America in all its Glory

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

What a gorgeous shot of Mabry Mill in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia). Such a peaceful, serene setting.

Sitting on the edge of the water. Taking a worm and baiting it on the hook of a line that is attached to a long, thin tree branch. Gently "cast" the line into the water. Now to sit quietly, watching the dragonflies skip across the surface of the calm water. Listening to the frogs calling to one another. All the thoughts of your daily life are no longer with you - all you are thinking about at this moment is the beauty of the trees, where they simply meld into the banks of the water.

Who cares if you ever get a nibble on your line. Just to enjoy this moment that you will never live again. That is life!

Every crime committed by an illegal immigrant should never have happened!!!

Read my posting under Illegal Immigrants.

A quote from President Theodore Roosevelt addressed on immigration in 1907:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My heart aches!


Below are opinions of people across the nation regarding this incident.

"I have been amazed at all the attention the Jena Six are getting. Hanging a noose from a tree is inconsiderate and stupid, but not a crime. Beating a person is a crime and should be punished. But why are these boys not being charged with a hate crime? I hope that common sense will take over someday. NORMAN WINTON"

Does this man not consider hanging the noose from a tree a hate crime?

"MichaelR wrote:
A five on one fight has not been suggested to be fair; but intent to murder far exceeds the act that was committed. The noose incident; an inflammatory and derogatory statement from one race to another that this is the way we once dealt with your insubordination. Neither of these are acceptable in this Nation!"


"Wen782 wrote:
All of those people are going down there to protest the situation... and yet the biggest killer of blacks is other blacks.

As for the noose thing... my opinion is, lock those little farts up for pulling that stupid stunt and hanging them up there. That was rude beyond common sense. Lock up the noose hangers and lock up the kids who beat up the other kid. Heck, lock them all up, let 'em beat the heck out of each other... At the rate that one kid's going, he'll wind up dead or in prison, anyway. Nice on getting the charges dropped and how they're avoiding the mention that he has four prior convictions. Real nice.

You rarely hear the race card played anymore when it's a black perp on a white vic. I don't get that. Why does it have to be black and white, anyway... I thought it had been established that we were all just people."

This is the first I had heard about prior convitions for one of the boys sentenced to prison.

"msblacklady wrote:
I beleve that the 6 young men should be released and all charges dropped. Children have been fighting everyday in school. We need to let it be just that a fight. On the other hand the white kid brought the gun to school he should have been the one charged the others just took it from him to keep him from shooting them. The district attorney is really out of line. The people should look into this behavior on his part. There may be more than any one really knows about but right now it looks like racism is alive and it needs to be stopped lets stop it here and go on and stopped racism all over the USA."

This gives one pause for thought!!

"Wen782 wrote:
First off, it's not my place to apologize for those people. Did I have anything to do with it? NO. I do feel bad for the kids who had to see those nooses hanging - that's a horrible and stupid thing. That kid did deserve to have his butt handed to him, but not by six kids.

I would go OFF on my kids if they pulled any cr*p like that and there would be no question at ALL that it wouldn't be tolerated. It should never have happened.

I feel that what those white kids did should be punished, but it should have been made a serious issue by the school and the parents (even more so) and not have required that the students themselves get into a fight over it.

Kids these days are stupid. They're not being raised to respect anyone but themselves and it really is turning into an "all about ME and no one else matters or has feelings" society.

By the way... real nice thinking the white kid would've had the charges dropped. I sure would hope not. If you're stupid and commit a crime, you should be punished for it. I would expect to be. If that's the case that more whites get away with stuff, then more black people need to get into law enforcement and be good leaders for youth and make sure the white kids are forced to toe the line just as you think the black kids are forced to toe it. Or maybe someone should just make the punishments harsher for juveniles so that they stop committing crimes because they can only be charged as kids. Obviously it doesn't work as a very good deterrant. I don't think whites are "better at getting away with crimes".

I don't give a cr*p what color that kid is that has the prior convictions. Let's just wait and see where he's at and what he's doing in 10 years. The situation down there may be changing the direction his life's taking, but if all this wasn't going on, I'd be willing to bet money that he, like so many other youths of ALL races, would just be a wart on the butt of society instead of being productive and good citizens where they live.

This whole situation shouldn't be happening. I'll grant that. The stuff like this all over the country needs to stop. There are far more important things that people could be focusing on and spending their time on, like illegal immigration and disease issues."

Another thought provoking comment from Wen782.

"naren wrote:
I’m Sorry, but they should all go to jail, because I know that IF six white kids had beaten a black kid, then there would be another protest by black people saying they deserve life in prison or the death penalty because it was a hate crime. Well yeah hanging nooses in a tree should have got the 3 guys in trouble, but there was no crime that they could be charged with. I’m tired of the NAACP, BET and other African American "RIGHTS GROUPS". If you want to play the race game, where is the group that fights for the white man that has better grades and scores than the black student, but the black student takes his space in the college because of the NAACP whining that there weren’t enough black college students, thus affirmative action was created. You always cry that blacks are mistreated, well I’m sorry but you bring it on yourselves."

This person makes some good points - then makes some bad points.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligence on 7/18 was an article by Amy Goldman It's still about race in Jena, La.. The following are comments from the article.

"posted by jem1
Racism did not die with the passage of the Civil Rights legislation. Local authorities throughout this country run their little dictator fiefdoms without challenge until exposed in the national media.

Any white man or woman can attest to the racist comments in normal white-only conversation from both men and women who believe all other whites believe the same racist themes. Many of them have their roots in the old Southern states of ante-bellum times. Racism is handed down from generation to generation whether still residing in the South or not.

The incidences of non-white people of many nationalities abused, tried, and convicted by tinhorn district attorneys supported by racist local business and elected officials continues despite the laws. Every small town or county in America is run by local business and landed gentry who consider themselves above all laws except their own. Poor whites are generally treated with similar disdain by the arrogant dictators, but may receive some relief just because of their skin color.

Small town and rural America is still the haven for the racist bigots who refuse to acknowledge the national laws in relation to race relations. The cost to overcome a bigoted, racist accusation is not within most citizens ability to fight without help from state and federal assistance. Too many times, the state is in collusion with its racist locals through political connections.

Rural Louisiana outside of New Orleans has always been hard-core racist. The land is owned by and operated as plantations by local corporations. Wealthy whites rule without any adherence to national law. Local media follow a very strict line in relation to race issues. The threat of violence against any dissenters is real from both elected police officials and local thugs. Those born and raised in the areas move to other states and spread their same bias to anyone who will listen.

This article by a respected journalist is one of the few times the racist operations in rural America has been exposed. The local bigot bugs immediately crawled out of the woodwork to reveal their allegiance to all things Aryan, KKK, Rush, O'Reilly, and their hatred of any legal support for individual rights of all citizens under the Constitution.

Crawl back into the woodwork, junior nazis, your specious diatribes only reveal the depth of your hatred for this nation."

That was one very thought provoking post!!!

"Posted by duaniac
F*** rednecks--I hate them. Good grief, did anyone in that hick town pick up a calendar lately? Did it say 2007? Really? Those people should pull their heads out of their butts.

It is so sad that is could happen in this country in the day and age. They should all be set free. Or is it ok to trash all of there lives over a fight where the "victim" was so injured he was home that afternoon?"

This is reverse racism. Even though I do believe the poster is white, the beginning comment of the post speaks of racism.

"Posted by gernot
I find it interesting that the libs did not note the rascist attack on the white boy involved six blacks. All we get from the PI, is the inordinate prosecution of the one individual involved. Is anyone surprised there is still racism in the South? Didn't you hear Mayor Ray Nagin talking about his "Chocolate City"? Racism is a two way street. Pity the PI thinks it's one way only."


"Posted by Whulj
That's right, folks. Since some black people are racists, that makes it a-okay for white bigots to let 'er rip. Typical wingnut rationalization. They spend most of their days searching for any example of poor behavior to dilute the responsibility they should morally be taking for themselves. Like relying on Al Gore's mansion and jet-setting to excuse their own energy gluttony. Or fingering the latest jihad group to excuse the catastrophe they've created in Iraq. For the wingnut, there can be no change in their behavior or any community-oriented betterment until everyone else's behavior is entirely pristine. How convenient."


"Posted by flyboy
Jena, Louisiana has a population under 3,000 and is near the center of LaSalle County - about 100 miles by road SW of Vicksburg and a long way from New Orleans. You can't get much closer to the deep south, or the Civil War in time or place.

People in Seattle can't understand what life was like for blacks in the deep south just 50 years ago. Yet life still hasn't changed much in places like Jena. Maybe the black-only schools and drinking fountains are gone. but the KKK is still there - third and fourth generation members. For these white-folks the concept of equality is as foreign as the Tibetan language.

Anyone with any talent, black or white, will leave the small towns like Jena. Nothing will change unless people like Amy shine the spotlight on the inequities - until the state or federal government takes an interest and charge these people with failure to enter the 21st century.

There are lots of places in the south that have accepted change, but there are still too many small towns just like Jena.

Apparently, there are people in Seattle who would fit right in with the white folks of Jena."

I think this individual speaks the sentiments for many of us.

"Posted by GlennW
Hanging nooses is not free speech. It's a hate crime and the DA should have been investigating who did that as well as the gun incident by the white students. Reporting injustices is not "playing the race card." I believe one Black student is already facing 20 years in prison and the others could be sentenced to more for standing up for their rights and what is basically a school fight. It's an outrage. It's only because they are Black that they are receivng this kind of treatment.

This type of racism and injustice should be brought to National attention and it's the kind of real reporting Amy Goodman has been doing for years.

And Bill Cosby is an old fart who is conservative. He blames black kids for their poverty but injustice and racism are alive and well in this society as this case and some comments on this Forum show."

I think more people need to really pay attention to what Bill Cosby is saying. He may be rich and conservative today, but when he was young, he was just another poor black kid. So he knows of what he speaks.

"Posted by Kenny0873
I will preface my comments by saying that I grew up in Southeast Texas in a town (Jasper) that endured a hate crime in 1998 that got national attention. Jasper was a great place to grow up and I'm not racist by any means, but the concepts of racism coming from both sides is still very much alive there and apparently all over the south. Most of the time it's subtle, but it most definitely exists and seeing it there and here on this board is very disturbing.
It may never go away, sadly. Places like Jena and Jasper are in bad shape economically and most people that get decent educations do leave. They learn that there's a big world out there that doesn't see people as black or white and that those people should be judged solely by who they are and what they do. People do stay in those places and struggle just like the generations before them and unfortunately, the cycle repeats itself. The thing that I've learned is that it's all over the place and a bigger problem than I ever realized.
I truly hope that Governor Blanco will take a stand and stand up for those kids. To me, it would be a huge step in the right direction and maybe it would even open an eye or two in places where people really need to wake up and see what's going on."

This is a person who speaks from first hand experience and from his/her heart.

"Posted by tuddo
Last year the bus I was on traveling from Baton Rouge to Dallas broke down in a very small town in La. There was on gas station and one small cafe in town. Since it was almost midnihght, most of the people stayed on the bus to sleep. However, a highly decorated staff sargeant, veteran of Iraq and I went to the cafe. There was still a sign I had not seen very often since the 70's, "Blacks served in rear". I thought it must be still up for sick humor or nostalgia, but they were serious. These racists would not serve the sargeant because he was Black unless he went around back to a separate counter. Sounds like a town similar to Jena. The sargeant sighed and went back to the bus. I asked him if he wanted to stand up for his rights, and he said it wasn't worth it, he would probably be put in jail. Even in places where it is not as overt as this one, racism permeates the rural South and many parts of America."

Oh, how I wish the poster had named the small town. I would like to have taken a trip there and given the owner of that station a piece of my mind!!!

"Posted by 10,000 Stars
Wow, it's crazy to hear about this kind of racism still happening in the USA. I'm glad this story was published. I didn't know it was still this bad in some places--well, I didn't really know, anyway.

And then it gets justified by posters in this comments section, too! I'm white, but I think I'd have a hard time buying into the basic tenets of our society if I were black (anotherwords, I'd feel alienated from the society I live in), since it's a society that still contains so much virulent hatred against me based on the color of my skin. Rightly or wrongly, it would be so hard for me to get a decent perspective on that kind of hatred and remain a positive person with a life that is moving forward.

We need to make sure that just because these tiny little towns are stuck away in odd places about which we city people don't usually think too much, they aren't legally allowed to get away with all this creepy evil stuff and ruining people's lives just because they aren't the "right color."

Well said!!!

"Posted by wsdeek
Lex i am so glad we are having this discussion.

wdseek~ You are a perfect template for the white liberal male.......
Don't you see how bigoted it is to say:
Too bad I'm a BLACK male that has lived around the world

"Yes the change needs to come from within, but it also needs some help and understanding from without. ".i.e "the white man"... I have no shame in saying this. Everyone needs an assist now and again. Civil rights advanced in the 60s because people of all races came together to end the injustices that threatened all of us. Would the white community helping the black one be an easy task or easily accepted? No, not all. Is there any guarantee of success? None whatsoever.

What you are De facto saying is.."The blacks need me, the lilly white guy to help them get out of this mess. They are obviously too stupid to do it on their own."

You asked: "Why cannot white men affect change in the black community?.....again, this is a classic example of unintended bigotry.

So are not these blacks Americans? Are there laws that prevents whites from helping blacks? Would not making sure we all have equal and superior education, good paying jobs and equality for all of us, help all of us?

Men like Bill Cosby do not want your help. He wants his community to raise themselves. Hope this gets through to the brain housing group. I am black. Is the responsibility of every black person to help every other black person? Is the responsibility of every white person to help every other white person?

I have offered some positive solutions. Where are yours?"

I have not included any of the posts from Lex - they ramble and at times "incoherent"! But this was a good post.

"Posted by Phantasteek
This sound-off reinforces what I've seen in my national and international travels, and dealings with people of all cultures--racism is alive and well EVERYWHERE. There are examples of hatred from every ethnicity to every other ethnicity. And then if people don't hate each other for the basic reason of their skin color, they use economic, idealogical, religious, or political differences as justification for hating each other.

There's no such thing as civilized debate, people from either side of any fence just scream their personal insults back and forth and nothing is accomplished. The anonymity of the internet has only increased this kind of angry discourse."

Whoa - everyone needs to let this sink in!!

"Posted by KaninZ
Having grown up in South Carolina, I can state from personal experience that the legal system is ALL about race and class.
There are two types of justice in the South. Justice that applies to the "Good Old Boys" and Justice that is used to keep the rest of the "colored folk and po' white trash" in their place.
One place I lived (Liberty, SC) even had an old oak tree that was something of a shrine. It was known as "The hanging tree" and was looked on by the local police with more than a little nostalgia for the good ole days."

How truly sad - when will this nation ever get beyond that mentality?

"Posted by Bizy-G
Believe it or not, some conservatives add rational voices to these soundoffs. Unfortunately, some liberals here believe that nothing a conservative states can be rational, which is absurd.
I'm sure Amy Goodman is well respected by her peers, so is Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The problem is that neither side really wants to get to the WHOLE story, only to paint it within the framework of their own ideological views. If Amy Goodman were really a good reporter, I would have no problem with her, the problem is that she's not a reporter, shes a commentator. If she were a reporter, we would be able to reach our own conclusions about the stories she writes, but she's not a reporter.
She's also an anthropologist, and as such, she should have a better insight into human "nature" than the average lay person. She probably does, and uses that knowledge to craft pieces which will get the desired response from her (to quote one of the "drive-by" posters) sheeple. Throughout history and today, people around the world are persecuted because of the color of their skin or the shape of their nose, or even their physical stature. That is simply human nature. The only way to change that is to impose on others a value set different from one which they've developed on their own. You may see where I'm going with this, so I'll keep it short. Basically, it boils down to who minds the minders.
I think most of the seattle liberals (slibs) would totally agree with me if they thought I was talking about the fascism of the current administration. But they know me, and know I'm not talking about that, so I'll be beat down with the written word in an effort to force me to comply with their minding."

"She's also an anthropologist, and as such, she should have a better insight into human "nature" than the average lay person." Does this poster not think that even anthropologists, who do have inside into human nature, are not bigots? Does anyone truly believe that all reporters/writers/opinionators have 100% no discriminating bone in their body? In what world? I am not at all disputing Amy Goodman. Only the posters take that just because a person (any person) is an anthropologist, they are not bigoted or partisan.

Perhaps living in the suburbs of Los Angeles for 37 years has "sheltered" me from the harsh reality that the "South" STILL treats blacks as second rate citizens. I was raised in a small farming community in Texas. It was at a time when the schools were still segregated. Desegregation came about my senior year of high school, but by then I was living in a large metropolis in an area where blacks did not live. So, no, I never attended school with blacks. It was my first job upon graduation of high school that I actually had my first social contact with blacks. Certainly my eyes noticed a difference in the color of their skin. But otherwise, they were just another human being, no different from myself.

In my environment, there was never any hostility towards the blacks (or at least, not that I was aware of). There was no animosity on either side.

Then I moved to Southern California. Again, I worked with blacks, all very nice people. I only heard about the conflicts with the blacks in Watts. It really was not until the Rodney King riots that I came face to face with the reality of the bitterness the blacks felt towards the white. What was ironic was that these blacks that started/created the riots burned down their own neighborhoods. How much sense did that make?

It was a very long recovery for that area of Los Angeles. But the bitterness remained. Today it comes out in the form of gangs. There are black gangs, Asian gangs and Hispanic gangs (and, not to overlook them, there are even some white gangs, but few).

But I have never seen or heard anywhere I have lived the mental attitude that apparently still exists in the "old South" towards blacks.

My heart literally sank when I first began hearing about Jena, LA. I could not believe that in 2007, blacks were still being treated as second class citizens. That in Jena, LA. at a high school, there was a designated "white" tree on the campus. That the administrators at that school would even allow such a thing is beyond my realm of thinking. This is 2007 for cripes sakes!

And then to read that because a black student had ask if he could stand under the "white" tree, he had been denied the "privilege" and instead, some white students hung a noose on one of the tree limbs to get the message across to the blacks - loud and clear.

And still, the administrators only took meaningless actions. Put yourself in the shoes of the blacks of that school. How would you feel?

I am certainly not condoning the actions of the black students. But since the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of organized schools) there have been school fights between boys.

Now that the black youths have been tried and found guilty, we need to look beyond their wrongs. We need to look at the meaningless action taken against the white students involved. And we need to look at the actions (or lack of actions) of the school district and its administrators. Every school district in the United States receives State and Federal monies. Starting with the Federal Government, they should immediately pull all funding and then the State should do likewise. Or the State should take over the district (this only if the State is not in agreement with the actions of the administrators and the treatment of the black students).

It boggles my mind that after the judgement handed down in Jena, people today feel that the protests are unwarranted and stupid. This is what the civil rights movement was about.

Perhaps we need another Martin Luther King alive today to help the citizens of the United States realize that we are all equal. And for anyone to think that the Rev. Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton could step into those big shoes would be a fool. These two individuals do more to incite the situations than any human alive. In order for their voice to be valid, they need to show the same fiery sentiment to those whites who have suffered injustice just as their own people have. To do otherwise is in it self a form of discrimination.

Today my heart aches - that here in the United States of America still lives a group of people that have no tolerance for others.

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