’s particularly challenging for us to have gone to a place like Vietnam where you can’t even speak the language of the people that you are trying to save, but you go and do it anyway,” CDR Smith said.

CDR Ellis acknowledged after the ceremony that those who served in Vietnam were beginning to get recognized for their service, but “it’s 50 years later.”

http://newbrunswick.archivalweb.com/scans/USCGAA/The%20Bulletin/Volume%2069%20%282007%29/2007-06_Volume%2069_No.03_030.pdf

CDR Smith has served as an adjunct Professor of Law at the Coast Guard Academy. He also served as the Legal Counsel for General Dynamics, Electric Boat.

In February, 1976 the Coast Guard Academy announced the appointments of female cadets to enter with the Class of 1980. Fourteen women  graduated as part of the Academy’s Class of 1980.

In 1991 a Women’s Advisory Council was established.

In 2000 the Coast Guard  promoted its first female officer to Rear Admiral. She was Captain Vivien S. Crea. She was not an Academy graduate.

In 2009 CAPT Sandra L. Stosz was promoted to Rear Admiral, becoming the first female graduate of the Coast Guard Academy to reach flag rank.

The Coast Guard was the first Military Service Academy to select a woman superintendent of the academy.  Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz, Coast Guard Director of Reserve and Leadership, was selected as Superintendent of the Academy. Rear Admiral Stosz graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in the Class of 1982.

In 2008 the Academy hosted a free, public Women’s Equality Day information fair on August 26 in Munro Hall at the Academy.

Each year since 1971, when President Jimmy Carter designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day, the United States has recognized the struggle for equal rights for women.

The Coast Guard Academy celebrates the event with the theme “Strengthening Our Communities” by hosting various Coast Guard and regional community groups on campus.

“This was billed as a great opportunity for members of our Coast Guard and surrounding New London community to network and learn from the organizations that help support and strengthen Academy leadership,” said LTJG Colleen Jones, Assistant Civil Rights Officer at the Academy and the event organizer.

The various organizations in attendance were the Greater New Haven National Organization of Women, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Connecticut, National Naval Officers Association, Academy Women, Toastmasters, CG Educational Services, CG Child Development Center, and the League of Women Voters.

April 09, 2016 Regimental Review in honor of CDR Merle James Smith, Jr. USCGA (Ret.) and 13 Gun Salute.

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Wake Up America, Your Foundations Are Being Destroyed

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:3)

Our dangers are of two kinds, those which affect our religion, and those which affect our government.  They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated.

The foundations which support the interest of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own.

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys.  

In the proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation either through unbelief or the corruption of its doctrine or the neglect of its institutions, in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of  complete despotism. I hold this to be a TRUTH confirmed by experience.

It follows, that all efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness.  

Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.    –Jedidiah Morse (1799)

Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826) a Yale divinity school graduate, and father of Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code, was highly alarmed by how far the American laity and clergy had moved from sound Bible doctrine by the influence of European rationalism.  In a 1799 sermon  Morse said If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

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Barrack Hussein Obama Outed As Muslin By Former Pastor And Mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright

Obama was outed by his former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, as a Muslim and not a Christian. To be outed means to have your cover blown, to have your identity declared, disclosed, or divulged. It means to have your secret identity brought out into the open, to be brought to light.

Obama’s Former Pastor: I Helped Obama Accept Christianity Without Having to Renounce Islam

In a stunning interview, NY Times best selling author Ed Klein said Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright helped Obama accept Christianity without having to renounce Islam.

In his book “The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House,”, Klein interviewed Wright for three and a half hours. Wright told him of Obama’s secret efforts to keep him quiet during the presidential campaign. But the more significant material spotlights how important Wright was to Obama’s thinking even before the future president began going to Wright’s church in 1988.

“It’s one thing for Obama to sit in the church and listen to the Rev. Wright spew his hatred against whites, Jews, and America,” Klein says. “But in my view, having spoken to the Rev. Wright, that paled by comparison with the personal relationship that Obama had that went way beyond his simply being a member of the church listening to all this stuff.”

Obama began his relationship with Wright, whom he has called a mentor and sounding board, three years before he began attending Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

“Obama went to the Rev. Wright at every stage of his career whenever things went wrong,” says Klein, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and a former editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine.

“For instance, when he lost the 2000 congressional election for the seat that Bobby Rush, the former Black Panther, holds from the South Side of Chicago,” Klein says. “He was in a state of terrible depression, and he owed a great deal of money, and his marriage was on the rocks. Who did he go to? He went to the Rev. Wright for marriage counselling. He went to the Rev. Wright about what shall I do next, Rev? Every step of his career, every step of his development as a political figure was made in conjunction with conversations that he had with the Rev. Wright personally.”

As revealed in the book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” just before Wright spoke at the National Press Club, Obama secretly met on April 4, 2008 with Wright at Trinity’s parsonage where Wright then lived.

So that they would not be noticed, agents made a point of driving Obama in a mini-van instead of the usual Suburban. They parked their other vehicles a block away. Obama spent an hour with Wright and then left.

“At this secret meeting with him, Obama practically begged him not to go on and speak any further,” Klein says. “This was after one of Obama’s best friends had sent an email to a member of the church saying that he was prepared to give the Rev. Wright $150,000 if he would shut up. The Rev. Wright told me that he has saved that email.”

In the recorded interview, Wright says he basically could not afford to shut up for $150,000, Klein says.

“Wright explained he had expenses that he had to pay,” Klein says. “He had a child and a couple of grand-kids in college that he was paying for. And so he goes around the United States giving sermons and making speeches, and he gets paid for that.”

Klein says Obama originally sought out Wright to discuss community activism.

“Quickly the conversations turned from picking up garbage on the street and getting streetlights put up on street corners to political matters and religious matters,” Klein says. “And the Rev. Wright turned into really a substitute father figure, who guided Obama in the two major areas of his life.”

The first area was Obama’s identity — just who was he?

“Obama was steeped in Islam, he knew a lot about Islam, but knew nothing about Christianity,” Klein says.

Klein asked, “Do you think he [Obama] ever thought of himself as a Muslim?” To which Wright replied, “Yep, yep, yep, and that was this thing, I’m sure he got some grief, not proselytising grief, but grief from that part of his family, just from, and I say that based on my wide range of Muslim friends.”

Klein asked Wright if he converted Obama from being a Muslim into a Christian. He said, “I don’t know about that, but I can tell you that I made it easy for him to come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is and not feel that he was turning his back on his Islamic friends and his Islamic traditions and his understanding of Islam,” Wright said.

The second area was Obama’s political philosophy. Wright introduced Obama to Black Liberation theology.

“Black Liberation theology is based essentially on the Marxist belief that there is an oppressor class and an oppressed class,” Klein says. “And in the case of Black Liberation theology, the oppressor class are the whites, and the oppressed are the blacks. And there is a ‘maldistribution’ of wealth in this country, a quote from Black Liberation theology.”

The point is that wealth should be redistributed.

“This is quite close, if not identical, to Marxist beliefs,” Klein says.

Happier times: Rev. Wright was considered as a ‘Second Father’ to Obama.

As noted in the story “Media Blackout on Rev. Wright Started in 2007,” for three months during Obama’s primary campaign, the mainstream media ignored Newsmax stories reporting on Rev. Wright’s hate-filled sermons; his denunciations of America, whites, and Israel; and the fact that he gave an award for lifetime achievement to Louis Farrakhan.

By the time the media picked up the stories, Obama was ahead of Hillary Clinton in the primary elections.

According to a Hillary Clinton aide quoted in David Remnick’s “The Ridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,” if the media had run the Wright story just two months earlier, Obama’s candidacy “would have been over.”

“Everybody says Obama sat there for 20 years listening to the Rev. Wright spew his anti-white, anti-Jewish, anti-American tirade in church,” Klein says. “The fact of the matter is that his relationship with the Rev. Wright goes back further than his membership in the church and sitting and listening to the Rev. Wright.”

Klein says it was clear from his interview with Wright that he felt abandoned and stabbed in the back by Obama.

“For many, many years, Wright was Obama’s single most important intellectual and spiritual guide, and when things got rough, Obama threw him under the bus,” Klein says. “Wright was still stinging from that experience.”

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE 

An Iranian Woman Refugee, Aynaz Anni Cyrus, Warns of Insidious Muslim Threat That Will Topple the U.S. Constitution.
Aynaz Anni Cyrus is a 31-year-old Iranian-born woman who rejected Islam and fled Iran to America legally in her teens. She came to the United States after years of persecution, torture, and imprisonment. She now lives as an American citizen. Anni wants everyone to know the truth behind the threat of Islam that is not being told. She says the Muslim leaders objective is to mainstream Islam and convert the United States to a Muslim country – period. There are people in power at the federal level who also want that. Anni’s information has been ignored by the mainstream media. Her insights are compelling, Anni Cyrus states the following:
• There is no such thing as a “moderate” Muslim. All Muslims are bound by the Quran to be called to Jihad and will kill when ordered to accomplish a Muslim conversion.
• ISIS is alive and well in the United States
• ISIS is not the only threat. The infiltration of Syrian refuges who are not fully vetted will expose the United States to random and recurrent acts of terrorism on our own soil. All Muslim followers should be subject to scrutiny.
President Obama is actually a Shiite Muslim and quotes messages from the Quran.
• The ultimate goal of real Muslims is to convert everyone to Islam. The United States as we know it will no longer exist. Freedom of religion would become a state-ordered religion of Islam.
• Muslims hold positions of power at the federal level and are silently influencing a gradual Muslim transition that will persecute non-Muslims, women, homosexuals, and anyone who is an “infidel.”
• This insidious, hidden threat cannot be handled with tolerance and passive disinterest. It will destroy American freedoms at their core. Change must be now.

Aynaz Anni Cyrus’ Background:

• Lashed a total of 109 times on different occasions.
• Imprisoned 12 times from age 9 to 14.
• Raped.
• Denied high school even though she rated “exceptional” on national intelligence tests and scholastic exams.
• Was not raised by her mother until the age of three because her mother was imprisoned While in prison her mother was tortured.
• Witnessed an adult inmate’s suicide attempt at the age of 11 while she was jailed at an adults prison
• Forced to marry an abusive man at a very young age who tortured, raped, and beat her. A judge refused to grant her a divorce.
• Anni witnessed her best friend being savagely sodomized by guards after she and Anni had been jailed for singing in public.

Anni wants everyone to know the truth about modern day Islam. She has a compelling message of what will happen in the United States if the Muslim threat is not curtailed.

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Is Charleston Burning?

 Is Charleston burning? No! 

Why not? Well, I submit it is because Christians in the South, both black and white, love each other and they love Jesus. They are wise enough to not react to outside agitators and not burn their own town. And, to a certain extent, Blacks in the South, still know their place. 

But, there has been major progress in the South. Dr M L King said “the South will solve its race problem long before the North.” In the South Blacks and white have lived next to each other forever, and most white babies were suckled by Black nurse maids. And Sunday morning is no longer the most segregated time of the week. 

It is inspiring and encouraging to see the mutual respect that white and Black Christians show each other. The memorial service at Emmanuel AME was beautiful to watch. Black and white Christians singing and praying together. 

God is love. His truth is ever lasting and His mercy endures forever. Bravo Charleston. You have shown the world that Love is stronger than hate; Black and white Christians can live together in peace.

People are praying for racial accord in a city that built its initial fortunes on slavery and has been shaped in part by racial tension and violence since its founding in 1670.

The Rev. Norvel Goff at the slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s empty seat.

Charleston Appeals for Unity as Services Honor Shooting Victims

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church reopens; parishioners and civic leaders vow to build racial accord

Worshipers gathered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., for the first Sunday service on Fathers’ Day, June 21, 2015, since a shooting rampage there killed nine people.(Above: The Rev. Norvel Goff at the slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s empty seat. Photo: David Goldman/Press Pool Photo: AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C.— Community leaders and parishioners across this historic city vowed on Sunday to build racial accord in the wake of last week’s killings of nine black members of an African-American church, allegedly by a white man.

Hundreds filled the pews of the historic church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“The doors of the church are open,” declared the Rev. Norvel Goff during prayers. “No evildoer, no demon in hell or on Earth can close the doors of God’s church,” he proclaimed.

They sang hymns, prayed and remembered the nine church members shot to death Wednesday night during Bible study.

One of the victims was the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney. His seat behind the podium was shrouded in black cloth and uniformed police officers were present in the side aisles.

Overcoming evil with faith in God was a theme throughout the service.

“It’s by faith that we are standing here and sitting here,” Goff said. “It has been tough. It has been rough. Some of us have been downright angry. But through it all God has sustained us.”

But as church bells rang and black and white parishioners prayed together at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the site of the attack, and at other houses of worship, signs of how challenging that will be were apparent.

At Emanuel AME, a rapturous and racially diverse crowd packed the church, dancing, singing hymns and shaking tambourines to show that the killings could not shake the resolve or faith of one of the oldest black churches in the nation.

Churchgoers lined the walls and crowded the balcony in bow ties and three-piece suits. Hundreds of people stood in the streets, near speakers, to listen to the service. Numerous police officers guarded the proceedings, and teams of grief counselors were on hand.

A lot of people expected us to do something strange and break out into a riot,” the Rev. Norvel Goff said from the pulpit. “Well, they just don’t know us. They don’t know us because we are a people of faith.” He praised the city for responding with love and compassion.

The minister also vowed to pursue justice for those slain. “We’re going to be vigilant, and we’re going to hold our elected officials responsible to do the right thing,” he said, calling for justice for “those who are still living in the margins of life.”

Charleston built its initial fortunes on slavery and has been shaped in part by racial tension and violence since its founding in 1670. The first shots of the Civil War were fired here, and much of its robust tourist industry plays to notions of a genteel antebellum South, a gentility that was propped up by the institution of slavery.

Over the past few decades the city has changed dramatically, with major companies relocating to the region and upscale shops and vogue restaurants dotting the downtown.

Large banners appeared on some buildings after the shootings, urging racial harmony. An interracial rally was planned for Sunday evening across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a dramatic span that dominates the city skyline.

Yet outer neighborhoods and nearby communities are impoverished, and many say racial tensions fueled by economic disparities and other issues linger beneath the surface.

 

As congregants left the church, a large, mostly white crowd greeted them by singing the song “Amazing Grace,” a show of support that brought tears to many peoples’ eyes as they stepped into the hot South Carolina sun.

A little more than a mile away, about 150 parishioners, almost all of them white, gathered for Holy Communion at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, one of the oldest parishes in the city. Both George Washington and Robert E. Lee once prayed at this ornate church, built in the 1700s, and Charles Pinckney, a signer of the Constitution and a prominent slave-owner, is buried in the adjacent graveyard.

Alfred T.K. Zadig Jr., the 47- year-old rector of St. Michael’s, said he was having dinner only a block away from Emanuel when the shooting took place Wednesday night, and the tragedy made him realize how little connection he had to the city’s black churches.

“I did not know one single person in that church,” said. Mr. Zadig, who has been St. Michael’s rector for eight years. The church now is committing itself to building a relationship with Charleston’s black churches, including contributing money to help Emanuel and inviting members of Emanuel to preach at St. Michael’s, the pastor said.

(By Cameron McWhirter, Josh Dawsey and Mara Gay)

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“Mayor For Life”, Marion Barry Was First American To Take A Bullet In War on Terror Against Muslim Extremists

“Mayor For Life”, Marion Barry was a freedom fighter. He is the first elected official in America to get shot fighting Muslim Extremists. In 1977 when Hanafi Muslims took over the District Building , Barry was shot during the incident. His survival seemed to boost his “unstoppable” image. A sometimes controversial but always tireless advocate for Washington, D.C., Marion Barry created jobs for generations of Black families, became the ultimate District of Columbia politician. Barry first made a name for himself in the Deep racially segregated South as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement; then he brought that fierce advocacy to D.C. to support the fight for “Home Rule” where local residents would be freed from the rule of Congress to manage their own city affairs, something referred to today as “taxation without representation”. He has left a strong legacy for so many young people to build upon.

Marion Barry was the first American to take a bullet in the War on Terror against Muslim Extremists. He was first and foremost a lover of America and the American Dream. This is his true legacy; this is the real story of the Life of Marion Barry. The Media focuses on a few incidents of misuse of controlled substances, but they choose to ignore the greater story. That is the rise from the dirt poor humble beginnings of a sharecropper’s family on a cotton plantation in Mississippi to become the Mayor for Life of the Nation’s Capitol, Washington, D.C.. That is a modern day Horatio Alger Story. That is the essence of the American Dream. Marion Barry signifies the best in the American Dream. His story is what Dr Martin Luther King was talking about in his I Have A Dream Speech.

‘Some Things You Never Forget’

Hostages who were held by gunmen at the B'nai B'rith International Center board a bus after their release. The March 1977 siege by a group of Hanafi Muslims lasted 39 hours and ended with one person dead and dozens hurt.

Hostages who were held by gunmen at the B’nai B’rith International Center board a bus after their release. The March 1977 siege by a group of Hanafi Muslims lasted 39 hours and ended with one person dead and dozens hurt. (1977 Associated Press Photo)

The small scar above Marion Barry’s heart has had three decades to fade, but it’s still noticeable — evidence that some things don’t disappear with time.

For 39 hours in March 1977 — before the word “terrorism” entered our daily vocabulary — 12 gunmen paralyzed the District in a three-point siege. The group of Hanafi Muslims held about 150 people hostage in three buildings, and before they surrendered, a young reporter was killed and dozens were injured, including D.C. Council member Barry. A shotgun pellet pierced his chest, right above his heart, nearly killing him.

“It’s been a long time, but some things you never forget. And that’s one of them,” Barry said in an interview.

This morning, many who remember those three days and others who simply recognize their significance will gather in the Wilson Building’s fifth-floor press room. They will unveil two plaques and dedicate the room to Maurice Williams, the WHUR-FM radio reporter who was shot as he stepped off an elevator in the District Building, the name of the city government’s headquarters at the time.

The building was one of the three places targeted in the siege, along with the B’nai B’rith International Center, at the time on Rhode Island Avenue NW, and the Islamic Center, on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

“I believe this incident was one of the more traumatic incidents in the history of this city, and the fact that he was the only African American journalist ever killed in the line of duty . . . makes it a very special occasion,” Paul Brock, who was WHUR’s news director when Williams was a student intern, said yesterday.

Brock will be among those gathered. “It’s an incident that everyone should know about,” he said. “It was a hint of things to come.”

The siege started March 9, 1977, at a time when security was still relaxed in government buildings and hostage videos weren’t a few clicks away on the Internet. It was before people searched mail for white powder or suicide bombings claimed regular headlines. It was a time when Judge London Steverson did not even have to show his identification card to gain entrance to his office in the International Division of Coast Guard Headquarters across town in the Volpe Transportation Building at 700 D Street, SW.

“This was an early wake-up call about violence and terrorism and the extent to which groups will go to engage in violence either for the sake of violence or to make a point,” Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, said yesterday. “Little did we know 30 years ago that this kind of issue would be a daily concern for all of us, not only here in Washington but abroad as well.” He will speak at today’s event.

The 12 gunmen had several demands. They wanted the government to hand over a group of men who had been convicted of killing seven relatives — mostly children — of takeover leader Hamaas Abdul Khaalis. They also demanded that the movie “Mohammad, Messenger of God” be destroyed because they considered it sacrilegious.

Most of the hostages, more than 100, were captured at the B’nai B’rith headquarters.

Rae Ehrlich, a secretary on the fourth floor of the Jewish organization’s building at the time, was among those held captive.

“A girl came in screaming, ‘There are men with guns!’ ” Ehrlich, 83, recalled. She and others locked themselves in her boss’s office, she said. “The next thing we heard were men coming in and saying, ‘Unlock the door or we’re going to kill you all.’

They shattered a glass panel in the door and then took everyone downstairs, she said. “When I entered the second floor, there were bodies on top of bodies. I thought everyone was dead,” she said.

In the room where she was held, men were placed on one side, their hands tied behind them, and women on the other. She remembered wearing a dress that day and slowly unhemming the bottom, hoping the length would help her avoid attention. The men had it worse, she said. Some were not allowed to use the bathroom and had to relieve themselves where they stood.

One of the captors told them that “if anyone does anything wrong, he’ll cut their head and throw it out of the window,” she recalled.

Ambassadors from Iran, Pakistan and Egypt worked with police to persuade the men to give up. When they were finally released, Ehrlich and others went to a hotel, where counselors were waiting. “They said, ‘You cry it out, you write it out. Whatever you need to get it out of your system,’ ” Ehrlich said. She cried only once, when she saw the headlines the next day. “Then I cried,” she said. “I got it out of my system.”

Mayor For Life, Marion Barry said one lesson from that day has remained with him. “That God’s in charge,” he said. “Life is not promised. You could be gone in a flash.

He walked into the hallway of the District Building after hearing a commotion and was hit by a ricocheted shotgun pellet. He recalled stumbling back into the council chambers, dazed and “scared to death.”

Down the hall, a security guard lay wounded and would die a few days later from a heart attack. Williams, also nearby, was dead. Barry, who was elected mayor the following year, said he knew Williams as a “young, aggressive, budding reporter who took his job seriously.”

Williams was 24. Two years ago, the National Association of Black Journalists voted to create a scholarship in his honor, something Brock had pushed for. Williams’s mother, Bertha, who lives in Maryland, will attend today’s ceremony.

“He was very serious journalist. He wanted to tell stories that needed to be told,” Brock said. “I believe if his life had not been cut short . . . that he would have evolved into a renowned national journalist.”

(By Theresa Vargas,3/ 12/ 2007, Washington Post Staff Writer) 

John W. King wrote about the Hanafi siege in his book, The Breeding of Contempt. The book chronicles the siege and his family’s becoming the first African American family in the Federal Witness Protection Program after the massacre of the Khaalis family.

The siege is mentioned in Joni Mitchell‘s song “Otis And Marlena” from her 1977 album Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. In the song, the title characters travel “for sun and fun / While Muslims stick up Washington”.

The Jonathan Leaf play The Caterers, which was produced Off Broadway in 2005, portrayed a modern-day version of the siege.

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“Mayor For Life”, Marion Barry, Says Good-bye

Marion Barry, the politician known as “Mayor for Life” has died at the age of 78. He served four terms as Mayor of Washington D. C. and was the most beloved local leader in four decades of District of Columbia self-rule.

Mourners gathered inside a cavernous hall at the Washington Convention Center to pay their final respects to former Washington D. C. Mayor Marion Barry.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered the eulogy, which was a roll call of Civil Rights Heroes, at the December 6 funeral. In his eulogy, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called Barry, who came to Washington as the first chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a “freedom fighter” who joins the pantheon of civil rights leaders who died before him. “Marion was one of the architects of the new South and the new America,” Jackson said. “Marion Barry emancipated Washington.”

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Other speakers included the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who appeared on video. Barry’s widow and son also spoke.

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Washington, D.C., on Thursday, December 4,  began a three-day final farewell to former Mayor Marion Barry.

Barry, known as the District of Columbia’s “Mayor for Life” after four terms in office, died on Nov. 23 at 78 due to heart problems. He was a city councilman when he died, representing impoverished Ward 8.

Barry’s coffin, draped in West African kente cloth and piled high with red roses, lay in repose at city hall after police pallbearers carried it past mourners, media and political leaders.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. accompanied Barry’s family into the black-draped building.

Many of the mourners said Barry, the son of a Mississippi sharecropper, had transformed the U.S. capital by giving jobs and hope to black residents.

Mayor Vincent Gray, (2nd from the left in above photo)a longtime friend and political ally of Barry, said Barry stood up for people with intellectual disabilities long before it was politically popular to do so. Gray, who directed an organization for the intellectually disabled, recalled how Barry dealt with a wealthy resident who didn’t want a group home in his neighborhood. “Mayor Barry said, and I quote, ‘You really don’t want any answers, do you? If you want to talk about how we will make this work, I will stay with you all night. Otherwise, I have nothing else to say to you.’ That was vintage Barry,” Gray said. “The home opened and was a huge success.”

The Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam who was in Washington to support Barry,  said he was asked by a reporter at the time what he thought of a man who broke his marital vows and used drugs. I said, ‘Who are you talking about, John Fitzgerald Kennedy?’ That ended the press conference,” Farrakhan said to a raucous ovation. “I only raised that for those who like to talk about our deficiencies while they hide the wickedness of their own leaders.”

Farrakhan also credited Barry with the success of the Million Man March on the National Mall, which he organized and led in 1995. “The Million Man March could never have happened in any other city at any other time than in Washington, D.C. at the time of Marion Barry,” Farrakhan said.

Barry’s only son, Christopher Barry, thanked his father for teaching him both academic and life lessons, including a formative trip to Barry’s native Mississippi when he was 13. He said Barry wasn’t a conventional father, but he always felt the love Barry had for his constituents. “I didn’t always feel like he had the time to spend with me as a father,” Christopher Barry said. “It was other people that embraced me. I never felt his absence because I always felt his love through others.”

Charles Wilson, 54, was one of many mourners who wore a T-shirt printed with photos of Barry. A native Washingtonian and a social worker in the city, Wilson said he got his first job at age 13, working for the city’s parks and recreation department, through Barry’s summer youth program. “He was our father. He gave us jobs. He’s done a lot for the city. Whatever I have belongs to him – my house, my car, my job with D.C. government,” Wilson said.

“He’s like a messiah for the district. He paved the way for many, many, many of us, African Americans as well as people in general,” said Diane Lyons, 54, a healthcare worker.

Bernard Barker, 53, a laborer who had arrived at 6:30 a.m. to be first in line, prayed at Barry’s coffin.

“I just said, ‘God bless you, Mr. Marion Barry, God bless your family.’ I know he’s going to heaven because he did a lot of good for the city,” Barker said.

Washington planned three days of commemoration, with a motorcade carrying Barry’s coffin on Friday, December 5, to the Temple of Praise church, where he had worshipped.

A memorial service at Washington’s Convention Center drew thousands. The Reverend Jesse Jackson delivered the eulogy.

Barry became mayor in 1979 and focused resources on poor neighborhoods, government contracts for Black businesses and jobs on the city payroll.

Brief Bio

Marion Barry Jr. was born on March 6, 1936 in Itta Bena, Mississippi. His father worked as a sharecropper and passed away when he was only four. His mom moved the family to Memphis, TN. remarried and raised nine children. As a young boy, Barry took on multiple jobs to assist his family, including picking cotton.

Civil Rights Activist

This young man applied his work ethic to his education too. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958 from Le Moyne College and in 1960 received his master’s degree in chemistry from Fisk University. London Steverson had plans to attend Fisk University if he had not received a principal appointment to the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT..  His passion for the Civil Rights Movement kept him from completing his doctorate. Instead, Barry’s efforts went into the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); he served as its first national chairman. In 1965, he moved to Washington, D.C. to launch a local chapter.

Undergraduate studies at LeMoyne College

Barry attended LeMoyne College (now LeMoyne–Owen College), graduating in 1958. Judge London Steverson attended LeMoyne College in the Summer of 1962 while still a student at Woodstock High School. In his junior year of college, all of the racial injustices he had seen started to come together. There was a fair ground in Memphis that he and his friends decided to go to; it was a segregated fair. They went to the fair at the time that the white people were supposed to go, because they wanted to see the science exhibit. When they were close to the exhibit, a policeman stopped them and asked them to leave. Barry and his friends left without protesting the policeman. At that time, Barry did not know much about his race, or why they were treated poorly, but it did not sit well with him. After this experience, Barry became a more active member of the NAACP chapter at LeMoyne; he became the president. While at LeMoyne, his ardent support of the civil rights movement earned him the nickname “Shep”, in reference to Soviet politician Dmitri Shepilov. Barry began using Shepilov as his middle name. In 1958 at LeMoyne, he criticized a college trustee for remarks he felt were demeaning to African Americans, which nearly caused his expulsion. While he was a senior and the president of the NAACP, Barry heard of Walter Chandler—the only white member on LaMoyne’s board of trustees—making comments that black people should be treated as a “younger brother not as an adult.” Barry did not appreciate the comments made by Chandler, and wrote a letter to LeMoyne’s president asking if Walter Chandler could be removed from the board A friend of Barry’s was the editor of the school newspaper, The Magician, and told Barry to run the letter in the paper. From there, the letter made it to the front page of Memphis’ conservative morning paper.

Political Ambitions

In 1967, Barry co-founded Pride, Inc., a jobs program for unemployed black men. Next, Barry began his foray into politics by winning a seat on the D.C. School Board in 1972; two years later, he was elected to city council. But his success put Barry in the line of fire, literally. Hanafi Muslims took over the District Building in 1977 and Barry was shot during the incident. His survival seemed to boost his “unstoppable” image.

Mayor Barry

After just three years on the city council, the democrat ran for mayor and won in 1978. He was reelected two more times.

Despite being the political comeback kid, Barry continued to have brushes with the law involving such accusations as drugs, tax evasion, probation violation, traffic offenses and stalking. In 2010, he was censured and stripped of his committee chairmanship because of corruption allegations. Still, in 2012, he was elected for a third straight city council term. His story may become an HBO biopic with Eddie Murphy playing Barry and Spike Lee as the director.

Death

In June 2014, Barry had published his autobiography, Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. In a New York Times interview after its release, he said, “I serve as an inspiration for those who are going through all kinds of things.”

Marion S. Barry Jr. died on November 23, 2014 at the age of 78 in Washington D.C. According to a statement, the former mayor had numerous health issues over the years including high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate cancer and kidney ailments.

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A Murder Most Foul In New York

Murder Most Foul. What does lynching look like in 21st Century America?

This is one version. Another season, another reason to kill an unarmed Black man in America.

It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Citing “centuries of racism that have brought us to this day,” Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the fact that protesters have rallied around the statement “Black lives matter” reflects a sad situation, that such an idea needs to be both stated and repeated.

“It’s a phrase that should never have to be said,” the mayor said. “It should be self-evident.

De Blasio also said that after the grand jury’s decision, other inquiries continue, including one by the New York Police Department. Saying that he had just spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder, de Blasio said that the federal government is “clearly engaged and poised to act.”

The U S Justice Department will launch a federal civil rights investigation after the Staten Island grand jury declined to bring charges in the case of Eric Garner, an African American who died this summer after a white New York City police officer placed him in an apparent chokehold during an arrest.

Garner, 43, died July 17 after Officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold during an arrest that was recorded on videos, which have contributed to public anger over the treatment of African American men by police.

Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, expressed outrage at the decision. “I don’t know what video they were looking at, not the same one as the rest of the world,” Carr said at a press conference. “How could we put our trust in the justice system when they fail us like this?”  


Eric Garner’s widow, Esaw, said  that “it was like a modern-day lynching. They had it out for him.”

 “It’s a very emotional day for our city. It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We’re grieving — again — over the loss of Eric Garner, who was a father, a husband, a son, a good man — a man who should be with us, and isn’t.”

There were five Staten island police officers involved in the chocking death of Garner. Other officers present on July 17 were not facing indictment as they were offered immunity in exchange for testimony.

The police officer who applied the choke hold to Garder was Officer Daniel Pantaleo. He is the plains clothed officer in the above photo wearing number 99. He issued a statement which he said was in the nature of an apology.  When asked  whether she accepted Police Officer Pantaleo’s apology, Esaw Garner flatly declared: “Hell no.”

“The time for remorse would have been when my husband was yelling to breathe. That would have been the time for him to show some type of remorse or some type of care for another human being’s life—when he was screaming 11 times that he can’t breathe,” Esaw Garner said.  “There’s nothing that him or his prayers or anything else will make me feel any different. No, I don’t accept his apology. No, I can care less about his condolences. He’s still working, still getting a paycheck, still feeding is kids when my husband is six feet under and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now.”

The NYPD bans the use of the chokehold; Pantaleo’s attorney, Stuart London, argued that the officer used an approved take-down move, which he learned in police academy, because Garner was resisting arrest.  “There was no pressure ever applied to his throat or neck area,” London said.

The New York City medical examiner’s office classified Garner’s death as homicide due to “compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” The office also mentioned Garner’s asthma and hypertensive cardiovascular disease as contributing factors.

London said Pantaleo remains on modified assignment on Staten Island.

The NYPD will conduct an internal investigation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. New York’s two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D), had said they would urge the Justice Department to investigate.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said, “While there will be people who disagree with today’s grand jury decision, it is important that we respect the legal process and rule of law.”

Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. is seeking a court order that would allow him to release “specific information in connection with this grand jury investigation”. Donovan has not commented on which charges the grand jury considered. Legal experts agree that the grand jury could have considered lesser homicide charges, including second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Since the New York City medical examiner’s office classified Garner’s death as homicide, it was reasonable to assume that some one was responsible for Garner’s death, since he did not die of natural causes. As such, a reasonable Grand Jury member would have been constrained to return an indictment for negligent homicide, at the very least. Not to do that flies in the face of all logic, and renders the Grand Jury process devoid of all credibility.

Peaceful protests began immediately in New York City. Above is a “Die-In’ at New York’s Grand Central Train Station.

Largely peaceful demonstrations gathered strength and snarled traffic in locations throughout the city, including Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and near Rockefeller Center, after it was announced that no criminal charges would be brought against officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.

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Early American Female Poets

Phillis Wheatley (1753 – 1784) was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.

The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) brought her fame both in England and the American colonies; figures such as George Washington praised her work. During Wheatley’s visit to England with her master’s son, the African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem.

At the age of eight, she was sold to the wealthy Boston merchant and tailor John Wheatley, who bought the young girl as a servant for his wife Susanna. John and Susanna Wheatley named the young girl Phillis, after the ship that had brought her to America. She was given their last name of Wheatley, as was a common custom if any surname was used for slaves.

The Wheatley’s eighteen-year-old daughter, Mary, first tutored Phillis in reading and writing. Their son Nathaniel also helped her. John Wheatley was known as a progressive throughout New England; his family gave Phillis an unprecedented education for an enslaved person, and for a female of any race. By the age of twelve, Phillis was reading Greek and Latin classics and difficult passages from the Bible. Recognizing her literary ability, the Wheatley family supported Phillis’ education and left the household labor to their other domestic slaves. The Wheatleys often showed off Phillis’ abilities to friends and family. Strongly influenced by her studies of the works of Alexander Pope, John Milton, Homer, Horace and Virgil, Phillis Wheatley began to write poetry.

Her poetry expressed Christian themes, and many poems were dedicated to famous figures. Over one-third consist of elegies, the remainder being on religious, classical, and abstract themes. She seldom referred to her own life in her poems. One example of a poem on slavery is “On being brought from Africa to America”:

Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic dye.”
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.

Historians have commented on her reluctance to write about slavery. Perhaps it was because she had conflicting feelings about the institution. In the above poem, critics have said that she praises slavery because it brought her to Christianity. But, in another poem, she wrote that slavery was a cruel fate.

Many white colonists found it difficult to believe that an African slave was writing excellent poetry. Wheatley had to defend her authorship of her poetry in court in 1772. She was examined by a group of Boston luminaries, including John Erving, Reverend Charles Chauncey, John Hancock, Thomas Hutchinson, the governor of Massachusetts, and his lieutenant governor Andrew Oliver. They concluded she had written the poems ascribed to her and signed an attestation, which was included in the preface of her book of collected works: Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, published in London in 1773. Publishers in Boston had declined to publish it, but her work was of great interest in London. There Selina, Countess of Huntingdon and the Earl of Dartmouth acted as patrons to help Wheatley gain publication.

Wheatley was emancipated after the death of her master John Wheatley. She married soon after. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.

Anne Bradstreet (1612 – 1672) was the most prominent of early English poets of North America and first female writer in the British North American colonies to be published. Her first volume of poetry was The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published in 1650. It was met with a positive reception in both England and America.

Due to her family’s position, she grew up in cultured circumstances and was a well-educated woman for her time, being tutored in history, several languages and literature.

Both Anne’s father and her husband were instrumental in the founding of Harvard in 1636. Two of her sons were graduates, Samuel (Class of 1653) and Simon (Class of 1660).

Anne Bradstreet uses a variety of metaphors throughout her poetic works. For instance, in Bradstreet’s poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” she uses several poetic features and one being the use of metaphors. In the middle quatrain of “To My Dear and Loving Husband” Bradstreet states:

“I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,

Or all the riches that the East doth hold.

My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,

Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.”

This part of the poem above lets out the logical argument and starts to become truly heartfelt with the use of religious imagery and metaphors. The subject of this poem is her claimed love for her husband as she praises him and asks the heavens to repay him for his love. Bradstreet wrote this poem as a response to her husband’s absence.

In October 1997, the Harvard community dedicated a gate in memory of her as America’s first published poet. The Bradstreet Gate is located next to Canaday Hall, the newest dormitory in Harvard Yard.

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