Tag Archives: evil

The Underground Railroad: The Invisible Rails

462_160I have repeatedly expressed the evils of slavery, in spite the fact that white folk tries to claim “it wasn’t that bad” or claim those living today had nothing to do with it. We know they have changed history to make it appear as if they are Christian and not of the devil. Malcolm told us they were devils and most would call them savages.

Try to imagine how horrible slavery was, being beaten, raped, and sold. Thankfully, during those times there were slaves brave enough to create the Underground Railroad, which was a network of secret routes and safe houses established during the early-to-mid 19th century, and used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.

The term is also applied to the abolitionist movement were both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives on their journey. Most don’t know that there were various other routes that led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 1800s, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. Estimates suggest that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”.

Canada, where slavery was prohibited, was a popular destination, as its long border gave many points of access. More than 30,000 people were said to have escaped there via the network during its 20-year peak period, although U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000. Numerous fugitives’ stories are documented in the 1872 book The Underground Railroad Records by William Still, an abolitionist who then headed the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee.

At its peak, nearly 1,000 slaves per year escaped from slave-holding states using the Underground Railroad – more than 5,000 court cases for escaped slaves were recorded – much fewer than the natural increase of the enslaved population. The resulting economic impact was minuscule, but the psychological influence on slaveholders was immense. Under the original Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, officials from free states were required to assist slaveholders or their agents who recaptured runaway slaves, but citizens and governments of many free states ignored the law, and the Underground Railroad thrived.

With heavy lobbying by Southern politicians, the Compromise of 1850 was passed by Congress after the Mexican–American War. It stipulated a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law; ostensibly, the compromise addressed regional problems by compelling officials of free states to assist slave catchers, granting them immunity to operate in free states. Because the law required sparse documentation to claim a person was a fugitive, slave catchers also kidnapped free blacks, especially children, and sold them into slavery. Southern politicians often exaggerated the number of escaped slaves and often blamed these escapes on Northerners interfering with Southern property rights.

The law deprived suspected slaves of the right to defend themselves in court, making it difficult to prove free status. In a de facto bribe, judges were paid a higher fee of $10 for a decision that confirmed a suspect as a slave than for one ruling that the suspect was free. Many Northerners who might have ignored slave issues in the South were confronted by local challenges that bound them to support slavery. This was a primary grievance cited by the Union during the American Civil War, and the perception that the Northern States ignored the fugitive slave law was a major justification for secession.

The Underground Railroad inspired cultural works. For example, “Song of the Free”, written in 1860 about a man fleeing slavery in Tennessee by escaping to Canada, was composed to the tune of “Oh! Susanna”. Every stanza ends with a reference to Canada as the land “where colored men are free”. Slavery in Upper Canada was outlawed in 1793; in 1819, John Robinson, the Attorney General of Upper Canada, declared that by residing in Canada, black residents were set free and that Canadian courts would protect their freedom. Slavery in Canada as a whole had been in rapid decline after an 1803 court ruling and was finally abolished outright in 1834.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in the U.S., many black refugees left Canada to enlist in the Union Army. While some later returned to Canada, many remained in the United States. Thousands of others returned to the American South after the war ended. The desire to reconnect with friends and family was strong, and most were hopeful about the changes emancipation and Reconstruction would bring.

Black History Month is designed for you learn and know your history! So as our ancestors did keep you eye on the north star and free you mind and your ass will follow! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


The Hypocrisy Of Democracy

001I had a Granddaddy that I loved more than life itself. This man was never formally educated, yet he was brilliant because he had a special wisdom that was common sense. I posted an article some time ago called “Granddaddy’s Lessons” where I shared some of the wisdom I learned from him. He used to recite some witty sayings as he guided me into manhood, like “even a fool makes sense sometimes” and my favorite was “never argue with a fool.” Rarely have I ever questioned “Pop’s” wisdom, but witnessing the behavior of many rooted in racism from today’s so-conservatives I am reminded of the once thought dead “Citizens Counsels.” But just as things change they remain the same. Today we have a man named Trump!

While growing up, my grandfather would shield me from the wretchedness and evils of racism. However, I was old enough to witness the brutality of peaceful demonstrations by black people on television in the early sixties begging for not just civil rights but human rights. This was to include things like the church bombing that killed four little girls, police attacking marchers with dogs, the trampling of black people on horseback on Bloody Sunday, beatings and assaulting black people with high-pressure water hoses.

I would ask Pops, why white people did those things to us. He would say, “Those acts were the lawlessness of the bigotry and hatred of us” and nothing more than the hypocrisy of democracy. Today, as I recall those dreadful horrors inflicted upon human beings of color for what they said was to uphold the “Law.” It seems eerily similar to the atmosphere and mentality of the time we now see in the world we live in today where the plan is still to eliminate our race.

Now that I have matured, I better understand that there is a philosophy that enables racism to exist. What we thought was removed from the consciousness of the American dogma was simply lying dormant. Therefore, in order to understand the current political environment that is affecting and polarizing society, we must ask the question; is what we see conservatism or racism? To answer that question; here is Webster’s definition of both words:

Conservatism: a disposition in politics to preserve what is established b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically: such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs.

Racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produces an inherent superiority of a particular race. 2: racial prejudice or discrimination.

Congressman John Lewis, who was beaten nearly to death on Bloody Sunday was assaulted with racial epithets and spit on – on the steps of the Nation’s Capital, which is the symbol, supposedly, of the freest nation on earth. Bricks were thrown through windows, death threats and other threatening messages have been made to Congressman, Government Officials, and threats against the President are the norm. President Obama continues to receive an unprecedented amount of death threats, insulted with disrespectful caricatures and referred to as the Antichrist. I would say this in the manifestation of hatred that is pure evil.

There is talk of secession, remember how well that worked out, it was called the Civil War which had its roots in the concepts that are on display now. As a result of the changing face of America, less white, the Trump types espouse predictions of Armageddon because something, as they see it, has gone terribly wrong with the America. To which I suppose only means that it is trying to live up to the lie that it has lived; meaning “a government for the people and by the people.” It amazes me, after witnessing the Bush years and the last decade of GOP criminal rule that the people elected a house and senate full of more of the same.

In the eyes of Conservatives, things are turned upside down. They tell black people that they make everything racial. Yet, they scream we want to “take back our country.” Back to what “Slavery”! More disheartening and most distasteful is that there are still African America’s, “House Negroes,” who chime in supporting their beliefs like the Trump who wants to be president. It appears that he forgot this nation was never fair or just; with respect to black people. Worse yet, there are some “Uncle Tom’s” that think race is no longer an issue or can remember the regular lynchings during the time “they” say was so great.

Just like “Manifest Destiny” was devised to justify one race’s superiority. The Conservatives movement now led by Trump is rooted in the psychology of racism, and we know that involves pitting one against the other. The standard trick is to use a black person to be the face of a situation or any number of these sellout Christians preachers that reminds me of my uncle Thomas, who we call Tom.

America’s ardent belief in Democracy, particularly everywhere else in the world, is shocking because they are not practicing it on its own shores. They make every effort to deny its own citizens the right to vote. The NEOCONs and war hawks can find billions of dollar in an instant to send anywhere in the world, but it seems to have forgotten Detroit, New Orleans, and anything related to people of color or minorities. More disturbing, an unarmed black person is shot down in the street every day, and they do nothing. Rather, their focus is to help the rich and encourage more war.

Back in the day, when we protested, peacefully, they called us un-American. They told us to “love it or leave it” – “go back to Africa.” We never threatened the lives of others when blacks begged for civil rights. However, when government officials do nothing – in my opinion it is treason. Let’s remember that once upon a time, people that had this mentality thought slavery was sanctioned by “God” and good for America. These conservatives are not just racist but the “Axis of evil.” And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Living Yesterday – Today!

Let me first say to all who follow THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES that I am indeed honored that you read my words. I try to provided and add a prospective to reality whereby you may be empowered and maybe, just maybe, see the world through new eyes. If you knew me personally, you would know that I rarely ask for anything, maybe that is a fault, but I am a benevolent spirit and this is my way of giving.

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I WILL HOWEVER, TODAY, ASK EACH OF YOU FOR SOMETHING. PLEASE SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MURDER, ASK FOR JUSTICE, AND RAISE YOUR VOICES IN PROTEST OF THIS INJUSTICE!!!

I have lived long enough to have witnessed many vial and unspeakable things done under the auspices of RACISM. I remember the first time I saw the brutally beaten corpse of little Emmitt Till, which was done because of a way of life. I can recall crying that day and I cry today for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As I see it, these two horrible events are strangely similar and equally frightening.

It shows that we, as African Americans, are still a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality. Translated – no justice!

Of course, we don’t yet know every detail of the encounter between Martin and the monster who murdered this unarmed 17-year-old high school student. But, we know enough to conclude that this is an old familiar story with the same tenets rooted in RACISM. Emmitt’s murderer got away with it and so far so has this guy.

Now let me ask, how many guys named George are out there cruising the streets? How many guys with chips on their shoulders and itchy triggers fingers with loaded handguns? How many self-imagined guardians or more aptly put vigilantes who say the words “black male” with a sneer? You do know that was the Klan’s mantra!

Whether Zimmerman can or should be prosecuted, given Florida’s “stand your ground” law providing broad latitude to claim self-defense, is an important question. But, the more important question is: “we should stand up to repeal these deadly laws designed to give license to “Kill Black People”. This often happens because this bull’s-eye that black men wear throughout their lives, and in many cases, just caught on the wrong street at the wrong time.

Protect, teach your children, and may this child’s soul rest in peace. I have lost a child through tragedy and I know this pain. My heart and prays go out to the Martin family.

If you never took a stand for anything – now is the time. And that is my Thought Provoking Prospective…

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The Peril’s Of Justice

We as African Americans understand, as Richard Pryor famously said, when it comes to justice what we find is JUST-US! This statement could not be more profound today as it relates to some of the news stories that involve African Americans, namely the recent murder of the young child Trayvon Martin.

Frankly, this case takes me back nearly sixty-years when another young black child was murdered where the culprits did not receive due justice. I wonder if the story would be different if the victim was white and the shooter was black. I think we know the answer to that!!!

But I read a piece today written by Mr. Jonathan Capehart and like him I had the same questions that he asked in this article. First, he asked, what was Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford, Fla., police department? Then he asked why was Zimmerman portrayed as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain when he was not part of a registered neighborhood watch program? Further he asked, did the Sanford Police Department ever warn him about his activities in this unofficial capacity?

When you consider that Zimmerman was known to have placed, as it was reported, 46 calls to that department between Jan. 1, 2011, and the Feb. 26 shooting; did the Sanford police have specific orders on how to deal with him? Did they have a file on him? Did they have him on any kind of special watch list?

To these questions, the Police Chief said, “we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” Yet, Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was sufficient justification to not arrest him. My next question was why did Chief Lee accept Zimmerman’s self-defense plea on its face? Did the police run a background check on Zimmerman? Did his previous arrest, for resisting arrest without violence, raise any red flags with police? Did Lee attempt to establish probable cause? How did he go about it? Was Zimmerman tested for drugs or alcohol? If not, why not? Was Zimmerman’s gun confiscated? Was it tested? Where is that gun now?

These are all valid questions that demand answers.

Now, here are a few questions that come to mind with respect to the crime scene. What did police do with Trayvon’s body at the scene? What did police do with Trayvon’s body once taken from the scene? Why was it tested for drugs and alcohol? What did police do with Trayvon’s personal effects? Where is his cell phone? Did police try to contact Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who was talking to him during the initial moments of the confrontation with Zimmerman and who tried several times to call him back? Hmmmm!

So as you can see there are many more questions than answers and frankly a thorough investigation would have answered these questions. Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to review the case to ensure that some of these questions are answered – maybe. There is such a thing as right and wrong; some things are right and some things are wrong. When you look at the aforementioned questions in this case that are unanswered – it stinks of wrong. Oh, and for sure racism!!!

There are so many more questions than answers and I pray we get them answered, and justice is served. With that said, I would suggest that you compare this to little Emmitt Till and recall the Peril’s Of Justice.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Mitt and Faith

Mitt Romney, who the Republicans call “Him”, has a past that speaks to a matter of his soul, which I believe is the foundation of his core beliefs. Mitt spent 32 years in a religious organization that indoctrinated the idea that blacks were fundamentally cursed — by God — and that by virtue of their birth were unworthy of the highest spiritual affirmation. Being an African America and someone who believes in God this ideology is a huge problem for me.

Let me give just a brief historical background of his faith. The word Mormon most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as “Latter-day Saints” or sometimes just “Saints.”

The term has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably the fundamentalists, while other Saints denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it. The term Latter-day Saints (LDS) was given to its founder Joseph Smith during an 1838 revelation mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants. The term “saint” was used by Paul the Apostle to refer to early members of the Christian church with “later-day” being added to differentiate the modern church from the early church.

Most people associate the Mormon religion with polygamy or sex with young girl through marriage which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons. However, it was renounced by the LDS Church in 1890, and now they say is discontinued. Today, polygamy is practiced only by fundamentalist groups that have broken with the LDS Church.

From the start, Mormons have tried to establish what they call Zion, a utopian society of the righteous. Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, (2) a “pioneer era” under the leadership of Brigham Young and his successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century.

Now back to the cult’s racial views. Romney was confronted during a NBC’s Meet the Press (12/07) appearance when the late Tim Russert brought up the ban on blacks and the fact that Romney was an adult before the ban was lifted. Russert pointedly asked if Romney had a problem with associating himself with an organization that was seen as racist. Romney answered, “I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.”

Russert asked if Romney was willing to disavow the Church’s earlier teachings, and Romney refused — choosing instead to cite examples of how his father supported civil rights. Mitt even claimed that his father, George Romney, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.; a statement that was later proven false and that Romney recanted.

There is “no religious test” for holding political office, but there is a moral one. As a leader in his church, a young Romney would have been compelled to teach the racist Mormon ideology to others. His curious answer to Russert affirms the belief that the church was infallible in its teachings. Romney cannot be excused of his own affiliation with an explicitly discriminatory organization without, at the very least, providing an acceptable answer.

Barack Obama was forced to disavow controversial statements by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign culminating in his now famous race speech. Romney cannot be given a pass especially when, unlike Obama’s situation, Romney remains in a church whose codified beliefs are sketched in proverbial stone. The priesthood ban may be gone, but the cursed text remains and is still taught as divinely inspired doctrine.

The former governor rarely discusses religion. But the recent controversy over the contraception clause of the new healthcare law and the Catholic Church’s public disagreement with the Obama administration precipitated comments from Romney that Obama was attacking freedom of religion. Romney spoke while campaigning ahead of the Michigan and Arizona primaries that he “knows a lot about being persecuted” for one’s faith.

There is a cognitive dissonance inherent in the idea that one can be a victim of religious persecution, while simultaneously adhering to a faith which does the same based on race.

It’s a complicated subject, with an equally complicated history, and though Romney may not now, or ever have held racist feelings or beliefs on a personal level, it is a public office that he seeks. And, as such, he must be compelled to offer an open and honest explanation. Frankly, with his well documented history of flip-flopping (lying) – is this the guy any American would want to be the next president of the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcw0woPX5VY

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”

Legacy – A New Season is Coming!


What do you think???

I’d like to offer a few thoughts concerning the current political discourse revolving around the health care debate. I’ve often asked myself; how can man/people love God who he/they cannot see, but cannot love the physical being of a man who he can see? If we were about to witness the Second Coming of our Lord, another question would be; what would Jesus say? Believing and knowing that his life was lived in service of the least of thee and also died for our sins – I wonder if he would react much in the way he did with the thieves in the temple.

I’ve watched the outrageous antics displayed during many of these town hall meetings where the opponents of something as morally correct as helping the sick are just “acting a fool”. Many of these folks are Republicans, it’s safe to assume, who believe in the sanctity of marriage, call themselves compassionate conservatives or Christian Conservatives, and believe in the right to life. Yet, they display such outrage and bigotry over an issue that would greatly benefit so many lives.

These are, many of them, the same folks who don’t believe our current elected president is the president. In this democracy to be qualified for the job one needs to be born in America to which most reasonable people would agree Hawaii, where records clearly indicate President Obama was born, is part of America. Then of course one must be elected by a majority of voters, which he was and by some accounts a “Landslide”. These same folks are all for bringing democracy to countries around the world but they apparently are not willing to accept it when it works here. I suppose this is the hypocrisy of democracy.

While watching television coverage of the town hall debates my thoughts were, I’ve seen this before – like in 1960. At one town hall event a news report covering the issue asked someone attending the rally; what are your concerns? She said, “We want our country back”. As if the country was overthrown. The elderly woman went on to say “she wanted to restore the country back to what the founding fathers wanted in the Constitution”.

I looked at her wondering if she was aware that the Constitution was signed in 1887 by all white men excluding everybody but them. The founding fathers she referred to lived in a time when they owned human beings as chattel and women had no rights whatsoever. Nonetheless, she was correct in that the Constitution affords us the right to free speech no matter how ridiculous it might be.

In her rage, she also said she does not want the government in her life making medical decisions for her. Hmmm – like the insurance company’s and HMO’s are doing now, if you are lucky enough to have insurance. She went on to say that “Obama wants the government to kill old people, socialize medicine, and take away our Medicare”. The lady who looked to be in her seventies and was wearing a t-shirt that said support the troops obviously did not understand that both entities are government systems providing medical services that are socialized not to mention, I am sure, she took advantage of Social Security. To be respectful, this lady was surely among the low information crowd.

Standing near her in the frame of my television screen were people carrying signs with an erratic horary of issues. The most disrespectful was a sign that had the president looking like Hitler, arguably the worst man to every live. This might just be the reason for the Nazi remarks that could very well be a codeword for N- — (n word) much in the way they throw around words like communist or socialist when referring to our president. Let’s be clear, the real issue is the face of what America looks like; a black President, a Jewish Chief of Staff, newly appointed Latin Supreme Court Justice, a woman Speaker of the House of Representatives – faces of ultimate power that are no longer all white men.

I don’t have to go back thirty or forty years because these people are the same ones we saw last summer attending rallies held by President Obama’s campaign opponent. However, I am old enough to remember the Jim Crow era when bigotry was a way of life and segregation was the law of the land. The problem is, I think, most African Americans have forgotten what it was like to be “Colored” and in spite of wanting to forget that myself I believe we are about to have a “Columbus Experience”. By that I mean, we are going to discover America that “Real America” the one that the now former Governor decried during the presidential campaign. Because the actions of these people are eerily similar to the racism of a time I’d hoped to never see again.

I am an avid history buff. I just love knowing about the past because to know it and understand it allows you a glimpse into the future. For example, I can recall somewhere around 1860 when there was a movement by many states with a perverse idea called “secession”, which occurred and the United States split into two countries. The reason, as we all know, was about money and the profits gained from the institution of Slavery. Today the issue has again been raised for the same reasons – money, profits, and race.

Recently conservatives held what they called “Tea Parties” in many cities around the nation because they believe the country is going in the wrong direction. I suppose this was to symbolize the Boston Tea Party where the colonists were planting the seed of revolt. It is the same thing that was done in 1860 – revolt. Before I go on, let me say that they seemed to forget what course the nation was on during the last eight years when terror was the main concern.

When you talk about secession and government revolt – it’s called treason and that is brought about by terror. As much as we’ve heard about terror over the last eight years this mindset/behavior rises to the level of a greater evil. Let me highlight the most inflammatory act perpetrated to date. The other day a protester showed up for a town hall meeting held by the President of the United States – ARMED. “Strapped”, yes with a gun – a side arm in plain view where the president was speaking.

At another town hall event there was a guy arrested by the Secret Service because the protester was holding a sign that said he wanted to kill President Obama and his whole family. At the same event there were several signs that said, “Death to the tyrant”. This can’t be simply about health care reform. It’s been reported that the president receives 4-5 hundred death threats a day and with America’s horrible history of assassinations we should be very concerned. Let’s not forget the decade of the 1960’s where we lost a President, a King, an X, a Senator, and several other prominent leaders to assassination.

The actions of these people and let’s not leave out the radio commentators they listen to, who want the president to fail, spew their venom are creating a very dangerous environment reminiscent of the 1960’s. Surely there are a lot of mean spirited evil people in this world and evil is not usually associated with Jesus. Therefore, I think we know what Jesus would say, maybe something like – let’s turn to each other not on each other.


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