Saturday, June 20, 2015

History Can't Be Erased.

One of the more passionate men in political satire, made the country stop and listen to what he had to say in regards to the actions that took place on Wednesday, June 17th, in Charleston, South Carolina. If you are not aware of the goings-on, I'll give you a quick and brief update. On Wednesday, at a bible study/prayer meeting at Mother Emanuel AME Church, one of the oldest "black" churches in the country, steeped in history, was a target for a racist individual. I have seen his name so many times, but I do not utter it. He went in, and sat, prayed, and listened to these people for an hour when he opened fire and killed 9 people, including the pastor of the church, who was also a state representative. He spouted out hateful and ignorant things such as "you rape our women" and other ignorant and hurtful obscenities. After his actions, he fled. He went to North Carolina, where he was found. He's in custody, and naturally, a lot of people want him dead.

Jon Stewart opened up the Daily Show on Thursday, with this passionate speech.

Yes. what he said is true. To get anywhere around South Carolina, you have to drive on the roads, making the generals, and those who fought for the confederacy, roll over in their graves... But there is a lot of history that is forgotten and ignored about the south. Its a sad truth, but it is. No one will ever know that there were slave owners who didn't abuse his "property." You will never know of the Volunteer regiments throughout the South, full of black men who fought for the confederacy. That's digging deep! Too deep.

Now, everyone is attacking the flag. The Stars and Bars... The flag has been made into a symbol of hate... You know what? Instead of me trying to make this sound awesome and amazing, Ill just copy and paste what I said on a friends page in response to a lot of all-of-a-sudden anti-confederate flaggers out there...

"As one, who is from South Carolina, I feel as if I have to stand in... Believe it or not, there was a time in the nation where the south was the footrest of the north. No money was coming in for all the agriculture, and the goods... So when Lincoln was elected, who was big on that subject (paraphrased, of course), that's when South Carolina seceded from the union, soon followed the other states that formed the CSA... And of course, you gor the civil war, and what not... But the symbol of the confederacy, was that of a region in protest. One that wanted it's fair claim to be called and treated like Americans. 

Now, that symbol is used as a symbol of hate... I can see why. There are pictures of lynch mobs smiling and having a good time at picnics (short for "pick a nigger go hang") smiling and laughing as innocent black people died for nothing. Burning their flesh, mutilating them as they hang there, all in good fun... That symbol that is so disgusting, was never intended to be such, nor was the swastika. The swastika is a symbol of peace... It's over 3000 years old, dating back to the days of Troy. But that's a different argument. Back to the point.

Do I think that the flag is wrong? No. I do not. It is a HUGELY important part of the history of my state, and this country. That flag should not fly on top of the dome of the state house. But it should not be erased from history, because racists of the good ole days, didn't lower it after Wednesday. Another important part of history is that Charleston was the beginning of the civil war. 16 hours of shelling, and the union surrendered, cause the fireproof wall, caught fire... And the only casualty... One dumbass horse... 

But that symbol is vital to the history of my home state, and the country. It has the right to be at the state house. Also, in 1998, it was taken down from the a top the state house. But you can not just erase history, because "the streets are named after generals." Those same generals actually lead the black confederate troops. YEAH! Believe it or not, there were blacks who VOLUNTEERED to fight for the stars and bars. My ancestors, my people, fought for the "bad guy." But that is a part of history that a lot of people want to ignore, shuffle off, and believe didn't exist. No one wants to believe that all slave masters weren't Leo on Django... And it's hard to believe. I get it... But it happened... So all the disgust, all the anger should be warranted for the skewed view that has warped our history. That flag should, at least, rest in the halls of the state house, cause it's not just my states history, or the nation's history... It's my history..."

This is my only argument I have for the flag. The flag should rest in the halls of the state house of South Carolina. It seems that there is a movement to erase it from history... you can't... Recently, in a movie, there was a joke that was an American confronting a German about something, and the punch like was "World War II." We love to remind them of their darkest days as a country, while they took pangs taking measures to erase that part of their history... What if they did that to us? What if they just love to haphazardly love to remind us of our history? Trust me. Just like here, there will still be people holding on to those days, where "whites were supreme." And there will be a million more days of war reenactments... You can not erase history. It can not be erased. It happened, no matter how embarrassing it was. I don't hear anyone bragging about how Japan had it coming... Just saying... We did so much damage to that country that the walls still hold the shadows of those who perished the day we dropped those bombs... Let's make light of that, shall we? 

It amazes me, how everyone is all of a sudden so passionate about something, when it should not be a thing, or should have already been a thing. And now, everyone is all about #TakeItDown, but their intention is to try to erase it. No. You can't erase my history. I will not allow my history to be erased. As much as we love to deny, victimize, celebrate, forget, never forget, and remind ourselves of all the other important parts of history, we can't deny that ours happened. And trying to erase history, will never happen. We want to remember our warriors and heroes and celebrate their sacrifices for country... You can't skip over the other parts either. And you can only take away 1 flag... you still have at least 12 flags to let you know, that history will always show that the south, had to do what they had to do... The state flags are symbols of the confederacy, and I LOVE my home state's flag. Palmetto tree and cresent. Beautiful! Don't touch that flag. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Night... What A Night.

Tonight was just about as awe-inspiring as it comes... Thanks to a friend, I got to check out the Center of Civil and Human Rights Museum, and it was almost life changing... The things I saw, and the things that I neglected to allow my mind to realize was right there for me to not ignore. So, bear with me. It was so awesome!

Tonight, I saw hand-written material from Martin Luther King Jr., and other personal affects that he accumulated over the years from his time as a pastor, a leader, and father.

Me and LeeAnne both took our time reading the intro to his serman about marriage... we could not read 3 words, but, it was deep, and powerful, and as soon as its officially transcribed, I would like to try and post it for yall, cause its very powerful.

The exhibits held their own power as well, from the wall of the leaders of segregation, and the laws in place in the states dealing with segregation, to how they dealt with that segregation through schools, and everyday life, and also they had SEVERAL interactive exhibits Throughout there are little panels where you can listen to actual speeches, interviews and music sung during the time, We listened to a Bob Dylan song he sung during the march on Washington, and also heard a song sung by Mahalya Jackson.

But the 4 exhibits that stuck out to me were the "How it was" interactive one when you sat at a diner counter. You put headphones on, and your hands on the counter, and you have to sit through this taping of what it was like for those who were harassed, beatened, and belittled, and abused for just trying to peacefully grab something to eat or a cup of coffee... In front of you is a timer, and a picture of a woman sitting with a few other friends, having a milkshake dumped on her... its powerful.

The other was a walk through the exhibit of the ones killed. The 4 little girls died in a bomb explosion at a church... the 3 freedom fighters in Mississippi. That, by itself, was jaw dropping. And there was a small path that gave you an update on those freedom fighters who made it through. From women and men arrested, or witnessed different life events, to what they are doing now. Then we moved into probably the hardest exhibit from there.

There were TV's blasting the news of the riots that happened after the news of MLK Jr.'s assassination, and the news that Robert Kennedy shared with the crowd that night at his speaking engagement. . On an adjacent TV, was clips of a concert that James Brown put on in Boston the night after. It was played throughout the night in an attempt to keep everyone home.

And the final exhibit that really touched me, was walking up the stares of the series of images taken the moment before, during and after Martin Luther Kings assassination. First picture is him standing in his final spot, and then the second picture is of he on the ground, with his wound covered, then he being carried down the stairs on a gurney, and the last image is someone cleaning up his blood from the spot with foot prints of those who tried to help... Up the stairs on that landing, was clips of his funeral. from the viewing, the funeral, and his final ride through Atlanta, in a horse-drawn carriage. Also, on display was his death certificate, and hand written notes of the funeral costs... Seriously powerful stuff.

But what really touched me, were the pictures of the "Martyrs Of The Movement." I focused on only 2 pictures that stuck out... One was of a young black boy who was 13, that was gunned down by 2 white teenagers coming from a segregation rally saw this young man riding on the handle bars of his friends bike. He was only 13 years old... Those 2 boys that killed the kid, got sentence the max penalty, but didnt serve a day in jail... they only got 2 years of parole on a suspended sentence.... The other one was of a white woman who was from Detroit, and was so moved by the bus boycott that she moved went to Nashville to drive blacks back down to Montgomery... On the way, a klansman saw her, and what she was doing, open fired on her in her car, and killed her... Things like this, sticks with you...

The last part was all about whats going on today in the world... From the movements of yesteryear, to the unrest in the world today, it goes all over the place in the that ideology, as the movement continues all around the world. There was one last interactive exhibit named "I AM..." And when you selected on whichever mirror you were looking at, you could shuffle through Woman, girl, white, black, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, LGBT, and so on... And its all stories of people who have had to hide and fight for their lives before of who they were. The woman was a journalist in Saudi Arabia, who refused to be a woman in Saudi Arabia. The Jewish woman talked about her time in Nazi Occupied Ukraine... The Christian talked about how his family was murdered and how having faith wasn't accepted in his country... So, the fight continues for everyone of faith, color, sex, and sexual orientation.

They had a display of the words worst dictators, from Hitler, to Idi Amean, showed those who are in trial now, those convicted, and those still at large like Kony...  It also gave you info on how you can help, and so on... So, honestly, if you get a chance to go, PLEASE take full advantage. Its powerful... its not YouTube, its not social media... its a small display of our history, and how far we have come as a nation, and how much farther we have to go as a world... I have a brand new perspective of people who have gone through everything that they did, just so I can sit here, and tell you about it... If you think that saying or doing anything that would be deemed racist, sexist, or bigot... don't do it... there have been way too many people to have witnessed, been beaten by, and suffered all the abuses that people are STILL fighting today. You have got to realize that because it may be cool, doesn't make it so. Its amazing the things you will learn if you get a chance to check it out... So yes. please go check it out! :) It was amazing.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Warned You!

I was too chicken to post this question on social media, knowing the backlash I would have received for simply, not thinking like others. Call me sensitive, call me a pussy, or whatever... but with so many different strong opinions about EVERYTHING, it's so damn hard to just ask a simple and honest question for  dispelling my ignorance on the subject of a transsexuals choice. The questions I was so afraid to post all centered around questions about what happened to the person that no longer exists? Like, what happens when their kid needs advice from the parent that is no longer their? and What about their past accomplishments? And I also wanted to know what the government thinks... so I asked, What about social security?... These are the questions that I was too damn scared to ask, cause of the backlash of people are so ready to pounce on someone for thinking outside the box, when that same line of thinking leads to nothing but support and appreciation to the "brave."

Since we are on the subject of applauding people for their choices in life... I don't hear any type of celebration for anyone who finds happiness in something different than what the niche says is suppose to be normal. Speaking personally, I never heard one person applaud me for liking rock music... Its met with surprise and awe... I haven't gotten one pat on the back for liking hockey... It was met with this saying "You're the whitest black person I know." But the moment, someone is "brave" enough to be themselves... PEDESTALS! MEDALS! AWARDS! PRAISE!

Excuse me for being or sounding selfish or insensitive, but its all misplaced to me. When ANYONE of ANY COLOR or gender finds ANYTHING that makes them happy, it should ALL be celebrated. Not just the bigger name... No one wants to put the next door neighbor on a pedestal for being themselves... No one is cheering on the coworker who decided to be them self during a time of personal anguish and difficulty... But its always the 1 famous person that is the hero. I can hear it now! 

"But, Jolly! That person is only the first to come out... they can help the next person who is struggling in their own skin." 

True! Not arguing that... I just hate that we have to look at the "famous" person who didn't do anything, but have a way to just make themselves "more famous," if you may... With the press and paparazzi, its easier for anyone to just be themselves. 

By no means am I against happiness, or making your own story, but what I am against is all the praise someone receives for counter culture choices. At a recent get together, I was talking to a new friend, and Sam Smith's song "Stay With Me," came on the play list, and the guy who I was talking to, who was gay, mentioned that he did not like how Sam Smith got his success. He believes that your talents should speak for themselves... Not who you fuck. But, because he was riding the waves of "I'm gay, and I got my heart broken," he shot  up to fame... Shouldn't be that way... Antics and life choices should not allow you to be famous... Let your talents speak for itself, and let your private life and your private choices be that. But if you are doing it to save the next life, do so... But don't do it, because you are finally comfortable with yourself. Selfishness will finally be forgotten, just like Michael Sam... That asshole was so damn selfish. that's he's not in the NFL... His selfishness allowed him to be playing in Canada, than his actual talent.

But again. I am not against any one's happiness... I am not against any one's perception of them self. I am, however, against anyone who blindly celebrate any one's decision, when there are a million and a half other people doing the same things, and no one is doing ANYTHING about it. Put 1 famous person, who's only famous cause of his step-daughters ass, who signed up for another shitty reality TV show, gets the easy way out... I do not know the inner struggles of feeling as if you are trapped in one gender and always felt to be another... I don't want to know. But in different degrees, we all have felt different, unwanted, unhappy, different, abnormal, abandoned, and not ourselves, JUST TO SAVE FACE... I listed mines, and I know that they are not in the same breath as being a woman trapped in a man's body, or vice-versa... But, all of us, who didn't have a chance to tell our stories, it's kinda fucked up that everyone celebrates a celebrity and neglect our friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, confidants, and what have you, struggling with the same fight...

I don't see anyone meming the 99... Just the 1... PRIORITIES!!!!