Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I oppose renaming the journalism building, but to describe Ida Wells as 'reporter' misses the mark

Wells
    There is a proposal to rename the journalism building at Ole Miss after Ida Well, a native of Holly Springs. I am opposed and  find the proposal ironic, since Ed Meek, for whom the building is currently named, was the victim of a modern-day lynching insofar as his reputation is concerned. Wells was one of the first, most prominent, and most outspoken opponents of lynching in the South.

    With that said, the AP story which told of the effort to rename the building described Wells as a "reporter." That's like describing Ronald Reagan as a radio announcer. Wells was an amazing woman, one of the most important to come out of Mississippi in the 19th Century. I don't remember being taught about Wells in school even though she was from Holly Springs; I hope that is still not the case. Even though I don't support the renaming of the building, she certainly has a record of accomplishment that is worthy of admiration.
______

    Ida Wells, who was born and reared in Holly Springs, was born into slavery in 1862. Her father was owned by Spires Bolling, an architect whose homes were known for featuring octagonal columns. He also built the Walter Place, with its unusual octagonal wings on each end. The Wells family lived at the Bolling Place, which was later the Gatewood home, and is now the site of the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum, which features the signature octagonal columns.
    Wells, who lost both parents to the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878, struggled to support and keep her younger siblings together by working as a schoolteacher. Her frustration over receiving $30 per month while white teachers were paid $80 per month led her to become active in a movement to seek equal pay for black teachers, which led to her firing, after which she moved to Memphis.
    In May 1884, Wells refused to give up her seat on a Tennessee train and move to another rail car; when the conductor tried to forcibly move her she bit his hand. She was thrown off the train and successfully sued the train company, obtaining a $500 judgment in circuit court. The Tennessee Supreme Court overturned this judgment in 1887 and assessed Wells $200 in costs. This case was later cited as support by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), which found that segregation laws were not unconstitutional under the "separate but equal" doctrine which remained controlling law until Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
    (An interesting note is that Plessy v. Ferguson was a "friendly" lawsuit carefully coordinated between Plessy and the railroad company, both of whom believed that the Supreme Court would find Louisiana's forced segregation laws unconstitutional. The railroad company wanted Plessy to prevail, as it did not want the expense of having to maintain two sets of passenger cars. Plessy was one-eighth African and seven-eighths European).
    In 1889, Wells, who was working in Memphis as a schoolteacher, became owner of the Free Speech and Headlight, a newspaper published out of the Beale Street Baptist Church. Her opposition to segregation and articles decrying the poor condition of black schools led to her firing in 1891.
    Also in 1889, three of Wells' friends were lynched, which led her to become active in the national anti-lynching movement, in which she often collaborated with W.E.B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglas. In 1892, she published a famous anti-lynching pamphlet, "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases."
    On May 27, 1892, a white mob destroyed the offices of Wells' newspaper. Because of threats on her life she soon moved to Chicago, where she wrote articles for the New York Observer and began to work for the Chicago Conservator, that city's oldest black newspaper.
    During the 1890s Wells traveled extensively to promote civil rights, including trips to Europe. In 1909 Wells was one of seven black and 53 white founders of the NAACP. In later life she retreated from the national spotlight somewhat as she devoted herself to family life, although she remained active in support of civil rights throughout her life until her death in 1931.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Violent and angry Democrats are unhinged, violent, and a danger to our republic



    We’ve now had almost two years of unremitting violence against Republicans perpetrated by Democrats and various Democratic political action groups, along with the Democratic paramilitary wing, Antifa. Amazingly, Democrats seem to be very proud of all the beatings they’ve been administering to Republicans.
    We’ve just been through a judicial confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh that was an absolute circus. Democrats paid protesters to scream and shout down senators and congressmen as they tried to do their jobs. Many were threatened, and armed guards became the order of the day. During all the commotion one congressman ended up with a bruised wrist from women barging into his office. A Democratic staffer published home phone numbers and addresses of several Republican senators on the Internet.
    When Democrats found they were not going to be able to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation they released a bogus rape claim that they had been keeping secret for almost two months. The Democrats knew the claim wasn’t true; that’s why they kept it secret instead of allowing it to be properly investigated. By sitting on it they could spring it at the last minute to delay the confirmation; of course, then they wailed that Republicans weren’t allowing enough time for it to be properly investigated, the purpose being to delay, not find the truth.
Angry Dems attack Supreme Court
    The result was what we all saw on television or on Internet news feeds, with hired shills running up and down the halls of Congress haranguing key Senators and threatening their families. Following Kavanaugh’s confirmation a mob of angry Democrats actually tried to break down the doors and storm the Supreme Court, something I don’t believe has ever happened in the history of our republic.
    From the moment Donald Trump was elected various celebrities and members of the press started spewing vitriolic rhetoric that stopped just a millimeter away from urging violence against Republicans or Trump supporters. Sometimes they crossed the line, and from time to time assassination of various politicians was suggested, after which we would hear a “just kidding!”
    The Democratic base apprehended the message. Across the nation Trump supporters have been savagely attacked and beaten by Democrats on a regular basis. Sometimes they haven’t been beaten, just shoved and had their MAGA hats stolen. That’s still an assault and still a crime. The Democratic paramilitary wing, Antifa, now completely controls portions of  Portland and beats or harasses Republicans on sight, but Antifa can be found throughout the West Coast and occasionally elsewhere, and wherever they are they are extremely violent. The level of violence and civil unrest being perpetrated by Democrats against Republicans is simply unprecedented.
Scalise following shooting
by Democratic activist
    The suggestion that Republicans should be assassinated led one Democrat to try. Democratic activist James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., tried to take out 24 Congressmen who were practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game on June 14, 2017. In all likelihood he would have killed most or all of the 24 who were there had it not been for the fact that Steve Scalice had a top leadership position and was thus accompanied by capitol police who were able to take down the shooter. Scalice was seriously wounded but survived. The Virginia attorney general said the shooter was “fueled by rage against Republican legislators,” and while he didn’t blame Democrats and the press, it’s pretty obvious where the blame lays.
    A host of Republicans have been driven out of restaurants, theaters, and other public places, from public officials to everyday people wearing political hats or t-shirts; the Red Hen ejection of Sarah Sanders is just a very tiny tip of a very large iceberg. Elected Democrats such as Rep. Maxine Waters and Sen. Cory Booker have urged Democrats to harass Republicans when they see them in public. Such harassment can easily spill over into violence, and in fact it frequently does. Perhaps some Democrat somewhere, sometime has been mistreated, but never, ever on this scale or magnitude.
    The sad fact is that the Democrats in this country have become completely unhinged. Many are, if not violent, on the edge of violence, running around screaming in people’s faces; they are dangerous. And they have left mainstream America with a level of weirdness that is mind-boggling. When Democratic women started marching around with pink hats designed to look like vaginas on their heads, I thought they were freaks. This year they got rid of the vagina hats on the grounds that the hats weren’t inclusive enough,because “some women have penises.” I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. They quit wearing the vagina hats because they didn't want to hurt the feelings of women who had penises. To me, these women have just gone from being freaks to well  beyond the orbit of Planet Freak.
    Some people still vote for Democrats just because their father, mother, or grandfather voted for Democrats, but this ain’t Roosevelt’s party anymore; it's not even Obama's party anymore. It's not just a matter of Republicans being beaten up on a regular basis, although that is certainly a problem. America is under attack by a bunch of extremely violent Democrats and women with penises. If they should prevail, our republic will perish.
    To those very few normal people who still vote for Democrats, are these really the types of people you want to associate with?
_____________________

Many people have pointed out that Donald Trump urged his supporters to take action against protesters at his rallies. An undercover investigation found that the Clinton campaign hired people, often the homeless and mentally ill, to go to Trump rallies and start fights. In any event, it is a crime to disrupt a private political rally and those who do so are guilty of trespassing. Anyone disrupting a rally may be stopped with reasonable, violent force. Their coats should also be kept. Therefore, it is perfectly legitimate to advocate violence against criminal trespassers to the extent necessary to prevent them from disrupting the rally.