Category Archives: Selma & Civil Rights

The “Ambiguous South” Honors Robert E. Lee alongside MLK Today

Washington Post: Two states still observe King-Lee Day, honoring Robert E. Lee with MLK

Alabama and Mississippi jointly celebrate the civil rights hero and the Confederate general

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (left) and Confederate general Robert E. Lee are still celebrated jointly in Alabama and Mississippi. (AFP/Getty Images (King); Matthew B. Brady/AP (Lee))

By Meena Venkataramanan
 — January 16, 2023

“Side by Side”??

As the country celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, two states will observe a different holiday: King-Lee Day, which commemorates both King and Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

The two men’s birthdays fall just four days apart, but their legacies couldn’t be more different. King gave his life to the cause of racial equality; Lee fought in the Civil War to keep Black people enslaved. Continue reading The “Ambiguous South” Honors Robert E. Lee alongside MLK Today

Another for Dr. King: The Night March & The Killers

Selma, Alabama, February 1965

I

Jimmie Lee Jackson’s bullet-scarred headstone, near Marion, Alabama.

I was arrested again on February third, marching outside the Dallas County courthouse in downtown Selma. I spent the following ten days in jail. Half that time I was back in the county jail’s dayroom, where I had been crammed in with Dr. King and 200-plus other marchers on February First. on the third floor of City Hall. The second time I was in with a dozen or so teenagers, soon augmented by more voting rights marchers. Continue reading Another for Dr. King: The Night March & The Killers

“Diamond” of “Diamond & Silk” – Black Super-Trump Stars, Passes Away

[NOTE: At the end of this set of excerpts, Silk closes with a declaration that goes well past enthusiasm, and surpasses loyalty, to become an effusion of sheer devotion that sounds more religious than political. The clinical phrase “personality cult” hardly does justice to it. For outsiders, it should be food for thought: they are facing something more than illusion, beyond the pervasive grift (including that of the sisters), the inchoate politics, yet ready to go to the limit (if there is one anymore). And if half of D & S is now gone, the movement continues.]

AP News: ‘Diamond,’ of pro-Trump duo “Diamond and Silk”, dies at 51

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Lynette Hardaway, an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump and one half of the conservative political commentary duo Diamond and Silk, has died, according to the pair’s Twitter account. She was 51.

Hardaway, known by the moniker “Diamond,” carved out a unique role as a Black woman who loudly backed Trump and right-wing policies, earning fame first on the Internet and then as a cable television commentator. Her promotion of COVID-19 falsities eventually got her dropped from Fox News, but she landed on another right-wing cable platform. Continue reading “Diamond” of “Diamond & Silk” – Black Super-Trump Stars, Passes Away

It’s Law! Dred Scott’s (In)Justice Taney is headed Outta the Capitol

Washington Post:

Biden signs bill to remove bust of Dred Scott decision author from Capitol

A bust of Chief Justice Roger Taney at the U.S. Capitol in March 2020. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

By Amy B Wang and Marianna Sotomayor Continue reading It’s Law! Dred Scott’s (In)Justice Taney is headed Outta the Capitol

Quote of the Day: America’s Fatefully Conjoined Twins — Democracy & Autocracy

NOTE: It took me awhile to realize it, but my joining the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama in 1965 was like walking into a theater showing an action movie/thriller just in time for the climactic car chase and shootout: high excitement and historic triumph for the good guys. Within six months, it seemed to this rookie, it was all over but the shouting, and the counting of millions of newly-enfranchised Black voters.

Okay, I was a greenhorn rookie, a young white northerner. Only later, in the rheumy eyes and muffled voices of a few surviving elders, did I begin to take in the scope of the backstory: sixty-five years — three generations — of official exclusion from the voting rights supposedly won with civil war and emancipation. Not to mention the long terrors of Reconstruction, and slavery before that. I’m still learning about all of it.

By now, though, on the verge of 80, I understand something more about this long, bloody past. There’s also an old beginner’s sense of its cyclical character: one or two steps forward, then one or three lurches back. I read about it, but more: saw the cycle repeat in the fabled birth of the Voting Rights Act, and now the extended torture of its ongoing, public ”legal” evisceration.

Few writers give me more economical and clear-eyed insight about this today, than Jamelle Bouie, in his columns. In these excerpts he cuts to the Jekyll-and-Hyde nub of it, and further illuminates how it is coming to another crisis point in the imminent midterms, but will surely not end there, whatever happens:

Jamelle Bouie, New York Times:

[The] legal scholar Aziz Rana has observed that for many Anglo-Americans in the 18th century, freedom was an “exclusivist ideal, accessible only to Anglo-Saxons and select Europeans, whose heritage, land practices, and religion made them particularly suited to self-rule. Continue reading Quote of the Day: America’s Fatefully Conjoined Twins — Democracy & Autocracy