R.I.P., Ameila Boynton Robinson

Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson: 18 August 1911 – 26 August 2015

One of the matriarchs of the civil rights movement, Amelia Boynton Robinson, passed away early yesterday morning at the age of 104. She was the first Black woman to run for congress in Alabama, and a survivor of “Bloody Sunday.” That was the day that she and many others marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Peaceful protestors were met with armed state troopers, who beat them mercilessly and tear-gassed them – Amelia was beaten unconscious. From Al-Jazeera:

Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil rights activist who nearly died while helping lead the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in 1965, championed voting rights for blacks and was the first black woman to run for Congress in Alabama, died early Wednesday at age 104, her son Bruce Boynton said.

Boynton Robinson was among those beaten during the voting rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965 that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” State troopers teargassed and clubbed the marchers as they tried to cross the bridge. A newspaper photo showing Boynton Robinson, who had been beaten unconscious, drew wide attention to the movement.

Fifty years later, Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, pushed her across the span in a wheelchair during a commemoration.

Boynton Robinson, who was hospitalized in July after having a major stroke, turned 104 on Aug. 18. Her son said she had been living in Tuskegee and was hospitalized in Montgomery. Boynton Robinson’s family said in a written statement that she was surrounded by relatives and friends when she died around 2:20 a.m.

In January, Boynton Robinson attended the State of the Union address as a special guest of Democratic Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, who said Boynton’s 1964 run for Congress paved the way for her. Sewell is Alabama’s first elected black congresswoman. Boynton was the first woman to run on a Democratic ticket in Alabama and the first black woman to run for Congress in the state, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

“Mrs. Boynton Robinson suffered grave injustices on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma at the hands of state troopers on Bloody Sunday, yet she refused to be intimidated,” Sewell said in January. “She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, my colleague Rep. John Lewis and thousands of others from Selma to Montgomery and ultimately witnessed the day when their work led to the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

A lady of immense courage and strength – a true warrior. Rest easy now, Amelia…you join a pantheon of true heroes. Your accomplishments should be an inspiration for youth of today, and generations to come.

Lest we forget…

Tumultuous Thoughts…

So much going on, lately – almost too much for me to bear. I feel like a tsunami or a volcano from recent events, and my soul feels raw. Mere days before the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” brutality Selma, Alabama, another unarmed young man was shot and killed, this time in Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin. From Al-Jazeera America:

“March 7, 2015 11:39AM ET

Wisconsin police fatally shot an apparently unarmed African-American teenager on Friday, prompting dozens of people to protest at the site of the killing, according to police and videos published on social media.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval told reporters that an officer responded to a disturbance at around 6:30 p.m. local time and later forced his way into an apartment that the 19-year-old, who was also suspected of a recent battery, had gone into.

Koval said that a struggle between the suspect and the officer ensued and the teen was fatally shot, according to a recording of the news conference published by broadcaster WKOW.

“The initial finding at the scene did not reflect a gun or anything of that nature that would have been used by the subject,” Koval said.

The shooting comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of police violence against minorities across the country. Protests have been held in Los Angeles and Washington state in recent days over police killings of unarmed men from minority groups.

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice released a report lambasting the Ferguson, Missouri police department for routinely violating the rights of African-Americans. The report includes evidence that freedom of speech was regularly denied to residents who talked back to officers.

Videos published on social media showed around 100 Madison protesters at the scene of the shooting chanting slogans like, “Who can you trust? Not the police,” in front of a row of officers.”

On Monday, 2nd March, a homeless man was shot and killed by police, after he was already on the ground after being Tasered – the claim was that he was “reaching for the officer’s gun,” yet the still photo of his hand in the air shows a hand that is NOT trying to grasp anything…his body is in involuntarily spasm from the Taser!

“Three Los Angeles police officers fired on and killed a man on the city’s Skid Row during a struggle over one of the officers’ guns, and authorities said they planned to use video captured by a bystander in their investigation.

The graphic video widely circulated on social media within a few hours of the incident Sunday brought heightened attention to the death of the man who wound up wrestling with police amid the tents, sleeping bags and trash of Skid Row, where many of the city’s homeless stay.

The three officers, one of whom is a sergeant, shot the man as they struggled on the ground for control of one of the police officer’s weapons, after a stun gun proved ineffective, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. They were answering a report of a robbery.

Smith said the department was aware of the video, and would attempt to amplify its sound and pictures to figure out exactly what happened.

“The video is disturbing,” Smith said at a briefing with reporters late Sunday night. “It’s disturbing any time anyone loses their life. It’s a tragedy.”

Smith said at least one of the officers was also wearing a body camera.

Police did not release the man’s name or give any other identifying details, and Smith said he did not know whether the man was homeless.

The shooting is the latest in a recent series of fatal police shootings in Missouri, New York and elsewhere around the country that have drawn widespread protest, including the killing of a homeless man in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March, a shooting in Los Angeles in August and migrant worker in Pasco, Washington on Feb. 10.”

A fraternity associated with the University of Oklahoma has been closed, after a horrid video came to light:

March 9, 2015 3:30AM ET

The University of Oklahoma has severed ties with a fraternity and ordered its immediate closure after the group’s national headquarters confirmed their chapter at the university had produced a video showing members participating in a racist chant.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) said Sunday that an investigation had validated the contents of a video showing people chanting a racial slur against blacks and indicating that blacks would never be admitted to the fraternity. The chant also references lynching.

OU President David Boren confirmed on Monday that the university had severed ties with SAE. He directed the chapter’s house be closed and said residents needed to remove their belongings by midnight on Tuesday.

“To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves ‘Sooners,'” said Boren, referencing the university’s nickname.

The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity earlier said in a statement on its website that it had closed the Oklahoma chapter in question “following the discovery of an inappropriate video,” adding it was “embarrassed” by the “unacceptable and racist” behavior.

“I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” said Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president. “SAE is a diverse organization, and we have zero tolerance for racism or any bad behavior.”

How charming…oh, wait – this must have been faked! No such thing as racism exists in our esteemed, elite bastions of “higher learning!”

*SIGH*

The sickening comments in each item I linked are testament to how insidious racism is…and people still want to believe the lie that the entire world has somehow transformed into a ‘post-racial’ utopia, simply because the U.S. has a “Black” president – I put the term “Black” in quotes, because that is how it’s stated by anyone who says it! Especially when they immediately jump to the immediate heritage of President Obama, almost gleefully pointing out that he “has a white mother and was raised by his white grandparents” – code for, “See? The only way ‘you people’ can succeed is if you learn the WHITE RIGHT way to do things!”

Speaking of the President, it fascinates me to note the how the vitriol being heaped upon him has escalated exponentially as his second, and final, term in office draws to a close. He is labeled as a “wimp” and an effeminate “mom-jeans-wearer” – and those are the ‘polite’ insults! At the same time, he is called “King Obama,” compared to Adolf Hitler, and labeled a “dictator” who is single-handedly “destroying this country and all that it stands for.” He must certainly be Superman, to pull off being a “dictator” and a “wimp” at the same time! One thing I’ll say, though – the people who wish that he was more like Vladimir Putin are so delusional, I don’t know where to start dismantling their nonsense! Seriously – if Obama was as much of a dictator as those paranoid fools believe, do you think he would stand for the insults hurled at him? Do you think that the Secret Service would be the bumbling, careless idiots they’ve become since the first day of his first term? Do you believe that John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of “Team Tea-Bag” would be as smug as they currently are? Please…spare me. We know how Putin has dealt with his foes in the past, and how he deals with those who dare to criticize him. Nemtsov knew that his life was forfeit from the first word he uttered against Putin…it was only a matter of time. The people at FauxNews are raging psychopaths and sociopaths – small wonder that the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, Geraldo Rivera, Sarah Palin and ‘Judge Jeannine’ are their darlings! *RETCHES* Sorry…I just threw up a little bit in my mouth at having to type that filth – my apologies.

One, final note…R.I.P. Sam Simon, co-creator of “The Simpsons,” which has been a main part of my life since they debuted on the Tracy Ullman show back in the late 1980s. He passed away after a long battle with colon cancer…he was 59 years of age.

I am also conflicted over a deep, personal matter…it occurred unexpectedly. C’est la vie…

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