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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mark 4:13-25 last verses studied by slain in Charleston, S.C.

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I talked to Althea at Emanuel A.M.E. Church who went through her last email from the Bible Study group's leader, Myra Thompson, who also received her license to preach the night she was killed.


"Little Bit" was Thompson's nickname, and she asked that 15 copies be made of the verses to be studied which included Jesus' teaching on sowing seeds and being lamps.

Please reflect on this in memory of the victims.


Mark 4:13-25, New International Version (NIV)
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”


I got word from another A.M.E. minister that they also talked about  Hebrews 10: 23 (New International Version (NIV)
23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

Monday, June 29, 2015

BET Awards 2015 highlighted "Do's" fashions and speech

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Be tasteful in your appearance and modest in your behavior. (Model at Apparel Mart Daily Strut, Atlanta, Ga.)

She may have sparked a wardrobe malfunction ten years ago with Justin Timberlake at the Superbowl, but Janet Jackson, now wife of a Muslim billionaire, showed grace in her outfit and speech at last night's BET awards.


Wearing what appeared to be a tasteful white and gold jumpsuit or pantsuit, Jackson (Mrs. Wissam Al Mana), accepted the BET ICON Award with grace and beauty, which was more than could be said of outfits worn by some other outrageous female performers.


You don't have to look like an overweight whore to be sexy or feminine, I say, and I applaud the way Jackson dressed along with Patti LaBelle and Monica who also dressed in white.


Jackson, who married a man nine years her junior in 2012, will be coming to Atlanta September 26 for a concert at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.


For more on the BET Awards, go to: http://www.bet.com/

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Breaking news: Confederate flag bearers cause disturbance in Harrodsburg and Danville, Ky.

Downtown Harrodsburg, Ky. (familypedia photo)
On Saturday night, whites drove cars and trucks through downtown Harrodsburg and Danville, Ky. while waving large confederate flags and shouting racial slurs, according to residents.

A complaint was called in to police who disbanded participants.  Many white residents attended black church services Sunday morning to apologize and say they did not want this type of event happening in their community. One white visitor said, "We're not going to stand for it here."

Harrodsburg, Ky. is about 35 miles from Lexington and is the home of Old Fort Harrod established in 1774. Danville is the county seat of Boyle County.

This story is still developing...

On Monday morning, Wingcom Watchdog called the Harrodsburg Police Department for confirmation and spoke to Detective Brian Allen who said he was out of town during the weekend, but no official police report had been filed on the incident. Det. Allen stated that he was told "kids had confederate flags in the back of their truck, and Wal-Mart banded them from the property." He said he could not confirm if any adults were involved.

Wingcom Watchdog received a return call from Danville Chief of Police Tony Gray who said he was working on Saturday night and was not aware of any disturbance concerning confederate flags and racial slurs in Danville. He agreed that any future citizen complaints involving unlawful disturbances should be documented through an incident or case report, especially if a criminal offense occurs. (Photo, City of Danville - Tony Gray, Danville police chief since 2012)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pinckney funeral draws near; attendance expected to be huge

This just in...
Description Obama & Archbishop Demetrios March 2011.png
Obama and Demetrios in 2011 at White House ceremony

ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS TO ATTEND FUNERAL
OF SOUTH CAROLINA SLAIN PASTOR

NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, will travel to Charleston, S.C. tomorrow Friday Jun. 26, 2015, to attend the funeral of State Sen. Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was among the nine victims killed by a gunman last Wednesday inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

The funeral service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at TD Arena at the College of Charleston and President Obama will deliver the eulogy.

Due to this change, His Eminence will not attend, as previously scheduled, the Pan-Macedonian Association’ s Annual Convention, Opening Ceremony in Newton, Mass. Everything else remains the same.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Confederate flag: symbol of heritage or racism?

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Different Confederate flags being held by Civil War re-enactment actors taken on Georgia Capitol grounds in 2003
Do your research! X marks the spot! The present Confederate flag used in hate group settings and waved by those who espouse racial separation and terrorism against black people was not the original battle flag of the Confederate States of America but signifies something else.


The first "Stars and Bars" designed by a German-born artist, Nicola Marschall, was "three horizontal stripes of equal height, alternating red and white, with a blue quadrilateral in the canton, inside the canton are white five-pointed stars of equal size, arranged in a circle and pointing outward." Marschall is said to have sympathized with the "confederate cause." He also painted portraits and designed the Confederate uniform.

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License plates sold in Georgia, USA
The designer of the "Stainless Banner" flag of the Confederacy is described as William Tappan Thompson, an American racist writer who resided and worked in Savannah, Ga., a major slave trading post before slavery was abolished after the Civil War.


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Confederate battle flag

Thompson described his flag as "The White Man's Flag" and made these comments in his newspaper, the Daily Morning News, in 1863:

"As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause. ... As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism."

There, folks, is your answer, from the pen of the flag's designer. Beware when you see this flag flying or being displayed. The Klan also flies the American flag and stands behind it as a symbol of patriotism.

"We fly the American flag. Thats the original flag of the Klan."
---Association of Georgia Klans who claim that Presidents Truman, Coolidge, and Harding as well as Supreme Court Justices White and Black were members of the Klan. 

For more information on this subject, go to: http://www.wingcomltd.com/Articles/Old%20GA%20Flag.htm

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Charleston, S.C. massacre condemned around the world

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African Methodist Episcopal Church
COUNCIL OF BISHOPS
June 18, 2015
Press Release
The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church joins with our components and worldwide membership in expressing our grief and sympathy on the senseless and tragic attack which took the lives of The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor, and eight other congregants of Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina. Mother Emanuel is the oldest black church in the south and one of the most historic churches in the nation. The senseless and evil action which took the lives of those who gathered at Mother Emanuel to study and pray is indicative of a major crisis facing our nation and its people. While we are pleased that Dylann Storm Roof, the assailant and alleged murderer has been arrested, we do not believe this matter has been concluded.

First, we join in grief with Mother Emanuel Church in the loss of her pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, and Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Susie Jackson, and Ethel Lance, members of that church family. We also grieve with the State of South Carolina, which also in Rev. Pinckney lost an outstanding state senator and leader. Second, we pray and ask for the God of love, mercy and grace to comfort, restore and give peace to family members and of all of us who have been shaken and saddened by this tragedy. May our faith be strengthened and our hope restored.

Finally, we call upon the nation’s political leadership, faith institutions and other organizations in this country to face the reality that race remains a problem in this nation. “The arrest of Dylann Storm Roof, the assailant and alleged murderer does not end this matter. In fact this matter makes even clearer that race is a major problem in our nation that must be dealt with,” said Bishop Julius McAllister, President of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. “The nation can no longer live in denial and act as if it does not exist. Every week there is some incident which involves the negative consequences of race,” he added. “The AME Church will join with other faith communities to stress the need for the United States to face, discuss and meet head on the problem of race in this country,” said Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop of the AME Church.

“African Methodist in South Carolina are strong and faithful, we will not shy away or lessen our commitment to equality and social justice,” said Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Presiding Bishop of South Carolina. “This will make us stronger and more determined to advance God’s kingdom on earth. This tragedy will not weaken, but strengthen us. African Methodism will become stronger because of this tragedy,” he said.

The problem of race has not decreased but increased over the last several years. Listen to what has been said, “We want our country back.” The question is from whom? Mr. Roof stated that he had to kill black because of what we are doing to his country. The recent Charleston, SC tragedy, the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Eric Garner in Staten Island, Akil Gurly in NY, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, OH and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, our nation’s president has been called “a monkey,” disrespected and had his citizenship questioned, are all indicative of a systemic race problem.

In September the African Methodist Episcopal Church will be joining with our sister communions and other partners to constrain this nation to address the issue of race in this nation. Details will be announced next month.

The Council of Bishops calls on all of our churches, and other communions and congregations to join together this week, and in particular this weekend wherever we worship to pray for those who lost their lives, their families, Mother Emanuel Church, and our nation.

Contribution to assist with the burial and expenses related to those who lost their lives can be sent to:
“Mother Emanuel Hope Fund”
Seventh Episcopal District
110 Pisgah Church Road
Columbia, SC 29203


For further information contact Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Bishop of Urban and Ecumenical Affairs and Chair of the Social Action Commission of the AME Church at Reginald.jackson132@verizon.net.
Bishops of the AME Church
Julius McAllister, President, Council of Bishops; John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop; John F. White, Secretary, Council of Bishops; Clement W. Fugh, Assistant Secretary, Council of Bishops; McKinley Young, William P. DeVeaux Sr., T. Larry Kirkland, Adam J. Richardson Jr., Richard F. Norris, Vashti M. McKenzie, Gregory G. M. Ingram, Preston W. Williams II, Wilfred J. Messiah, Paul J. M. Kawimbe, James L. Davis, David R. Daniels Jr., Samuel L. Green Sr., Jeffrey N. Leath, Reginald T. Jackson, E. Earl McCloud Jr., John H. Adams, Frederick H. Talbot, Frederick C. James, Frank C. Cummings, Philip R. Cousin Sr., Henry A. Belin Jr., Robert V. Webster, Zedekiah L. Grady, C. Garnett Henning Sr.


“We utterly condemn the appalling attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina this week and the killing of nine African Americans. We welcome the prompt action by the authorities to investigate this hate crime. Every effort must be made to ensure the person guilty of this act is prosecuted and punished accordingly. Urgent measures must be taken to prevent gun violence and racist crimes motivated by prejudice that affect the security of Afro-Americans, their communities and society as a whole. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the people of the United States of America, especially the families and friends of those who were murdered while in worship at Church.” ---United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. This statement is attributable to Ms. Mireille Fanon Mendes-France, current Chairperson of the expert group.
 
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His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, very saddened by the news of the senseless and tragic shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, expressed on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America “deep sorrow, sympathy and prayers for the victims, their families and their community.” The shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, took the lives of nine innocent people.

“I am deeply saddened and distraught by the news of this heinous crime,” he stated, “which took place in a church, in a sacred place of worship, during a time of Bible study. We, the Greek Orthodox Church in America, mourn the loss of innocent lives and stand in solidarity with the people of the community in Charleston. We pray fervently to God for the repose of the souls of the victims and for strength, comfort and consolation to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Furthermore, we firmly reiterate the unyielding commitment of the Orthodox Church to all efforts for the elimination of the causes of similar inhuman actions.” --- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

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"I am deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. On behalf of The King Center, I extend my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of this horrific act of hate and violence. Humanity has been robbed of 9 sacred lives, in a manner that was steeped in racism, with the gunman reportedly stating, "I came to shoot black people," before he opened fire. This chain of events underscores that this nation has cultivated a culture of violence and has yet to earnestly address pervasive racism.

"My family has a strong connection to this church, which has such a long and distinguished heritage and leadership role in African American history. My father preached at Emanuel AME church in 1962, and my mother, Coretta Scott King, worked with members of the congregation in the historic movement to unionize Charleston’s hospital workers, many of whom were African-American women earning subsistence wages. She led a march to the church and addressed a mass rally at the church on April 29, 1969, in support of their strike for decent wages and working conditions.

"In this heart-rending moment, we are remembering the history of Emanuel AME and Charleston, revisiting past racial injustice and grappling with the pain of racism that this country still contends with today. We must drastically increase our efforts to educate people to reject racism and violence, and to create a culture of nonviolence, which is not a tactic, but a lifestyle. In the words of my father, Nonviolence 365, as The King Center calls our education and training based on his nonviolent philosophy and methodology, “must become immediately a subject for study and for serious implementation in every field of human conflict, and by no means excluding the relations between nations.”

"We must interrupt business as usual and change the trajectory of our nation. And, as my father shared in his eulogy for the four little girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, “…We must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

"We must choose to be concerned about the system, the way of life and the philosophy which produced the Charleston gunman. It is critical that we are concerned, for our concern reflects our attention to our ultimate choice between “nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.” We must choose Nonviolence 365.
I pray for healing for the Emmanuel AME congregation, the Charleston community and for all of the families impacted by this tragedy.” ---King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King

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"The Minnesota Council of Churches, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and Dakotas, the Islamic Center of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Rabbinical Association condemn as an affront to God and humanity the reprehensible murderous hate crime committed at the ‘Mother Emanuel’ AME Congregation in Charleston, South Carolina. We pray in solidarity for the victims and their families and friends; the church; the people of Charleston; and our nation. We support law enforcement’s investigation of this crime and the swift prosecution of the terrorist who committed these heinous murders.

“These murders are a stab to the heart of all decent people, everywhere. Churches and houses of worship in the United States and throughout the world are places of prayer, contemplation, and protection. For the historic black churches, their sanctuaries were the heart of non-violent peaceful protest, often in the face of violence, in the national struggle to secure civil rights, voting rights, and dignity.

“Yesterday’s murders are a reversion to some of the worst moments of our nation’s history. The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in response to the September, 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, which killed four African American girls, echo sadly and loudly today. Such killings are ‘one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.’

“Hate crimes attack both individual victims and entire communities. They are meant to isolate and terrorize. We stand in direct contrast: for an inclusive and pluralistic community, one that cherishes life and recognizes that every person is created in the divine image. Religious organizations across the country have reached out to the African Methodist Episcopal Church leadership and South Carolina Council of Churches in support.

“The JCRC participated in a prayer vigil at the Minnesota Church Center today. Bishop Bruce Ough of the Dakotas and Minnesota Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church presided over the vigil.

“All those gathered pondered: ‘Oh Lord, when there is no peace in sanctuary, we pray for the violence in this land and the division in our lives to end.’

“Contributions to ‘Mother Emmanuel’ AME congregation in Charleston can be made at http://www.emanuelamechurch.org/.” --- The Minnesota Council of Churches, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and Dakotas, the Islamic Center of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Rabbinical Association

"Our Hearts are with Our Community."---Medical University of South Carolina, largest employer in S.C.

Thought for today...

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"These are the times that try men's souls...Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
--- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776

Friday, June 19, 2015

Are we bigger than Dylann Roof and his comrades?

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During trying times, remember the Lily of the Valley and what He commanded us to do, while protecting yourself from evil.
Amidst South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley's entertaining tears and cries for justice, there is an un-Christian call to move suspected mass murderer Dylann Storm Roof into the gas chamber or onto a gurney to undergo lethal injection. This is a pseudo-Christian, troubling summons for retribution in a shell-shocked country.

Why the call to move swiftly to kill Roof coming from a pro-lifer? Would the nine people he killed, all Christians, want Roof to be executed? I say NO, and neither would Jesus. That's not the message that should be proffered here as we struggle with another tragedy.

Is Roof the anti-Christ in S.C.'s "Holy City" during a Race War?

Getting rid of Roof is an easy way out, but killing him will not solve our global race problem. Roof is one of millions of race soldiers and white supremacist who move and work in all areas of human activity, which Neely Fuller, Jr. has categorized as Economics (monetary systems), Education (mis-education), Entertainment (news and game-playing), Labor (unemployment), Law (mass  incarceration, Politics (leadership), Religion (philosophy), Sex (population control), and War (government sponsored killing).

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I believe those murdered in Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church would not seek an eye for an eye, but would want to use this time to show compassion, spare this life, and turn it around by true rehabilitation.

Gov. Haley's recent comments are very reactionary, wanting to kill Roof before we even fully know anything about this man and his journey. Haley appears to be moving in the same realm of retaliation and hate that has consumed Roof. It is offensive and won't bring the massacred nine A.M.E.'ers back or enhance their mission of love and acceptance shown in their last hour of someone supposedly drawing to Christ. Haley's comments are not "Christian" but symbolize some "leaders" continuing mission to greet disaster with more death.

"Like in Bob Dylan's lyrics, Roof is only a "pawn in their game."
(http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bobdylan/onlyapawnintheirgame.html)

Killing Roof would play into the hands of the devil. Roof is not mentally ill but has evil ideas and spirits inside him, perhaps the same spirit that makes S.C. governor want him killed. When Jesus encountered Legion, he did not kill him, but purged him, sending his evilness into swine who destroyed themselves. "Thou shall not kill" is the commandment set in stone on tablets inscribed by God and presented to Moses. 

Conservative political powers want to get rid of Roof swiftly, however, those who framed his supremacy outlook are still out there. The constructive thing to do is to attack the ideology that has created Roof and other white racists/supremacist and get them the help they need.

"Roof chose the wrong victims to carry out his agenda - Godly, community-minded, educated people who were committed to love and justice."

Governor Haley needs to use her accounting degree to help empower her citizens to have economic parity in one of the poorest states in the U.S. She needs to have her army-trained husband assist former soldiers with their post traumatic stress syndromes. She needs to make sure her Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington is integrated at 11 A.M. on Sunday mornings. She needs to teach her children that they are not superior to black people just because they are the children of the governor.

Additionally, we must meet this time of tribulation with an earnest and fervant plan to end all killing of ourselves, whether as a means of population control, race wars casualties, or religious wars victims.  We must join Christ in bringing to fruition 1,000 years of peace. If not now, when?

Governor Nikki R. Haley should not want to sweep Roof under the rug, but should be instrumental in taking that S.C./Confederate-racist flag down at the site of her Statehouse. She should stop crying in front of the cameras and instead should console Jennifer Pinckney. She should have her two kids, Rena and Nalin, interface with the Pinckney children, Eliana and Malana.

She should tell her Republican comrades to stop spouting the slogan, "Take our country back" which is basically what Roof wants to do. She needs to shine the light on herself and her peers first before trying to kill Roof. According to her bio, Haley  is pro-lifer and consistently voted for bills that restrict abortion and bills that protect unborn children. And she wants to kill Roof?

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Pick up your sorrows and follow the Savior.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.---Matthew 10:16 (ASV)

My priest friend who underwent military training in his native Greece told me he doesn't have a gun at his house because if a perpetrator breaks in, he may be compelled to use it, and a man of God should not take a life. He would be removed from the priesthood if he killed someone. Older priests do not drive because they want to make sure that they don't take a life in a car accident. Those are examples of true pro-lifers.

"This guy (Roof) is just whacked out," said S.C. Lindsey Graham who is running for president. However, he has not helped end racism or advocated removal of the Confederate flag from state premises.

Let's concentrate on this:
First: abolish death penalty in all U.S. states because it does not deter crime for people like Dylann Storm Roof.
Second: set up constructive plans to combat and end racism in school, work, and at play with community and business leaders.
Third: use NEWS as journalist vehicle to improve the human race and not as entertainment.
Fourth: learn and use non-lethal self defense strategies to combat crime.

In a sense, Roof is a throw away and collateral damage in the Race War which is being waged worldwide. He has not started a Race War; it has been going on for centuries. Not wanting to be unsympathetic to this person who appears disturbed but listening to initial reports of his past, it appears that he was mis-educated and fell for racist rhetoric presented to him. He had a major character flaw which was not eliminated by his parents, community, church or school. He fell through the cracks and by so doing became a menace to society and a merchant of evil.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God lasts forever." ---Isaiah 40:8
Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Flowers#sthash.nZGQNlOq.dpuf

- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Flowers#sthash.nZGQNlOq.dpuf
Yes, Roof has committed sins. He has shed innocent blood, devised a wicked plot, swiftly run into mischief, been deceitful, and sown discord among brethren. But let's not follow him down that path.

We ARE bigger than that.
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Flowers#sthash.nZGQNlOq.dpuf

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today's quote...

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"We learn to be racist, therefore we can learn not to be racist. Racism is not genetic. It has everything to do with power." ---Jane Elliot

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chris Hedges: prophet or realist on what we want?

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A lot of folks want justice and wear their feelings on their chests at peaceful protest vigil for Nicholas Thomas in Smyrna, Ga.
I received an email wanting me to respond to an article written about Chris Hedges. Chris Hedges is the author of “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” and he recently made his views known in an interview with Salon. Chris Hedges has declared that we are in a "revolutionary moment." Is Hedges a prophet or just a traditional realist documenting the inevitable? Let's take a closer look at Hedges to ascertain where his premonitions lie.

Hedges has been trained well by elitist schools, traditional media, and Christian doctrine.  Here are bullets from  his life.
  • born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont in 1956, the son of a Presbyterian minister
  • grew up in rural Schoharie County, New York and graduated from Loomis Chaffee School, a private boarding school in Windsor, Connecticut
  • founded an underground newspaper at the school that was banned by the administration and led to him being put on probation
  • received B.A. in English Literature, Colgate University
  • earned Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, under James Luther Adams
  • spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, reported from more than 50 countries
  • worked for Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, the Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times - foreign correspondent for 15 years
  • awarded 2002 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism along with a team of reporters from NY Times
  • senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City
  • taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Princeton University
  • awarded honorary doctorate in May 2009 from the Unitarian Universalist seminary, Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, California
  • speaks English, Arabic, French, and Spanish, and studied Latin and Ancient Greek at Harvard
  • married to the Canadian actress Eunice Wong, father of four, lives in Princeton, N.J.
  • blackballed by Univ. of Pennsylvania after likening ISIS to Israel in 2014
  • teaches inmates at a correctional facility in New Jersey - probably doing research for next book
Now, as to what I think about this Chris Hedges. I agree with Hedges that we are living in a moment. I don't know whether it is "revolutionary" moment or not because I don't see a lot of vision or messaging coming from the masses unless you want to count social media. 

Here's what I do see:
  • nightly news showing the same stories taken off police radio scanners and financed by major corporations
  • people living and dying in vain and wasting time instead of dealing with climate change or coming up with inventions to improve the human condition
  • excessive force leading to death and talk about ending racism
  • frustrated, mad people wondering if the next administration change will lead to them losing their health insurance, jobs, home, self-respect, and security and whether their vote will actually be counted
  • working people  having quality of life issues because they can't make a living wage
Here's what I'm feeling - powerlessness!

A "revolutionary moment" would relate to a sudden political or scientific change that has a major impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. This could also include inventions and art and could be abrupt or gradual. It seems that in our country, there recently has been a shift in global policing morphed into local use of excessive force. Then there's government and social condolences on sex and marriage issues. An increase in the minimum wage will be gradual, while some states are legalizing marijuana, making millionaires of some while convicts guilty of previous drug charges languish behind bars.

My husband and I went to a public "change" community meeting the other night with only seven folks in attendance. One appeared to be a ten-year- old boy. The others were "activists." The leader of the group, according to my Internet research,  converted to Islam after getting into felonious trouble with the law. Another cared to act like she knew me, but mispronounced my name. A young girl said she was not going to ask folks in power to help her, but she was going to make "change" herself using her God-given power. My husband asked her a very poignant question: You are going to "change" to what? Therein lies the global agenda we face as humans on Planet Earth.

"Gramsci calls interregnum, this period where the ideas that buttress the old ruling elite no longer hold sway, but we haven’t articulated something to take its place," says Chris Hedges.

What kind of changes are needed?
"Change" became a big buzz word with the candidacy of President Barack Obama, but change as far as ending racism goes has not taken place. For one thing, it is too ingrained into  all systems of activity around the globe.

Non-white people living in asset rich nations are seen as the poorest, most ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-educated, and ill-necessary people on the planet. No one wants to be "Black" really, except a white president of the NAACP and a US president mothered by a white woman. What a dicotomy!

Where would I like to see the most change? A positive moral change that supports instead of kills heroes.
  • An end to all homicidal death or death based on a disease or condition that can be cured, no matter how much the cost
  • Churches that promote economic status of parishioners instead of building projects and minister perks
  • Ending worry about losing your home because you don't have a good paying job, income, or assets
And yes, ending poverty, mental illness, massive incarceration, and total disregard for human life.  Make plots for the next episode of American Greed a thing of the past because a savior has defeated the anti-Christ.

What connotes human fallback? Misunderstanding what caused the death of the dinosaurs, fall of Rome, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the Civil Rights Era, Arab Spring,  Iran/Contra, Iraq/Afghanistan War, the Fall of Wall street. What really happened globally in 1848?

Change is always happening, my friend. My hair color is changing at the roots. Gas prices are spiking upward. Police are killing more people, and more people are being transgendered behind bars. Heroes are stabbed on TV episode season finales while robot police try to maintain their humanity. Drought is increasing though" they" say there's no climate change. It's all on screens and tablets and IS reality. Food prices are off the chain, and it's illegal to raise chickens and a garden in my subdivision! Banks are offering low interest loans but no interest on my savings account which promotes borrowing, not thrift. All kinds of non-profits are getting people to work for free while thrift stores are begging for donations.

We don't need a dialogue, we need a national survey when those census takers go out, not just to ask those NUMBER questions, but fundamentally what U.S. citizens want. And I bet CHANGE is not a priority. What we want is STABILITY - stable jobs, affordable health care, lower utility and housing prices, hope for the future.

Safety and non-vain living is what we want - not to be scared when a cop car drives past us on the street. Listening to parents of those killed by police, one theme emerges: that their loved ones should not have died in vain.

A revolution can happen violently or in opposition to violence.  But we must get better compared to what? Everyone's life must count for something that the Creator envisioned. It's up to us to find out His plan and make it happen which could be akin to madness.

From the mouth of Hedges: "I think that sublime madness — James Baldwin writes it’s not so much that [revolutionaries] have a vision, it’s that they are possessed by it. I think that’s right. They are often difficult, eccentric personalities by nature, because they are stepping out front to confront a system of power [in a way that is] almost a kind of a form of suicide. But in moments of extremity, these rebels are absolutely key; and that you can’t pull off seismic change without them."

Hedges says that, "... every 28 hours, a person of color, usually a poor person of color, being killed with lethal force — and, of course, in most of these cases they are unarmed. So people march in the streets and people protest; and yet the killings don’t stop. Even when they are captured on video. I mean we have videos of people being murdered by the police and the police walk away. This is symptomatic of a state that is ossified and can no longer respond rationally to what is happening to the citizenry, because it exclusively serves the interest of corporate power.

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People at JusticeforNicholas Vigil, Smyrna, Ga.
"...What do you think is the most likely way that the people will respond to living in these conditions? That is the big unknown. When it will come is unknown. What is it that will trigger it is unknown...and it’s usually something banal...in moments of extremity, these rebels are absolutely key; and that you can’t pull off seismic change without them."

"...If things unravel [in the U.S.], our backlash may very well be a rightwing backlash — a very frightening rightwing backlash...We don’t even have the language to describe the class warfare that is being unleashed upon us by this tiny, rapacious, oligarchic elite. But we on the left are very disorganized, unfocused, and without resources.

"...if you were overly optimistic, it could get you killed. You really tried to read the landscape as astutely as you could and then take calculated risks based on the reality around you, or at least on the reality insofar as you could interpret it. Unfortunately, there’s nothing within human nature to argue that we won’t go down the ways other civilizations have gone down. The difference is now, of course, that when we go down, the whole planet is going to go with us.

"By standing up, you keep alive another narrative. It’s one of the ironic points of life. That, for me, is what provides hope; and if you are not there, there is no hope at all."

There's a song they still sing in church:
"If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song,
If I can show somebody, how they're travelling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain...
If I can do my duty, as a good man ought,
If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought,
If I can spread love's message, as the Master taught,
Then my living shall not be in vain."

World, try to live by that and you will truly have a revolution.

Read full article re: Chris Hedges at: http://www.salon.com/2015/06/04/we_are_in_a_revolutionary_moment_chris_hedges_explains_why_an_uprising_is_coming_%E2%80%94_and_soon/

Now, on to read Hedges book to see if my opinion changes. "Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt"  - http://www.amazon.com/Wages-Rebellion-Chris-Hedges/dp/1568589662/ref=sr_1_1/186-5814874-4352202?ie=UTF8&qid=1434420126&sr=8-1&keywords=wages+of+rebellion#reader_1568589662

Friday, June 12, 2015

AmericasMart Daily Strut features beautiful models

Open only to wholesale buyers and their guests, the June AmericasMart Atlanta Apparel Show is going on June 11- 14 and features the latest clothing,. shoes, and jewelry fashions.

Enjoy photos from catwalk held at noon and 3 p.m. daily during the show.

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"Brown Sugar" lyrics tell of slave/master relationships

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Photo of Kraft Barbeque Sauce bottle
I've always liked the Rolling Stones' music, especially "Satisfaction," but recently learned that their "Brown Sugar" lyrics were not what I expected.

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Stones' Zip Code tour

After witnessing the Stones onstage during Atlanta/Georgia Tech's "Zip Code" tour this week which featured a black saxophonist, vocalist, and guitar player, I decided to look up the"Brown Sugar" lyrics and found they contain a history lesson.

Written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, "Brown Sugar" goes like this:



"Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Scarred old slaver knows he's doing alright
Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown sugar
How come you taste so good?
Brown sugar
Just like a young girl should

Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin' where it's gonna stop
House boy knows that he's doing alright
You shoulda heard him just around midnight

Brown sugar
How come you taste so good, now?
Brown sugar
Just like a young girl should, now

Get along, brown sugar
How come you taste so good, baby?
Got me feelin' now, brown sugar
Just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen
Had all the boyfriends at sweet sixteen
I'm no schoolboy but I know what I like
You shoulda heard me just around midnight

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Stones' animated stage occasionally dripped red saliva.
Brown sugar
How come you taste so good, baby?
Brown sugar
Just like a young girl should, yeah

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I said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah
How come you, how come you taste so good?
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Just like a, just like a black girl should
Yeah, yeah, yeah."

Monday, June 8, 2015

G7 Summit: members urged to focus on internal affairs in member nations

The United States has issues, one being excessive force used on unarmed black men by local police, as in Metro Atlanta, Ga. killing of Nicholas Taft Thomas earlier this year.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union are meeting as the G7 in Germany today, but they are talking about others instead of themselves.

Two main countries being discussed are Russia and Nigeria, and two major issues include reducing poverty and creating a more just world. However, G7 member nations are having problems within their own democracies but are not adequately addressing these issues at the Summit.

Injustice in the United States
Large and small municipalities within the United States are having protests and uprisings focused on excessive force used by police and increasing incarceration rates of African American males. In recent months, hundreds of unarmed black men have been shot and killed by police or their designates. 

Over the weekend, a Metro Dallas, Texas police officer manhandled a 14- year-old girl to the ground in a video that has shocked viewers around the world.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCHWkhhgccs)
 
Severe poverty
Millions of people around the globe live on less than $1.25 a day. Unemployment in developed countries, such as Spain, has risen to 50% of people under the age of 25. Just south of the United States, countries like Haiti are embroiled in sexual exploitation of children as reported by UNICEF, an international organization.

This story is still developing.
(Photo provided by Huey Thomas)



Friday, June 5, 2015

Today's quote...





Concerning violence against children around the world:

"...witnessing it and not speaking out against it nor stopping it makes any one of us complicit."

---Geeta Rao Gupta, Unicef