Category Archives: Black & White & Other Colors

Quakers & The Klan: The Real Thing, Not The Rumor

Quakers & The Klan: The Real Thing, Not The Rumor

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.

Daisy-Douglass-Barr

Continue reading Quakers & The Klan: The Real Thing, Not The Rumor

The Day I Didn’t Help Bury Bobby Kennedy

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.

bobbys-grave-june-68 Continue reading The Day I Didn’t Help Bury Bobby Kennedy

“He’s Got The Whole World In His [VERY WHITE] Hands”

“He’s Got The Whole World In His [VERY WHITE] Hands”

This post started by accident. 

I went to the website of a Friends church out west today, seeking information about a dispute of which readers have heard a good deal here. 

Didn’t find any, but while browsing, saw an image that seemed very striking, for the church’s Vacation Bible School:

Whole-World-Start-White-Hands

The caption for it was — as thee might expect, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.”

Some of us might know that the song which gave rise to this meme is one of the classic black spirituals. 

Continue reading “He’s Got The Whole World In His [VERY WHITE] Hands”

Howell Raines & Whistling Dixie

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.

Continue reading Howell Raines & Whistling Dixie

Nine Hometown Realities more important to me than trying to ban the Confederate flag

Nine Hometown Realities more important to me than trying to ban the Confederate flag —

If a had a million bucks to donate . . .

If I was thirty years younger, with that former energy level . . .

If there were 36 hours in my day . . .

If I had political weight to throw around . . .

Continue reading Nine Hometown Realities more important to me than trying to ban the Confederate flag

Eating Dr. King’s Dinner – A Moderately Long Holiday Read

On February 1, 1965, I was arrested in Selma, Alabama with Dr. Martin Luther King and 250 others. Here’s what happened that day, and how I ended up eating Dr. King’s dinner.

I – Blocking the View, Blocking the Road

King-ArrestThat morning, I was too tense to eat. Keyed up and ready, my thoughts were full of armies marching to battle.

It was February 1, 1965. I was part of a nonviolent “army” – or at least a battalion – set to march in Selma, Alabama that day. Our objective, the territory we hoped to occupy, was downtown, the Dallas County jail; we planned to capture it by getting arrested.

Continue reading Eating Dr. King’s Dinner – A Moderately Long Holiday Read

Getting Progressive With Sojourner Truth & Friends

The Progressive Friends were a group that hasn’t yet got their props from Quaker historians. There isn’t space here for an outline of their fascinating history, except to say you can find out more here and here.

Pennsylvaia Progressive Friends Minute Book

But in sum, they started as liberal rebels in mid-1800s America, who took on a hidebound Hicksite Establishment. And they ended, invisibly but unmistakably, as the seedbed and founders of modern US liberal Quakerism. The fact that almost nobody knows this is a shame, but no surprise given the general ignorance of Quaker history among Quakers. (I’ll rant about that some other time.)

Continue reading Getting Progressive With Sojourner Truth & Friends

The Shame of Kenya: Epistles of Hate

Below is the complete text of two epistles issued by East Africa Yearly Meeting — North.

I note that the 2007 Epistle comments on the statements at the FUM General Board session in Kenya, as well as responding to some reaction to them from a Yearly Meeting in North America.

From this 2007 Epistle, it appears to me that it would be a mistake to consider this matter in any way “resolved.”

Continue reading The Shame of Kenya: Epistles of Hate