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Member since: Sat Feb 3, 2007, 12:43 AM
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"You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument"

Most Black Americans could have written this essay.

Almost all of us who descend from slavery are the products of rape.

You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument
By Caroline Randall Williams

I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South. If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument. ...
Dead Confederates are honored all over this country — with cartoonish private statues, solemn public monuments and even in the names of United States Army bases. It fortifies and heartens me to witness the protests against this practice and the growing clamor from serious, nonpartisan public servants to redress it. But there are still those — like President Trump and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell — who cannot understand the difference between rewriting and reframing the past. I say it is not a matter of “airbrushing” history, but of adding a new perspective. ...

But here’s the thing: Our ancestors don’t deserve your unconditional pride. Yes, I am proud of every one of my black ancestors who survived slavery. They earned that pride, by any decent person’s reckoning. But I am not proud of the white ancestors whom I know, by virtue of my very existence, to be bad actors.

Among the apologists for the Southern cause and for its monuments, there are those who dismiss the hardships of the past. They imagine a world of benevolent masters, and speak with misty eyes of gentility and honor and the land. They deny plantation rape, or explain it away, or question the degree of frequency with which it occurred.

To those people it is my privilege to say, I am proof. I am proof that whatever else the South might have been, or might believe itself to be, it was and is a space whose prosperity and sense of romance and nostalgia were built upon the grievous exploitation of black life.

The dream version of the Old South never existed. Any manufactured monument to that time in that place tells half a truth at best. The ideas and ideals it purports to honor are not real. To those who have embraced these delusions: Now is the time to re-examine your position. ...

Either way, I say the monuments of stone and metal, the monuments of cloth and wood, all the man-made monuments, must come down. I defy any sentimental Southerner to defend our ancestors to me. I am quite literally made of the reasons to strip them of their laurels.

The Black delegation apparently met yesterday and is offering a sweet deal



The Black delegation respectfully submits:

We surrender Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina

And would happily accept Gregg Popovich.

If Mr. Popovich is not available, we request to surrender Mr. Scott nonetheless.

Starbucks Revisited: Any changed minds?

A little over two years ago, here was quite the heated back and forth on DU over the incident in which the manager of a Starbucks called the police on a young black man whom she said refused to leave after she ordered him out of the shop because he sat down without buying anything. The police arrived and handcuffed, arrested and too him to jail, even though other patrons begged them to leave him alone and some white customers said they hadn’t bought anything, either.

Many DUers said this was yet another example of how black men are treated as criminals while other DUers defended the manager and officers and insisted they were simply enforcing store policy and the law and race had nothing to do with it.

I’m curious if, given all that’s happened in the past couple of years, if anyone has changed their mind about this incident since it occurred two years ago,.

Philadelphia Starbucks Arrests, Outrageous to Some, Are Everyday Life for Others

But to some black Philadelphia residents who venture into Rittenhouse Square, the neighborhood where it happened, the treatment depicted in the video was a frustrating reality of everyday life.
Christian Hayden, 30, recalled a security guard searching his bags as he left a nearby Barnes & Noble. The guard found his copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoir “The Beautiful Struggle,” and would not let him leave until the staff had checked the shelves to make sure no copy had been stolen.

Trevor Johnson, 27, a bike courier, recalled being arrested in the square four years ago after an officer asked him to turn off his music and he got up to walk away. And earlier this year, Michele Bradshaw, 49, said she left a Nordstrom Rack not far from the Starbucks after she noticed a security guard following her through the aisles of clothing.

In fact, statistics show that Rittenhouse Square, with its hotels, boutique museums and upscale shops, has the highest racial disparity in the city when it comes to police pedestrian stops. Although black people account for just 3 percent of the residents in that police subdistrict, they made up two-thirds of the people stopped by the police in the first half of 2017, according to figures collected by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The eight-minute video clip of the encounter shows three officers in bicycle helmets standing around two black men, who were sitting and calmly responding to the officers’ questions. ... A few minutes go by, with the officers and the men continuing to exchange words, when a white man who was supposed to meet the men showed up. He began arguing with the officers, saying that they were discriminating against the two black men. Eventually, the white man said they would just go somewhere else, but the officer responded, “They’re not free to leave,” adding that they had already failed to comply.

Ronal Serpas, a former police chief in New Orleans and Nashville, said it was “troublesome that an arrest occurred,” given the tremendous discretion officers have to handle such situations. “Using every available alternative to a physical arrest, within department policy, should be the goal in a case like this,” said Mr. Serpas, who is now a professor at Loyola University New Orleans.


Once again, my friend is proven right ... The courts ARE holding

"The Judiciary branch is strong and WE. WILL. HOLD"

A few weeks ago, a dear old friend, a Republican-appointed federal judge, trying to console me during a moment of despair about the future of our country, said to me “The Judiciary branch is strong and will hold.” When I expressed skepticism, he leaned toward me, looked me dead in the eye, and said as firmly as he could without shouting: “We are strong and WE. WILL. HOLD.”

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