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That the synagogue blew its shofar four times for those four little girls--something I did not know until I read this letter--was so inspiring I just grabbed my own shofar, went out on my patio, and blew same. I'm sure my Arizona neighbors wondered where the trumpeting elephant came from, but that's okay. I will add this four-pulse salute to my annual shofar ritual. Thanks, Heather.

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Beautiful, Shane. I was fourteen when this happened, growing up in New York City. I was shocked to the core. I have spent my life helping public school students to pursue and succeed in medical and science careers. That was my vow as a young girl: to right wrong where I saw it and could have a positive outcome. I still follow that philosophy, now 74 living in rural India on a farm. I worked like mad to help elect Biden, and the Georgia Democratic senators. I will continue that until we are stable and protecting our citizenry from the current outrages of violence and hatred. Happy New Year, Shane and all readers here.

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Thanks, Elisabeth, and happy New Year to you and yours. LIke you, I knew all about those poor girls, but the synagogue's shofar salute to them was a joy. Nice thing about blowing a shofar is as long as it's strong and loud people think you're getting the notes right, which is not always the case for me :-)

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Your life is an inspiration Elisabeth. Thank you

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Thank you Elisabeth. Happy New Year to you.

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❤️

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Bless you!

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Thank you, Shane for blowing shofar to commemorate the little girls.

Thank you, Heather, for reminding those of us old enough to remember and for enlightening those who are younger.

This horrific occurrence spurred our mother to join the protests against segregation of the Oklahoma City public schools that fall. She took me once and was appalled by the violence meted to a 13 year old girl. After that, I babysat another woman’s children so that she could march. I’ll never forget the look of hatred on the faces of the counter protestors as they hit, shoved and spat upon a skinny white girl. I can only imagine my mother’s horror at having her daughter treated in that manner.

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I cannot image the brain-poisoning it takes for a grown adult to treat children so cruelly. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

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It taught me a very valuable lesson about mob behavior—that a person, egged on by their compatriots, will often do things in a mob that they’d never do on their own.

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Absolutely. In the late '70s, I covered the huge counterprotest that formed when neo-Nazis came to Chicago to raise heil about The Jewz. I was a baby newspaper reporter and so naturally thought I could gather great photos and quotes If I put myself right between the roiling crowd of Nazi haters and cops assigned to protect them.

It started out fine; I interviewed members of the crowd and then the cops on the steps. The atmosphere was more like a football game than a gathering of Nazis. Then the brownshirts walked onto stage and began to vomit their bullshit.

The mood instantly darkened. Protestors began shifting feet to feet. Tomatoes and other veggies began to fly--one, then another, then a dozen, then the whole garden. Splattered cops stiffened up and tightened formation. Bricks began to sail, not at the cops but at the Nazis behind them, but riot shields and batons started stabbing the sky . . . almost into my face. I could taste the electrical wire of tension and anger sweeping the crowd--what had been good-natured catcalling of "dumb fat Nazis" had morphed into "Kill those baby Hitlers!" and all of sudden I realized it had been a Very Bad Idea to get a riot's-eye view of this.

Fortunately, this showdown was at the base of a massive old stone building in downtown Chicago, so I sidestepped into the relatively safe shelter of one of the carved stone columns that held up the building's roof. The crowd pushed and shoved and screamed, the cops did what cops do--held the line.

This never boiled over into a riot, though, because, hilariously, the big bad Nazis became so alarmed they told the cops to get them out of there. Cops obliged, and the steam went out of the crowd, anger turning to high fives and laughs. No riot, no pulverized Me. I got a good story and went home to write it.

It taught me a VERY valuable lesson on how mob behavior can infect the most peaceful assembly with very little warning, and people with even the most noble intentions can find themselves throwing punches or bricks. The dynamic is fast and furious.

That you became the target of those enraged people, I don't know how you ever not think about that day over and over and over, Mary. I'm so sorry you had to go through it.

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Thank you, Shane, I think you've solved a mystery for me. I was out in my condo's parking lot yesterday and I swore I heard an elephant trumpeting! Since I had just come home with my first hearing aids I blamed my vastly improved hearing! Here in the Mid-Hudson Valley it makes more sense that a neighbor was blowing a shofar. :-)

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Ha! Love this! Yes, I'd guess the shofar was calling, the timing was certainly right.

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Shanah tovah Shane.

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Thanks, Linda, and back at you.

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Thank you, Shane. What a beautiful gesture. Happy New Year to you as well. I hope your neighbors in Arizona ask and find out what you were doing and what it signifies. As the fight for equality is far from over, we should all be grateful to Heather for this reminder.

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It would never have occurred to me to do this for the girls had Heather not mentioned the synagogue, so all thanks to the good people of that temple for what they did.

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Shanke Gericke, thank you for spreading the love out further into the world. Love, traveled from those, who made the decisions in the synagogue and churches to honor the lives of 4 innocent children, to Heather, to you. I love seeing how love travels. Thank you!

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That those children died so horribly and alone vexes me, and I wish I could do something to protect them.

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Shane Gericke, yes, I know. That's probably why you felt so compelled to honor them with the shofar. ♡

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Dang shofar is as noisy as a gun but far less lethal, so maybe we should use them for riot control in the future :-)

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Shane Gericke, i wasn't sure if I knew the sound of the shofar, so I googled it. Yes, it could startle and herd some rascals. Ha

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Between this and my beloved Scottish bagpipes--the "bag o' banshees"--I think I could hold off the North Korean Army :-)

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Shana Tova Tikvatanu! A new year for social justice. Your action is so moving.

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All good wishes have to go to the Professor, for without her reporting it would not have occurred to me to do this. Now I want to add blasts for everyone.

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Thank you for that act of love and justice. I'd be honored to be your neighbor.

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Thanks, Kim, the honor would be mine. 102 tonight in Phoenix, come on over!

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Thank you Shane.

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You're very welcome, Helen.

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Shana tova, Shane.

Hope I spelled that correctly.

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One more letter--add an H to the end of tovah--and you're golden. Thank you for this.

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Shane, I love that ! *

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Thanks, D, it was fun to do. So hot outside here still I just slipped out, blew away, then raced back into the AC :-)

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Professor Richardson…I’ve never quite understood my passion for the promise that the Creator bestowed…”We are all in this together. There is enough to go around.” Certainly I did not learn of it growing up in urban suburbia during the 60’s. I never had a personal friendship with any person of color until I was in college. I only learned the promise when I had life experience through adulthood transforming some lessons of childhood and abandoning my rung on the ladder of caste supremacy and refusing to have my foot on the neck of those below me.

I remain overwhelmed with emotion after watching the video posted at end of the Letter today. I understand now the passion that we white people must always lead with as we engage with our sisters and brothers of this earth.

Thank you for giving us history and daring us to understand its Truth and Light.

Salud!

🗽💜

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Thanks for your lovely postings, gang, I'm honored by your kindness. My shofar is a three-foot-long, curled natural horn, and I bought it 33 years ago on a trip to Israel. I've been playing it ever since, sometimes for a gathering of friends, mostly for myself. When I saw Heather's note about the four little girls, I knew I had to honor them that way. I don't play enough to be any kind of expert, but "loud and steady" makes up for talent :-)

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Thank you Heather.

It is a part of history vital to understand American society today, and events that shaped us as a nation. It is criminal not to teach this. The ignorance-fueled hatred and fear still manifest today in varied amount across the United States. The SCOTUS decision that we are a “post-race” society is just another decision from a court corrupted by Alito, Roberts, and Thomas on the court, and McConnell’s successful effort to stack the court with Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch to solidify such decisions well into the future.

To know that generations later, a BIPOC parent has deep worry anytime their child leaves their home about all the things a white parent worries about -but also what might happen if they are pulled over by police. Or are out jogging. Or are wearing a hoodie armed with skittles candy. How can any of us rest until all people are free of such horrific reality?

To whitewash American history is to guarantee it is repeated. What DeSantis is doing in Florida is immoral. The fact that he remains Governor and is now running for President, says a great deal about “post-race” America.

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America desperately needs to BECOME a "post-race" society. Of all the world's affluent democracies, the US stands out as the most race-obsessed. Race and ethnicity permeate every aspect of its public policy and the private behaviour of its citizens.

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The racism in the U.S. today is still virulent. It explains the success that Trump has had in politics. Google the study by the two Univ. of Kansas professors, "The Anger Games: Who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and why?" Racism is the No. 1 reason. MAGA is simply the modern version of the KKK. I grew up in Texas in the '40's and '50's. We integretated our schools in 1956. In Polk County, Florida, where I now live, the schools were not fully integrated until 1994 - 40 years after Brown v. Board of Education. Racism runs very deep in this country.

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You got it Richard. Alot of folks scratch their heads wondering how Trump was elected in the first place, and how he maintains his popularity among the MAGGOTs. Well - it's mostly all racism and the general hate-filled attitude that permeates the mins of too many American people. The modern version of the KKK - not far from truth at all.

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Exactly right Jay

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Perhaps beyond Trump or behind Trump, the Ferderalist Socient, Freedom Caucus, Citizens United, KKK, etc.... are the power behind the racisim which continues to permeate our democracy

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I find it ironic and sadly a bit humorous that there is a group that has the gall to call themselves the "Freedom Caucus" when they are anything but.

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What those groups do is to manipulate the racists to vote against their own best economic interests. Thomas Frank covered this in is 2004 book "What's the Matter with Kansas."

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My first thought on the day after the 2016 was, "We really are as racist a country as I thought we might be." My next thought was, "Oh dear God, help us survive tRump's time in office." At that time, I never imagined that things would continue to worsen, even with tRump out of office.

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What we have here in the U.S. is a hard core racist group which is really the new KKK, also known as MAGA Republicans. There is absolutely no "getting through" to them. If you haven't yet, google and read "The Anger Games: Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?"

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In 1982, when we moved to Miami, my black stepdaughter was enrolled in Robert E. Lee Middle School. When she graduated to high school, Affirmative Action was still in place and we managed to get her bused to Miami Beach High instead of the inner city Miami high school in a more urban racially tense neighborhood.

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Indeed it does, Richard. I grew up in northern Indiana and heard lots of racial remarks from my own family who were of that generation which freely made such remarks. I don't think any of them were Klan members however. They just participated in the general atmosphere of prejudice that existed without thinking about it. Actually they were prejudiced against Catholics and Jews and a number of ethnic groups as well. The ultimate irony for my family is that we now have two mixed race descendants and of course, that part of the family does not know the history, but it gives me a kind of pleasure. They are my great great nieces and they have just started school, happily I might add. I hope that does not change.

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Michele, have you read Fever in the Heartland by Timothy Egan? Indiana was center point to the revival of the KKK.

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Timothy Egan's book should be required reading in high school.

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Reading it right now!

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Oh yes. I have long known about the numbers, but not the details of what they were doing. It was disgusting to me as a native Hoosier.

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Michele, you will then find "A Fever in the Heartland" particularly interesting, as Helen suggests. After reading it, there will be zero doubt in your mind that MAGA is the KKK without the conical caps.

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Richard, thanks for saying something I’ve believed for the past 6 years. KKK = Nazis. Some on the far right don’t ‘believe’ there is racism (as we all know by how)

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"Woke" is code for the n-word.

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And "Liberal." Meaning socialist, etc.

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Becky and Richard; I salute the beginning of your "enlightenment." 'Code words' is the language of the far right leadership and you now 'know' the meanings behind at least two words. You have more to learn and I hope fervently that you continue your education; I mean no insult - I celebrate your steps !

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Here's another one: MAGA is code word for KKK.

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Thx, Richard. No, we are not a post-racist society...and no, we aren't being divisive to keep talking about race. We must!

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True, Linda. I agree 100%. DeSantis is 100% wrong to suppress the teaching of actual history regarding slavery and the treatment of minorities, particularly African Americans, here in the U.S. Knowing that my ancestors were slave owners and that my great grandfather fathered a daughter with one of his slaves does not make me feel guilt, but it does cause me to have a sense of urgency to right the past wrongs.

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Agreed. I am normally an optimist. I think we WILL become a "post race" society. But the events in Alabama..in that church...on those streets were really just a few short years ago - you could count it in days. There are people quite alive who would still applaud that bombing. And their progeny are running Alabama now. That generation just hides its hate and bigotry a little better. But it's still in the DNA.

I think that an equal and fair society is generations away. In the meantime, we need to oust from power the racist bigots who are running so much of this country - on the local, state and federal level. The hope lies with younger people. It's time for the old fascist farts stuck in the past to step down, step aside.

Let's hope we get there before we are all under water or burnt to a crisp.

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Ah Bill, your last sentence says it all. I do not have any hope for putting the brakes on climate change as so many, including the Supreme Court, seem to have their heads in the sand. My own take is that the wealthy think that their money will save them. They might buy some time, but that's all.

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There is no Planet B. “...and all your money won’t another minute buy”. From “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas.

I can’t figure out how to post a YouTube link on my phone, else I would.

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Sep 17, 2023·edited Sep 17, 2023

Your last sentence prompts me to strongly suggest you read The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Beautifully written and speaks to your final point. It's sobering yet gives hope. It's well worth reading.

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Wow. I just read the synopsis of The Light Pirate. It's now in my queue! Thank you.

Have read The Wall by John Lanchester? Not a cheery book. But probably equally prescient.

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/45894062

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Thank you, Bill. I'll add your suggestion to my queue as well.

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This bombing was abhorrent then and remains so today! Such hatred is unimaginable in my mind. The color of one’s skin is purely an accident of birth…underneath we are the same people.

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In three brief sentences, you've sort of said it all Christine; Yet I'll add consider this: the thickness of the melanin layer of human skin is only about four one thousandths of an inch thick. That's about the thickness of fine baby hair.

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If we are to erase “race” from our society, we have to change the way we talk about it, think about it and the systemic methods by which we perpetuate the boundaries and discrimination. “People of color”, checking my box of Crayola, yep, apparently “white” people too, “non-whites”, not that it’s ever occurred “non-Asian” or “non-black” or non- anything other than white, yet the language divisive, “BIPOC” persists. And how in a country where too many are looking for excuses and reasons for such divisive distinctions why do we so readily persist in the use of such language. Are we not all American? Yes everything else that distinguishes us one from the other, but fundamentally American and constitutionally, legally as entitled to all rights and privileges there unto pertaining.

Change the national language, how we think, what we say, by whatever means - print, audio, video and we begin to achieve “post-race”. The distance from persistent thoughts to words to deeds to destiny is short but pervasive and enduring. Pride in one’s eyes in America is prejudice in another’s. We need a “We’re queer. We’re here. Get over it.” mentality that seeps into the fabric of America and overwhelms those driven to distinction discrimination rather than open armed acceptance.

Good start?

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This seems akin to the "All Lives Matter" argument, and deserves the same response: until BIPOC lives matter as much as white lives, all lives don't matter., and we must keep talking about race and prejudice.

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Sep 17, 2023·edited Sep 17, 2023

I know it seems redundant to say it, but, when the argument is made that “all lives matter”, it’s clear that what isn’t meant is that all lives matter. It’s more of a distraction from the fact that, as you put it, all lives don’t matter. What I’m arguing for is a recognition that all lives matter and action consistent with that assertion. To do that we need to remove the obstacles in the way. “People of color” is nonsensical as it translates to all people. “Non-whites” is divisive, the only other context for that, that’s consistently used is “white”, as though all it is is, collectively, lumped in, either/or. Justice is the goal, even handed. Those who believe that color, race shouldn’t matter overlook the fact that it does. I’m arguing not that differences don’t matter as much as regardless of difference the goal is that the application of laws and standards in America become the same for all. And, I agree, we’re not there yet. When we are, who we are will matter less in the grand scheme of things because regardless of who we are, the aforementioned application is the same. I’m not pushing for blindness. I’m pushing for an awareness that’s missing, more consistent with “woke” than anything else. More consistent with an accurate historical accounting for where we are now, how we got here and by extension a persistent pursuit of the changing of that course and trajectory. Not a denial, an affirmation. “All lives matter” has been retooled in cross purpose by some. When I say “all lives” I mean “all” and I agree, that’s not where we are, but we should be. The meaning has been purposefully muddied. It won’t happen overnight or without constant reminders. I don’t see it as an excuse for inaction. I would ask those who say “all lives matter” what exactly does that mean and what are they doing about it. And if their record, their actions aren’t consistent with the reality, then, if they are in positions of enforcement or legislation, they should be replaced. I’d recommend the AOC’s and David Hobbs’ of the next generation. Instead of “Why we can’t wait.” An updated, revised version “We’ve waited long enough.”

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All "human beings" matter.

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Sep 17, 2023·edited Sep 17, 2023

I have owned several cats. Their lives mattered. Every one of them including my current cat. If you're wondering, I'm pro choice. I think women's lives, independence and bodily autonomy matters. If I have to make a choice, I choose women. We're childless thanks to an involuntary vasectomy courtesy of the US military, which can't be held liable. Life matters. The quality of life matters. I believe in death with dignity. I'm 68 years old. I'm type 2 disbetic. I've had a triple heart bypass bought and paid for by the VA. My wife, of 38 years, one year younger than me is a cancer survivor, breast mastectomy. She's also type 2 diabetic. We would not be where we are had we not been fortunate enough to have choices. We're not rich. We're lucky. Quality of life? Yeah, I think I know a little about that. And the extent to which life is interdependent on our only planet of existence, I think "life" in a broader sense matters.

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I wonder if in the US there were more social supports like universal healthcare, guaranteed minimum annual income, decent wages for all who worked, free or inexpensive education and/or training for anyone who needed it, if people would need to rely on racism as strongly as they do now. The GOP is responsible for ensuring that the social supports aren't there, which seems to help them fan those flames of hatred and division. All of this for those already rich people to keep their pieces of gold and continue to accumulate more. Shame on the whole party.

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Just my thoughts and feelings, but I see the 'language' all wrong - just to begin with. I shall never use the word "race" when speaking, thinking, or acting of another human being. I will always correct myself and any others, that we are talking about human ethnicity. Our race is humanoid / human kind; we just have other origins from this common planet. I feel that 'words' are powerful, and it all begins with me; I can only hope / pray / act, as though it's an infection I most want all others to catch. To hell with the anger, resentment, regret, guilt, etc., ad nauseum !

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D4N. Human ethnicity. Thanks for that!

Here we spin on this beautiful blue marble. The only planet in our galaxy, perhaps in the universe, with an environment to support and sustain life. Instead of being in awe of our good fortune and profoundly grateful, we have devolved into what we've become today.

Divided by our differences. Resources coveted and destroyed by the rich and powerful. People starving when there is enough for all.

Humans are parasitic lice, killing each other and sucking the life out of our fragile planet.

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Thomas thinks it’s a post-race society because he is the darling and useful idiot of the racist haters who dress better than the KKK. I won’t even broach the “Ginni” factor. But he got his, and others can just suck air. He’s not the only black person who only has a mirror, not a window. But he’s the one who has the vote that starts the dominos falling, along with the Alito the Hun.

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Sep 16, 2023·edited Sep 16, 2023

I would count Tim Scott as cut from the same cloth as Thomas. Scott is running an ad here in Iowa claiming that his achievements were the result of his hard work, not the socialism promoted by Biden and Harris. He ends by promising stricter work requirements for public assistance because in America, if you are able bodied, you work. Ugh!

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yep, anything to court those who think empathy is a character defect. Anything to deflect what Friedrich Engels called Social Murder. Piss on Tim Scott, he's not the only one.

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Jeri, quit beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel.... lol ! Love it - Alito the Hun !

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I had better behave. FB and X banned me. Is substack next?

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Jeri. Wear you 'bannings' as a badge of honor! 🎖️

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The right. Completely determined to make being poor as painful as possible.

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There is no socialism in the US!

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Oh Jeri, thank you for my first smile this am.....Alito the Hun. Love it and I will be borrowing it.

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Thought it fit

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Oh it does.

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As someone who lived in the South for 41 years and experienced school integration as a student (it was peaceful in my relatively well off part of Central Florida), I highly recommend this famous column by a legend of journalism.

https://www.poynter.org/ethics-trust/2020/a-flower-for-the-graves/

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I'm deeply grateful to you Michael for sharing that link ~ I'd forgotten how powerful it was ! It also occurs to me that it could be ever so slightly re-written to make it perfectly applicable today. Authors ! Please join that effort - we'll grade, rate, then share the best version - with props of course to Gene Patterson.

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From George to George. Absolutely right. We have a long, long way to go.

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Earlier this week, Charles Blow reported in his New York Times column that Sarah Collins Rudolph, Addie Mae's sister, still suffers from the effects of that bombing. Her eyes were filled with shards of glass, and she lost one but continues to suffer from what remained in the other. She has never received compensation or a direct apology, and she still receives medical attention. Mr. Blow asks what we owe those who suffered as she did simply for enduring the resistance to the struggle for civil rights. I believe that at the very least we can write and teach an American history that includes the suffering of Black people without "damaging" white children who learn about it. This is not just Black history, it belongs to all of us, and this column is a good start.

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"This is not just Black history, it belongs to all of us, and this column is a good start."

Exactly. It is part of reality, and reality is where we live, how we live and why we live. One of the worst ways to truly damage children is to subject them to deceit.

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I am nearly 70 years old, and I feel deceived by the limited whitewashed version of history I received in NC in the 60's and 70's. I have learned more accurate history in the last 15 years. Ugly, violent stuff that is shameful.

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Almost the same age and I’ve thought the same thing.

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Mid 60’s and the same. No education. Black history is American history.

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Mid 70s, and yes my elementary school history in particular we mostly myth. For me there was some useful stuff around Lincoln and the Constitution, what I learned about pilgrims, natives, George Washington, and Columbus was mostly ahistorical garbage. It was fifth or sixth grade where I was taught that Columbus was the first person to realize that the world was round and how everyone else thought it was flat and if you sailed too far you would drop off the edge. No such nonsense from any number of ancient Greeks including Thales and Eratosthenes, the latter having used clever math to estimate the Earth's circumference to a figure quite close to what is measured today. And good old Columbus, who was proud of his child sex trafficking, was sold as a larger than life hero. We were taught a song about how great he was. It's the same sort of narcissistic propaganda the "GOP" peddles today. Their "originalism" and their "Tea Party" versus the recorded circumstances that actually occurred.

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Same Jen, on all accounts. I always had the 'feeling' that a lot was being left out and that somehow I was being manipulated - I distinctly recall that 'feeling', and especially so as became aware that I was a bit older than my fellow students, and a bit poorer - money and culturally wise -- and that before they would have to, I would have to sign up to be "cannon fodder" in southeast Asia; the semi - adult child of a Marine who served during the Korean War. I so vividly recall the conflicts in my mind that my fellows thought little of; the young folks just from our lower middle class neighborhood who came back in bags or hobbled for life. o m g how I remember...

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You're right, this is not just black history. Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans have all been mistreated and subjects of mass genocide as Dr. Cox-Richardson has pointed out numerous times.

Funny how much easier it is for many people to hate others that don't look or talk like them or are not in their economic group.

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I know that I tune out most of the suffering in the world as I go about my daily life, although I try to bear in mind that it is there and carry a few buckets to put out the fire. I figure the more we acknowledge that evil is evil, the fewer places it can hide.

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Yes, that's a better choice of words.

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" and, this column is a good start." That's right progwoman, 2023-55 years ago = 1963 in full Heather, historical context. The next fourteen (14) Months, September 2023 to November 2024, will define our lives, our children's lives & our country's democratic survival.

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I woke to see that the comments of our New York mayor have set off a huge anti-immigrant backlash. Most of the people quoted in the New York Times and its comment section seem not to know our laws and the history that has prevented us from reform. All they know is that they are angry, and that is dangerous.

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progwoman, from the time he was campaigning, I found him to not be the best choice because he seemed to lack warmth, empathy. His concerns about being financially able to adequately serve the large number of immigrants is valid, but I've been very uneasy with his public hollering for the reasons you said. Shouting out there's a huge problem is okay. A good leader, knowing the intense anger and fear around the issue would know that he must also shout out the truth to the public about why the dilemma hasn't been solved or ameliorated to a great degree.

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Every time someone touts ranked choice voting as a reform, I think of how Adams beat two women, Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley, either of whom I would have preferred.

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Progwoman, yes, I was sad for New Yorkers when I heard he had won.

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We wouldn't have our level headed Representative Golden in ME if there wasn't ranked choice voting. An Independent has always run against him along with a Republican so it's difficult for a candidate to garner 50% of the vote.

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Glad to hear it. New York City is a one-off in a lot of ways.

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You are so spot on, progwoman, in noting that this history belongs to all of us! Two experiences I've had show how much resistance there has been to accepting that history. In 2003, I visited the MLK, Jr. National Historic Park with my children and my father, and we took a tour that included the boyhood home of Dr. King. I realize that my observations are anecdotal, and could be just coincidental, but there were so few whites among the visitors while we were there. It made me think that Dr. King was a hero to the African American community, but still not regarded as a fully American hero. That impression was reinforced when a number of years later, I tried unsuccessfully to have the community college where I taught, begin to observe the MLK federal holiday. The Board and the union encouraged activities at the college to acknowledge and commemorate Dr. King, but especially the union would not accept the calendar change. I had hoped that we could swap the Easter Monday the college had off - not a holiday, and tied to Christian religion - with the MLK federal holiday. I did not succeed in my effort. I was saddened because these experiences signaled to me that MLK is regarded as an African American hero, a Black hero, but not an American hero. I may be wrong, but that is still the impression I have when so many schools and universities in Iowa do not observe that federal holiday.

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Thank you, Carmen. My hunch is that it depends upon where (or how) you live as to how you view the legacy of Dr. King. When I visited the national park in Atlanta perhaps 30 years ago, I was disappointed in the lack of coherent narrative and was told that the King family had kept a tight rein on the park itself. Although I never knew what those tensions were, I was glad as a white woman born in Georgia that I had paid my respects. Not enough of us do. For every person who sees King as a radical troublemaker, there seems to be one who thinks he was not sufficiently radical, because his concerns were not all tied to the racial situation in the U.S. but to our place among the nations of the world. When he came out in opposition to our involvement in what was essentially a civil war in Vietnam, a lot of Democrats felt he was ungrateful for what LBJ had done for civil rights here. It's complicated. But I am concerned about the teaching our children (all of them) receive about the full history of our nation.

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Sep 16, 2023·edited Sep 16, 2023

At the time of my visit, inadequate funding meant that parts of the Plaza were crumbling, and the museum needed work (exhibit updates and refurbishment). I hope in the last 20 years those repairs were made and followed by regular maintenance.

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Carmen, thanks for your work to inspire others to believe we need to honor Dr. King. I believe he is one of our greatest American heroes.

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And the people of Alabama replaced Doug Jones with a former football coach who lives in Florida.

Not enough has changed in 60 years.

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My thought exactly. Doug Jones is a mensch. Tubby Toomervile is a putz.

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And the voters of Alabama are to blame. Democracy works only if there are enough smart and knowlegeable people to support it. Presently, in Alabama, there are not. But that will eventually change.

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I don't see it changing anytime soon. A former co-worker is white and her husband black. They are both from Alabama and have lived there from birth. The stories she tells make your blood boil. But they won't leave.

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And that putz is putting his personal political agenda over the entire country's national security. GRRR!

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GRRRR for sure. I am really uncomfortable that the DEMOCRATIC Senate leadership hasn't found a way to trample "the Coach" and process those nominations. I understand that there is government funding to address and a myriad of other important legislative tasks.

But Schumer is not angry enough. My Senator Warren certainly is. Hear her rage on the Senate floor. Where are the rest of the Senators who claim to be interested in our national security?

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Bill Alstrom, I love Warren's passion for what is right and just. She, is how I define the word 'strong'.

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Won't it be nice when men find that to be a feature and not a threat? I think we are still crawling out of a patriarchal male dominated past. After all, how do we explain a bunch of old white men deciding when women can give birth...or not?

It's as if we are retreating to the 19th century. But I am confident that on November 5, 2024 we will hurl ourselves back to the progress those old farts have attempted to crush.

And they have an expiration date like all of us. Good.

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Bill Alstrom, yes, it sure will be a better world when men in power, those who undervalue others, finally know the truth. Right now, as you imply, they are so afraid of those qualities of the heart that naturally mean sharing power with others. Their big egos are threatened by the idea that their power/profit might be diminished and their egos don't know that true joy is found in deepening human relationships not in self-gluttony. I hope with you that our desired outcome in 2024 comes to fruition. I am grateful for men like you, who are good role models for other men, so that one day the balance of the best of the qualities of men and women will be restored, and each of us can be who we were meant to be. Thanks, Bill!

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Sad she isn't being able to run for the Presidency

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Or 600 years. We have to get a better grip and understanding on the human drive for cruel domination. One day it could kill us all.

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Sparta vs Athens?

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More or less. Overpower vs empower.

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Sad beyond words

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Thank you Heather! Our brave journalists, activists and book smart lawyers have been holding the wall against ignorant hate, cruelty and injustice. Now it is up to each one of us, no longer to sit on the sidelines, but to vote like our lives depend on it.

And to activate as many others to vote as humanly possible. Otherwise hate and tyranny will win. I refuse to let them destroy the gift that was given to each of us, often with the greatest sacrifice. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belongs to each one of us, Black, Brown, First People, LGBTQ folks, women, poor and homeless, not just the wealthy and powerful. I know most everyone on this post believes this… I just have to say it now and then.

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Sep 16, 2023·edited Sep 16, 2023

Margaret Fisher, And the largest group you mentioned?…is WOMEN……………….!k

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Amen, Margaret.

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An unusually troubling detail in this account:

"the reluctance of the FBI to share its evidence".

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Yes, it points to grave corruption in the Hoover era.

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THEY REALLY NEED TO TAKE THAT RACIST BIGOT'S NAME OFF OF ALL THE FBI BUILDINGS.

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Given the history of that era, an odor of collusion with Connor.

Do FBI archives ever become public?

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And yet, the ghosts of that Cahaba River Group continue to live on. The Cahaba River partially forms the boundary between Jefferson and Shelby County. Fifty years later, the same Shelby County that would be the plaintiff in the Shelby County v. Holder case that weakened the Voting Rights Act.

And now, ten years later the forces of hate and exclusion are back, denying representation to Black voters in Alabama. Hate never went away, it was forced into hiding by courageous, honorable people, but we were lulled into complacency. The fight is never over, the war is never won.

The incription on the block of granite at the Alabama Welcome Center reads, "We Dare Defend Our Rights". But whose rights? Not the rights of those four innocent little girls.

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And that is the “Heritage” so widely celebrated with garrison sized flags of a rebellion such as you can see alongside I-65 southbound toward M’gummry.

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Brian, I had a former co-worker post the stars and bars with a comment “I challenge all my Facebook friends to repost this to show that we will not back down from our heritage”.

5 comments. One a GIF reading “respect”. One asking “are you a southerner?” To which he replied “no, but a long time ago on FB I was informed I belong in TN”.

The other two were from the former county Medical Examiner who said “Sure. Let’s fight the American Civil War again. I’m sure we can find another General Lee, Abraham Lincoln and 600,000 American young men to die for your cause.” and me “A heritage based on enslavement of other humans. Great thing to be proud of.” Nothing else in the 5 days since.

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In Oregon so far away from the closest slave state. Racism and hate have no boundaries.

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Gary, Oregon is a quietly racist state. We only JUST voted to abolish slavery (still in our constitution).

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I had no idea. I was raised in NE and the race riots of the 1960's in Omaha remind us of the racism there as well. I'm proud that Malcolm X was from Omaha, but if he wasn't subject to so much racism there, I'm guessing he wouldn't have been, well, Malcolm X.

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I still have Manning Marable's Malcolm X, a Life of Reinvention on my shelf. It's a big book, but maybe I'll tackle it this winter. Thanks for the nudge.

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The rebuttals were absolutely necessary Ally ! "That" is courage.

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And Doug Jones, gaining 50% of the total vote was elected US Senator from Alabama in a special election on December 12, 2017. He was defeated, in 2020, by former football coach Tommy Tuberville.

Meanwhile, we are facing another round of American violence. The most recent evidence of how that violence has gotten into the minds of politicians is Mitt Romney's memoir. Romney tells us that there were Republican Members of Congress who declined to vote to impeach Donald Trump out of fear of violence against the Member or his or her family; that there were similarly Republican members of the US Senate who voted not to convict for the same reason. Count that as. victory for the Michigan kidnappers, the South Carolina murderers, and the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists.

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Organized crime.

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It should not be a surprise that the DA in Atlanta is using their RICO statute to charge Trump and his collaborators.

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"You have a lovely family. It would be a pity if ..."

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Leonard, what a contrast in courage, when even Black children stood up for their rights fully aware that they might be brutalized, and members of Congress who are cowed by the threat of violence from followers of the leader they chose!

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Carmen, you said it so well. Little children braver than our adult representatives. Now I would like to see that contrast blasted as headline on every screen, on every cover, everywhere.

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How low we have fallen, mob tactics used to galvanize Giuliani, now they entice him. And the country.

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Consider my newsletter Len's Political Notes to read about the candidates where your donations can make a difference: https://lenspoliticalnotes.com

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Leonard Lubinsky,

Math Professor Izaak Wirszup and Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim of U Chicago helped raise and educate me from a troubled youth, each survivors, Izaak from six years in Auschwitz, painting the Commandant’s HQ repeatedly, released to the USSR gulag and held as a hostage accused as a Nazi collaborator till the Russians realized he’d lost 60 relatives and let him go, Bruno from Dachau and Buchenwald, released pre-war, probably by use of his money in Switzerland.. Dr. B or Bruno said we might well again face fascism, here in the USA, defining prejudice as a mix of fear and ignorance: average Americans devoted to Trump motivate with fear, are ignorant haters, many read at a 5th grade level, are white male fascists like Tucker - his Florida west coast island like corner lots home address on request.. if asked for mail use only, he is a sick, emotionally unstable almost effeminate male grad of a weak, uncompetitive and snotty soft prep school, married to the Head’s pleasant daughter, a con-man incapable of maturing, pure fascist, incredibly able at leading the insecure white mostly male mob in their fear of color and anything different, our most intolerant and intolerable and insecure population or segment, our haters, just lost and angry. FOX seeks these types, millions of our neighbors know no other news source, Donald Trump is their very own spiritual leader, their connection to reality, it’s a fascist cult that thrives on superiority and hatred, belonging and rejection, ignorance and intolerance and nihilistic indifference. Their grifting leadership will stop at nothing. Nihilism and fascism fed by Putin’s lies and their own, they will kill at will, destroy America and democracy to rise. This mess is more frightening than the Civil War. The enemy is within, hiding in plain view, across the planet. It’s world wide. Our armed forces and police are infected by this political and psychological virus, and ignoring it will prove fatal.

Newspapers are frightened. MSNBC gets it. Biden democrats seem paralyzed and confused.

Biden has done a great job.

Who’s best to succeed him?

Who has what it takes to take on the mob and complement the able, highly skilled honest and devoted prosecutors?

It’s time, America! It’s time.

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I shall never forget the TV pictures of Bull Connor knocking young Black children off their feet with powerful jets of water and unleashing attack dogs against these defenseless children. For me he became the symbol of the modern KKK.

In stunning contrast I was galvanized by Martin Luther King Jr’s historic A Letter from Birmingham Jail.

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Thank you for this stark reminder. Some 55 years ago, I had lunch with a young reporter who had covered these events, particularly Bull Connor. At one press conference, Connor was asked why he used the hoses before the dogs. Connor responded, “Had to hose the N*** down before the dogs’d touch ‘em.” My lunch date said that his stomach literally heaved when he heard that. Mine still twinges when I think about it…

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Not an iota of humanity. All men are created equal. Sure they are. Bull is on the lowest rung. Any animal is a cut above that vermin.

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I'd say "many cuts" above.

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My brother, Charles Moore, was the photographer who took the photos appearing in LIFE, of the dogs, hoses and such. He and a LIFE reporter were arrested on Bull’s orders. My brother was banned from ever returning to AL, our home state.

Almost 40 years later he returned to live near UNA, near the neighboring county where we grew up.

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Chris, please thank him for me. His photos showed the world the ugliness.

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Chris please tell your brother thank you for his work.

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To think that Doug Jones served for a short time as a Senator from Alabama... And now a former football coach holds that seat-- Coach.Tuberville is holding all branches of our military hostage, allowing no appointments. How low the Senate has fallen. How craven and spiteful the men who purport to represent us... Ugh.

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Our government has had more than its share of cretins from the beginning til this very moment. Yet there have been those who stood tall and firm for justice. Hope the scales weigh for the country I thought we were growing up.

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Thank you, Heather. A stunning letter today. I thought back to the Birmingham church bombing in 1963, when I was 14, and compare it to now. It seems we have stood still in some ways. The rampant killing and violence towards all people who are” different” from white people is a very dangerous sign. The escalation of rhetoric by the forces of regression is haunting. Keep us on an even keel in these rough waters. Have a good weekend.

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This just kills me. And the descendants of these abominations are today's MAGAts, 60 years on.

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They passed it on, hate as legacy.

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There! You’ve nailed the “heritage.”

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Thank you, Dr. Richardson, for responding to this infamous day. It has been more tan 400 years since the first Africans were brought unwillingly to America. They not only stayed but were responsible for making the Southern autocrats wealthy. We are still battling the same battles today. African American humans are no longer held in slavery, but they are still regarded in too many States as lesser citizens. If we do retake both Houses of Congress and retain the Executive Branch, my dearest hope is that the Federal Government, and all 50 States will pass a decree that there is only ONE genus, One species of humans, Homo sapiens and all Homo sapiens who are citizens of the United States is entitled to the same courtesy, esteem, equality under the law, and most of all respect as all other Homo sapiens.

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Doug Jones, all too briefly US Senator (D-AL).

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