Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Waffle Maker Riot
Saturday, November 19, 2011
George Washington Took His Slaves’ Teeth
"The following year, in May of 1784, Washington paid several unnamed "Negroes," presumably Mount Vernon slaves, 122 shillings for nine teeth, slightly less than one-third the going rate advertised in the papers, "on acct. of the French Dentis[sic} Doctr. Lemay [sic]," almost certainly Le Moyer. Over the next four years, the dentist was a frequent and apparently favorite guest on the plantation. Whether the Mount Vernon slaves sold their teeth to the dentist for any patient who needed them or specifically for George Washington is unknown, although Washington's payment suggests that they were for his own use. Washington probably underwent the transplant procedure--"I confess I have been staggered in my belief in the efficacy of transplantion," he told Richard Varick, his friend and wartime clerk, in 1784--and thus it may well be that some of the human teeth implanted to improve his appearance, or used to manufacture his dentures, came from his own slaves."
I'll remember this fact the next time I'm told about honest Abe, I mean George. Whatever.
I hasten to add that even if the slaves were paid, the transaction could not have been made on an equal basis. I have been afraid to say no bosses who actually paid me for my labor. Besides, what would be the point of owning people if they actually had the right to refuse anything.
I can't write this without thinking of the pain these people endured, the physical punishments, separation from family, and as if that weren't bad enough they had their teeth yanked out too.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Best Gaddafi Quote Ever
“We fear that Obama will feel that, because he is black with an inferiority complex, this will make him behave worse than the whites. This will be a tragedy. We tell him to be proud of himself as a black and feel that all Africa is behind him.”
Moammar Gaddafi said these words in 2008. I don’t know if they were translated from the Arabic or if he said it in English, which was not his first language.
In any case, Gaddafi had no reason that Obama would quite literally be the death of him, but his words were prescient. Africa is at Obama’s mercy, whether it is because of an inferiority complex isn’t clear. I don’t know that Obama is all that complicated. He is just ambitious and does what the system requires of him.
Obama and the Dems Will Cut Social Security
“The Democrats on the Super Committee want to significantly cut your Social Security and have offered to do it. The only thing really protecting your Social Security benefits from cuts right now is the Republican unwillingness to reach a deal that includes explicit tax increases.
There should be no doubt that your Social Security is in serious danger right now. It has been in serious danger ever since the Super Committee was purposely created in such away to make it easier to cut the program.” Firedog Lake
That’s right folks. You had better hope that John Boehner doesn’t come to the table. If he does, the democrats will be ready to throw you under the wheels of the bus.
I wrote about this in Black Agenda Report this week. Obama, with the help of Pelosi, Reid and company, has perfected right wing ideology and made it palatable to people who should be crying out in indignation. But they won’t say a word against the evil doing as long as it is committed by people with the letter D behind their names.
"Blacks were not allowed to be on the same tours with whites much less stay in the same hotel. Matt traveled to larger cities to appeal to the African American community to visit the world famous Mammoth Cave. Matt led Special tours so African Americans could experience the renowned Mammoth Cave. Matt and his wife, Zemmie, provided lodging and meals for black visitors at their home called the Bransford Resort. It was the first time in Mammoth Cave history the African American community could experience the same comforts and fascination of the cave white visitors had experienced for over a century."
I love the national park system. I have visited five national parks and numerous national park sites and I am always anxious to learn more about the role played by black people in the parks' history.
Today I came across information about Mammoth Cave national park in Kentucky. The first explorers of that cave system were enslaved people. Mammoth Cave is the largest cave system in the country and it is believed that there is still unexplored territory there.
Men like Stephen Bishop and Mat Basterson were enslaved and were leased out by their masters to lead tours. There are portions of Mammoth Cave which they discovered and which today's visitor has access to because of their curiosity and bravery. Read all about it here.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Is this what fascism looks like?
“It was from this aircraft carrier that some of the first assaults on Iraq were launched. This ship supports what's happening in Afghanistan.
I think some of you may know because it's been reported that the men and women on the Carl Vinson were part of that critical mission to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.” Barack Obama
I was completely creeped out by this image. It is a photograph of a basketball game played onboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day. Veterans Day used to be a simple holiday in which we honored veterans of past wars. In fact, over the years it had become largely ignored as the population of veterans aged and dwindled.
That was before the United States embarked on its latest incarnation of empire and endless war. Now we are given a steady dose of militarism. There is no where we can escape and sports have been particularly contaminated with this noxious pro-military ideology.
I enjoy watching football because I like the sport. Now, viewers have to endure fly overs from fighter jets, enormous American flags, and military marching bands. It really makes me sick.
Yesterday I got even sicker when I read that the Michigan State and North Carolina college basketball teams would play a game on the Vinson, the vessel from which bin Laden’s dead body was dumped into the sea.
It isn’t an over statement to call this fascistic. Constant displays of patriotism are among the universally agreed upon criteria of fascism. Having the president attend this event makes it all but official.
I used to call the Bush administration fascistic because of the stolen election, invasion of Iraq and assault on civil liberties. Obama was genuinely elected but he embarked on a Bushian propaganda effort to demonize Moammar Gaddafi and pave the way for popular support of the assault on the Libyan people. He has expanded war on the entire African continent and has even argued, via a secret white house panel, that he has the right to murder U.S. citizens.
So the F word is coming back out of my closet. The Fascism Watch returns.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
“There sits a tyrant holding fettered four millions of slaves; here comes their heroic liberator. This most hypocritical and diabolical government looks up from its seat on the gasping four millions, and inquires with an assumption of innocence: 'What do you assault me for? Am I not an honest man? Cease agitation on this subject, or I will make a slave of you, too, or else hang you. '”
Henry David Thoreau, A Plea for Captain John Brown
He is back! Arthur Silber hadn't posted in several months, and knowing of his precarious health, I was quite worried about him.
Arthur recently suffered the loss of Wendy, one of his dear cats, but he is now writing again. He says that he intends to write about Thoreau's "A Plea for John Brown." I can hardly wait to read what Arthur has to say, so I took a look at the essay. John Brown is a fascinating man, and one of America's great heroes. Arthur is also one of my heroes, so I am anxious to discover what he has to say about the great liberator.
I think the above quote applies not only to a slave holding United States, but to a nation now on the precipice of financial collapse and imperial ruin. Cease agitating, or you'll be done away with.
Remember Moammar Gaddafi. He wouldn't bend to the west's will, and he was savagely executed. Julian Assange is also in danger. He will be extradited to Sweden and probably then to the United States. He wouldn't cease agitating and he will be treated accordingly.
There is nothing innocent about the United States, but it struts about and preens as if it were a model of moral rectitude. Anyone who argues otherwise is in grave danger.
I am, as always, looking forward to what Arthur has to say in the future.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Words of the week from Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report
"The young people that began this Occupation Movement less than two months ago are not 'us,' but they have done all of us a great service. They have shouted out the name and address of the enemy – the enemy of all humanity. The enemy’s name is Finance Capital, and the address is Wall Street, and that is the truth.
But there are some who try to confuse our folks about this essential truth. They want to obscure the fact that Finance Capital is the greatest danger to everyone on this planet, from those of us sitting right here in this church, to the Black people of Libya who are being hunted down like animals, this very evening, by forces that the U.S. Government has empowered.
Finance Capital – Wall Street – wants to seize and corner every market and every resource in the world, from the land that we stand on here in Harlem, to the oil under the land, in Libya. We need to be focused on that central truth.
We need to stop listening to those who say we shouldn’t be associating with those white Occupation people; that those white kids don’t speak for us.
Well, that’s right. They don’t speak for us; we have to speak for ourselves. Their presence downtown is a challenge to us to speak up against a Wall Street that has done more damage to Black America than to anyone else in the country.
That is our obligation, and we must meet it. We owe that to the ancestors."