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As Rev. Al Sharpton said today, it should be a celebration for everyone, to celebrate how far we have come and to seriously consider what still needs to be done.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

🎶 It’s time to come together, it’s up to you, what’s your pleasure, everyone around the world, c’mon, yah-hoo, it’s a celebration!🎶

I’m with HCR, TCinLA, Kool and the Gang and Rev Sharpton. Celebrate! 🙋🏿🙋🏾🙋🏽🙋🏼🙋🏻

https://youtu.be/3GwjfUFyY6M

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Thank you so much! Just hearing that song brought tears to my eyes...

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That means you are dancing today, Dirk. Yah-hoo!

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🕺💃🕺💃

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

“Beginning there in Texas, the Black Americans celebrating Juneteenth emphasized that emancipation in the United States meant not just freedom from enslavement, but also freedom to shape the nation’s future.”

Yet, it’s devastatingly sad that these words still lack absolute veracity on so many levels — on both visible and invisible spectra.

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The Texas GOP intentions as set out yesterday are a hideous contrast.

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Yes, you are correct. Texas along with several other red states, are moving backward to 1851. These Texas GOP intentions take rights away that have been gained throughout time by women, people of color, LQTBQ folks, and others. Minorities are being thrust backwards. Our right to vote, to attend public schools, to live safely with firearms, to choose our healthcare(women) are all on the chopping block. Basically, the only people with any "right" to live and love freely are straight white males with money. I am fearful of a country that treats it's citizens who are not wealthy and white like garbage. There are more of us than there are of them. We have got to figure out how to use our strength in numbers to stop this from happening.

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When We were in our mid-twenties and working in the Pittsburgh area I went with a church group to take use clothes and items to poor white people in West Virginia. It really opened my eyes to see these poor being treated similar to our black families. A year later we took a group of teens and adults for a work week to a black college in Mississippi (Mary Holmes College) another life changing event for this mid-west white boy. How we treat the other people is in no way Christian, it is just evil.

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I agree - and frequently need to check my own biases and attitudes and fears.

“Depart from me, I never knew you” will forever ring in the ears of a good many CINO’s (Christians in name only).

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Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

I've never hear the acronym CINO but So-o-o accurate. Will have to remember that one.

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I just call them Pharisees. Have ever since I ran for my life

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Getting people to actively commit to learning about all candidates for all offices from the local school board and city council on up is a good beginning. Getting people committed to vote and actively encourage others to do so is another way. For too long too many people have taken everything for granted - that all government will continue to do what it's supposed to and life will carry merrily along as always has significantly brought us to the point we now face. There will always be those looking to take advantage for their own benefit. It's like evil, hiding in the shadowed details. There are Putins all over the world just waiting.

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Well-said, Rusty. I have felt this way for a long time. I've been guilty, too, of taking our democracy for granted and not watching. We need watch dogs and community organizers to teach people what's going on and mobilize them to get to the polls.

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Yesterday the lead review in the NYT Book Review was about a book detailing how people of color have been treated by our health care system. Even the review made me sick. I still haven't finished The Half That Has Never Been Told about cotton slavery although today's letter reminded me of why I so far haven't been able to pick it up again.

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I read White Trash by Nancy Isenberg this past winter. Had to put it down a time or two to digest some of what I was learning. I like documentaries and wanted to watch one for Juneteenth. This one is a good one. There are many. But I liked the attorney’s delivery of sharing his seeking knowledge of that which he hadn’t learned. And his surprise of that fact as he is Black, and is well educated. Anyway, he touches on the cotton slavery. You may already be aware of this one. I will keep in in my ‘library’ because I will watch it again.

https://www.netflix.com/watch/81488493?trackId=14277281&tctx=-97%2C-97%2C%2C%2C%2C%2C%2C%2C

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

Diane, Thank you so much for recommending. I recently watched this excellent film, produced and narrated by Jeffrey Robinson “WHO WE ARE: A Chronicle of Racism in America. “ “Robinson has been a lawyer for 40 years. Tonight he argues his most important case. Slavery is our shared History.” Not just today, but every day. “Nothing would be as tragic as to stop at this point in Memphis. We have to see it through.” The words of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, where he was assassinated in 1968. We must see it through. We must not stop. Ever.

WE are all the WE.

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Thank YOU!! For taking time to watch, for taking time to describe which helps to draw people

in and pique curiosity, and for articulating your feelings. Much appreciated. Indeed, we are the we.

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I also read White Trash some time ago as I have family members who unfortunately fall into that category. It doesn't mean that they are not smart, but that they are ignorant and uneducated and in scut jobs if they have one. Btw, my grandmother was considered white trash while they lived in Arkansas because she did her own laundry and did not have a black woman do it. Thanks for the heads up on the documentary. We just finished Ozark last night which certainly touches on differences in how people grow up. I did love Ruth. I would like to finish the book on cotton slavery, but somehow haven't been able to do it as well as a book on removing Native Americans from the east to across the Mississippi. Maybe if we weren't awash in all kinds of horrible behavior, I could concentrate on those books. OK, I can wish.

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Thank you for such a clear explanation of what we are losing. The thing is there are more good people than bad people in this situation. The problem is the good people are by and large checked out.

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Not simply hideous, but horrendous and inhumane!

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Hideous, horrendous, inhumane, unconscionable. I own you. I own you because you are less than human. I am superior to you. I have the right to treat you as bad or worse than any vermin, any pest.

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It's like something out of a dystopian nightmare.

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I have read this book and seen the movie. "Hollywood" and Netflix have shown us the previews and the trailers. It has been sneaking up on us for many years. But we didn't think it could happen here. It has and is. We have taken our democracy and human rights for granted. I still don't hear or see enough rage in reaction.

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I'm not sure rage will solve the problem. Disgust might. Maybe the trick is to reject their reality, ignore it to death, isolate it, boycott it, and create the world we want where personality and character supercede skin color, and ethnic background. Let the haters' own bad attitude destroy them. Dont work in their businesses. Don't buy their products. We can set a good example, and make it socially and financially unexceptable to judge on superficialities.

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You mean...be the adults? I love it.

Marginalize hate and bigotry. Reward those who respect human rights.

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We have violated human rights for almost 2.5 centuries now — that’s nothing new.

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People find it impossible to think that we could lose our Democracy. (If they even think about it at all.)

In terms of human rights. That is such a wide wide vague term. Which human rights are you speaking of Bill? I am not looking for an historical recounting. I am interested in 2022.

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I'd start with the right to vote - easily without obstacles. And the right to know that vote will be counted and not questioned by some conspiracy embracing nutcase.

The right to healthcare, education, a living wage if I am willing to work hard, shelter, safe water, breathable air, food security (amount and safety). The right to have affordable access to broadband internet in order to function in this world.

The right to be whoever and what ever you want to be - regardless of gender, orientation, color, creed, faith. The right of a woman to determine her own reproductive destiny. The right to not fear police at a traffic stop. The right to not fear being slaughtered by a deranged 18 year old punk with a weapon of war while shopping for bananas.

Those are some basics. How am I doing?

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But it’s real and they mean every syllable, sad to say

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Absolutely. They HATE us. The irony is they have always called us the haters, yet ....

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It's only THEIR reality,

not ours.

I'm stickin' to mine.

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Yes, Jeri, you are very right when you say this.

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The Democrats would do well to publicize the Texas GOP platform document, with appropriate commentary, of course.

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It's medieval. It will put all of us back in that life style. I know there are some good people in Texas, but I wish the rest WOULD leave the country. The question is, who would want them? I don't see how they can have any self respect.

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Putin or Bolsonaro?

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It would be a nightmare in terms of interstate commerce, but I think more and more Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi - blood red states should leave the Union. They want no federal government. Let them go.

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Secession would be completely impossible and not at all feasible. People on the left are frustrated with what goes on in "red" states--so am I and I LIVE here!--but what about the cities in these "red" states, cities that are the "blue islands" in them? What about a state like Mississippi, for example, that has such a large African-American population? Louisiana has the highest percentage of African-Americans in the country. I don't think these populations are going to be okay with their state "seceding" around them. Just wanting the "red" states to "go away" is understandable, but it's not as simple as it was in 1860 and there are plenty of us down here that would suffer unfairly. So who's going to pay for me and others like me to move to a "blue" state? I'm on a severely limited, fixed income, so that means I, and others, would be consigned to live in "another country" I want no part of?? Get real.

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With you, Bruce, Blue island “neighbor!” 💙

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Of course it would be impossible . Don't be so literal

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I know. It would be impossible. But there are already people talking about moving to blue states because their lives will become unbearable with the fascist/ oligarchs.

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The disturbing realization for me, though, is while I agree with “just move to another country that has values that match yours” or “just secede already!” we know, from history, that those who choose fascism and an authoritarian culture, cults for that matter, are rarely satisfied with that first conquest. The addiction to power and control. “Live and let live” is nowhere to be found in their creed.

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The U. S. is being watched by those in countries that want to overturn democracy

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I will see this, at least they are no longer hiding their evil intent. It's out there in black and white, full of hatred and ugliness, and truly demonstrating that Rs are indeed the party of death to anything that approaches human decency among other things.

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I call it The Repugnant Party and ppl dare not chastise me for name-calling.

If the name fits (which it does) then wear it.

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You know what, Rob, when I first showed up here about four years ago, I thought you were being unduly harsh. That’s because I was ill-informed. Now that I know your personal history, and the true sordid back-story of racism in the U.S., I don’t think you’re harsh enough. Slowly but slowly, I have accepted the Republicans and Trump supporters as the black cancer they are.

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I have no problem with name calling a party or pols if they deserve it.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

It's telling that the Texas GOP, reveling in its delusional self-anointed superiority, can't govern its way out of a paper bag. In other words, these cruel abominations stand out not just for their inhumanity but their ineptness.

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I agree. It is galling that these people are elected to serve people, their constituents, to represent them and their needs. What they are doing though is trying to throw these same people under the bus and harm them. These people are the very people who pay their salaries from tax payer funds. We are paying people to sh*t on us. It is beyond outrageous.

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All of them make me want to vomit. And all or most of them claim to be Christians. And yes, they are inept, but then, they do not give a damn for the ordinary people of Texas, some of whom keeps voting these monsters in.

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Michele- Jean-Pierre Garau has came up w/ a very appropriate term for those folk-CINO's. He pointed it out above-Christians In Name Only.

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I like it. I also call them hypocrites!

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So true.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

I’ve reread your last paragraph, Rowshan, a few times. The “visible and invisible spectra” is a compelling thought. I replied to a later comment about Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste. I’m going to repeat the comment here. It was the first thing I thought of today after reading another favorite historian, Professor Richardson. It so fits Juneteenth.

…..responding to comment….Thank you, Richard for “casting” a light on this book on this day. Isabel Wilkerson’s works have been referenced by many on this forum, including myself. Her book, Caste, sits on my bedside table so I can peruse it when I look to find a passage.

Two of my favorite passages are her interaction with the plumber in Chapter 31 and a short anecdote she tells about after a talk she gave at the British Library in London. Pgs 52-53. In honor of Juneteenth, I will quote that particular very fitting passage….

(a Nigerian-born playwright at the lecture is intrigued by the Great Migration of 6 million African Americans seeking political asylum within the borders of their own country after emancipation. A history she was unaware of. She says to Ms. Wilkerson, who is quite startled by and has never forgotten her words.)

“‘You know there are no black people in Africa,’ she said.

Most Americans, weaned on the myth of drawable lines between human beings, have to sit with that statement. It sounds nonsensical. Of course there are black people in Africa. How could anyone not see that?

(She continues) ‘Africans are not black. They are Igbo and Yoruba, Ewe, Alan, Ndebele. They are not black. They are just themselves. They are humans on the land. That is how they see themselves, and that is who they are.’ What is gospel in America is alien to them. ‘They don’t become black until they go to America or come to the U.K. It is then that they become black.’”

Ms. Wilkerson continues as HCR often does with truth as historical perspective. “It was in the making of the New World that Europeans became white, Africans black, and everyone else yellow, red, or brown. It was in the making of the New World that humans were set apart on the basis of what they looked like, identified solely in contrast to one another, and ranked to form a caste system based on a new concept called race. It was in the process of ranking that we were all cast into assigned roles to meet the needs of the larger production.

None of us are ourselves.”

On this day, I reflect how I do the work to cast myself into the role of who I am as a human, not the assigned role given to me as a white female.

My deep gratitude to historians and gifted authors such as Wilkerson to shining Light on truth. This is how we move forward. “A world without caste would set everyone free.”

Unitad!

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You're right about the sadness and frustration of being short of the goal but the ferocity, viciousness and intransigence of those who oppose not just further progress but would reverse many of the advances we've made indicates how cornered they feel and how close we are to much greater progress if we can only stand firmly united in that cause.

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There's a lotof truth in that, Dave. Thank you.

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You know it’s bad when a Virus has more rights than the human it can kill .

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Texas, largest basket case in the lower 48.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

I am encouraged by the diversity shown in the George Floyd protests compared to the protests of less than 60 years ago. The arc of history is bending toward justice all too slowly, but it is bending. We just need to defend these gains and prevent those who tout originalism (as a pretext) from rolling back the gains that so many have worked so hard to achieve.

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Slow as molasses

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(Even slower- Like a glacier?)

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I believe we have slid even further backwards.

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But when the DOJ has a completely airtight case against all the seditionist leaders and co-conspirators, and our government is cleaned out, we will be able to ratchet forward much more quickly!

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Not feeling hopeful today. I thought we had defeated the bad guys in the 2020 election.

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When you feel down, take a break and do something fun. This process of saving our democracy after 6.5 years of trumplican trauma needs patience and steadfastness. Like geese who fly in a V- formation, we need to take turns and then glide back and cruise on the wind from the others in front. This is going to take a long time to repair and undo the fascist hold on a certain population that do not want patriarchy to die. I think we have the global cabal to deal with as well. But, we were built for these times and we need people to become actively involved if we want to keep a democracy. Take breaks!!!

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A sincere thanks for this Pensa.

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Pensa,

Thank you for reminding us to let others take the lead sometimes so we can return energized and ready to contribute.

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Not until both Trump and Putin crash and burn.

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Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

Are you really a bat researcher in Cape Tribulation, Talia?

I love my bats and up here in VT. Put houses up for them on the side of my barn last summer. Wish we could get rid of all politicians with bats in their belfries...

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I too am encouraged by this, Mary. The current dystopian nightmare is a reaction to the arc slowly bending toward justice.

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On June 9, Rosalind Gnatt posted,

“Racists are immune to persuasion because, as my homesteading Florida Cracker ancestors would say, There are white folks and there are coloreds and there are the animals. My great-grandfather, the one with KKK on the pedestal of his gravestone in Palatka, proudly said that, like his other animals, he let his coloreds have a day of rest.”

I replied,

“Thank you for this personal history. I find it curious how brain-dead a person has to be in order to treat dark-skinned humans like pets, or cattle, or workhorses, or sex toys. It takes a very low level of consciousness to identify hierarchies of humans, like in Nazi Germany and in slavery societies … American society is barbaric. We are talking Cro-Magnon here people.”

It boggles the mind. Slavery is completely incomprehensible to me. Cattle. Workhorses. Pets. Sex toys. Truly, trying to understand slavery is like entering The Twilight Zone.

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Not hard, LBJ said it best “I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Just think, chump’s rallies. What better proof…

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Yes, like the $250 million that ТЯцм₽ took from his fans for the non-existent election defense fund.

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This nails it. W J. Cash wrote a book about LBJ’s “lowest white man” called the Mind of the South. It’s required reading to understand this state of mind which has now become nationalized.

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Never heard of that , thank you

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The best explanation I have ever heard.

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I think you have answered your own question with how slaves were viewed. Slavery has been a part of human history in many times and places and slaves were usually a part of a conquest. Color of skin didn't matter. In the triangular slave trade we have a situation where African people were targeted because of their skin color....Indigenous People didn't work out...and taken across an ocean to be sold. It was the ideal situation for white patriarchal planters. They had a workforce and of course, there was the added bonus of a trip down to the slave cabins. Then they could sell the surplus and as tobacco wore out soil, those sales were often to cotton slavers further south. The slaves walked there to be in the worse conditions possible. But they raised that cotton that went north and to England to fuel the Industrial Revolution, so white people benefitted even if they did own slaves. It is a sordid story.

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The history doesn’t begin to describe the horror. Africans kidnapped from their homes. Then forced to work under pain of death. Africans in America who could be brutally and violently tortured and killed at any time, for any reason. Christians getting together on Sunday for picnics to watch lynchings. That’s what I’ve learned about here, because the true grisly reality was too horrible to contemplate. I was too sensitive and too kind to really look at this reality. Nazi Germany, my ancestors, more of the same. It’s a wonder that the word “slavery“ doesn’t produce the same revulsion as the word “Nazi.“

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It does for me. When in grad school, I read 14 books on slavery in addition to the 4 or 5 books assigned for the course each term. When at Monticello and looking at the rooms below the mansion, a couple with their children with Christian slogans plastered on their T-shirts, commented that it didn't look so bad. My traveling companion, not shy and not one to mince words, took them on in no uncertain terms.

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It’s sobering. The sheer brutality of the history of slavery and the history of sexism makes it even harder for me to have compassion for anyone in favor of Trump and the Confederacy. I doubt that I will ever again visit a former slave state. Where is the joy in that? The same as visiting Dachau or Auschwitz or Hiroshima / Nagasaki.

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I have no compassion for them and i don't apologize.

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Thank you for engaging with me Michele 🙏

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And thank you too. I do enjoy engaging with most people here although I just answered someone who was arrogant and condescending. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, but this guy was beyond the pale.

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Wow. I was never exposed to the reality of slavery, not until here. Only Nazi Germany. The triangle trade economic model sanitized it for me, didn’t tell the horrors. Credit to you and your college 🏆🏆

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I went for six months study abroad to Sierra Leone (Kalamazoo College) and then spent three years in Sierra Leone in the Peace Corps. My grad school is the University of Oregon, which at that time had outstanding southern history scholars. This particular class was three terms of 19th century American history taught by Mr. Maddox who always got in an hour and half lecture in one hour. He assigned us 4-5 books to read each term. As a grad student, I had to read five extra books and write reviews on them. He gave a single spaced 7 page book list. He had read every book on it and since he had a photographic memory, knew what they all said. That was the late 60s and some people in the class didn't think they should get grades. This is also the class where this midwestern city girl learned what skunks smelled like. Guy next me raised them and I did wonder what that obnoxious perfume was until he explained that one of his skunks had sprayed him. I learned so much history and more in that class.

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Sometimes a little shaming is good for the soul.

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With higher incarceration rates for the same actions and the use of slave-like prison labor, many POC still endure the indignity of forced labor.

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Yes, part of my class in 19th century history addressed Reconstruction and its aftermath. People figured out very quickly how to keep former slaves down and yes, it continues through notorious prison labor systems and so much more. Dare we say systemic racism. A while back I read Saving Savannah which is about that city pre, during, and after the Civil War. White people in the postbellum period did things like move ballot boxes to places that were very difficult for black people to use for example. I did my Peace Corps student teaching in South Chicago in a high school a few blocks from the White Sox park. Those were the days of Cabrini Green. I learned a lot while training for the PC in Chicago. We were at a YMCA place not far from the University of Chicago under the auspices of Roosevelt University.

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If you haven't already, read Isabel Wilkerson's _Caste_. It's brilliant and eye opening, and to know the US is peer to Nazi Germany and India in establishing a degrading hierarchy is both a great disappointment and a challenge.

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Best book I've read in a very long time. Also her book "The Warmth of Other Suns." A great read.

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Thank you, Richard for “casting” a light on this book on this day. Isabel Wilkerson’s works have been referenced by many on this forum, including myself. Her book, Caste, sits on my bedside table so I can peruse it when I look to find a passage.

Two of my favorite passages are her interaction with the plumber in Chapter 31 and a short anecdote she tells about after a talk she gave at the British Library in London. Pgs 52-53. In honor of Juneteenth, I will quote that particular very fitting passage….

(a Nigerian-born playwright at the lecture is intrigued by the Great Migration of 6 million African Americans after emancipation. A history she was unaware of. She says to Ms. Wilkerson, who is quite startled and has never forgotten her words.)

“‘You know there are no black people in Africa,’ she said. Most Americans, weaned on the myth of drawable lines between human beings, have to sit with that statement. It sounds nonsensical. Of course there are black people in Africa. How could anyone not see that?

(She continues) ‘Africans are not black. They are Igbo and Yoruba, Ewe, Alan, Ndebele. They are not black. They are just themselves. They are humans on the land. That is how they see themselves, and that is who they are.’ What is gospel in America is alien to them. ‘They don’t become black until they go to America or come to the U.K. It is then that they become black.’”

Ms. Wilkerson continues as HCR often does with truth as historical perspective. “It was in the making of the New World that Europeans became white, Africans black, and everyone else yellow, red, or brown. It was in the making of the New World that humans were set apart on the basis of what they looked like, identified solely in contrast to one another, and ranked to form a caste system based on a new concept called race. It was in the process of ranking that we were all cast into assigned roles to meet the needs of the larger production.

None of us are ourselves.”

On this day, I reflect how I do the work to cast myself into the role of who I am as a human, not the assigned role given to me as a white female.

My deep gratitude to historians and gifted authors such as Wilkerson to shining Light on truth. This is how we move forward.

Unitad!

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I will never forget Trevor Noah saying that he had to come to the United States to become black. Being of mixed race, he was not considered black in his home country.

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Thanks for this Christine. You've inspired me to pull out my copy of "Caste" and look again at my favorite parts.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

It is such a wonderfully difficult and inspiring exercise.

Salud, Pam. So happy to share such a revelation to me on pages 52-53.

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Thank you Richard. Perfect timing to mention this book.

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Excellent read!!

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The emancipation from slavery was proclaimed in now what is known, as the most divisive state in the union. The “slave owners” still exist under an umbrella which I call the Pro-Rape Party. Juneteenth should be celebrated without any conflict but I am holding my breath. May the festivities be enjoyed throughout the land.

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I would like to point out that our (until recently and for how long given this plank in Texas —) current slaves are those who have worked for years in sub-standard wage conditions with NO POSSIBILITY of bettering themselves. Technically, this doesn’t equate to the horrors of slavery, but the knowing complicity of freezing minimum wages in the face of exponential rises in the cost of living over decades is sure a close imitation of shackles and whips.

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Capitalism is the new slavery. I agree.

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I’ve always believed capitalism and the “ larger production” to be the slave owners.

Salud, Roland.

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Pro-rape party, damn Gov. Abbott, your are the leader

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Pro-Rape Party. Nice Marlene. You caught me off guard. It makes me think. Pro-Rape. Pro-Lynching (dark skin people and gays and women).

How many times do we read about a woman being killed? Constantly. There are so many men out there who kill a woman just because they can.

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Thank you for drawing attention to this very fascist/autocratic symptom in our country. Bullies bully. Like this: https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/26/femicide-us-silent-epidemic

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Roland, If the Republicans contest it enough, the confiscation of the guns of a person who is charged with abusing a girlfriend/boyfriend will be dropped; right now you have to marry/live with/have a baby with the abuser in addition to the abuse charge. It just shows that the majority of people in abusive relationships (women) really don’t matter as long as they are still able to act as incubators.

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❤️ ABSOLUTELY!! That is the ugliness of it all. We are fine to procreate with but not be seen or heard. I call bullshit!

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

The Juneteenth holiday celebration seems to of taken entirely too long to have crystallized in the minds of most Americans about the need to memorialize and honor the end of legal slavery in the United States. It was certainly never mentioned in mixed company where I was present until about eight or nine years ago (I'm 80 years old this week), and I've always wondered why this is so. It's not that people didn't know about it. The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible is all about the Israelites being liberated from slavery in Egypt. In the Christian faith, the Last Supper was the Passover Seder where the remembrance of God's liberation of the Israelites was annually celebrated. President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and the story behind it, is universally understood within the United States to signal the demise of slavery as Union armies fought their way into the heart of the Confederacy, where each foot of liberated ground officially and forever afterward ended slavery then and there. With President Abraham Lincoln's strong exhortation, Congress debated and passed the 13th Amendment, officially removing slavery from the United States Constitution, as one of the president's final political acts before his untimely death in April 1865. The 13th Amendment was submitted to the states for ratification on February 1, 1865, and it was declared effective in a proclamation of the Secretary of State on December 18, 1865, reciting that the amendment had been ratified by the legislatures of 27 of the 36 states then comprising the federal Union, and six months after General Granger's proclamation in Galveston. Likewise, the successes of the Civil Rights movement spanning much of the post-World War II era between 1945 and 1965 which laid the legal groundwork for the abolition of state-enacted 'Jim Crow' laws and governmental practices, was never formally acknowledged by a congressionally-enacted celebratory holiday. Perhaps we can attribute this to bad faith on the part of the former seceding states of the Confederacy, or more broadly all of those states which in 1860 permitted slavery to exist within their borders, which would include all of the Border States, including Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Where, at least in the Northern states where I lived earlier in my life, New York and New Jersey, celebration of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were fixtures. George Washington was our first president, whose excellent example was supposed to be followed by those who succeeded him; most did, but there were important exceptions. Abraham Lincoln's birthday was one whose celebration we could actually feel. And ending slavery by whatever means Lincoln found necessary in order to build a national consensus that slavery would no longer be tolerated was part of the American culture that I was steeped in for my earliest school days. These were not neighborhoods dominated by wild-eyed liberals. Most of my neighbors and all of my friends were practicing Roman Catholics at the time, and this was a decade before Vatican II under Pope John XXIII; and politically, this feeling transcended partisan politics. When my family relocated to California's San Francisco Bay Area, it was pretty much the same.

That said, white people and descendants of former slaves largely live separate lives apart from one another, and the cycles of challenge and accommodation have not necessarily been peaceful, and consensus in many areas remains the elusive. But that is always the problem of disparate groups looking for common ground, and sometimes taking decades to find it. That gradual acknowledgment and acceptance does not tarnish the basic understanding that American slavery as treating certain class of people as property, was wrongful then, as it is wrongful now. We often hear the admonition that we should not judge people living in past eras by the standards we hold now, as we can expect to be judged harshly by those who follow us in the future. But on this point, the social acceptance of race-based slavery cannot be justified under any theory of constitutional government. Our forebears in the states in which I grew up and lived as an adult would generally agree with that proposition, certainly in Massachusetts, where I lived for twenty years would be foremost among those saying so.

We now have a new national holiday that commemorates the emancipation from slavery of persons of Black African descent. So, belated as it is, having such a holiday gives us all a chance to reflect on what it means to be free. There is nothing to be gained by treating it as less worthy than, say, Memorial Day, or Labor Day. It is a day of opportunity looking towards participation by everybody, from Mayflower descendent to today's newly arrived refugee from Ukraine. Ukrainians know a lot about de facto slavery from their centuries of experience with Imperial Russia. Let's make this a party that anyone can feel wanted, and will want to participate in.

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This (Massachusetts) old white guy has put out The Flag today.

A side note:

Washington spoke ill of slavery, but even upon his death, despite promises of such, he DID NOT free his own slaves. "Martha needed the money."

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Great info. Thanks. Good perspective...helps balance the thought of how outrageous it was to have had slaves at all.

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Thanks Joy. That was an interesting read.

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Sadly, my home state of North Carolina was very different from Mass., took me years of living elsewhere to get what others knew from the git go.

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Well stated Arthur.

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Not meaning to co-opt the significance of this day, but in a tangential way, women are finally receiving acknowledgement that a woman's place is literally in the House and the Senate. Here's a gifted WaPo article that describes that slow march, with highlights of Vice President Harris' role.

https://wapo.st/39AamEA

And while the House is seeing a rising tide, notably, the Senate is lacking in making strides towards a more inclusive body of lawmakers.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/25/us/black-us-senators-history-trnd/index.html

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Morning, Lynell! Those two links were pretty dang great! I have really liked Klobuchar for quite some time and wish she was the majority speaker instead of Schumer. Nice guy, smart, but lacks pitbull instincts like Amy. Plus, Kamala getting into a room at the Capitol…fabulous! Hoping this coup promotes more people of color to break the glass ceiling in the Senate. Hope it’s women to send the good old white guys packing.

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I really like Amy. Started watching her early on in her bid for the WH. She starts out "shaky," I think she's gonna lose it, but then finds her footing and off she goes!

And yes -- morning, Marlene! -- if it's going to be, it's up to thee and me!

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Another great pit bull is Katie Porter-and she uses something that many of the RW bullies fail to use-FACTS!!

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Yes, Barbara, and I fervently hope that our penchant for facts won't be what takes us down!

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During the 2020 debates, I came to really like Amy Klobuchar. Her “I Hear You” speech brought me to tears of joy.

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Yes that was wonderful. ❤️

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Morning, Lynell! Thanks for the links.

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Morning, Ally! How do people on this page find time to read all the comments, comment, reply to a certain percentage of them, read the links, listen to the podcasts, check other substacks and podcasts, have personal interactions, mow the lawn, weed-whack what can't be mowed, do the wash, fold/iron clothes, do the dishes, dust, vacuum, feed the kitties and/or doggies, canaries, ferrets etc., read the zillion books that are recommended, drive to the store, get groceries, etc.; then get enough sleep to do it all again the next day? Let me save you the effort...no need to heart or reply!

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Can't read all of the books so I peruse summaries but yeah, we are women. Hear us roar!

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Oh, but I must "heart" this and reply! It is SO on target. I can't read all the books, nor all the comments. I have favorites here, I confess, and I try to read their comments. But I also belong to five other substacks, so I must share time a bit with other subscribers on those sites. Plus read. Plus feed my cats and do the laundry! And sleep!

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Oh, Lordie, Ellen; forgot to mention whatever it is we do to actually save democracy: chop wood/carry water; send postcards...to voters or swing states; phone bank; text bank; canvassing door-to-door; volunteering at the polls; contacting our lawmakers; signing petitions, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

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Go to the bathroom too! Sometimes, duty calls!

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Ha! Early riser for me. Plus…retired!

I don’t read near as much as I should.

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My questions too!! I had to give up reading all the comments. Now it's mostly whatever is the most liked when I get to them.....

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Love your comments, Betsy...when you have the time!

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I try to make mine short. There's often a much longer dialog in in my head though!

Too bad substack doesn't have a find or sort feature.

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I try to be short, too, but sometimes...! Find or sort would be nice.

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I read all y'all's when I see them!

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And don’t forget Katie Porter! It’s so great to see the CEO’s “brought to Jesus” with her whiteboard.

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Great minds run in the same trainwreck-I posted about Katie too! LOL!

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Oh, my, yes, Mary! I wouldn't mind seeing her be president!

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Thank you for sharing these links. I especially like this quote from the WaPo: "...women’s places are in the House and the Senate, as well as the vice presidency, the Supreme Court and, one day, the White House."

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And there you have it. That which should have been fundamental since our founding, that all "men" are created equal eventually reaches to the final holdout that is Galveston. "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

Think I'll join in the celebration.

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Except they didn't really mean ¨all¨ .

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That's what I hear, Gailee. Still sticking to what they wrote!

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😘😘😘

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Not self-evident, sadly. To be argued til hell freezes over.

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Wearing my all-weather coat for this one, Jeri!

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Me too, Sister Lynell! Yah-Hoo, c’mon, let’s celebrate!💃🏼🕺🏼💃🏾🕺🏾

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All righty then, Sister C...let's!

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The Trump Republicans of today will never accept defeat regardless of what the polls say and isn’t it interesting that the former Confederate states hold the majority of those who have sworn allegiance to him. Willful ignorance continues to abound.

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Deliberate, willful and self-defeating I hope. But Rupert is the Goebbels of our day.

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Deport Rupert Murdoch!!!

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This June 19th date is so significant, it can't be over-stated. What had been since the early 1600's in the American colonies that started in Virginia was now over for all time going forward. No more slaves...anywhere in America. But that was just the beginning of a process that we are still wrestling with. The emotional aspect of slavery that made it possible to justify was that white folks were better than...smarter and created to control black folks who were born to serve. They were actually doing black folks a favor by bringing them here and exposing them to our Bible. Bobby Lee was supposed to be the "savior". He would vanquish the "damn Yankees". Buy it didn't turn out that way. Life in the south was turned upside down by Abe Lincoln...US Grant...Sherman & Sheridan. So now 160 years later some of us, are still hanging on to ideas that our ancestors believed and acted on for over 200 years. Slaves good. Still rallying around statues to dead Confederates and their battle flag...and calling it "Heritage...not Hate" on bumper stickers. That's what we are dealing with here. The idea that white folks with Bibles were born to rule.

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And republicans are believers, 109%, and the biggest fools, by proving every day that they are anything but superior. Just reference the Tex Repub “platform of hate,” meant primarily to ensnare the Pharisees among us.

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Confederates justified slavery by referring to Rome and the longevity of the institution. But Roman slaves could purchase their freedom, earned their freedom in most cases eventually became free and always had a day of rest. In the USA the arc of history regarding slavery bent backwards!

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"The news arrived in a state [Texas] consumed by chaos." Not much has changed. The Texas ruling party says that federal elections were fraudulent. It supports vigilante abortion "justice" and wants to assure the widest, unfettered access to guns and aspires to make all "gun free zones" illegal even as children in the state are assault-weapon slaughtered by the dozen. It attacks gay rights and mocks its own war-hero Navy Seal Congressman (Dan Crenshaw) with the moniker "Eye-Patch McCain", ridiculing yet another Republican war hero . The party wants to repeal the federal income tax and abolish popular election of US Senators (returning same to the state legislature). It supports the "nullification" of numerous Federal laws and judicial decrees And just in case you were wondering, yes, party leaders are considering secession and want a referendum on the same!

If it weren't for the near 50% who vote for the other party and have to live in Texas, I would wish them success in their efforts to be gone..

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Bill, thank you for recognizing those of us who came for the jobs here. We’re working to make it a purple state.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

Hello Bill, I would appreciate learning what you think about Gustavo Petro becoming president of Columbia, if you are open to sharing it. Thank you.

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I will know more after speaking to a couple of Colombian friends but I would say this:

The Colombian peace process was slow-walked and obstructed and nearly killed off by the Conservatives. The Center-Left Liberal Party under Juan Manuel Santos had negotiated an agreement in 2016 that explicitly focused on rural social justice, land reform, indigenous rights and other minority issues and offered new programs and participation in exchange for the rebel FARC disarming. Petro is taking up the causes that have been blocked by Conservatives and that the Liberals have been unable to advance. Making progress with a fragmented electorate will be a challenge and Pero has a reputation for not staying on message very well. He also faces problems with Venezuela and may need to distance himself from some US policies including those focused on drug eradication.

His involvement with an urban guerrilla group in his youth should not cause concern; if anything it shows he had a social conscience. For decades he has been an active participant in democratic processes including serving as mayor of Bogota. Two clear positives: (1) unlike the situation in the US, his opponents congratulated him on his victory and a democratic transition appears to be going smoothly and (2) his Vice President is a Black woman with strong human rights and environmental credentials.

It will be interesting to see how this and the youthful left turn in Chile (and elsewhere) develop.

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Bill, Thank you for your reply. I have to leave early this morning but will respond this evening. With the elections of leftists in Chile, Honduras and Peru may there be improvement in the lives of the people in Latin America -- that would be a turning point. Salud.

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I too, will be happy to help them leave the union. First, let’s make sure our folks here, on LFAA, are saved first.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

If only reconstruction and reconciliation had taken hold back then, but hate and greed won out. And we live with more of the same 156 years later. And Texas leads the way, led by an immigrant from Canada and one from Australia. And, of course, our home-grown bigots and greedy bastards are on board with the evil. Hard to imagine that love and reason have a chance. Also, hard to imagine that white supremacists blather has any adherents, considering that they are the best evidence, almost to a man, against their position of, across the board, superiority. They are an unfunny joke on the rest of us.

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If only those who were involved in the treasonous act that was the Secession and Civil War were not pardoned. Giving the Confederates a Get Out of Jail Free Card legitimized their belief that their cause was actually righteous and worthy.

Isn't it funny how pardoning bad behavior often leads to more extremes in bad behavior – I give you Roger Stone and Michael Flynn as contemporary examples.

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Jun 20, 2022·edited Jun 20, 2022

And punishing bad behavior with bad behavior doesn’t work either. I give you corporal punishment in schools. Paddling a child for hitting another child is a bit of its own insanity of reason.

“Justice” as decided by men over centuries is wrought with prejudice and fear.

I celebrate today, Jeri and Daria, because love and reason has given me many good friends of color and opportunity to create community among diversity in the classroom. As a child, I was not taught to hate people of color but had no opportunity to be with children who looked different than me. All white suburbs, diverse in ancestry but not in skin color. I just saw white majority because it is what I saw. As a young adult, that is when I cultivated relationship with people of color because the opportunity was physically there. And to my surprise even today, with all I know of history, I am always grateful that a black person wants to cultivate friendship with me. So I celebrate Juneteenth today and know that today, NOT yesterday, it is possible, probable, and right to do so. The color of skin can no longer close our eyes to the Light of love and reason. That is fake news created by man only for greed. And the cat is so out of the hat.

Unitad for all of us on this day. Celebrate, and, if you weep, may they be tears of gladness for the circle of unity on this day.

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The feral cat is definitely “out of the hat”! Loved this, Christine!💞

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One could argue that Gerald Ford pardoning Nixon gave the presidency an aura of invincibility, even from the law.

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In the spirit of celebration and openness I tried to read the Texas Republican Party platform. Had to stop before I gouged my eyes out. It compares, almost word for word, certainly concept by concept, with the Articles of Confederation. It is clear that I am not welcome in Texas. I am not Christian. I don't know whose "traditional family" the platform refers to, but it's nothing like anything I'm familiar with. I consider gender to be a social/cultural construct. I hope they exercise their desire to secede.

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Yesterday I heard from a young neighbor that voting makes no difference in this country because she finds the system so warped. She is a millennial. I have millennial colleagues who also do not vote because they just feel that their votes don't count. On some level I suspect that their lives are comfortable enough that it has not seemed to matter to them and they don't think that others have fought to make that possible. One has Mexican American parents, but he does not speak any Spanish and considers himself white. His wife has a Chinese mother and White father. My millennial neighbor has a White mother and Filipino father. She considers herself Brown. She views this land as stolen from Indigenous people, and that the Black people who were forced here by slavery should be considered as well, and all policies should be recognizing the primacy of these two groups who are at the bottom of the barrel in a White Supremacist system. Her mother wants to leave the USA, and she said her mother doesn't get to leave the system that her people created and messed up without fixing it first. Voting within this system is a waste of time. It is painful for me to hear this because I wonder how many other people will not be voting because they feel that way. She is a lawyer that works with women who have been incarcerated. We had coffee with another lawyer neighbor who was giving us some advice. He is retired and works for free to help poor people who have been duped out of their homes by the system, mainly poor Black people, and he votes. He also helps teachers and others who are unfairly treated by their employment. He has a Native American mother and a White father. He is 75. When his father went to fight in the war, he was taken from his mother and given to a White family to raise. Both are lawyers who help poor people, mainly Black people who suffer from generational poverty. Each has a different view of the world. Some of it is life experience I suspect. While I still see possibilities within our system, and how to try to make it work more optimally and others who are even older than me do too, I see that others do not feel that it serves them at all and wonder whether this is why so many younger people are not voting. I was raised that one of the most important parts of participating in a democracy is to vote. I see it as an obligation.People fought and died for me to have this right. Recently on my way to a political march men were asking my friends and me about our signs. Two men were telling us that they had not voted for 30 years but said they would vote in this election after talking with us about issues. These were middle aged Black men. I had assumed they would be voting, and was surprised to hear that they had only voted in the beginning. I wondered whether voting had been that disillusioning. Thanks to my younger neighbor working with women who have just gotten our of prison I am reminded that we still have slavery in the United States thanks to the 13th Amendment which says that those who are incarcerated can be enslaved. A lot of companies have prison insourcing of labor. This does not prepare people to be on the outside at all. So, in essence Juneteenth does not really represent the end of slavery in the United States, and our prison system does not make our country look good. That is something that needs to change.

https://sites.tufts.edu/prisondivestment/prison-labor/

https://scheerpost.com/2022/01/06/corporations-are-making-millions-of-dollars-from-u-s-prison-labor/

http://maltajusticeinitiative.org/12-major-corporations-benefiting-from-the-prison-industrial-complex-2/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/15/us-prison-workers-low-wages-exploited

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That piece about incarcerated people can be slaves has got to go.

When I worked at a voter reg table in our library, young people would come up and say 'why bother.' I would try to make it personal, ie, do you have a grandmother that maybe needs better healthcare? Yuh. Well, see which candidates support medicaid and maybe you can vote to help your grandmother. OK.

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One way to make it personal, albeit a trivial example, is to ask those young people if they "voted" for "America's Got Talent" or "The Voice" or "American Idol" or any other pop cultural candidate. During the beginning of the pandemic, those shows went to zoom format, but the voting for the winner was still open to everyone who wanted to vote. Those votes counted. I realize this is not the same as voting for things that matter to one's own family or personal life much less democracy, but it is illustrative of one person - one vote, and that one's vote DOES matter.

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It's a useful formula, I think.

There is one ginormous exception, and that is Labor Law, especially in the Deep South where Unions are an anathema and 'Corporations are people too'. If you inquire why your employer hates Unions and the answer is "my daddy hated Unions, my granddaddy hated Unions ..." you are talking to a lunatic with Daddy issues.

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Yes. I am trying that too. I have said, "you are now a parent." Politicians look at demographics and they see your age group is not voting as much as mine is and they are going to focus more on the services that my age group wants. Where is the good day care for you? You have spent a college tuition on day care? That might not be the case if the largest group voting were the parents of children who are not yet school age and you made your voices heard. I am planting these seeds in. I try to point out issues that get addressed and those that don't. I was pointing out to my neighbor what was in Build Back Better for her. I said, if we could just have gotten it passed then we could have gotten people a taste of what government is supposed to be doing for people. I see two Democrats as having blocked it. She just laughed and said if it were not them it would be someone else. This country is never going to pass "child tax credits" because it is too racist. I know my own mother has said pretty much this is why she sees Europe having more social supports and the USA being unable to do that, and while I don't disagree I had thought that the pandemic and this bill were going to move us in that direction. Canada is a multi-racial society too, and Europe is multiracial too. Yes they already had these supports so they just existed before they have become more of a plurality. Racism is debilitating as is sexism. I am glad you are trying to talk to people. I think we all need to continually try to convince people that voting is worthwhile even if they do not vote the way we want them to. Politicians who realize that people are paying attention and voting just have to pay attention too. We were discussing the slavery in incarceration. I was telling my daughter some of the companies that use slave labor, like Starbucks. We just have one in our community that has gone union. I wrote Starbucks to say that my family is now able to go there because of this, and will not be using any one which is not because of their policies. I got an immediate response which told me that they had felt that they were better able to negotiate with their people directly. I did not bother to respond because she also said she would be sharing my comment with their management. I knew that it was going to have an effect. I said that I was telling my students, and my friends not to go to Starbucks that did not go union.

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That’s a scary situation; it’s hard to believe there are lawyers who feel it’s not worth it to vote. It seems like our ego-driven culture has people too bound up in their own bubbles.

In the end, it appears Huxley was more prophetic than Orwell….

https://billmoyers.com/content/orwell-vs-huxley-who-are-you-behind/

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I feel very out of touch with how "the youth" are feeling. I know my own child who is not quite old enough to vote, but has classmates who will be, knows voting is important. However, I see that a certain leftist element feels that not voting is a statement of how corrupt the system is. I don't know if they are connecting that with the supreme court we have ended up with, but I do. I feel somewhat frustrated with the people who want similar things that I want, no racism, no sexism, no poverty, and for people to get along, but at the same time if this "system" is not working throw it out and have revolution. I don't think she is not reading, or distracted by television and she held a fundraising event for a local progressive candidate, so I was surprised that she had this attitude. That was four years ago and he won. He is a state senator. I would say some of my colleagues who are not voting are in the aptly depicted by Aldous Huxley. They don't read except maybe graphic novels, or the storybooks to their children. They prefer podcasts and videos. Netflix and all the streaming services have taken over their lives, along with being foodies and keeping their homes Marie Kondo in order. They avoid conflict and everything has to be positive. I am not sure what the shift has been. Perhaps it is just all of the technology they are growing up with that I accessed somewhat later. Obviously Aldous Huxley wrote his book in the 1930s so he observed something before we had the technology that we have, but there must already have been the changes of the industrial revolution that he sensed had changed something in the way we are living our lives. There certainly is quite a difference between the wealthy and the poor of our society. I see those who are well off as having a hard time empathizing with those who are not, which is particularly disturbing in politicians who legislate for the rich. It is a struggle as a parent to impart values of not wasting and not consuming so much when that is what well off children are around. I continue to argue and try to convince people to vote, and point out why it matters. That is all I can do. I am just surprised at how many people struggle to get to the poles to vote and others who can easily go, just don't.

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I think you hit the nail on the head about technology. Knowledge is very important and computers have made our lives a little more intriguing. Unfortunately social media, has infiltrated our adult lives as well as our youths. Disinformation is abundant and influential and that has become the enemy. It is our job to continue to be outspoken, to educate and encourage people to vote. My daughters fit in the millennial category but they are fully aware about their right to vote and they do. My husband, a Vietnam vet, despises the government and there were a few years that too, didn’t feel his vote counted. When he didn't take the time to vote, I told him he had given up his right to argue or be upset when things didn’t turn out the way he wanted. My daughters joined in and the three of us basically guilted him. It worked!

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I know how effective daughters can be with fathers. This has worked in our household too, on any number of issues.

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Hey, we gotta do what we gotta do!

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Comfort often equates to lethargy. Glad the Kennedys and the Roosevelts didn't feel that.

Rose K said, to whom much is given, much is expected, to paraphrase. Wish that were still true

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