Tag Archives: Florida

The Rosewood Massacre

350_160Since this place called America came into existence, there have been many unspeakable acts of terror inflicted on non white folk, but of course, those people denied that it happened. These crimes were particularly harsh on black people and their communities – that is if you call the places where they lived communities! History report of such violent acts of destruction in Tulsa (Black Wall Street) in 1921 and Philadelphia (MOVE) as recent as the 1980s as well as many places during segregation and slavery! Not to forget the horrible racist founded the KKK!

However, there is the Rosewood massacre that was a violent, racially motivated massacre of blacks and destruction of a black town that took place during the first week of January 1923 in rural Levy County, Florida. At least six blacks and two whites were killed, and the town of Rosewood was abandoned and destroyed in what contemporary news reports characterized as a race riot. Racial disturbances were common during the early 20th century in the United States, reflecting the nation’s rapid social changes. Florida had an especially high number of lynchings of black males in the years before the massacre, including a well-publicized incident in December 1922.

Prior to the massacre, the town of Rosewood had been a quiet, primarily black, self-sufficient whistle stop on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. As was usually the case the trouble began when white men from several nearby towns lynched a black Rosewood resident because of unsupported accusations that a white woman in nearby Sumner had been beaten and possibly raped by a black drifter.

When the town’s black citizens rallied together to defend themselves against further attacks, a mob of several hundred whites combed the countryside hunting for black people, and burned almost every structure in Rosewood. Survivors from the town hid for several days in nearby swamps until they were evacuated by train and car to larger towns. Although state and local authorities were aware of the violence, no arrests were made for what happened in Rosewood. The town was abandoned by its former black residents; none ever moved back.

Although the rioting was widely reported around the United States at the time, few official records documented the event. Survivors, their descendants, and the perpetrators remained silent about Rosewood for decades. Sixty years after the rioting, the story of Rosewood was revived in major media when several journalists covered it in the early 1980s. Survivors and their descendants organized to sue the state for having failed to protect Rosewood’s black community.

In 1993, the Florida Legislature commissioned a report on the massacre. As a result of the findings, Florida became the first U.S. state to compensate survivors and their descendants for damages incurred because of racial violence. The incident was the subject of a 1997 feature film directed by John Singleton. In 2004, the state designated the site of Rosewood as a Florida Heritage Landmark. Officially, the recorded death toll of the first week of January 1923 was six blacks and two whites. Historians disagree about this number.

Some survivors’ stories claim there may have been up to 27 black residents killed, and assert that newspapers did not report the total number of white deaths. Minnie Lee Langley, who was in the Carrier house siege, recalls that she stepped over many white bodies on the porch when she left the house. Several eyewitnesses claim to have seen a mass grave filled with black people; one remembers a plow brought from Cedar Key that covered 26 bodies. Others claimed as many as 150 people were killed.

However, by the time authorities investigated these claims, most of the witnesses were dead, or too elderly and infirm to lead them to a site to confirm the stories. The State of Florida declared Rosewood a Florida Heritage Landmark in 2004 and subsequently erected a historical marker on State Road 24 that names the victims and describes the community’s destruction. Scattered structures remain within the community, including a church, a business, and a few homes, notably John Wright’s home. Robie Mortin, the last survivor, died on June 12, 2010, at age 94 after a brief illness.

Rosewood descendants formed the Rosewood Heritage Foundation and the Real Rosewood Foundation to educate people in Florida and all over the world. The Rosewood Heritage Foundation created a traveling exhibit that tours internationally to share the history of Rosewood and the attacks; a permanent display is housed in the library of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. The Real Rosewood Foundation presents a variety of humanitarian awards to people in Central Florida who help preserve Rosewood’s history. The organization also recognized Rosewood residents who protected blacks during the attacks by presenting an Unsung Heroes Award to the descendants of Sheriff Robert Walker, John Bryce, and William Bryce.

The moral of the story black people must remember and tell their stories of tragedy and terror. Regardless of the struggle to tell the stories of such terror; they must be told to empower future generation and to prove the wretchedness of the savages that committed the crimes over the years because a lot of people don’t want to hear about this kind of history or truth. White people, particularly, don’t relate to the sins of their fathers, or just deny it happened. Keep it alive, keep telling the sad, horrible stories, black people need the stories of Rosewood, and all the others need to be told and remembered! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Body Found May Be Teleka Patrick

122Police have not yet officially identified the body pulled Sunday morning from Lake Charles near the town of Porter, according to a release from the Indiana State Police. However, Patrick’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone on Sunday afternoon that it was Patrick’s body.

After Patrick’s mother’s call, another family member called back and said they were waiting for confirmation of the body’s identity, which they had not yet received. They then sent this statement:

“Our family was informed that a body was found that may be our daughter Teleka Patrick. We are waiting for official confirmation from the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department and have no comment at this time. Thank you for your continued prayers-we ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Chuck Harris, the Porter County coroner, told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday that no positive identity had been made on the body, which he confirmed was that of an African-American female. Harris said he’s not certain how long the body has been in the lake. Due to its decomposition, he said, fingerprints or dental records will have to be used to confirm an identity. He said there were not any obvious signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is scheduled for the beginning of the week, he said, possibly on Tuesday.

A man fishing on Lake Charles noticed something suspicious floating in the water around 7:10 a.m. Sunday, the release from Indiana State Police says. He called police. Area residents said they woke Sunday morning to find a fleet of emergency vehicles around the lake. The Indiana State police SCUBA team and Porter Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and pulled the body of a female dressed in dark clothing from the water, the release said.

Harris, the coroner, said he was called to the scene at 9:21 a.m. He also said the woman was wearing dark pants and a dark top. Patrick, 30, was last seen the evening of Dec. 5, 2013 in the parking lot of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. Her car was found later that night off I-94 near Porter, less than a mile away from Lake Charles. Lake Charles is separated from the highway by a waist-high barbed wire fence.

Authorities searched Lake Charles in January when it was still frozen over, but that search did not reveal anything related to Patrick’s case. Last week, authorities also conducted a land search near where Patrick’s car was found. That search was also fruitless. Besides those searches, Harris said, there is nothing at this time to link the body to Patrick.

In a Sunday release, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department said it would not immediately have any comment.

Western Michigan University’s medical school released this statement Sunday evening:

“Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine was notified earlier today that a body matching the description of Dr. Teleka Patrick, a first year resident in our psychiatry residency program, has been found.  We are awaiting the results of an official confirmation from authorities and offer our sincerest condolences and prayers to Teleka’s family during this difficult time.”


Time After Time: Same Old Story

13798_lgAs I look back over the passage of time from the era of the 1960s to now. Things are worse and more devastating than ever in every category of life. I often wonder “what happened to the protest and the rage”. Poverty is worse, social vices have exploded, crime, police brutality, healthcare, education, and unemployment is more prevalent today. During the 60s, people took to the streets to make a statement that there is something very wrong. The cry of the day was power to the people.

Lost is the concept of “I am my brother’s keeper” or “it takes a village” and the sense of community, rather what exists today is “I and me”. A common theory for this is complacency and the belief that everything is all right in this land of milk and honey. There is no recollection of the voices real leadership as it was of that era. What we see today is corporate faces out front; bought and paid for to give us a message that says “don’t worry, just pray, and you will get your just due in the next life.

I don’t need to name names because you know who they are!!! There is always a false prophet espousing the same old message that one day “we will overcome”. They are forced upon us in every aspect of our lives. These folks come in many forms and have usually been given a position of authority over you by someone other than us. There job is like the overseer or the selected preacher from the days of slavery. You see them on television and in case you didn’t know this tool is amply named. The idiot box is designed to “tell you a vision” and that vision is usually not based, in fact, which is a view that those in control want you to believe and know.

During the 1960s, the mantra was “the revolution will not be televised”! It spoke to the ideology of that which is in your mind where you can see through the lies and have the courage to address the wrongs of society that are imposed on the people through a system of capitalism. Where are those voice like Brother Malcolm, Dr. King, the Panthers, SNCC, and others of the era which believed “I am willing to die for what is right.

I had a conversation with a conservative person recently, who claimed to have answers to all the problems of the least of thee. What was amazing, no crazy? This fool said, “All I know about ‘you people’ is what I see on television. These people should just get a job and stop having children”. Of course that was enough for me to know how deranged this fool was but what this fool does not understand, it is bigger than that. It is done by designed, as it has been from day one. There has to be a permanent underclass in order for the so-called real Americans, the rich and white, to survive or more aptly put “laws that allow the rich to continue to rape and pillage”.

No one knows what to fight for because no one knows what to say. Then there is the longstanding notion by those who remind me of an uncle of mine – whose name was Thomas, but we call him “Tom” for short. So to the Judas’ among us maybe that old country preacher I knew was right! Money will make you change your God and like Judas betray your people. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Money and Speech are not the Same

This is a reblogged article Posted on  by Joshua Schwitzerlett

11Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission (McCutcheon) and decided to strike down the aggregate limits on campaign finance contributions. The reasoning, according to Justice John Roberts, who delivered the Court’s opinion along with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito, is that the right to spend money on elections is the same as the freedom to speak.

Justice Roberts is either naive or misguided and neither option is becoming of the nation’s highest legal authority.

The political landslide that has been won in the Court started with Citizens United, a case that, in the view of the nation, was horribly unpopular. This decision put the nation on a crash-course with the devastation that awaits unbridled and unchecked spending by corporations and private interests in our national discussions and elections.

In the words of the dissenting opinion in McCutcheon, delivered by Justice Breyer, along with Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, “Taken together with Citizens United…, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

But what does a world in which money is equitable with speech look like? It looks like billionaires being able to squelch out public opinion by flooding debates and elections in a never-ending escalation of rhetorical arms. It looks like a society where the right of the lowest and poorest to speak must be earned by hard labor, as are their meager wages. That’s the world Justice Roberts has set us on track to meet.

To get us there, he is also ignoring a history of corruption that led to the need for these campaign finance laws in the first place. Roberts seems to be persuaded that we live in a world where the corruption that is likely to occur involves massive transactions to single candidates in return for political favors and that the possibility of something more pervasive and sinister is improbable.

The problem, which Dahlia Lithwick hits on the head, is that the removal of aggregate limits may now make it where billionaires and corporations are capable of making every politician beholden to them, leaving no room for the common man to speak.

All credit to Joshua a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.


America Is No Longer For Sale: It’s Been Sold

11It used to be thought that America was for sale. Well, as a result of the Supreme Court ruling last week; what we see is that America has been sold. The “Citizens United” decision was one of the worst court decision rendered by any Supreme Court since the Dread Scott Decision. Make no mistake, when the ruling allows the richest people in America and in fact the world to spend unlimited amounts of money to fund a political candidate means – they can buy the government!

The Citizens United Supreme ruling says that corporations are viewed as people and have the right to contribute like a person. This ruling was unconscionable because it is a fact that corporations have far more resources to fund a candidate to support their interests than an individual. Oh, what they are saying is that a corporation is an individual! This was surely a huge gift for the Republicans because their souls rest with big business and their interests. Whereas, the fact is most people and individuals of the country cannot and are frozen out of the system and virtually silenced.

The recent McCutien court’s decision accomplishes exactly what the chief justice claims to abhor: it enhances the free speech rights of the wealthy and restricts the free speech rights of the many who cannot afford to donate millions. It gives clearance by law for a single person to give as much money as the want to anyone and how many candidates they want. For example, in the 2012 election cycle just about 600 people were able to give more money to candidates than 4.4 million of the rest of Americans.

This takes America back to the days of the Robber Barons of the beginning of the twentieth century when the richest people in America owned America. Laws were passed then to correct the inequities.  Accepting for the sake of argument that money is a form of free speech, the court ignored that our political representatives have only a finite amount of time and resources to respond to those of us who require their attention. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was wrong when he characterized the purpose of campaign finance laws as “to restrict the political participation of some in order to enhance the relative influence of others.”

Roberts’ view of the laws was enacted not to enhance the influence of some but to maintain the ability of the many to have their voices heard. What he is saying here is that a few can in influence the many with the power of the money in this age of media.

I’ll just say now we know what they mean when they say, “We the people” the people are talking about is the rich, and they create the means for them to get richer! The effects of what this court is doing will be devastating!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Urban Leagues State Of Black America 2014 Report

11WASHINGTON (AP) this article was taken from Huffpost speaking to the state of African-Americans and Latinos saying they are losing economic ground when compared with whites in the areas of employment and income as the United States pulls itself out of the Great Recession, the latest State of Black America report from the National Urban League says.

The annual report, called “One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America,” noted that the underemployment rate for African-American workers was 20.5 percent, compared with 18.4 percent for Hispanic workers and 11.8 percent for white workers. Underemployment is defined as those who are jobless or working part-time jobs but desiring full-time work.

The report also said African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. The unemployment rate for blacks was 12 percent in February, compared with 5.8 percent for whites.

“Many Americans are being left behind, and that includes African-Americans and Latinos who are being disproportionately left behind by the job creation that we see,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said.

Despite the dismal numbers, an analysis by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found African-Americans significantly more optimistic about their future standard of living than whites, regardless of income level, education or partisanship. Overall, 71 percent of blacks surveyed in the 2012 General Social Survey agreed that they have a good chance of improving their standard of living, outpacing the share among whites by 25 percentage points.

The survey found high optimism even among blacks who say racism is a cause for economic inequality.

Such findings illustrate “a level of optimism in the African-American community and it’s important to lift that up,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which released similar findings this week in separate research.

The National Urban League is pushing for several economic measures, including an increase in the minimum wage, an issue being debated in Congress. Democrats backed by President Barack Obama want to force election-year votes on gradually increasing today’s minimum to $10.10 by 2016, an effort that seems likely to fail in Congress. Republicans generally oppose the proposal, saying it would cost too many jobs.

“More must be done in post-recession America to try to help people and help communities close these gaps,” Morial said.

The National Urban League derives its numbers from an “equality index” that is based on nationally collected data from federal agencies including the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With full equality with whites in economics, health, education, social justice and civic engagement set at 100 percent, the National Urban League said this year’s equality index for blacks stands at 71.2 percent, a slight improvement over last year’s index of 71.0 percent. However, the economic portion of the index dropped from 56.3 percent to 55.5 percent.

The equality index for Hispanics improved to 75.8 percent, compared with 74.6 percent last year, while the Hispanic economics index declined from 60.8 percent to 60.6 percent.

The report for the first time ranked large American cities from most equal to least equal when it comes to income equality and unemployment equality.

Memphis, Tenn., ranked the most equal for Hispanics when it came to unemployment equality, because in that city the Latino unemployment rate was only 3.8 percent, compared with a 6.5 percent unemployment rate for whites. For blacks, the Augusta-Richmond County, Ga., metropolitan area was most equal, with a 13.3 percent unemployment rate for blacks and an 8.5 percent unemployment rate for whites.

When it came to income, the most equal city for blacks was Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., where the median black household income was $44,572, while the median white household brought in $57,252. For Hispanics, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., was most equal, with median Hispanic income of $39,434 and median white income of $44,014.

___

Follow Jesse J. Holland on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland

___

AP-NORC Center report on the public mood:http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/the-public-mood-white-malaise-but-optimism-among-blacks-hispanics.aspx

National Urban League: http://www.nul.org


What Would Jesus Say?

22

Let me offer a few thoughts concerning the current political discourse revolving around the health care bill. I wonder, how can the conservatives claim to be Christian and love God who they cannot see, but cannot love the people who they work for and can see?

The Affordable Health Act is something that all moral people of other nations provide their citizens with the ability to afford medical treatment when they are sick. We know that we are being poisoned by the food we eat, air we breathe and probably everything else we encounter in our environment that many think is by design; it allows the cartels to profit. However, we have a great president who has won the Nobel Peace Prize and have accomplished something that no administration has done since the idea of health care reform was first introduced over a hundred years ago.

I’ve watched the outrageous antics displayed during town hall meetings where the opponents of something as morally correct as helping the sick be able to afford the cost of staying alive – “act a fool”. Many of these folks are Republicans, and it’s safe to assume they call themselves compassionate conservatives or Christian Conservatives. Yet, they display such outrage and bigotry over an issue that would greatly benefit the lives so many human beings.

These same folks are all for bringing democracy to countries around the world to care about those people, but they apparently are not willing to accept it here unless it is financially beneficial to them. At a 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 1787 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. I suppose this is the hypocrisy of democracy.

In her rage, she also said she does not want the government in her life making medical decisions for her. Hmmm – but it is ok when it’s the insurance company’s and HMO’s. The woman claims “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. I’ll bet receives and takes advantage of Social Security.

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 all the Nazi remarks that could very well be a codeword for N- — (n word), just like 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, Department of Justice head – black, a Latin Supreme Court Justice the new 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 it, I believe we are witnessing a “Columbus Experience”. By that I mean, we are discovering America or at least that segment of the “Real America” 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.

If we were to witness the Second Coming of Jesus, another question would be; what would he say about you? Believing and knowing that his life was lived in service of the least of thee and also died to save us – I wonder if he would react much in the way he did with the thieves in the temple. I am certain he will not be happy! Frankly, if he does those people who pretend to love him will quickly find out that he is not going to be happy. He is not going to be happy! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


%d bloggers like this: