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Alleged by the ACLU is racial bias against African Americans and Native Americans – Ryan Burns reports.

The claims of assault and sexual assault (“titty-twisting Tuesdays” and and “slap-ass Fridays”) , are very disturbing, as are the claims of disproportionate discipline.

The lawsuit, which names as defendants the members of the Eureka City Schools District Board of Education and the district’s superintendent, among other school officials, charges that blatant racial harassment occurs regularly as white students frequently use racial slurs to refer to Black students and commit violence against Native American and Black students without ever being disciplined by school staff.

Native American and Black students are also disciplined differently and much more harshly than white students. According to school district data from the 2011-2012 school year, Black students were suspended from some Eureka schools at a rate as much as five times higher than their enrollment rate while Native American students were suspended from some schools at a rate three times higher than their enrollment rate. Comparatively, white students are suspended at or about their rate of enrollment in district schools. Additionally, Native American students are pushed out of mainstream schools and into county-run community schools designed for high-risk youth and which do not appropriately prepare students planning to attend college. The Native American population at the Eureka Community School was three times higher than their overall district enrollment rate in 2011-2012, district data shows.

District curriculum also ignores or actively affronts the racial and cultural history of Native American and Black students by utilizing materials that use the word “savage,” “negro,” and “nigger” without examining the offensiveness or historical context of those terms.

I would however, like to know more about the last paragraph there – some specific context.  Are we talking about Mark Twain?  I do think that some adults fail to give children and teenagers credit for being able to sort the historical issues out.  I assume that more information will be forthcoming after the districts try to get the suits dismissed and the depositions begin.

I had heard last spring that this lawsuit was underway, and as a parent of nonwhite children attending the city schools I am very concerned and I will be watching this story closely.  And I will discuss these issues with them tonight.

Addendum:  Lost Coast Outpost is also on the story.

Because there’s no more racism in America.

“We’ve changed.”

“What the Supreme Court did was to put a dagger in the heart of the Voting Rights Act.”

— Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights activist and Freedom Rider, on today’s decision.

Addendum:  And now it begins – Texas first.

Legalize my Mom

Tonight on KHSU at 7:00.  We’ll discuss what looks to be a SCOTUS gutting of the Voting Rights Act.  It was argued yesterday (or it will be yesterday in less than an hour), and there were some pretty remarkable comments, including an extraordinary statement from Justice Scalia arguing that because the 2006 extension of the provisions applying to problem areas of the country was practically unanimous, it means that voting rights have become a “racial entitlement.”

My guests:

Ryan Emenaker is a professor of political science at College of the Redwoods. His research  focuses on judicial politics and separation of powers. He has written numerous pieces on the history and role of the Supreme Court. His most recent article, on why the Supreme Court should uphold the Voting Rights Act, appeared on SCOTUSblog the premier news and research site on the Supreme Court.

Mohamad Alnakhlawi is an honors student at College of the Redwoods majoring in political science who plans to apply his education of political institutions and interests to a career in journalism and or public policy and law.

Mercedes Scoles- is an honor’s student, a political science major and plans on a career in public policy or education.

I was raised with KPFA, and every year on MLK’s birthday they would trot out the usual “the-popular-media-gets-King-wrong” themes – airing his more economically radical speeches, his stand against the Vietnam War, etc.  It’s not that I disagree with them, it’s just a theme that’s been repeated so many times in the same way I just kind of roll my eyes when I see them.  Yes, he had radical political positions.  He also took conservative approaches at times, often leaning towards his Andrew Youngs as much as his Stokely Carmichaels for advice.  And his “I Have a Dream” speech might seem almost trite after hearing it 500 times for those of us who weren’t even born when he gave it, but when you look at it and consider the context and the prose, the brilliance of the speech can’t be oversold really.  It was for a larger audience, but its scope was grand and the fact that it’s really the only speech that 95 percent of the public will remember, that takes nothing from its significance.

So I kind of sighed when I ventured over to Daily Kos this morning and read a title post:  Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did.

Well, I sighed and clicked on the link, and found that it wasn’t your typical lefty deconstruction of the watering down of King as distance lends sterilization of the message.  In fact, the post wasn’t about message.  It was about the actual accomplishment of King and the Civil Rights Movement – what it means to African Americans.   And why they bristle when we on the left, or even some younger African Americans, say that the “dream” was not accomplished.  That progress was temporary or exaggerated.  What is emphasized, even by the left, is the universality of the causes King represented, and the failure to obtain “true equality” or fully economically emancipate the African American communities.  The actual accomplishments are more significant to black people than to white people, and perhaps more to older people than younger.  The post was written by an African American.  This is the heart of the piece.

So anyway, I was having this argument with my father about Martin Luther King and how his message was too conservative compared to Malcolm X’s message.  My father got really angry at me.  It wasn’t that he disliked Malcolm X, but his point was that Malcolm X hadn’t accomplished anything as Dr. King had.  

I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, so what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his “I have a dream speech.”

Before I tell you what my father told me, I want to digress.  Because at this point in our amnesiac national existence, my question pretty much reflects the national civic religion view of what Dr. King accomplished.  He gave this great speech.  Or some people say, “he marched.”  I was so angry at Mrs. Clinton during the primaries when she said that Dr. King marched, but it was LBJ who delivered the Civil Rights Act.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.

My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”

Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this.  If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.  

But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished.  Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

That’s a taste, and it’s something we forget.  Something I wasn’t alive to see or hear about as it unfolded.  But it is not the grand message of a unified race that is the core of what he represented, at least not to the older generation of African Americans.  Read the whole very powerful post, right down to the postscript, which appeals to a little bit of perspective for bloggers:

PS.  I really shouldn’t have to add this but please — don’t ever confuse someone criticizing you or telling you bad things over the internet with what happened to people during the civil rights movement.  Don’t.  Just don’t do it.  Don’t go there.

Carlos Santana takes on Atlanta’s baseball fans to their faces, literally, and gets booed.

Quite the moment.

Youtube link and intro comes from Rick Khamsi

Almost fifty years after surviving one of the most appalling acts of violence of the Civil Rights Era, Carolyn McKinstry has begun speaking out against the hate speech that is becoming more and more common now in America.

Carolyn McKinstry spoke on March 1 with Humboldt County high school students and community members. Carolyn was 14 years old when she became a survivor of the infamous Birmingham Church Bombing of 1963.  She appeared at Eureka High School last week at the invitation of Jack Bareilles, grant director for the “Teaching America” program.

This is the first of three parts to the video.

Parts two and three can be viewed through this link.

I first learned of the Birmingham incident in high school, not in history class, but in my junior year poetry class when I was assigned this poem by Dudley Randall.

Ballad of Birmingham

(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963)

“Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
And march the streets of Birmingham
In a Freedom March today?”

“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For the dogs are fierce and wild,
And clubs and hoses, guns and jails
Aren’t good for a little child.”

“But, mother, I won’t be alone.
Other children will go with me,
And march the streets of Birmingham
To make our country free.”

“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For I fear those guns will fire.
But you may go to church instead
And sing in the children’s choir.”

She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair,
And bathed rose petal sweet,
And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands,
And white shoes on her feet.

The mother smiled to know that her child
Was in the sacred place,
But that smile was the last smile
To come upon her face.

For when she heard the explosion,
Her eyes grew wet and wild.
She raced through the streets of Birmingham
Calling for her child.

She clawed through bits of glass and brick,
Then lifted out a shoe.
“O, here’s the shoe my baby wore,
But, baby, where are you?”


Heraldo also has a post up on the event.

The speech which turned even some of his own against him, although his first speech against the war was at a Clergy and Laity Concerned conference at the Riverside Church on April 4.  I don’t know what made this one worse in some peoples’ eyes.

Jim Wallis’ reflections.

Sara Palin’s reflections.

Dead at 77.

Careful with the videos.  It’s been reported by one poster that some embedded youtubers have been leaving viruses on his computer.  I haven’t had any problems with any of these.  Anyway, a woman as good as she is well worth the risk.

Addendum: Thanks to Moonshadow for this link about fake Youtube pages.

“I feel good about voting for him.”

There’s a great photo through the link.

Addendum: “Rosa sat, so Martin could walk, so Barack could run, so our children can fly.”

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