Thanks to everyone who read & passed along my Feb. 12 post about John Lewis, Bernie Sanders, and the 1960s civil rights movement.
To my great amazement, the post went, if not quite viral, then at least contagious: as of Monday afternoon, it has garnered almost 12,000 hits; the highest total for any earlier post is a bit over 2300. And it may have had an impact.
January 11, 2017: Great news for Pauli Murray fans: in the last days of the Obama administration, the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, signed the declaration making Pauli Murray’s home in Durham NC a national historic landmark. The Pauli Murray website is here.
Why is this good news? The post below, from late 2015, begins to sketch out Pauli Murray’s story.:
Yesterday I was reminded that November 20 is Pauli Murray’s birthday — her 105th, to be precise.
Nicholas Kristof writes in today’s Timesabout the impact of “hostile environments”: “Consider an office where bosses shrug as some men hang nude centerfolds and leeringly speculate about the sexual proclivities of female colleagues. Free speech issue? No! That’s a hostile work environment. And imagine if you’re an 18-year-old for whom this is your 24/7 home — named, say, for a 19th-century pro-slavery white supremacist.”
The “white supremacist” Kristof is referring to is John C. Calhoun, the South Carolina politician and chief intellectual defender of American slavery. No resume-padding here– he served as a U. S. Congressman, Senator, Secretary of both War and State & Vice President, and left his mark on all of them. He would have been a southern Civil War hero too, except he died in 1850, a decade before it started; but he got the ball rolling. Continue reading A Call to Quakers: Change That Name– Now!→
There’s a report out there today from hackers claiming to be part of the “Anonymous” network, naming a batch of current American politicians as secret Ku Klux Klan members.
The list’s credibility is unclear, and without solid confirmation we won’t repost any of the names from it here. But whether or not anyone on the list in fact has ties to the KKK, what is beyond doubt is that the spirit of the Klan is still very much alive and active in American society. It rarely shows up in the old robes nowadays; it has found more sophisticated (and effective) means of manifestation, especially via politics.
And while the Klan is back in the news, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a major chapter in Ku Klux Klan history that involves many Quakers. This one is real, solid, and verified — yet Quaker historians have been almost totally silent about it:
Say Hello to Friend Daisy Douglass Barr, Quaker pastor, and “Queen” of the Indiana Women’s Ku Klux Klan in the early 1920s.
A Facebook Friend said he was writing something about the death of RFK (Bobby Kennedy), and did I have any thoughts or memories? Here’s what came up:
When RFK was killed, June 6, 1968, I was in suburban DC with my first wife & 3 buddies, working on a book about the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). It was planned to be a pictures-and-text thing; everyone else was a photographer; I was the writer.
It is intriguing to me that, among the many reviews of Go Set A Watchman I have read in the past ten days, none mentioned Harper Lee/Jean Louise’s acerbic reflections in it on her experience as a New Yorker.
A Response to “The Dream World of Southern Republicans,” by Howell Raines, New York Times – July 12, 2015 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/opinion/sunday/will-demographics-transform-southern-politics.html?_r=1
Sorry, Mr. Raines, but from my crossroads perch in North Carolina, this rosy forecast is mostly eyewash. I WISH it was so, but I don’t see it.
Raines is right about demographic change in the region. But does he think southern Republican white supremacist politicians are all illiterate bumpkins, who can’t read the same reports, and take potent countermeasures? Not a chance.