Republicans say they oppose the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act because it is an attempt on the part of Democrats to win elections in the future by “nationalizing” them, taking away the right of states to arrange their laws as they wish. Voting rights legislation is a “partisan power grab,” Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) insists.
My father ran against that Georgia candidate in the primary and won the popular vote but lost due to the County Unit System. He got out of politics, but lived long enough to take his three children to the first integrated meeting in the Marriott Hotel where the SCLC was meeting in 1964, with MLK speaking and Aretha Franklin singing. Thank God for Black Lives Matter since it has exposed the perpetual system of violence to which citizens of color are still subjected.
Thanks for the great stuff on Harry Truman, my favorite president. Truman may have been racist earlier in his life, but he began to change from his experience in World War I, according to my great-grand-uncle, who was his battery 1st sergeant and then worked for him politically for the rest of his career (and introduced me to him when I was 14). The unit Truman was part of was in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and they were in the part of the American Army that was right next to the French. They got to know the Harlem Hellfighters, who when they got to France were sent to fight with the French, where they established a magnificent record (while introducing the French to American jazz). My Uncle Jim told me they knew of those guys. Truman liked them because he came to like jazz piano, being a piano player himself. And then in the 1920s, when he was a County Judge there in Independence and ended up part of the Pendergast Machine in Kansas City, Tom Pendergast hated the KKK, and Truman went after them and broke them in Independence. At one time, according to my uncle, Truman was carrying a loaded pistol when he was driving in the rural areas outside of the town, because of the Klan.
So when he heard those stories that HCR related here after World War I, he knew what he was talking about when he referenced the "bigotry" after World War I, and that would have predisposed him to believe what he heard.
And then let's remember he was the one who desegregated the armed forces (which didn't really happen till 1951, when the demands of the battlefield in Korea finally overthrew segregated units).
Like I said, my favorite president. He was a self-taught - and pretty darned good - historian in his own right. I know because he gave me a pretty serious quiz on my knowledge of American history when I met him that summer of my 14th birthday, (which I passed).
Amazing. President Truman changed his mind after learning the truth. Would that more politicians could open their eyes, minds, and hearts and act morally.
Heather, what a sobering reminder of why we remember and commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr's life, work, and words year after year! Thank you for this hallowed memorial in his honor.
His "Give us the ballot" speech (1957) is another great way to pay homage to his life's work, given what the repugs are doing around our country.
"Give us the ballot and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights ...
"Give us the ballot and we will no longer plead to the federal government for passage of an anti-lynching law ...
"Give us the ballot and we will fill our legislative halls with men of good will ...
"Give us the ballot and we will place judges on the benches of the South who will do justly and love mercy ...
"Give us the ballot and we will quietly and nonviolently, without rancor or bitterness, implement the Supreme Court's decision of May 17, 1954.""
Equally significant are the words Bernice King reminded us -- in a tweet two days ago -- that her father had also said:
“I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting.”
“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
In honor of all those who worked for civil rights, getting terrorized by lynchings, beaten, skull cracked, yet still persisted, including MLK, John Lewis, Fanny Lou Hamer, and a legion of other heroes…ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, here’s what we can do that’s right!
1. Push your Senator to pressure Manchin WV, Sinema AZ, Collins ME, Murkowski AK, Romney UT, and Sasse NE, and the retiring Republicans who have no excuse (Richard Burr NC, Pat Toomey PA, Rob Portman Ohio, Richard Shelby AL, Roy Blunt MO) to vote YES for the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. All it takes is that much in your message for their staff to put it in the Pro column of their tallying. Or use Romney’s words today against him, that we need voting protection exactly to “get back to normal…to stop the crazy.”
https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm?Class=1 for Senators’ contact info
https://5calls.org/ to call
https://resist.bot/ to text your state Senators
Tweet them or Retweet someone else as a way to bypass obstacles to calling.
2. Pay attention to local races in which to date, a Republican is running unopposed. Local officials rise to state, rise to national. Get Out The Vote efforts sure need Democratic candidates on the down-ballot! Support:
Blue Horizons Texas: https://www.bluehorizontexas.org/
Our Revolution: https://ourrevolution.com/
Run For Something: https://runforsomething.net/
3. Commit to voter registration and Get Out The Vote work:
Fair Fight: https://fairfight.com/
Field Team 6: https://www.fieldteam6.org/ to register Democrats
League of Women Voters: https://www.lwv.org/
4. Support voter protection work, such as court challenges:
Democracy Docket: https://www.democracydocket.com/ super-heroic team of Marc Elias
“To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” ~ John R. Lewis
Jim Jordan has something to worry about. All three of Ohio’s legislative maps were tossed out by the OHSC for the extent which they were gerrymandered. Ohio, like it’s neighbor PA, had been gerrymandering their maps for years, and Jim Jordan’s district actually looked like the old salamander in the cartoon. Well, those Ohio Rs thought they could squeeze a couple more seats out of the map, and - BAM! They got caught w their hand in the cookie jar! Best part is that when the state Supreme Court makes a ruling about elections or district maps, it is rarely overturned at the US Supreme Court level. Let’s all say a prayer that JJ’s days are numbered.
It has been 60+ years since blatant racism was called out in the South and countless brave individuals lost their lives in doing so. Those who were of an age to personally experience the unrest are almost all passed on into history. Perhaps it's part of the reason that we are now beginning to experience similar trends today. Our history is beginning to be lost from the active/dynamic conduct of our public dialogue, in spite of every available means to recall it through our multiple-media capability. The recent elevation of a bigoted, racist chief executive has given permission to a large cohort of scurrilous would-be successors to come out from under cover, emboldened by a lack of swift and harsh consequences for outrageous speech and actions that skirt the margins of criminality.
We're a nation that reveres the right to free speech, the right to assembly, the right to differ in our opinions. What we're seeing is these rights used and abused by a radical fringe. They need to be drowned out by the exercise of these rights by the too-often silent majority, who also cherish inclusion, peaceful protest, compromise, a multicultural society.
Our federal government set boundaries in the constitution within which states have evolved to become the different places that they are. We're seeing an erosion of the boundaries and the need to re-iterate the rules of conduct which define the meaning of United States. Unfortunately , we're not getting much support from either the far right OR SCOTUS in recent years. What is an acceptable response? Lift our voices, focus our activism towards the ballot box, rebuke the tyranny wherever it raises it's insidious head.
"Voting rights legislation is a “partisan power grab,” Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) insists."
Uhm - er ..., how is Republican gerrymandering of districts to put a majority of votes in their favor - and claiming the right to assign their own unelected officials to count the votes - NOT A PARTISAN POWER GRAB?!?!?
"He (Truman) recognized that a one-party state is not a democracy, that it enables the worst of us to torture and kill while the rest live in fear . . "
60 Minutes had a segment Sunday night (The Betrayal) which took up the long researched but never solved question of who betrayed Anne Frank's family's hiding place in Amsterdam. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/anne-frank-betrayal-investigation-60-minutes-video-2022-01-16/
Evidence presented in the program indicates a Jewish man may have been the one to tip off the Nazi's. Of course the speculation of why a fellow Jew would do such a thing and why it wasn't further pursued by Otto Frank (possibly fear of additional violence against Jews) are an interesting psychological assessment, when put into the context of the times, of how people act under the severe stress of fear for their lives. The Nazis were masters of fear.
Nazism was an extreme case of an evil "one-party" but parts of it rears its ugly side throughout our history. That republicans in congress blatantly refuse to vote for the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act in 2022 is more than enough to send a cold chill down everyone's back. It is an unbelievable disgrace and it moves us closer to a one-party government that is so dangerous.
On May 9th1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a speech in Kingstree, SC, about the importance of voting.
‘Let us march on ballot boxes until 'brotherhood' is more than a meaningless word and at the end of a prayer but the first order of business on every Legislature’s slate or agenda. Let us march on ballot boxes’
‘Dr. King always recognized the power of music as an “instrument of change.” Aside from his familial influence, which included gospel music of all types, his other major influences included such renowned artists as Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Swan Silvertones, Nina Simone, ‘Miriam Makeba, and other great vocalists' (Internationalmusician) See link below.
The following are links to Mahalia Jackson singing, 'Trouble of the World' and Nina Simone singing 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free'.
'I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people joyful; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.'
- Martin Luther
Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to horrify me. How thankful we all can be for the Harry S. Trumans of the world, who see something and say something. And thank you, Heather, for the perfect reminder for MLK Day about why we must never surrender or fade in our efforts to fight against a return to such dark days. Stay safe and warm.
Hi Heather, I've recently learned that the ERA had been ratified by all required 38 states. VA having ratified on 1/27/20. But that ratification is set to expire 1/27/22 unless the archivist records it. The archivist was instructed by trump not to do so, thus stopping the ERA from becoming a constitutional amendment. I have more details on this but would love to hear your thoughts on how we can get this over the finish line by 1/27/22! Thanks for all you do!
Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Happy Birthday To Ya, MLK, JR.!!
I am always grateful for the leaders of conviction with conscience. Men and women who believe and stand up for equal rights for all. I am also constantly stunned and yes angered by those who refer to themselves as “supreme”. Yet, they are not more than mere criminals, thugs who for reasons of their own believe and act in ways to oppress the rights of others. Leaders in the Republican Party today either are of that ilk or taking advantage for their own greed and power lust ends. I am fighting these antiAmericans with all that I have access to. Thank you to all of you who are also standing up against this current wave of evil.
I suppose I am not surprised that Republicans who claim voting rights legislation is a “federal (read “Democratic”) power grab,” as few of them appear ever to have actually read the Constitution they profess to defend.
I did not know the Truman stories. Thank you.