Monday Open Thread | Freedom Riders: The Strategy

Freedom Riders.Throughout the summer of 1961, more than 400 black and white young Americans traveled together on buses and trains throughout the Deep South, deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in an effort to overturn them. Led by Diane Nash, the Freedom Riders were a non-violent catalyst for major strides in the civil rights movement. At a White House screening of Stanley Nelson’s award winning film, Freedom Riders, Freedom Rider Diane Nash, author Ray Arsenault, John Seigenthaler, former assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and DC area Freedom Riders discussed their experiences and the legal issues involved. After the screening and panel, students attended a reception featuring remarks from NEH Chairman Jim Leach and Tom Susman of the American Bar Association.

Hallelujah I’m a travellin’
Hallelujah Ain’t it fine
Hallelujah I’m a travellin’
Down freedom’s main line

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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49 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Freedom Riders: The Strategy

  1. rikyrah says:

    January/ February 2013Emmett and Trayvon
    How racial prejudice in America has changed in the last sixty years.

    By Elijah Anderson

    Separated by a thousand miles, two state borders, and nearly six decades, two young African American boys met tragic fates that seem remarkably similar today: both walked into a small market to buy some candy; both ended up dead.

    The first boy is Emmett Till, who was fourteen years old in the summer of 1955 when he walked into a local grocery store in Money, Mississippi, to buy gum. He was later roused from bed, beaten brutally, and possibly shot by a group of white men who later dumped his body in a nearby river. They claimed he had stepped out of his place by flirting with a young white woman, the wife of the store’s owner. The second boy is Trayvon Martin, who was seventeen years old late last winter when he walked into a 7-Eleven near a gated community in Sanford, Florida, to buy Skittles and an iced tea. He was later shot to death at close range by a mixed-race man, who claimed Martin had behaved suspiciously and seemed out of place. The deaths of both boys galvanized the nation, drew sympathy and disbelief across racial lines, and, through the popular media, prompted a reexamination of race relations.

    In the aftermath of Martin’s death last February, a handful of reporters and columnists, and many members of the general public, made the obvious comparison: Trayvon Martin, it seemed, was the Emmett Till of our times. And while that comparison has some merit—the boys’ deaths are similar both in some of their details and in their tragic outcome—these killings must also be understood as the result of very different strains of racial tension in America. The racism that led to Till’s death was embedded in a virulent ideology of white racial superiority born out of slavery and the Jim Crow codes, particularly in the Deep South. That sort of racism hinges on the idea that blacks are an inherently inferior race, a morally null group that deserves both the subjugation and poverty it gets.

    The racial prejudice that led to Trayvon Martin’s death is different. While it, too, was born of America’s painful legacy of slavery and segregation, and informed by those old concepts of racial order—that blacks have their “place” in society—it in addition reflects the urban iconography of today’s racial inequality, namely the black ghetto, a uniquely urban American creation. Strikingly, this segregation of the black community coexists with an ongoing racial incorporation process that has produced the largest black middle class in history, and that reflects the extraordinary social progress this country has made since the 1960s. The civil rights movement paved the way for blacks and other people of color to access public and professional opportunities and spaces that would have been unimaginable in Till’s time.

    While the sort of racism that led to Till’s death still exists in society today, Americans in general have a much more nuanced, more textured attitude toward race than anything we’ve seen before, and usually that attitude does not manifest in overtly hateful, exclusionary, or violent acts. Instead, it manifests in pervasive mindsets and stereotypes that all black people start from the inner-city ghetto and are therefore stigmatized by their association with its putative amorality, danger, crime, and poverty. Hence, in public a black person is burdened with a negative presumption that he must disprove before he can establish mutually trusting relationships with others.

    Most consequentially, black skin, and its association with the ghetto, translates into a deficit of credibility as black skin is conflated with lower-class status. This deficit impacts poor blacks of the ghetto one way and middle-class black people another. While middle-class blacks may be able to successfully disabuse others of their negative presumptions, lower-class blacks may not. For instance, all blacks, particularly “ghetto-looking” young men, are at risk of enduring yet another “stop and frisk” from the police as well as suspicion from potential employers, shopkeepers, and strangers on the street. Members of the black middle class and black professionals can usually pass inspection and withstand such scrutiny; many poorer blacks cannot. And many blacks who have never stepped foot in a ghetto must repeatedly prove themselves as non-ghetto, often operating in a provisional status, in the workplace or, say, a fancy restaurant, until they can convince others—either by speaking “white” English or by demonstrating intelligence, poise, or manners—that they are to be trusted, that they are not “one of those” blacks from the ghetto, and that they deserve respect. In other words, a middle-class black man who is, for instance, waiting in line for an ATM at night will in many cases be treated with a level of suspicion that a middle-class white man simply does not experience.

  2. Heckled by ‘gun enthusiasts’ …. enough is enough

    A false fire alarm, 45-minute waits to get into the Capitol complex, even the heckling of a bereaved parent of a Newtown shooting victim marked Monday’s day-long legislative hearing on gun control.

    “The Second Amendment!” was shouted by several gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.

    “There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin, who grew up using guns and seemed undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony…..

    These are some of the most evil and heartless people on the face of the earth. Heckling a parent whose little innocent child was slaughtered? How do they sleep at night? Where is their conscience? God help us as a country when we have no mercy for the suffering of others.

  3. rikyrah says:

    I’m sitting here, lips pursed….curses right on the tip of my tongue….


    Hillary Clinton as President: Better for Blacks?

    It might have been easier to press her for change than it has been with Obama, say some observers

    The same day that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines for their first joint interview, on 60 Minutes, NAACP President Ben Jealous delighted conservatives with his headline-making interview on another Sunday news program. Appearing on Meet the Press, Jealous said, “Right now when you look at joblessness in this country — the country is pretty much back to where it was when this president started. White people are doing a bit better. Black folks are doing a full point worse.”

    Also on Meet the Press, onetime vice presidential candidate, and current member of the House, Paul Ryan offered this theory regarding the current economic battles facing our country: “Look, if we had a [Hillary] Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles as chief of staff of the White House or president of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now,” Ryan said. “[But] that’s not the kind of presidency we’re dealing with right now.”

    Both pronouncements raise questions that have been pondered by some political watchers since the conclusion of the 2008 presidential election: Would African Americans have fared better under a Hillary Clinton presidency than under Obama (and will they if she runs and wins in 2016)?

    Does President Obama Get a Pass?

    Jealous’ remarks illustrate a reality that has disappointed some African Americans, who were hopeful that a black presidency would lead to an improvement in conditions for black America. However, addressing that disappointment has been tricky, particularly for black lawmakers.

    In a previous interview with The Root, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), said, “Well, I’m supposed to say he doesn’t get a pass, but I’m not going to say that. Look, as the chair of the Black Caucus, I’ve got to tell you, we are always hesitant to criticize the president. With 14 percent [black] unemployment [pdf], if we had a white president, we’d be marching around the White House.”

    • Oh no they didn’t? What? Is it because negroes don’t have sense enough to think for themselves? Or is it b/c whites know how to lead the negroes better than a black President? Is that it?

      Dangrous Fight

      • rikyrah says:

        thank you for this graphic

      • Ametia says:

        LOL Oh yes they DID and yes they are. De white man’s ice is colder, don’tcha know!
        The whole media run for Clinton since before Nov. 6 has been NAUSEATING. I have 5 letters for Jealous= GTFOH

        As for Cleaver, criticize the POTUS, without a cogent plan for how or what he should be doing within his caucus, or speak out about the GOP ‘s efforts to obstruct./suppress our votes, and sit silent when the racists scream out their vileness against all who aren’t white straight, and male.


  4. rikyrah says:

    Immigration Waterloo

    Monday, January 28, 2013 | Posted by Liberal Librarian at 4:25 PM

    So, the news of the day is that a bipartisan group of senators have a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. That’s all to the well and good. This country needs a sensible immigration policy that allows for the legalization of those undocumented immigrants already in the country, and for a rational method for immigrants to come in legally.

    Now, don’t be mistaken: this Damascene conversion on the part of a few Republican senators is due more to the stranglehold that the Democratic Party has on immigrant voters, rather than to any true change of heart that maybe it would be a good idea to decriminalize 11 million US residents. One can be forgiven if the motivations of a party which has spent the better part of 30 years demonizing immigrants—especially Latino immigrants—are at best questionable now that it has seen the light. The immigration plan is so far merely a blueprint; much work still needs to be done before anything comes to a vote. But it is a sign that at the very least the leadership of the Republican Party realizes that if it is not to descend into the status of a rump regional party, it needs to do something to appeal to constituencies which are now firmly in the Democratic camp, and look to be so for the foreseeable future.

    As a child of immigrants, I welcome this new development. It’s the height of nationalist chauvinism to deny that this country—from its very founding—was built on immigration. Certainly the English colonists were not native born.

    However, that chauvinism exists, and it is strong in today’s Republican Party. And that chauvinism—even if the reforms make it through Congress—is what might make this process a Republican Waterloo.

    One of the Tea Party planks is to “secure the border”. Forget that President Obama has taken more steps to do just that than any previous modern President; to the Teabagger faithful, the southern border with Mexico is an open sewer, spilling out the refuse of the Latin countries into the pristine pastures of America. No amount of factual analysis will convince them that Obama and the Democrats want nothing less than the wholesale remaking of the United States as a culturally “Third World” nation. As TPM notes about any immigration effort in the House:

    The House, whose members are more conservative and less threatened by a rising Latino vote than most statewide officials, is considered a much tougher climb for reform advocates.

    This is a House caucus dominated by the Tea Party, which has made scapegoating immigrants a major part of its belief system. And, at least in the short term, many of these Tea Party representatives are secure in their seats due to gerrymandering. Republican senators see the writing on the wall, as they have to compete statewide, not in discrete districts; but the base wants nothing other than a militarization of the US-Mexico border, expulsion of undocumented immigrants, and a severe curtailing of legal immigration. They feel that their culture and way of life faces an existential threat. A signature line I see on various comment boards is a variation of “Press 1 for English, Press 2 until you learn to speak English.” (Sometimes I see them lovely substitution of “speak American” in place of “speak English”, which is a wonderful commentary on our education system.) This fear of the Outsider has been a strain in American politics and society since the Republic’s inception; it has become more pronounced and rabid since the election of the country’s first black President, and the obvious and unavoidable logic of the nation’s rapidly changing demographics. Such fear will not be assuaged by pronouncements from a commission of border state governors and attorneys general which will report on efforts to secure the border, whose recommendations will be solely advisory, with no power to affect policy

  5. Go Frederica! Sooky! Sooky!

    Frederica Wilson

    Actress Gabrielle Union, center, poses for a photograph with Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. , right, and Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. , as they wait for President Barack Obama to welcome the NBA basketball champion Miami Heat to the East Room of the White House, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, in Washington.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Moving the overton window

    By Kay January 28th, 2013

    We all joked and laughed at the armed compound the Tea Party are trying to get going, but here’s some Serious Thinkers on the Right and they have a plan for a model city-state.

    Detroit, Michigan:

    a developer is stepping forward with a revolutionary idea: Sell the city’s Belle Isle park for $1 billion to private investors who will transform it into a free-market utopia. The 982-acre island would then be developed into a U.S. commonwealth or city-state of 35,000 people with its own laws, customs and currency.
    City officials are likely to reject the plan. But on Jan. 21, supporters including Mackinac Center for Public Policy senior economist David Littmann, retired Chrysler President Hal Sperlich and Clark Durant, co-founder of Detroit’s Cornerstone Schools, will present the Commonwealth of Belle Isle plan to a select group of movers and shakers at the tony Detroit Athletic Club. The idea won’t go anywhere, said George Jackson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the quasi-public agency that promotes development for the city.

    Here’s the scenario for the Commonwealth of Belle Isle that Lockwood and others want to see: Private investors buy the island from a near-bankrupt Detroit for $1 billion. It then would secede from Michigan to become a semi-independent commonwealth like Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Under the plan, it would become an economic and social laboratory where government is limited in scope and taxation is far different than the current U.S. system. There is no personal or corporate income tax. Much of the tax base would be provided by a different property tax — one based on the value of the land and not the value of the property.
    It would take $300,000 to become a “Belle Islander,” though 20 percent of citizenships would be open for striving immigrants, starving artists and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who don’t meet the financial requirement..

  7. rikyrah says:

    What’s Up With Barack and Hillary?

    by BooMan
    Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 04:02:35 PM EST

    President Obama not only took the highly unusual and totally unprecedented step of appearing on 60 Minutes with his out-going Secretary of State, but he also instructed some of his best fundraisers to find the money to pay off Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign debt. That’s quite a one-two punch, or gift, or something. He has certainly repaid Clinton’s loyalty, and that of her husband who was so helpful on the campaign trail last year. I don’t see it as an endorsement of a Clinton comeback in 2016. I think it has more to do with solidifying his own legacy. If Clinton is going to run for president in 2016, Obama doesn’t want her running against him and his record. He wants a united front. And I don’t think he wants to sabotage the ambitions of his fun-loving vice-president, either.

    What do you think Obama is up to?

  8. rikyrah says:

    If we had a Clinton presidency…
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:31 PM EST.

    It’d be a time-consuming challenge to fact check Paul Ryan’s entire interview on “Meet the Press,” but there was one line in particular that stuck in my head after the show.

    Was it the Republican congressman’s claim that it’s “pretty clear” that Keynesian economics “doesn’t work”? That was, to be sure, a bizarre claim, especially given Ryan’s previous endorsements of Keynesian economics, but that’s not what stood out for me.

    Was it the Budget Committee chairman’s claim that Republicans “aren’t preaching austerity”? That, too, was ridiculous, given that austerity is the foundation for Ryan’s own budget plan, but there was something else that was more memorable.

    “Look, if we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That’s not the kind of presidency we’re dealing with right now.”

    Ah, right. The ol’ “we liked Clinton better” argument from the far-right Republicans who woke up every morning for eight years trying to think of new and creative ways to destroy the Clinton presidency. For Ryan, Bill Clinton and his team were fiscally responsible, but it’s that rascally Barack Obama who’s in office that Republicans can’t work with.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Learning from experience
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:41 PM EST.

    Since President Obama won re-election, congressional Republicans have, at various times, complained about his cabinet choices, his policy agenda, his negotiating stances, and his inaugural address.

    And as it turns out, his West Wing staffing choices aren’t exactly drawing GOP praise, either.

    President Barack Obama’s most recent nominations and appointments show that he is assembling a muscular senior team of trusted allies to carry out his second-term plans, without concern for Republican sensitivities, some GOP officials say.

    With his second-term appointments largely complete, the president has built a cadre of officials and aides that some say is more for combat than consensus — to execute policies rooted in the Democratic ideals laid out in his inaugural speech last week.

    By contrast, midway through his first term the president named William Daley as his chief of staff, choosing someone with ties to the corporate world in an overture to Republicans and business leaders.

  10. rikyrah says:

    One of the clips that Fox used was of President Obama at a 2011 University of Maryland town hall saying, “If you are on the right, then you’re only reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page and watching FOX News.”

    The edited clips gave the impression that the president was singling out Fox News.

    What Fox and Friends didn’t play was the entire quote. What What Obama said in full was, “You’ve got a media that has become much more splintered. So those of you who are of a Democratic persuasion are only reading The New York Times and watching MSNBC — (laughter) — and if you are on the right, then you’re only reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page and watching FOX News. (Laughter.) And if that’s where you get your information, just from one side, if you never even have to hear another argument, then over time you start getting more dug in into your positions.”


  11. rikyrah says:

    John McCain Thinks Republicans Should Own the Hispanic Vote

    By: Sarah JonesJan. 28th, 2013
    While discussing immigration reform on ABC’s This Week, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said, “We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons.”

    Immigration reform is allegedly on the docket this week. Sen. Richard Durbin (D- Ill), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) are working on it. Republicans Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Marco Rubio (R-FLA) joined them in the effort. So far so good. Durbin said that the bill will include the DREAM Act.

    McCain, who in 2010 said he wanted “certainly no amnesty” in immigration reform, said on ABC’s This Week that he thinks immigration reform has a chance this time because Republicans will be willing to pass it.

    McCain then bizarrely revealed that Republicans should own the Hispanic vote:

    MCCAIN: Well, look, I’ll give you a little straight talk. Look at the last election. Look at the last election. We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons, and we’ve got to understand that.
    See, it’s moments like this when immigration reform seems further away rather than nearer. Republicans must stop talking about Hispanics, African Americans and women as if they are something that can be owned. The proper way to say what the Senator meant is to say that Republicans think there are many issues on which their party is in agreement with the top concerns of Hispanics.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Things Change Slowly

    By John Cole January 28th, 2013

    This came out of the blue:

    The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.

    If adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial — one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

    “The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.

    I guess if the military can have openly gay members, so can a youth program and the country will survive.

  13. rikyrah says:

    What did Republicans win in the immigration deal?

    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    It’s has been widely assumed this morning by some immigration advocates (and by yours truly, too) that the new immigration reform plan’s process of citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is contingent on a commission of Southwestern officials declaring the border secure.

    Not true. I’ve now got clarification from Senate staff working on the bill, and it turns out that the enforcement commission’s judgments will only be advisory, and are entirely nonbinding. Congress’ actions will not be dictated by what this commission concludes; neither will actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security. The citizenship process will be triggered by other means (more on this soon).

    This is central to the debate. If this commission had the power to dictate when the citizenship process begins, it could endanger the entire enterprise by giving people like Jan Brewer veto power. Second, this enforcement commission is being seen as a major concession Republicans won in exchange for agreeing to grant citizenship to the 11 million.

    But the commission isn’t, for all practical purposes, really a major concession at all. If you look at the framework released by the bipartisan group of eight Senators today, it never quite says directly that the citizenship process can’t move forward until the commission reaches its findings. Rather, it says the plan creates a commission that will make a “recommendation” on when border security has been achieved, and doesn’t specify that this recommendation is what triggers the citizenship process.

  14. rikyrah says:

    I’ll be in my basement room

    By Doug Galt January 28th, 2013

    Like Jay Rosen, I wonder if the New Jack Republican will keep up the facile contrarianism that the old New Republic was known for, but this piece by Alec MacGillis, “Scenes from the Conservative Bunker” is an instant classic. Here was my favorite part:

    This one was a doozy: Scarborough recalled just how wrong Republicans, and many mainstream pundits, had been about the outcome of the election. He, too, he said, fell for the conventional wisdom in the final weeks, that Mitt Romney was riding a wave of momentum, with his big campaign crowds as ultimate proof. His source for this judgment? “[Uber-pundit] Mark Halperin called me and said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it!’”

    One conservative journalist decided the polls were wrong because another conservative journalist called and told him Romney was drawing big crowds.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The ground shifts on immigration

    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Today a bipartisan group of Senators will unveil the framework for a major new immigration reform bill. You can read the framework right here. The most important fact about the plan is that it articulates as a policy goal the need to provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. That was the bottom line for Senate Democrats and immigration reform advocates, and they got four Republican Senators to agree to it.

    It’s the price Democrats paid for this concession that could be the problem. It’s a cliche to say at such moments that the “Devil is in the details,” but in this case, boy is the Devil ever in the details.

    The rub is that the process for putting undocumented immigrants — who will be granted probationary legal status — on a path to citizenship is contingent on a commission deciding that the border is secure. The framework describes that commission this way:

  16. rikyrah says:

    Voter fraud seemed like a good idea at the time
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:40 PM EST.

    In order to rationalize voter-suppression tactics, Republicans have to believe that voter fraud — which is incredibly rare — is rampant in the United States, tearing at the fabric of American democracy. They’re wrong, but to acknowledge the truth would be to admit that GOP efforts like voter-ID laws are wholly unnecessary.

    The trouble comes when Republican activists try to test their theories.

    A Nevada Republican arrested for voter fraud in the 2012 election, after claiming she was trying to test the system’s integrity, pled guilty and accepted a plea deal Thursday, forcing her to pay almost $2,500 and promise to stay out of trouble.

    Roxanne Rubin, 56, a casino worker on the Las Vegas Strip, was arrested on Nov. 3, 2012 after trying to vote twice, once at her poling site in Henderson and then at a second site in Las Vegas. The poll workers at the second site said that she had already voted, but Rubin said that she hadn’t and insisted on casting a ballot, which the poll workers refused to allow her to do.

    According to Rubin’s story, she wasn’t trying to commit fraud to benefit her preferred candidates; she was trying to commit fraud to prove a point.

  17. Freedom Rider: James Zwerg

    Freedom Riders-James Zwerg's physical wounds healed after he was attacked by an Alabama mob, but the emotional wounds festered.

    (CNN) — The mob was already waiting for James Zwerg by the time the Greyhound bus eased into the station in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Looking out the window, Zwerg could see men gripping baseball bats, chains and clubs. They had sealed off the streets leading to the bus station and chased away news photographers. They didn’t want anyone to witness what they were about to do.

    Zwerg accepted his worst fear: He was going to die today.

    Only the night before, Zwerg had prayed for the strength to not strike back in anger. He was among the 18 white and black college students from Nashville who had decided to take the bus trip through the segregated South in 1961. They called themselves Freedom Riders. Their goal was to desegregate public transportation.

    Zwerg had not planned to go, but the night before, some students had asked him to join them. To summon his courage, Zwerg stayed up late, reading Psalm 27, the scripture that the students had picked to read during a group prayer before their trip.

    “The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom shall I fear?” the Psalm began. But there was another passage at the end that touched Zwerg in a place the other students didn’t know about: “Though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”

    Zwerg’s parents had forsaken him for joining the civil rights movement. That same night, he had written a letter that was to be handed to them in case he was killed. It explained his decision to join the Freedom Riders.

    Zwerg called his mother to tell her where he was going.

    “Don’t go. Don’t go,” she said. “You can’t do this to your father.”

    “I have no choice. I have to,” he said.

    “You killed your father,” his mother replied. Then she hung up.

    The Greyhound bus doors hissed open. Zwerg had volunteered to go first. The mob swarmed him as he stepped off the bus, yelling, “Nigger lover! Nigger lover!”

    Then, as the mob grabbed him, Zwerg closed his eyes and bowed his head to pray. “The Lord is my light and salvation, of whom shall I fear … ”

    The mob dragged him away.

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Pity Party gets some new members
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:30 AM EST.

    Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) complained that the Obama administration intends to “annihilate the Republican Party. And let me tell you, I do believe that is their goal — to just shove us in the dustbin of history.”

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) joined the pity party over the weekend.

    On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Ryan told David Gregory that he believes President Obama is “thinking more of a political conquest than political compromise.”

    And on Saturday, Paul spoke at the National Review Institute Summit in Washington and told attendees that the president is committed to trying to “delegitimize the Republican Party — and House Republicans, in particular.”

    It may be a coincidence, but the fact that prominent Republican leaders are stressing this same point at the same time suggests it may be a new GOP talking point, which wasn’t heard much at all in Obama’s first term: the president the right sees as weak and lacking in fundamental toughness is now a brute intent on defeating and destroying entire Republican Party.

    And the more I hear prominent GOP voices saying this, the less sense it makes.


    To reiterate what we discussed last week, President Obama is many things, but a partisan hitman, hell bent on “conquest,” “annihilation,” and “delegitimizing” his rivals contradicts just about everything we know about the man.

    Whether you love Barack Obama, hate him, or occasionally change your mind about him, the guy is an even-keeled, technocratic Democrat, who’s spent four years pursuing a fairly moderate agenda, endorsing and utilizing Republican ideas, appointing Republicans to his cabinet, and expressing a willingness to compromise on practically everything.

  19. rikyrah says:

    It’s ‘not a viable pathway,’ but it may happen anyway
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:55 AM EST

    Mike Duncan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee under George W. Bush, has heard about his party’s election-rigging scheme, but he’s unimpressed. “This is not a viable pathway for the party to win nationally,” he said over the weekend.

    The same day, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), his party’s gubernatorial nominee this year, also balked at the Republican effort. “I don’t like breaking up states,” Cuccinelli told Dave Weigel. “I think winner-take-all is part of how a state matters as a sovereign entity…. It makes the state, as a state, matter more.”

    So, the entire scheme is falling apart? Alas, no.

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) said on Saturday that his state may join an RNC-backed plan currently being contemplated in four other states that voted for President Obama in 2012 to rig blue state electoral votes in favor of future Republican presidential candidates.

    “It’s an interesting idea,” Walker said at the National Review Summit in Washington. “I haven’t committed one way or another.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Prospects for Immigration Reform

    by BooMan
    Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 09:48:15 AM EST

    Although the legislation is still in a nascent form, it is beginning to look like the Senate is going to he able to introduce and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The outline provides for an onerous pathway to citizenship, and it should be noted that John McCain and Jeff Flake, Arizona’s Republican senators, are going to be key co-sponsors of the bill.
    The next question, however, is whether the House of Representatives will be able to follow suit and pass a bill that can be reconciled with the Senate bill. I have little doubt that the votes are going to be there, but I do not think it is likely that Speaker Boehner can pass a bill if he intends to honor the Hastert Rule. The Hastert Rule is named after former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and it states that the Speaker will not allow votes on any bills that the majority of House Republicans do not support. Mr. Boehner has already violated the rule twice since November’s election. The first time was on New Year’s Eve when he averted the Fiscal Cliff, and the second time was when he passed disaster relief for the Mid-Atlantic’s efforts to recover from Superstorm Sandy. However, there is a limit to how often Boehner can dismiss the will of his caucus and still remain their leader.

    I predict that Speaker Boehner will initially seek to pass an immigration reform bill that has the support of the majority of his caucus. He probably will succeed, but it won’t have any pathway to citizenship and it will probably have a few other poison pills, like mandatory biannual cavity searches of all people who register with the government as undocumented workers.

    Once both the House and Senate have passed immigration bills, there will be Conference Committee that will attempt to meld the two bills together. It is quite possible that things will break down at that point and no bill will be produced. But it is also possible that the Senate will largely get its way and the bill will go back to the House in a form that most Republicans are unwilling to support.

    Somewhat less likely is the prospect that the bill will come out in a form that Senate Democrats are unwilling to support.

    It’s a positive sign that the Senate seems to have found a path forward, but it is still a long way from this initial agreement to final passage of a comprehensive bill.

  21. Ohio Players Frontman ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner Dead

    Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, frontman for the hit-making funk music band the Ohio Players, has died in southwest Ohio. He was 69.

    The Ohio Players, known for their brassy dance music, catchy lyrics and flamboyant outfits, topped music charts in the 1970s with hits such as “Love Rollercoaster,” ”Fire,” ”Skin Tight” and “Funky Worm.”

    A spokeswoman for a Newcomer Funeral Home in the Dayton suburb of Kettering said Monday morning that the family hadn’t scheduled any public services. There was also a posting about his death on his current band’s Facebook page. No other information was released immediately about his death Saturday.

    Born in Hamilton, Ohio, Bonner teamed up in the 1960s with core members of a group called the Ohio Untouchables to form the Ohio Players. The band had a string of Top 40 hits in the mid-1970s, and continued to perform for years after that. He had remained active in recent years with a spinoff band called Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players.

  22. The White House‏@whitehouse

    Today at 1:40 ET: President Obama welcomes @KingJames, @DwyaneWade & the NBA Champion MiamiHEAT to the WH. Watch live:

  23. Obama, Joe Biden Meeting With Police Chiefs From Towns Scarred By Mass Shootings

    WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to meet with police chiefs from three U.S. communities scarred by mass shootings last year to talk about the administration’s push to reduce gun violence, a White House official said.

    The meeting, at the White House, is the latest in a series of discussions that Obama is using to try to galvanize political support for tighter gun control after 20 young children and six adults were killed in December by a gunman at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Newtown’s police chief, Michael Kehoe, plans to be at the meeting along with his counterparts from Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed and 58 wounded in a mass shooting at a movie theater last July, and from Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where six people were killed and four wounded at a Sikh temple in August.

  24. rikyrah says:

    President of the Whole Country

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 7:00AM

    Barack Obama begins his second term as president of the United States surrounded by an entertaining universe of prefabricated paranoia. Almost ever since his hand left the Bible the first time, when Chief Justice John Roberts bumbled his way through the ceremony like a new maid dusting the fine crystal for the first time, the irreconcilable political Right hummed and buzzed with warnings about what Obama planned to do if he got reelected. It all fed on itself. For example, the longer he went without proposing any meaningful gun control, the more deeply convinced the gun-giddy conservatives became that it was all a plot to grab their guns in 2014. The more people he killed in drone strikes, the more deeply convinced the wilder neoconservative Right became that it was all an elaborate charade to disguise his ongoing effort to hand over U. S. “sovereignty” to some unholy combination of United Nations bureaucrats and Middle Eastern mullahs. The more he sought to compromise on taxes, and on what have become known as “entitlements,” even though most of them are nothing of the sort, the more deeply convinced the supply-side fundamentalists became that, come a second term, the true redistribution of wealth would sweep away economic liberty. In short, the more things that Barack Obama did that angered his liberal base, the more the conservatives convinced themselves that he was setting up an elaborate plot to cater to that same base over his second four years in office.

    For example, on December 3, Sarah Palin, whom the Republicans once wanted to be vice-president, took to the airwaves on Fox News to tell Sean Hannity how truly terrified she was about what might be coming next:

    “He believes in socialism, in redistributing wealth, in confiscating hard-earned dollars of our small-businessmen and -women so that they cannot reinvest their dollars and hire more people and grow and expand. Instead he believes in these failed socialist policies. And I say that not to personally condemn our president, but I say it because I face reality, and I see what’s going on, and I see the path that we are on and the fact that Barack Obama has not had a budget in the four years that he’s been in office and not been worried about it and continues to spend recklessly other people’s money. And that is a sign of that idea of loving socialism….”

    “What goes beyond socialism, Sean, is communism. And I know, you know, I’m going to get slammed for speaking so bluntly about what’s going on here, but that is exactly what is going on.”

    You couldn’t convince an actual liberal of any of this even under slow torture, but the subtext of the entire Republican campaign to unseat the president depended vitally on the subtext that a second term would devolve into Alinsky Unchained. It is entirely possible that the two most disappointed subsets of humanity walking the planet are the people who awoke on December 22 and realized that the Mayans were wrong, and the people who awaken the day after Inauguration Day and discover that they have not been hauled off to a FEMA camp on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And, in a way, it’s hard not to sympathize with them a little. After all, in their own little prefabricated universe, with its own media and its own facts and its own history and its own science, and its own political candidates who subject themselves to all those uniquely designed physical laws, a second term for Barack Obama can lead only to the horrors they have been anticipating for five years. If this universe has a polestar to guide it, it has to be Hale-Bopp.

    It must be easier for these people to get a grip on Barack Obama than it is for the rest of us. He is the most singularly elusive politician of our era. Who Richard Nixon actually was disappeared into a wilderness of neuroses, and Ronald Reagan was unknowable. Bill Clinton in so many ways was inexplicable. George W. Bush — and his rise to the presidency, let alone his reelection — was unfathomable. But Barack Obama is there, and then he is not there, and then he is there again on so many fronts that it is almost impossible to get a bead on him long enough to land a solid punch. He is a creature of indirection, and not misdirection. (That would be Nixon again.) He approaches issues and problems from dozens of sidelong ways, very rarely confronting them head-on. He is at the same time nonsubstantial and extraordinarily solid. He has fashioned from himself a political persona quite remarkable, given the political time and place in which he has come to flourish. He is a politician who apparently is completely immune to the effects of empowered nonsense and weaponized ignorance, two effective means of political destruction against which even as gifted a politician as Bill Clinton could not completely protect himself. (Of course, imagining Barack Obama making the same kind of mistake that Clinton ultimately made takes the kind of lurid deductive powers that send you off to Hawaii looking for phony birth certificates.) This is a towering achievement, given the amount of material with which the practitioners of these modern dark arts had to work.

    First of all, he’s black.

    Read more: President of the Whole Country – Esquire

  25. rikyrah says:

    from TOD:

    January 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Virginia Governor Bob McDonald, tells his RNC that the Repubs should focus on being community organizers. He acknowledged to them that being a community organizer doesn’t sound so bad now, they know how to win elections. How could anyone in their right mind ever think that having your community behind you would be a bad thing in politics?

  26. rikyrah says:

    Taylor Branch

    By mistermix January 28th, 2013

    If you have some time today, I found James Fallows’ interview of Taylor Branch, Martin Luther King’s biographer, fascinating. He’s just released a book that picks out 18 key moments from his three-volume King biography, and it’s also been released in an e-book edition that includes audio and video content for each of those events. He traces the current Tea Party anti-government rhetoric back to the segregationist politicians of King’s era, talks about LBJ getting short shrift, especially about his reformation of the Democratic party and the kind of political courage it took to do that, and also a bit about college sports

  27. rikyrah says:

    Bullpucky Alert proves effective
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:40 AM EST.

    A new attack ad popped up last week on several television networks, including MSNBC, criticizing Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense. What made the spot interesting was not the attacks themselves, which were predictable, but rather the unnamed people behind the attacks: they claimed to be liberal allies of the Obama White House who support gay rights.

    On the show on Friday, Rachel declared, “I call bullpucky.” She did so alongside a trusted Bullpucky Alert siren.

    The problem, of course, is that it’s hard to know for sure who, exactly, is behind the ads. Sure, the folks behind the Use Your Mandate campaign claim to be lefty allies of President Obama, but they refuse to identify themselves. And under current campaign-finance law, there’s nothing stopping anonymous donors from investing millions in a secretive smear campaign, making claims about their ideology that are nearly impossible to substantiate

  28. rikyrah says:

    Bipartisan group of senators complete immigration reform package

    By Steve Benen

    Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:00 AM EST
    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) conceded last week that it is “time to deal” with immigration, and that there’s reason for optimism. The GOP leader added there’s a “bipartisan group” that’s been working on this, and “they basically have an agreement.”

    As it turns out, Boehner was right.

    A bipartisan group of senators has agreed on a set of principles for a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system, including a pathway to American citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants that would hinge on progress in securing the borders and ensuring that foreigners leave the country when their visas expire.

    The senators were able to reach a deal by incorporating the Democrats’ insistence on a single comprehensive bill that would not deny eventual citizenship to illegal immigrants, with Republican demands that strong border and interior enforcement had to be clearly in place before Congress could consider legal status for illegal immigrants.

    The group was made up of eight senators, four from each party: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Rubio, of course, was reportedly working on his own plan, which mirrored President Obama’s 2011 proposal.


    Under the senators’ plan, most illegal immigrants would be able to apply to become permanent residents — a crucial first step toward citizenship — but only after certain border enforcement measures had been accomplished.

    Among the plan’s new proposals is the creation of a commission of governors, law enforcement officials and community leaders from border states that would assess when border security measures had been completed. A proposal would also require that an exit system be in place for tracking departures of foreigners who entered the country through airports or seaports, before any illegal immigrants could start on a path to citizenship.

  29. rikyrah says:

    What’s So Hard to Understand?

    by BooMan
    Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 12:28:35 AM EST

    Quite often I feel like I am one of the few people in the country for whom the President of the United States is not an inscrutable personality. I never feel like I don’t know where he stands. He almost never surprises me. I almost always feel like I know what he is up to. Maybe it is because I share some common history with him, but I always find it strange when I see people say that they think the president is some kind of cipher.

    The paranoia is easy to dismiss when it comes from the right, but it is often baffling to me when it comes from the left. Why do people underestimate this man? Did any prominent pundits predict that he would defeat Hillary Clinton and win the nomination? When Scott Brown won Teddy Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts, who thought that health care reform would still pass? The day he died, does anyone think Usama bin-Laden had even the slightest premonition that he was about to die? How was it that Team Romney convinced themselves that they were anything other than doomed?

    Obama crushes his opponents and, in my experience, his opponents rarely even see their defeat coming. Whether it is Somali pirates or Gaddafi or some stupid warlord making trouble in Mali, or the inebriated Speaker of the House, there never seems to be any profit in pissing off the president.

    Even whistleblowers and do-gooders are unlikely to confront the man without finding themselves on the wrong side of a sledgehammer. I’m not saying that it’s all good. I just don’t find it to be a mystery.

    Lincoln had his habeas corpus, Teddy had his imperialism, Wilson had his Birth of a Nation, FDR had his internment camps, Ike had his coups, LBJ had his Vietnam, Nixon had his Watergate, Carter had his total failure, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Poppy had his economy, Clinton had his affair, Dubya had his epic failure on every level. You can find plenty to pin on our current president, but you cross him at your peril.

    And that is mostly a good thing.

  30. rikyrah says:

    I remember watching this on Oprah. They had an interview with the guy from the Justice Department that had been sent to dissuade them. What shut him up was when these 20, 21, 22, 23 year olds told him that they had already filled out their last will and testatments.

    I know it made me choke up watching it, I can’t imagine how chilling it was being there being confronted by such bravery in such youth.

    • It’s so deep. I! Young college kids filled with so much bravery and courage…made out their last will and testaments and READY TO DIE!

      Here is a clip on how the parents reacted to their kids courage. Watch the mother of one of the freedom riders tell her story. It’s at the 12:50 mark.

      Aint Scared of Your Jails 1960-1961

  31. The First Family in 2003 during a trip to Hawaii for the wedding of Prez's sister, Maya

    The First Family in 2003 during a trip to Hawaii for the wedding of President Obama’s sister, Maya

  32. Good morning, 3Chics!

    We owe so much to the Freedom Riders. Young 20 something college students both black & white willing to die for what is right. They took the full blows of Jim Crow and all of it’s ugliness and paved the way for us. My heroes!

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