No Republicans at Selma March 50th Year Remembrance

None. Not one.

None of the top leaders — House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was once thought likely to attend to atone for reports that he once spoke before a white supremacist group — will be in Selma for the three-day event that commemorates the 1965 march and the violence that protesters faced at the hands of white police officers. A number of rank-and-file Republicans have been aggressively lobbying their colleagues to attend, and several black lawmakers concurred.

from Politico via Washington Post

March 21, 1965 file photo, Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights marchers cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., heading for the capital, Montgomery, during a five-day, 50-mile walk to protest voting laws.  (AP Photo/File)

March 21, 1965 file photo, Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights marchers cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., during a five-day, 50-mile walk to protest voting laws. (AP Photo/File)

Martin Luther King, Jr.


A very nice, short compilation of King’s speeches….

More Deaths of Muslims in Myanmar

RANGOON— Arakanese Buddhist villagers in the company of government security forces attacked a Rohingya Muslim village in southern Maungdaw Township in strife-torn Arakan State on Tuesday morning, leading to the deaths of possibly dozens of Rohingya women and children, a human rights group reports.


Mahalia Called out to King: “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”

What a wonderful back story Drew Hansen tells about the March on Washington, Sunday, August 28, 1963

When King arrived at the Willard Hotel in Washington the night before the march, he still didn’t have a complete draft. King called his aides together in the lobby, and they started arguing about what should go in the speech. One wanted King to talk about jobs, another wanted him to talk about housing discrimination. Finally King said: “My brothers, I understand. I appreciate all the suggestions. Now let me go and counsel with the Lord.”

King went up to his room and spent the night writing the speech in longhand. Andrew Young stopped by and saw that King had crossed out words three and four times, trying to find the right rhythm, as if he were writing poetry. King finished at about 4 in the morning and handed the manuscript to his aides so it could be typed up and distributed to the press. The speech did not include the words “I have a dream.”

Oh read it all!

Over in Paris, James Baldwin led a petition writing campaign and presentation at the US Embassy.

More than 550 petitions were delivered; petitions also went to diplomatic posts in Rome, Madrid and several cities in Germany. …

Americans were not the only ones marching on Washington: 1,200 to 1,400 people marched on the American consulate in Amsterdam, led by the local Action Committee for Solidarity with the March on Washington. The mayor of Kingston, Jamaica, led a march of 2,500 in his city. One hundred marched through heavy rain in Oslo, Norway.

There were smaller protests in Israel and Burundi. In Accra, Ghana, a small group held signs reading “America, Africa Is Watching You” and “Stop Genocide in America and South Africa.”

And, Joseph E Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner in Economics was in the crowd on that day, his decision to do graduate work in economics rather than theoretical physics being confirmed.  His reflection, as of others, is how wide the gap still is between white life and black life in America.

The raw numbers tell much of the story: There has been no significant closing of the gap between the income of African-Americans (or Hispanics) and white Americans the last 30 years. In 2011, the median income of black families was $40,495, just 58 percent of the median income of white families.

Turning from income to wealth, we see gaping inequality, too. By 2009, the median wealth of whites was 20 times that of blacks. The Great Recession of 2007-9 was particularly hard on African-Americans (as it typically is on those at the bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum). They saw their median wealth fall by 53 percent between 2005 and 2009, more than three times that of whites: a record gap. But the so-called recovery has been little more than a chimera — with more than 100 percent of the gains going to the top 1 percent — a group where, needless to say, African-Americans cannot be found in large numbers.

New Zealand Parliament Breaks into Maori Love Song After Passing Gay Marriage Bill

Really, this will choke you up.  Human Beans can come out of their shells and sing to others who only decades ago were despised….

Right after the official tally was announced, the crowd of onlookers, joined by numerous members of Parliament, broke into song, singing “Pokarekare Ana,” a love song in the language of New Zealand’s inidgenous Māori people.


From AmericaBlog

Rosa Parks: More Militant than Meek

Charles Blow at the NY Times, brings to view a new book on the woman whose Civil Rights fame is second only to Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks.  She was not, it turns out, the humble seamstress she is often portrayed as being.  She had long rankled at the treatment of her family and friends by whites.  She talked back and on more than one occasion was restrained by those older and more experienced.

When she was a child, a young white man taunted her. In turn, she threatened him with a brick. Her grandmother reprimanded her as “too high-strung,” warning that Rosa would be lynched before the age of 20. Rosa responded, “I would be lynched rather than be run over by them.”

the idea that she stayed seated on the famous bus ride because of physical fatigue is pure fiction.

“I didn’t tell anyone my feet were hurting,” the book quotes her as saying. “It was just popular, I suppose because they wanted to give some excuse other than the fact that I didn’t want to be pushed around.”

The book also lays out Parks’s leading role in the bus boycotts and her decades of activism after the civil rights movement.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, by Jeanne Theoharis, you might want to read it.