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May 10 (Tuesday) was Confederate Memorial Day in South Carolina. The only other states that celebrate this day are Alabama and Mississippi. Makes me wonder why people are still hanging on to the myth, and if the reason for people holding on to the “stop the steal” rhetoric is the same mindset with different language.

Wild Cooking Woman 5/12/21

Apple Pie Recipes for Apple Pie Day (May 13)

State Offices Close For ‘Confederate Memorial Day’

Nicholas Reimann Updated Apr 26, 2021, 03:22pm EDT

State offices—including courts, motor vehicle departments and museums—are closed in South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi for Confederate Memorial Day, an official holiday. Despite condemnation and a widespread reckoning over Confederate symbols during last year’s antiracism protests, here’s why that is.

The day is meant to recognize Confederate deaths during the Civil War, along with the date of the last major Confederate surrender at Bennett Place, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865. It was first recognized after the Georgia legislature passed a resolution in 1866 memorializing the war dead, and it later spread as one of several dates recognizing the Confederacy in states across the South.

My question is why can southern states, who lost the Civil War, get away with having holidays and memorials to those who rebelled against the USA? Clint Smith, writing for The Atlantic, says, “I was struck by the many people I met who believe a version of history that rests on well-documented falsehoods. For so many of them, history isn’t the story of what actually happened; it is just the story they want to believe. It is not a public story we all share, but an intimate one, passed down like an heirloom, that shapes their sense of who they are. Confederate history is family history, history as eulogy, in which loyalty takes precedence over truth.  How many of the visitors to the cemetery today, I asked Ken, are Confederate sympathizers?” “I think there’s a Confederate empathy,” said Ken, the tour guide at Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia. “People will tell you, ‘My great-great-grandmother, my great-great-grandfather are buried out here.’ So they’ve got long southern roots.”

The Anthemic Allure Of ‘Dixie,’ An Enduring Confederate Monument

September 20, 2018 3:41 PM ET Heard on All Things Considered

BILAL QURESHI

“[Dixie is] a nostalgic song about missing your home in the South. It’s really a wonderful song, if you ignore all the racial and political overtones,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Horwitz. He traced the enduring legacy of the Lost Cause, interviewing descendants of Confederate soldiers and contemporary reenactors for his celebrated book, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War.

“In contrast to the Union’s anthem, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ invoking God’s wrath, ‘Dixie’ is sentimental and elegiac, recalling this land of cotton fields and buckwheat cakes and a kind of slow-moving world that can seem appealing through rose-colored glasses,” he says. “[It] speaks to a bygone, slow-paced world that some white Southerners felt had been snuffed out by a brutish, industrial North. And it was another way of steering memory away from slavery, toward a war between what Southerners call ‘a different way of life.’ “

“While “Dixie” can work inside the parameters of a reenactment, Horwitz says, in real life the song is tangled up with the cultural revival of white supremacy in the 20th century. ” ‘Dixie’ was part of the score of Birth of a Nation, the movie that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan. It was embraced by the segregationist Dixiecrats in the 1940s. And in the 1950s, it was sung by white women protesting the integration of schools in Arkansas and elsewhere,” he says.

What This Cruel War Was Over

TA-NEHISI COATES JUNE 22, 2015

The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history. These words must never be forgotten. Over the next few months the word “heritage” will be repeatedly invoked. It would be derelict to not examine the exact contents of that heritage.

This examination should begin in South Carolina, the site of our present and past catastrophe. South Carolina was the first state to secede, two months after the election of Abraham Lincoln. It was in South Carolina that the Civil War began, when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter. The state’s casus belli was neither vague nor hard to comprehend:

…A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

South Carolina

In citing slavery, South Carolina was less an outlier than a leader, setting the tone for other states, including Mississippi:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin…

Mississippi

Louisiana:

As a separate republic, Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of an­nexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. The people of the slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery.

Alabama:

Upon the principles then announced by Mr. Lincoln and his leading friends, we are bound to expect his administration to be conducted. Hence it is, that in high places, among the Republi­can party, the election of Mr. Lincoln is hailed, not simply as it change of Administration, but as the inauguration of new princi­ples, and a new theory of Government, and even as the downfall of slavery. Therefore it is that the election of Mr. Lincoln cannot be regarded otherwise than a solemn declaration, on the part of a great majority of the Northern people, of hostility to the South, her property and her institutions—nothing less than an open declaration of war—for the triumph of this new theory of Government destroys the property of the South, lays waste her fields, and inaugurates all the horrors of a San Domingo servile insurrection, consigning her citizens to assassinations, and her wives and daughters to pollution and violation, to gratify the lust of half-civilized Africans.

Texas:

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable….in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states….

None of this was new. In 1858, the eventual president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis threatened secession should a Republican be elected to the presidency:

I say to you here as I have said to the Democracy of New York, if it should ever come to pass that the Constitution shall be perverted to the destruction of our rights so that we shall have the mere right as a feeble minority unprotected by the barrier of the Constitution to give an ineffectual negative vote in the Halls of Congress, we shall then bear to the federal government the relation our colonial fathers did to the British crown, and if we are worthy of our lineage we will in that event redeem our rights even if it be through the process of revolution.

It is difficult for modern Americans to understand such militant commitment to the bondage of others. But at $3.5 billion, the four million enslaved African Americans in the South represented the country’s greatest financial asset. And the dollar amount does not hint at the force of enslavement as a social institution. By the onset of the Civil War, Southern slaveholders believed that African slavery was one of the great organizing institutions in world history, superior to the “free society” of the North.

As the Late Unpleasantness stretched from the predicted months into years, the very reason for the Confederacy’s existence came to threaten its diplomatic efforts. Fighting for slavery presented problems abroad, and so Confederate diplomats came up with the notion of emphasizing “states rights” over “slavery”—the first manifestation of what would later become a plank in the foundation of Lost Cause mythology.

The first people to question that mythology were themselves Confederates, distraught to find their motives downplayed or treated as embarrassments. A Richmond-based newspaper offered the following:

‘The people of the South,’ says a contemporary, ‘are not fighting for slavery but for independence.’ Let us look into this matter. It is an easy task, we think, to show up this new-fangled heresy — a heresy calculated to do us no good, for it cannot deceive foreign statesmen nor peoples, nor mislead any one here nor in Yankeeland. . . Our doctrine is this: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED, and for the preservation of other institutions of which slavery is the groundwork.

Even after the war, as the Lost Cause rose, many veterans remained clear about why they had rallied to the Confederate flag. “I’ve never heard of any other cause than slavery,” wrote Confederate commander John S. Mosby.

So here we are now. The Civil War has been over for almost 175 years and we are still enmeshed in the philosophies that the war was built on.

The racist ‘replacement theory’ has it all backward

Analysis by Ronald Brownstein Updated 1:16 AM ET, Fri April 23, 2021

Far right White supremacist groups, conservative media personalities and now Republicans in Congress are trying to inflame nativist feelings among conservative Whites by warning that liberals want immigrants to “replace” native-born Americans in the nation’s culture and electorate.But that racist “replacement theory” inverts the real consequence of immigration for its target audience of Whites uneasy about social and racial change: Many of the Whites most drawn to the far-right argument that new arrivals are displacing “real Americans” are among those with the most to lose if the nation reduces, much less eliminates, immigration in the decades ahead.

“Replacement theory,” sometimes called the “great replacement,” gestated in the swampy waters of far-right White supremacist groups. But in the Donald Trump era it has migrated closer to the GOP mainstream. Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, who often spreads xenophobic arguments, has ardently embraced the charge that Democrats are “trying to replace the current electorate — the voters now casting ballots — with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.” Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, both Republicans, have echoed him in recent public statements. The far-right Republican House members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who floated plans for a Trump-like “America First Caucus” before scrapping them, declared in a recruiting document disclosed last week by the Punchbowl website that large-scale immigration threatens “the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity.”

What’s next? We are fighting an entrenched group whose death-like grasp on the impossible idea of racial purity coupled with an allegedly stolen election and non-existent voter fraud seems strange to anyone who has read the multiple reports demonstrating the lack of voter fraud. Even some of the most conservative groups attest to a lack of significant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. There are fewer than 50 cases between 2018-2019 and fewer than 25 in 2020 (Election Day was November 3, 2020). There were approximately 159,000,000 votes cast in the 2020 presidential election.

Where does that leave me? Confused, concerned, and mobilized – again. It seems that the war is never won, it is only fought a battle at a time. It feels as though we take one step forward, and are pushed 2 steps backward.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?

Psalm 22

Watching Trevor Noah. Needed a good laugh.

Kintsugi 5/8/21

Some Authors to Read this Summer

Do you like mysteries? Here are some Black female mystery writers you might find interesting.

  • Alyssa Cole
  • Megan Giddings
  • Rachel Howzell Hall
  • Eleanor Taylor Bland
  • Paula L Woods
  • Barbara Neely
  • Grace F Edwards
  • Valerie Wilson Wesley
  • Nikki Baker (aka Jennifer Dowdell)
  • Terris McMahan Grimes
  • Nadine Matheson

Erased

Abdi Latif Dahir writes in the NY Times, ” A young climate activist, Vanessa Nakate, had just sat down for lunch at the gathering of the global elite in Davos, Switzerland, in January last year when she saw the photo that would catapult her to global fame — not for what it showed, but for what it did not. Her, to be precise. When The Associated Press released a picture of the five from the event, Ms. Nakate had been cropped out. ”

May be an image of 9 people

An image released this week showed Australian Olympians and Paralympians in sponsored outfits, but did not feature any athletes of color. WNBA player Liz Cambage later said the photo had been “whitewashed”. The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has said more should have been done to reflect the team’s diversity. https://www.instagram.com/p/COgr1i_ljW0/?utm_source=ig_embed

Defying stigma and stereotype, Bayard Rustin was an openly gay man who served as an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Rustin was essential in organizing the Freedom Rides of the early 1960s, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the 1963 March on Washington.  Read HERE.

Civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin (center), speaking with youth, (left to right) Carolyn Carter, Cecil Carter, Kurt Levister and Kathy Ross, before a demonstration in 1964. Ed Ford/Library of Congress
 

How the Myth of a Liberal North Erases a Long History of White Violence

By Christy Clark-Pujara and Anna-Lisa Cox SMITHSONIANMAG.COM AUGUST 27, 2020

In 1834 there were even more riots against African Americans, most notably in New Haven, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and New York City. The mayor of New York allowed the destruction of African American homes and businesses to continue for days before finally calling out the state militia. This violence was not against buildings alone, but was accompanied by atrocities against African Americans, including rape and castration. This physical destruction of African American neighborhoods followed by the stealing of African Americans’ rights was a double-edged violence, and it was not unique to Pennsylvania. Back in 1833 in Canterbury, Connecticut, the girls managed to escape their school when it was set on fire, but soon all African Americans in Connecticut were made to suffer. White lawyers and politicians in Connecticut saw to that. A lawsuit brought against Prudence Crandall, director of the school, resulted in the highest court in Connecticut deciding that people of color, enslaved or free, were not citizens of the United States. White people could now pass any racist laws they pleased, including one making it illegal for any person of African descent to enter the state of Connecticut to be educated there. Read HERE.

Fried Squash or Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 2 yellow crookneck or zucchini, quartered and sliced very thin (you can substitute eggplant sliced very, very thin)
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings about 1/4 inch thick
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper1
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil (not EVOO) for frying

Instructions

  • Place squash and onions in a medium bowl and mix together.
  • In a small bowl mix flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Put dry mixture in a plastic bag, add the squash and shake to coat. In the alternative, use a piece of waxed paper or a paper plate.
  • In a medium skillet heat oil over medium heat. You only need about 1 inch of oil because you aren’t frying chicken. When oil is hot add breaded vegetables and fry, turning to brown evenly. Make sure the oil is hot enough, otherwise the squash will soak up the oil and be greasy.

‘Two justice systems’: Anger as white Trump supporter who used dead mother’s vote walks free while Black woman faces jail for voting error

Graig Graziosi 5/4/21

A white man who pretended to be his dead mother in order to cast an extra vote for Donald Trump was sentenced to five years of probation after being found guilty. A Black woman, who cast a provisional ballot while on probation but who claims she was unaware she was ineligible to do so, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Despite GOP rhetoric, there have been fewer than two dozen charged cases of voter fraud since the election

By Philip Bump May 4, 2021 at 10:29 a.m. EDT

On Election Day last year, a man named Ralph Thurman allegedly walked into Sugartown Elementary School in Malvern, Pa., to cast his vote. He allegedly asked whether he needed to produce identification and was told he didn’t. He then allegedly asked if he could vote for his son and was told he couldn’t. He left.

Forty-five minutes later, Thurman (again, allegedly) returned, wearing sunglasses. He claimed to be his son and asked for a ballot. Somehow, the people at the polling place saw through his scheme. Thurman faces felony fraud charges.

By our count, there have been only 16 incidents in which someone has faced criminal charges stemming from their attempt to vote illegally. 

Those incidents:

  • Thurman, above.
  • A man and woman from Austin who allegedly tried to vote in Illinois by claiming residence in that state. It’s not clear whether they obtained ballots.
  • A man in Lisle, Ill., who allegedly signed a ballot certification with someone else’s name.
  • A man in Carol Stream, Ill., who allegedly filled out an online ballot application for someone who shared his last name. It’s not clear whether the ballot was provided.
  • A woman in Naperville, Ill., who allegedly signed a ballot certification with someone else’s name.
  • A woman in Buckingham, Pa., who allegedly signed a ballot declaration for her dead mother.
  • A woman in Quakertown, Pa., who claims to have accidentally mailed a ballot for her mother after she died.
  • A woman from Milford, Maine, who reported herself for voting twice, once by absentee at home and once in person at college.
  • A woman from Bowdoinham, Maine, who allegedly voted with an absentee ballot for a former roommate.
  • A woman in Cedarburg, Wis., who allegedly submitted a ballot for a dead person.
  • A man in Stockton, N.J., who allegedly submitted a ballot for a dead person.
  • A man in Carteret, N.J., who allegedly voted twice with different names.
  • A man in Woodbridge, N.J., who allegedly registered at his business instead of his home.
  • A man from Media, Pa., who admitted to casting a ballot for his dead mother.
  • A man from Canton, Mich., who admitted to filling out his daughter’s ballot when she was at college.

A Sampling of Recent Election Fraud Cases from Across the United States

The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. Each and every one of the cases in this database represents an instance in which a public official, usually a prosecutor, thought it serious enough to act upon it. And each and every one ended in a finding that the individual had engaged in wrongdoing in connection with an election hoping to affect its outcome — or that the results of an election were sufficiently in question and had to be overturned.  [Looking at a sample of states from 2018-2019 only.]

  • Texas 7 cases
  • South Carolina 1 case
  • Connecticut 2 cases
  • Idaho 0 cases
  • Georgia 0 cases
  • Nevada 0 cases
  • Utah 0 cases
  • Florida 1 case
  • Ohio 7 cases
  • Alabama 1 case
  • Wisconsin 1 case
  • Michigan 0 cases

Look at the interactive chart HERE.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May marks the start of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – during a time when anti-Asian hate crimes continue to rise across the country. Our guide breaks down the long history of discrimination the AAPI community has faced in the US. Plus, we’ve got resources to help you take action and tips to be an ally in the fight against racism. Read HERE.

Get Tickets to Freedom, Justice, and Hope

Featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Social Justice Advocate Bryan Stevenson
Premieres May 21 at 7:30pm ET
On-demand through May 26
Virtual ticket: $20  

In collaboration with Bryan Stevenson—a globally acclaimed activist, public interest lawyer, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative—the JLCO will perform works that address freedom, justice, and hope. Witness the world premiere of new music by emerging composer/trumpeter Josh Evans as well as guest performer and bassist Endea Owens (Jon Batiste’s Stay Human).  

What We’re Watching/Listening To

http://clipart-library.com/clipart/1940884.htm
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • Foster Care Month
  • Better Speech and Hearing Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • Mystery Month
  • National Drug Court Month
  • Arthritis Awareness Month
  • Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Blood Pressure Month
  • National Hamburger Month
  • Military Appreciation Month
  • National Salad Month
  • Older Americans Month
  • National Foster Care Month
  • Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Special Days

  • May 13 Apple Pie Day
  • May 17 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
  • May 21 Endangered Species Day
  • May 25 National Missing Children’s Day
  • May 28 Amnesty International Day
  • May 31 Memorial Day

The Revised Common Lectionary -scripture readings for Year B

Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 16, 2021
(If Ascension not observed here)
ART — PRAYER
*Acts 1:15-17, 21-26Psalm 11 John 5:9-13John 17:6-19
Day of Pentecost
May 23, 2021
ART — PRAYER
*Acts 2:1-21
or
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:24-34, 35bRomans 8:22-27
or
Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/
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