Like No Other Information Source, Joe Madison Keeps Us Informed, Critical, & On Our Toes
What are your ideas for social change? Share…please…
What are your ideas for social change? Share…please…
White House Aims To Break Down (Socially Engineer) Gender Stereotypes Through Toys…
Why Not Socially Engineer White Police Not To Shoot…And, Eradicate Racial Bias Or At Least, Break Down Black Stereotypes…?
According to TIME Magazine, also part of the initiative along with Netflix, the Girl Scouts, and Discovery Communications, this is about our children’s future in the workforce:
“Research shows that the toys kids play with and the media they consume has a real impact on the skills and interests they develop over their lifetimes,” Tina Tchen, the executive director of the White House Council of Women and Girls, said on a conference call. “We think it’s important for children’s media and toys to expose kids to diverse role models and teach them a variety of skills.”
Tell that to call the “skill-less” former tomboys walking around who climbed trees and played with “boy toys” as children.
Of all the things that the White House could at least pretend to deal with in this country: the recession that never really ended, the slowly imploding economy, unemployment taking the nation back to third world status, unconstitutional undeclared wars, the crumbling infrastructure to include the poisonous water… a list that goes on and on and on… and the Obama Administration is “going after” some kid’s Easy-Bake Oven because it isn’t inclusive enough?
Really? Is toy stereotyping the most detrimental event facing our children’s economic future in modern America? That’s what is hampering their ability to become gainfully employed adults in this country when they grow up?
Not the fact that college degrees are a dime a dozen in a nation where the jobs that haven’t been shipped overseas are being replaced by robots while the puppet in chief continues to sell us out with international trade agreements like the TPP?
Then again, the Obama White House is currently racing to that $20 trillion national debt finish line with brilliant, pressing scientific research like this three-year, $548,459 study on male engineering student “microaggressions” toward women colleagues.
Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheepleand a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa also co-founded Nutritional Anarchy with Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, a site focused on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Wake the flock up!
Contributed by Melissa Dykes of The Daily Sheeple.
We Need To Do More Hip Hop To Teach Our Story…from Traditional Africa to The Present…Studies Indicate, Story Telling Heals ‘Historical Trauma’
Hip Hop Content That Comes From UNESCO’s General History of Africa Vol. II Covers 9,000 Year of Africa’s History “freeing it from racial prejudices ensuing from slave trade and colonization…”
Frank Waln, “A lot of it is telling the story of how I’m trying to deal and heal from the historical trauma that has been dealt to me through my ancestors and through being a survivor of genocide.”
Frank Waln is a rapper and member of the Sicangu Lakota. He grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Waln has rapped about the Keystone XL Pipeline, his battle with depression, and the modern Native American experience.
Waln joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to talk about his new album, Tokiya, which comes out this year, and his efforts to be a role model for young Native Americans.
“This album Tokiya is a very personal album,” Waln said. “A lot of it is telling the story of how I’m trying to deal and heal from the historical trauma that has been dealt to me through my ancestors and through being a survivor of genocide.”
On the parallels between black experience and Native American experience
“Hip hop just resonated with a lot of Native youth from my generation, especially growing up on reservations because we could relate to the stories being told in the music.”
“Black folks are coming up out of a history of slavery that their ancestors had to endure. And
my ancestors and myself we’re coming up out of a history of genocide — so we are both being oppressed by this system that was imposed on us.”
“When I moved to Chicago, I started doing workshops and going to schools that were in inner-city Chicago. And I saw the parallels there and I didn’t even know they really existed. And then it started to make sense why I gravitated to that music and those stories.”
On the erasure of Native Americans from U.S. history
“When I came to Chicago to go to school, I actually met a person my first week here, that was living in my dorm, who thought Native Americans are extinct. She thought we were gone and dead. And it really shook me. And I started looking at the way history is taught in this country, and a lot of history books don’t mention us past the 1800’s.”
“So I was talking about that white-washing of history, how history was told by the victors, and how our side of the story is never told, and it’s just as much American history.”
“Genocide did happen in this country, and our people did survive genocide. They tried to wipe us out many times, and that influences our reality, whether we want it to or not.”
On being a role model for Native youth
“My target audience is Native youth because I know what they went through, we grew up in similar circumstances. So I think it’s really important that young Native youth see positive Native role models doing what they love and succeeding.”
“The reaction that I get from Native youth is worth more to me than money. Almost every time I do a show in an indigenous community, a young Native person comes up to me and tells me my music or my performance has changed their life. I remember when I was growing up, I [had] never seen a young Native person from a reservation on a mainstream platform talking about real issues and being honest about who we are and where we come from.”
This volume covers the period from the end of the Neolithic era to the beginning of the seventh century of our era. This period of some 9,000 years of history has been sub-divided into four major geographical zones, following the pattern of African historical research. The chapters cover the corridor of the Nile, Egypt and Nubia, Ethiopian highlands, Magrhib and its Saharan hinterland, the rest of Africa as well as some of the islands of the Indian Ocean
The cicadas’ song is rising with the midday heat, and Queen Quet Marquetta Goodwine flits from one canopy tent to the next. The fish fry is well under way. There are guests to greet, conversations to be had, and help to offer.
Tall, with a head crowned with cowry shells and robes that flow to the ground, Goodwine looks every bit like a head of state. And that is in part because she is one. The Gullah Geechee Nation in the southeast United States elected her as its head pun de bodee: its queen mother, chieftess and spokesperson.
A self-declared “nation within a nation,” the Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of African slaves, isolated on the coastal islands stretching from north Florida to North Carolina.Their ancestors combined west and central African traditions to create a culture entirely of their own. The language they speak is the only African American creole created in the United States, a mash-up of English and African languages like Krio, Mende and Vai.
But as Goodwine settles beneath the shade of an oak tree, she recalls the scepticism the Gullah Geechee face. “We don’t really know if they have a real culture,” she remembers hearing.
The misconceptions worry Goodwine. She fears her culture is in danger of being lost and forgotten, especially as black identity is reduced to what she calls a “monolith”.
Some academics concluded that blacks in the US had no culture “independent of general American culture”. That view was championed by Swedish Nobel laureate Karl Gunnar Myrdal in a searing study of the institutional barriers facing African Americans.
Myrdal’s work was so powerful that it was cited in the decision to desegregate American schools – but his assertion that “American Negro culture” was merely a “distorted development, or an unhealthy condition, of American culture” continues to ignite debate. Was every speck of African culture lost in the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Is America’s history of discrimination the single defining aspect of African American culture?
Goodwine bristles at the idea. After all, the Gullah Geechee Nation continues traditions born in Africa, long before white colonisers arrived. The sweetgrass baskets they weave mirror the shukublay baskets of Sierra Leone; the food they eat follows recipes found in Africa’s ‘rice coast’ region.
One of the biggest battles Goodwine faces is “just letting people know we even exist,” she says, brushing gnats away from her face. Clouds of insects are rising from the nearby salt marshes, where vast stretches of water and grass separate Goodwine’s home, St. Helena Island, from the rest of South Carolina.
For years, those marshes helped shield Gullah Geechee culture from the pressures to assimilate, keeping its traditions intact. It is only in recent decades that many of these islands have become accessible from the mainland.
“We’re not shocked when African Americans, regular Americans, people from around the world say, ‘We thought all black people in America lost all their cultural traditions,'” Goodwine says. She believes that perception arises from a systematic devaluation of black people, starting with slavery. “That was the plan: to programme you to believe you never had a culture, that you never came from rich kingdoms, from people who created math systems and science systems.”
|A memorial by the Emanuel AME Church, where nine African Americans were shot during Bible study [Allison Griner]|
Goodwine is attending the fish fry to toast the five-year anniversary of the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association. It is a blindingly bright day, and over her shoulder, volunteers ladle crisp, fresh fish onto beds of warm red rice. But as the cookout wears on, Goodwine’s thoughts turn to heavier matters.
In June, 21-year-old Dylann Roof casually walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, just 50 miles to the north in Charleston, South Carolina. There, in the midst of Bible study, he shot nine African American worshippers in a massacre believed to be racially motivated.
For Goodwine, this shooting was not just a hate crime. It was part of a continuing trend of ‘cultural genocide’ against her people.
The Emanuel A.M.E. Church is situated along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, a region designated for protection by the US Congress. Its history is deeply entwined with the Gullah Geechee community that grew around it. And Clementa Pinckney, the pastor singled out by the gunman, had fought on behalf of Gullah Geechee cultural preservation during his time as a state senator.
“The word genocide is one that a lot of people can’t handle me using,” Goodwine says. “Because so many people in the world don’t realise that those were Gullah Geechee people that were massacred. Those were Gullah Geechee people whose rights were being violated.”
It is a complicated issue, as Goodwine explains, and one that plays into a long-term struggle for the Gullah Geechee Nation. Their homeland is being threatened by gentrification. Their lifestyle is eroding. And all the while, very few people are aware that they are anything other than ‘black’.
“That’s a colour. That’s not a culture,” Goodwine says. “That’s a way to make sure people think we’re legend, and that we’re something of the past, that you only find Gullah Geechee in a history book.”
Disappearing under dollars and cents
|Cornelia Bailey is concerned that Gullah Geechee life is fading away and hopes younger generations, like her great grandnephew, can keep it alive [Allison Griner]|
A state away, on Sapelo Island, Georgia, Cornelia Bailey shares the concern that Gullah Geechee life is fading away. She is a local tour guide, historian and author ofGod, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man, a memoir of her life as a Saltwater Geechee woman.
Before the 1950s, Gullah Geechee communities like hers were thriving in the isolation of the Sea Islands. Now, Sapelo Island is one of the few with no bridges connecting it to the mainland. It claims the distinction of having the last intact sea island Gullah Geechee community in the United States, untouched by large-scale development.
“I always say, ‘Lord, when there came air conditioning, we were in trouble,'” Bailey says. She has witnessed nearby St. Simons Island grow into a tourist destination during her lifetime. Vacation homes and hotels have flourished, and property prices have risen. “There was a time when most people didn’t want these areas because they said it was infested with mosquitos. And now, everybody wants it.”
Even in Hog Hammock, the town in Sapelo Island where Bailey lives, she gets offers to sell her land. The pressures make Bailey grim about the Gullah Geechee’s future. “We will disappear in golf courses and condos. We will disappear under the dollars and cents,” she warns.
Now in her 70s, Bailey has seen many of the traditions she grew up with disappear. As she sits in the shadows of her dining room, she remembers the days when she had to drive horses as well as cars.
No one sews fishing nets like they used to. And why bother with subsistence hunting when there is a grocery store on the mainland? Instead of rowing through a maze of wetlands, Sapelo’s Gullah Geechee population can now wait for a ferry to come three times a day.
More and more, the Gullah Geechee are boarding the ferry to leave, while outsiders ride the ferry in, Bailey explains. She sees the population around her “aging and moving”. There are no schools on the island, and few jobs.
The Sapelo Island’s visitor centre, run by the state of Georgia, advertises a local Gullah Geechee community of 75, but Bailey says the number has actually tumbled down to around 50. “We just like that big number,” she adds playfully. “It makes us sound good.”
At that, she pauses. Her eyes linger around her single-storey house, its walls covered with memories. Newspaper clippings and family photos are framed on the wall behind her. A child’s craft project – a paper plate transformed into a spider with googly eyes and pipe cleaner legs – hangs from the ceiling above her fridge.
There has been some hope for Hog Hammock’s aging population, including the one-and-a-half-year-old great grandnephew that Bailey helps to take care of. As he blusters past the dining room table, Bailey quickly scoops him onto her lap, interrupting him mid-rampage. “The terrible twos came early,” she says with a laugh, rubbing the child’s tummy. He has already broken into a cupboard this morning and ravaged a box of Fruit Loops.
“If you don’t have children in your community, you don’t have a community,” Bailey says. “You can’t have a community of senior citizens. That’s a retirement community. You have to have children to make a community grow.”
In recent years, Sapelo Island has garnered national attention for its drastic rise in property taxes. Gullah Geechee feared they could lose their land, land passed down since emancipation, to tax auctions.
“It was like we went to bed one night and it was $300, and the next day it was $3,000. We were like, ‘What’s going on here?'” Bailey explains. Many of the tax hikes have been appealed and overturned, but the question of punitive taxation haunts many on the Gullah Geechee corridor.
Selling baskets, not pain
|“What you see when you come to Charleston is sweetgrass baskets,” says Benjamin Dennis. “It’s an easy sell. Anybody can sell that. But can you sell the pain? Do you want to tell that story?” [Allison Griner]|
Gullah Geechee chef Benjamin Dennis IV decided early on to keep his family’s property by any means necessary. Distant relatives had sold off their shares, and his late grandfather had received offers for what little remains.
“My granddaddy always said, ‘My own grandfather worked hard for this, so keep it in the family,'” Dennis says. “There’s no amount of money in the world that could compensate for owning your own land.”
Dennis has carved a niche in Charleston’s culinary scene, sharing his Gullah Geechee background through food. “I call it culture through food. It’s a history lesson on the meaning of Gullah food, which is almost a lost art,” he explains.
It is a gastronomic tradition rich with the smells of his grandmother’s okra soup, her apple dumplings, her rice with shrimp caught straight from the local creeks, fried in rich bacon fat on a cast iron skillet.
It is just another way Dennis sees the descendants of Gullah Geechee people drifting away from their fresh, subsistence-based lifestyle. “Some can’t even afford to eat stuff that culturally their ancestors brought here. It baffles me,” he says.
Dennis agrees that the Gullah Geechee may be facing a ‘cultural genocide’. A big part of the problem, he says, is the lop-sided history. When he walks through the old-time grandeur of downtown Charleston, he sees monuments to white America and its complex relationship with race. But Dennis does not see the same complexity afforded to black history.
Instead, all he passes are stalls of souvenirs – prominent among them, the Gullah Geechee sweetgrass baskets sold for hundreds of dollars to the tourist hordes.
With black identity so simplified, so underrepresented, Dennis says it is “easy” to understand why a massacre would happen here.
He believes Charleston would not be Charleston without the Gullah Geechee presence, period. But as long as the “true story” of that culture goes unacknowledged, racism will continue to fester.
“What you see when you come to Charleston is sweetgrass baskets. It’s an easy sell. Anybody can sell that,” he concludes. “But can you sell the pain? Do you want to tell that story? I think it needs to be told, but they don’t want to tell it. They don’t want to ruffle feathers.”
If It Weren’t For This Man’s Book, The Mis-Education Of The Negro, I Wouldn’t Be ‘Conscious’ Today
Now There’s A Statue Of Him In DC…How Wonderful
Utah Reduces Homelessness by 91%…Is DC Increasing Homelessness? Or Can DC Use “Build First” or “Housing First”, Or Some Other Poor-People-Friendly Program To Work Along Side Gentrification?
What Sidwell didn’t count on was the strong negative response from some alumni, who wondered: Was the school living up to its Quaker values?
In September, a letter went out to Sidwell’s several thousand alumni, celebrating the “historic opportunity” to unify the campus. One person who received the letter was Judith Ingram, a member of the class of ’78. Something felt amiss to her.
“We got this letter and I found it disturbing and sort of filed it away in my head that this doesn’t sound right,” she says.
The one-page letter said nothing about what would happen to the more than 100 current residents of the Washington Home.
“I would expect more care, more concern from Sidwell. And I didn’t see it in the letter,” she says.
The Washington Home planned to relocate residents to other facilities by the end of 2016. Sidwell Friends wouldn’t be involved in the transfer. The Washington Home assured them it had it under control.
But to Larry Ottinger, another member of the class of ’78, the school should be taking a more hands-on approach.
“That sense of inquiry and responsibility, that was one of the things that concerned the alumni who know about this,” he says.
A spirited discussion began among members of the Sidwell class of 1978. Was it okay for Sidwell to just assume that the Washington Home would be able to relocate the residents, without looking into it themselves? Ottinger and 16 other alumni drafted a letter of their own.
“What we wrote is that we believe that Sidwell has a moral responsibility, and a reputational interest, in proactively trying to make sure that the residents and families of the Washington Home would have the best transition possible,” Ottinger says.
Perhaps part of the $32.5 million Sidwell is spending to buy the Home could be set aside to help the families transition, Ottinger says. Perhaps, as a Quaker institution, they have a greater than normal responsibility to help those in need.
“Being at Sidwell, you got a constant education in ethics,” Ingram says. “It’s a reputation I think the school wears proudly. And I don’t think, and my classmates who signed this letter agree, we’re not showing our best Quaker face.”
Ivan Mayfield is co-chair of the Washington Home’s Family Council. Her 82-year-old mom has been here since 2009. On a recent Thursday evening, Mayfield introduced her mother to a reporter. Her mother glanced up, a peaceful smile on her face, but didn’t say anything, and soon looked away.
“She has long-term dementia,” Mayfield says.
The dementia unit at Washington Home is a secured facility, one of only four in the city. It helps keep her mom from wandering away, as she’s been known to do in the past. Once she wandered off on a cold December night, and police didn’t find her until eight hours later, trying to get into a home 20 blocks away.
After the Washington Home closes, that will leave only three locked units in the District, Mayfield said. Those will have to house not just all the displaced Washington Home residents, but all the future patients throughout the city that might need the services.
“There aren’t any spaces,” Mayfield says. “So what happens then?”
Residents at the Washington Home, most of whom are supported by Medicaid, enjoy high-quality facilities. This is the only nursing home in the area entirely consisting of private rooms — many of which will become Sidwell classrooms and offices. Mayfield doesn’t find that very moral.
“You have some of the most wealthiest in the community against the poorest of the community,” she says. “It’s the same thing that keeps happening again, over and over and over: People at the top taking away from the people at the bottom, who are seniors, who cannot help themselves, who cannot be their own advocates. Basically saying: Find somewhere else to live, because you can’t live here anymore.”
Washington Home CEO Tim Cox sympathizes with the residents, whom he was legally bound not to tell about the deal until it went through. But as far as he is concerned, Sidwell has acted in an exemplary manner.
“A lot of these private deals settle in 90 to 120 days because they need it for another purpose,” he says. That would have given the Home only two or three months to get everybody out. “So for us to be able to have 20 months ultimately” – 15 months until the December 2016 deadline, with an option to lease back the facilities for the next six months at $1 a month – “really was such a wonderful gift, and shows the care and the depth they had for us and for our residents.”
Sidwell has offered to help with the transition if the Washington Home needs it. Cox appreciates the offer, but doesn’t expect the Home will need much help.
“This is our business,” he says. “We know how to do this really well. We have a very competent team at the home, and they know what they’re doing to help transfer these people.”
Sidwell Friends officials say they had no reason not to trust that the Washington Home would take care of its residents.
“The board had deep and thoughtful conversations about this purchase — the implications for this purchase — over a period of several months, in which we took lots of views into consideration,” says Katie Smith Sloan, who sits on the school’s board of trustees.
But most of their discussion focused on the implications for the school and the surrounding neighborhood, she said — not whether this was best for the Home’s residents.
“The Washington Home assured us that there were plenty of opportunities to be placed elsewhere. So we took that on its face value.”
But that sentiment — that it’s incumbent on the Washington Home to take care of its own residents, that it’s not Sidwell’s responsibility — doesn’t sit well with everyone.
Quaker ethics are shaped in part by queries, deeply searching questions that Quakers ask themselves in worshipful settings, explains Stephen Angell, Leatherock Professor of Quaker Studies at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Ind. Some queries that might be relevant to the situation at Sidwell include the question of caring for others, says Angell: “Do you respect that of God in every person?” he asks. “Do you avoid exploiting or manipulating others to accomplish ends, however worthy?”
Another relevant query might be one related to social justice, he says. “Are you concerned for those in our society who are disadvantaged?” he asks.
“Whether the Sidwell Friends School decision is the right one depends on how one answers these kinds of questions,” Angell explained via email. “Are the Washington Home residents being exploited or manipulated by others to accomplish ends however worthy? Are the residents of Washington Home disadvantaged and thus needing special concern? Is land or capital being used to further human exploitation?
“I can see where the concern arises, both among Friends and among a broader community,” Angell says. “I am not well acquainted with all of the particular issues in the Washington Home situation, but my personal answer might well be ‘yes’ to the questions in the immediately preceding paragraph.”
Guy Aiken is an ethicist and historian of American Quakers at the University of Virginia. “What is ethically permissible is not always what is ethically preferable,” he says. “It may be that it is ethically permissible for Sidwell Friends to say that this is the Washington Home’s responsibility solely. But I think Quakers hold themselves to a different standard.”
Aiken points to Sidwell’s website, which explains that Quakers believe there is “that of God” in each of us, that should shape everything one does. And given that Sidwell wants to pass its Quaker standards onto their students, they have even a greater obligation, Aiken says. “It’s almost an obligation, in this instance, for Sidwell Friends to go above and beyond the bare minimum of ethical requirements.”
It’s hard to say what holding themselves to a higher standard might look like, Aiken says. But at the very least, he thinks the affected residents of Washington Home should have their voices heard, and taken into account.
Chris Davies thinks there’s another way to look at this ethical quandary. Davies is counsel for the school, an alumnus, and a parent of current students.
“The cost per patient, the cost per resident right now at the Washington Home is extremely high,” he says.
At a recent Advisory Neighborhood Committee meeting, Cox went over the numbers: Its nursing home facilities cost over $20 million last year to care for 323 people. Its in-home hospice services cost just $8 million to care for 1,000 people.
“So one might ask exactly the opposite question,” Davies says. “Is it ethical to put so many resources caring for one person when the Washington Home might conclude that it can better leverage its resources by altering the manner and method by which it provides care?”
But that sort of utilitarian calculation is contrary to Quaker values, says Ottinger, who signed onto the alumni letter.
“The issue is the respect for individuals,” Ottinger says. “You can’t start saying, ‘Well we’re going to help 100 people so we’re going to have 10 people who are collateral damage.’ …That is not the kind of approach, or mindset, that we’d be proud of.”
Sidwell Friends expects to have all campus renovations complete by the start of the 2019 school year.
To Celebrate Columbus Or Indigenous Day?
Are African Americans, Indigenous?
Maybe Twice Times Over…I.E., Via Our African and Native American Ancestry? Take A Close Look At The African-American-Native-American Connection…
Picture taken at Justice Or Else Rally Saturday, October 10th
My family’s included, my grandmother, Lillian Buford, of Salisbury, NC said her mother or grandmother was Blackfoot…
My grandmother, Lillian Buford of Vanderford St., Salisbury, NC
If you see the connection then which should we celebrate…Columbus or Indigenous Day on October 12th?
Especially, if Columbus was a mass murderer just like Hitler…only he killed ‘indigenous people’ whereas Hitler killed Jews.
Or do we forget and forgive the police like Rodney King suggested and forgive Dylann Roof like the relatives of the Charleston 9 even before they were buried?
No offense intended…just asking…