Maiello: Defeat the Press
Miami Fans Mistakenly Chant "Let's Go Eat" During Playoff Game
The next time some jackass contends that the American Civil War had nothing to do with slavery; show him this:
More to the point, Confederate Vice President Stephens plainly asserted in March 1861 that the "present revolution," which had brought about the creation of the Confederate States of America, "is founded ... on the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."
I vacillate from designating a good and an evil to every situation; and from wishing to remain an observer.
As an observer, I can better discover what is and what is not. You cannot ‘fix’ anything until you arrive at some conception as to the status of something.
Cultural and Social Anthropologists demand the observer remain neutral so that some measure of truth may be arrived at with regard to describing a community’s status. How does this culture work? That is the question rather than continually pointing out how screwed up the people under study actually are.
This is really where the concept of cultural relativity arose in the first place.
The reporter/social scientist is not supposed to grasp cultural relativity as a religious concept. Rather that perspective is supposed to be a tool to find truth.
Thus analyses of the German People leading up to and during the Reich are of great import in understanding how millions of minorities could be literally branded and exiled and subsequently taken to death camps.
The German problem really began with a national definition of what constitutes citizenship. A consensus developed where it was decided and embodied in the law that gypsies and Jews and other minorities were not citizens.
At the same time the Reich Citizenship Law was passed and was reinforced in November by a decree, stating that all Jews, even quarter- and half-Jews, were no longer citizens (Reichsbürger) of their own country (their official status became Reichsangehöriger, “subject of the state”). This meant that they had no basic civil rights, such as that to vote. (But at this time the right to vote for the non-Jewish Germans only meant the obligation to vote for the Nazi party.) This removal of basic citizens’ rights preceded harsher laws to be passed in the future against Jews
This is reminiscent of when Chief Justice Taney declared that a Negro cannot be a citizen even if he is ‘free’.
Nowadays the American Political Right wishes to address the definition of citizenship once again.
When is a citizen not a full fledged citizen regardless of Constitutional mandates?
It is useful to grasp the status, the culture of the Old South in order to understand how millions of people could have been held in bondage for so long. How did the dominant race/class rationalize this predicament and how did the subservient race/class remain subservient with so few rebellions?
Following the end of de jure slavery through Constitutional Mandate, cultural changes took place.
There were certain rules to the new status between the races that developed over time.
The first rule of the Reconstructed South was that you were considered a Negro even if your ancestors were ¾ or 7/8 white. The Germans had similar views concerning the definition of Jewish heredity but the intelligentsia used pseudo science to put exact formulae in place for making such a determination.
The relevance of all these matters came into play for me as I viewed the movie Rosewood.
Rosewood presents a plot concerned with matters that took place in January of 1923 in Levy County, on the West Florida Coast. (Thank you Seashell!)
What struck me about this film were the geographic nuances in this country in terms of race.
Rosewood was considered a ‘Colored town’. But it was not 100% Black in terms of residency.
Then there were White towns in the area, but they were not 100% White Towns.
There were Jim Crow Laws to be sure, fully in force at the time of these terrible events. Negroes had to be considered citizens but the Equal Protection Clause was construed to allow States to separate the races on a standard known as ‘Separate but Equal’. So even with a clear Constitutional mandate, there was a separate secondary citizenship designation in this country.
A state could not ban Black folks from purchasing or owning land, but it could allow restraints on where that land ownership would take place.
But again, I was more interested in the interrelationships between the races in this film rather than the technical laws in place at the time.
Rosewood was on a train line (which is how towns arose in this country and elsewhere) and it had been a timber town. The town had been much more successful in prior years but was holding its own. The railroad was more than happy to make money from Colored Towns as well as White Towns.
So there were Black folks and White folks who owned property in this area of West Florida and who owned businesses and who were not doing too badly.
One of the first scenes in the movie involves an auction for the sale of land in or around Rosewood.
Now one of the White merchants, John Wright (played by Jon Voight) is bidding on the land and has a fixed sum in his head prior to attending the auction, thinking there will not be that many bids. But a Black Man (played by Ving Rhames), returning from a stint in the army starts bidding much to the chagrin of the White guy.
And the entire auction is government directed so the Whites are running the entire show.
But money is involved. And the Whites really do not know how to handle this problem involving a Black man with money bidding on property that is not restricted to Whites. And of course, the town is primarily ‘Colored’ anyway which further complicates this situation.
Wright is pissed off and demands to see the ‘colored’s money’. Rhames stays cool and as the other Blacks do throughout the film, always answers questions courteously and with eyes pointed at the floor.
There is something about eye contact that is important to the relationship between the races.
And Wright is really caught in a pickle. I mean he makes more money from the Blacks than the Whites and would not be in business if it were not for this Black community.
Still Wright mumbles about the idiocy of a government that will fully arm Black folks to sit in trenches and kill white folks. Hahaha And he is mad that this lowly Black man comes home with money.
See the Whites are making money through Black commerce and the Whites do not like this fact but they like making money from the Black commerce.
What makes this a good film is that there are good Whites and evil Whites. The good Whites are not that ‘good’ and the evil Whites are not necessarily that ‘evil’ although there are a couple of really evil Whites portrayed in this film.
If you read the Wiki rendition of the Rosewood riots, you will see that the movie is attacked by some for including facts not in evidence and for mis-portraying other events. But these attacks in my humble opinion are from the Old South.
I was struck with the balance of Blacks and Whites, of Black communities and White communities working in this symbiotic relationship. You would think that this type of commerce would not work.
In January of 1923, a white woman claimed to have been beaten (and maybe raped) by a Black man.
The worst whites, led by the local sheriff, go on a rampage and before too much time has elapsed the entire town of Rosewood is burned down; buildings owned and operated by Blacks as well as by Whites are decimated.
Wiki uses as sources for its presentation old newspaper articles from all over the country, north and south. I include as an addendum portions of the Special Masters Report to the Florida House of Representatives in 1994. The problem was that this destruction of an entire town was covered up by the county and state governments for 7 decades.
AN ENTIRE TOWN HAD BEEN DESTROYED.
Somewhere between four and thirty people were murdered as a result of these riots. The film shows a mass grave filled with the bodies of men, women and children, all Black.
And no charges were brought against any white folks, although there were investigations and Grand Jury hearings concerning ‘the event’.
In the movie, with the help of the John Wright, women and children are saved by the railroad and transported to other parts.
There was a civil action brought by the children and grandchildren of the former residents of Rosewood in the 1990’s.
Besides money damages, the court action forced Florida to recognize this massacre for the first time.
I was just taken by the fact that this entire matter presented a social system that was precarious indeed. But both races co-existed and the co-existence appeared to be based on commerce.
It was an imperfect system to be sure, but appeared to be working.
And one woman bearing false witness ignited a firestorm that destroyed the entire system in a flash.
Our nation is once again faced with the issue of citizenship. Politicians like Ron Paul wish to amend the Constitution once more with regard to this issue creating a new exclusion under our definition of citizenship rather than inclusion; which was the purpose for the 14th & 15th Amendments.
Politicians like Representative Steve King wish to narrow our definition of citizenship through legislation and see what the courts do with this new legislation.
Both of these right wing political factions are focusing on babies for chrissakes. Hahahah. I cannot help but laugh because these anti-abortion pricks are going after babies. And anchor baby is a strange term to begin with. And the so-called anchor babies represent such a tiny percentage of our immigration problem that putting in the time and effort to amend the single most important Amendment ever posted to our Constitution is folly.
King and Paul represent the worst forces of racism in this country today.
But we have over ten million people in this country who are not citizens and I wonder what precarious situations exist between different ethnic communities in modern America. Congress will do nothing about this real issue in the real future.
As far as I can tell, a state can ban an ‘illegal’ from voting, from receiving welfare, from receiving health care (or at least access to health care through insurance), from access to education; from receiving driver’s licenses; from owning property and from many other governmental programs or protections.
A state may require all of our citizens to produce papers proving their citizenship under new stop and frisk laws and then round up those without proper papers and put them in detention centers.
There is now a group of residents comprising millions upon millions of people in this country who wear a new badge of slavery.
I predict Rosewood type riots in this country in the near future on a much grander scale.
ADDENDUM FROM A SPECIAL MASTERS FINAL REPORT (3/24/94)…Upon review of the record presented, and consideration of thesworn testimony, the following description of the events whichoccurred in Rosewood in 1923 emerges. In January of 1923Rosewood was a small, mostly African-American community ofapproximately 120 residents located on the Seaboard Air LineRailroad in western Levy County, nine miles east of Cedar Key.Today the site of Rosewood is marked on State Road 24. At onetime the community had a timber mill, a post office, severalstores, a depot and hotel; however, by 1923 the cedar wood hadbeen harvested, and the sawmill operations moved to Sumner,a somewhat larger community, three miles west of Rosewood.The black residents remaining at Rosewood earned a living byworking at the Cummer sawmill in Sumner, trapping andhunting, and vegetable farming. In addition, several of the blackwomen of Rosewood worked in domestic capacities for thewhite residents of Sumner. The main store of Rosewood wasowned and operated by a white man named John Wright.… The search for Mrs. Taylor's assailant continued. On Thursday,January 4, 1923, word reached Sumner that the man they soughtwas being protected by Sylvester Carrier in Rosewood. A groupof white men went to the Carrier home that evening. Minnie LeeLangley and Arnett Goins, claimants in this case, were childrenpresent at the Carrier home the night of January 4, 1923, andtestified to the events of that evening. The children had beentold that trouble was expected and they were gathered togetherwith other relatives at the Carrier home for their protection.They were taken to an upstairs bedroom. A group of white menapproached the house and called for Sarah Carrier to come out.She did not respond. The white men then came to the porch.The white men shot and killed a dog tied in front of the house.According to the testimony, one of the white men, C.P. "Poly"Wilkerson, a former quarterboss from Sumner, kicked in thedoor, and was immediately shot and killed by Sylvester Carrier.A second white man Henry Andrews tried to enter the houseand was also shot and killed by Sylvester Carrier. The remainingwhite men retreated, and gunfire was exchanged. During theensuing gunfire Sarah Carrier was shot and killed. The whitemen apparently ran out of ammunition, and during the respitethe children were taken out of the house by older relatives, andescaped into the woods of Gulf Hammock.It does not appear that any law enforcement officials wereamong the group at the Carrier home on the night of January 4,1923. Ernest Parham testified that deputy Williams was at thehotel in Sumner that evening. Mr. Parham specificallyremembered that deputy Williams was discussing the ongoingevents and stated that "All hell's breaking out in Rosewood."There is nothing in the record to indicate the whereabouts ofSheriff Walker on that night.In the morning of January 5, 1923 the bodies of Poly Wilkerson,Henry Andrews, Sarah Carrier, and another black man, reportedto be Sylvester Carrier were found at the house. There is somedispute as to whether Sylvester Carrier was actually killed atRosewood. His family believes that he escaped and membersreceived Christmas greetings from him for many years after theshootings at Rosewood.After the killing of Poly Wilkerson and Henry Andrews, theviolence escalated. Groups of white men from the surroundingareas, and some reportedly from other states, came toRosewood. During the following days every black residence wasburned. The black community fled to the woods. Two moredeaths of residents of Rosewood were reported. Lexie Gordon,a woman of mixed color, was sick with typhoid fever andunable to leave Rosewood. When her home was set on fire shewent out the back door and was shot and killed. James Carrier,the grandfather of Minnie Lee Langley, was reported to havebeen forced to dig his own grave and was then shot and killed.Another black man, Mingo Williams, was reportedly shot whilechopping down a tree twenty miles away by a group of thewhite men going to Rosewood.Many of the white residents of the area came to the assistanceof the black community. John Wright, the white owner of thegeneral store in Rosewood, hid some of the children at hishouse, and arranged for a railroad car to pick up the women andchildren who had escaped into Gulf Hammock. MargaretCannon testified that her father, Morris Cannon, a deputy sheriffin Levy County at the time, went into the woods and found theblack woman and children and brought them to the train. Theywere taken to Gainesville. The black residents of Rosewood didnot return.…
A previous version published @ onceuponaparadigm.wordpress