Thank you Stetson Kennedy Foundation. It is an honor. Thank you Sandy Arpen, Tracey Arpen, and the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society, as the Hosts of my presentation last night February 18, 2021.
Last night, before the Third Thursday Lecture (which was amazing!), we were honored to have the Stetson Kennedy Foundation present their annual award to our speaker, Rodney Hurst. The mission of the SKF is:
“to do all that we can to help carry forward mankind's unending struggle for human rights in a free, peaceful, harmonious, democratic, just, humane, bounteous and joyful world, to nurture our cultural heritages, and to faithfully discharge our commitment of stewardship over Mother Earth and all her progeny.”
Tracey Arpen presented the award on behalf of Sandra Parks and the Board of Directors of the organization. It is a prestigious award and we congratulate Mr. Hurst. The presentation follows:
“In case some of you aren’t familiar with Stetson Kennedy, he was a fascinating character who spent his entire adult life fighting for human rights, including infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s. He worked with Zora Neale Hurston and others in the Federal Writers Project to gather and preserve Florida’s history, culture and folklore.
He lived in the Fruit Cove area at a place named Beluthahatchee, where his friend Woody Guthrie was a visitor. He died in 2011.
Since 2007 the Stetson Kennedy Foundation has presented the Fellow Man and Mother Earth Award to recognize an individual's outstanding achievement in promoting environmental kinship, human rights or the preservation of traditional culture.
The Foundation recognizes and honors Rodney Hurst for his outstanding achievement as a civil rights activist, award winning author, community leader and black historian! If courage and leadership were also criteria for the award, Rodney would be even more deserving.
In 1960, at just 16 years old, Rodney was President of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. He and others led the sit-in demonstrations in downtown Jacksonville just months after the sit-ins in Greensboro and Nashville. He was there on Ax Handle Saturday on August 27, 1960. Because of the local “blackout” of news of the demonstration and attacks, Rodney’s book “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke,” detailing his eyewitness account is the only historically accurate description of the 1960 Jacksonville sit-ins and Ax Handle Saturday.
For over 60 years now, Rodney has been a fighter for equal rights and a chronicler of the struggle to achieve them. Stetson Kennedy knew Rodney and always appreciated the risk and courage that he and other activists took in the 60s. Stetson also appreciated that he wrote about it! Stetson appreciated Rodney's leadership role as a young member of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP and his leadership role as it continues in the Jacksonville community today.
Colorado police and paramedics who stopped Elijah McClain made a series of crucial errors that ended in the young man's 2019 death, findings of an independent probe revealed on Monday.
Aurora police had no justification to stop or use force to detain McClain, and responding paramedics sedated him with ketamine "without conducting anything more than a brief visual observation" of the 23-year-old Black man, according to a panel of medical and legal experts appointed by the City Council, which commissioned the report.
The initial stop of McClain was questionable, as "none of the officers articulated a crime that they thought Mr. McClain had committed, was committing or was about to commit," the report found. McClain was stopped on Aug. 24, 2019 in Aurora by officers answering a call reporting a suspicious person in the area.
"This decision had ramifications for the rest of the encounter," according to findings.
A chokehold was used during the confrontation and he was injected with ketamine, with authorities believing he was in a state of excited delirium and posing a threat to officers, authorities have said.Colorado police and paramedics who stopped Elijah McClain made a series of crucial errors that ended in the young man's 2019 death, findings of an independent probe revealed on Monday.
Responding to a scathing report that alleged numerous mistakes by police officers in the death of Elijah McClain, the Aurora, Colorado, police chief said Tuesday she will welcome an independent monitor of her department and apologized to McClain's mother, family and friends.
"The bottom line is Elijah McClain should still be here today," Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said during a news conference. "Nothing I can say here today or changes that I’ve made or changes I will continue to make will bring him back and for that, I’m extremely sorry."
I know this is a new circumstance for you, but now that you are in the middle of this unfortunate human life and death tragedy, where your money and your Privilege cannot purchase running water or food or electricity or heat or a flushable toilet, maybe you will understand --- maybe not---but just maybe, you will understand this is what many poor Black and Brown folks have to deal with on a daily basis. They just catch hell. They cannot fly away to Mexico. It is called trying to "make ends meet" ...or...DIE TRYING!
AFTER LOSING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND THE SENATE DUE TO BLACK VOTES, Racist Republicants are resorting to their "tried and true" Racist Southern political strategy---Stop Blacks from voting altogether...and any way they can. White AmeriKKKan Racism does not change. White AmeriKKKan Racism simply-pun intended- mutates to another virulent Racism strain. Still Racism, just more infectious. Sound familiar?
Charlie Cobb, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Co-founder, Elaine Brown, former Chair of the Black Panther Party, and Me at a reception in the home of Chevara Orrin. Quite an evening of conversations.
JUST A REMINDER...
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has confirmed he will order that flags be flown at half-staff at public buildings in honor of conservative (aka Racist)- firebrand (aka Racist)- Rush Limbaugh (REAL DEAD RACIST).
The Racism of the Racist trump Republicant party and ALL of its fellow travelers. Thanks Ed Hall.
Joe Biden has been president for 32 days and has spent 0 taxpayer dollars going to golf, but he does go to church every weekend.
Joe Biden spends his presidential weekends with his family and going to church.
There have been no million-dollar trips on Air Force One to a golf club that he owns in Florida. There have been no bills to the taxpayers for golf cart rentals and hotel rooms.
President Biden did manage to secure enough COVID vaccine for every American to be vaccinated by July.
The Secret Service spent $5.2 million on Trump’s first four golf trips in 2017, which was just for security costs.
Trump spent 296 years of presidential salary on golf by 2019, so far Biden has spent zero.
The grift has ended as Joe Biden would rather be his family than line his pockets with taxpayer money.
Intelligence and the military did not mobilize to defend the Capitol because they knew the Racist insurrectionists who were in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, were directed and incited to invade and vandalize to try and overthrow the United States government by former president... former commander-in-chief ...and CURRENT LOSER donald trump. Once again trump's Racist base.
The military apparently did not want to "maintain a show of force" against "their commander-in-chief's" cult members. Damn Shame.
Waiting on General Russel Honore's investigation.
According to CNN, the DeKalb County Commissioners have recently approved plans to build a memorial in Decatur, Georgia to honor John Lewis, who represented Georgia’s 5th congressional district in the House for over 30 years. Even better, the memorial to the longtime Congressman and civil rights icon will replace a 30-foot Confederate monument that stood in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse for over a century before it was finally taken down last June amid protests against racial injustice.
“John was a giant of a man, with a humble heart,” DeKalb Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson said in a statement. “He met no strangers and he truly was a man who loved the people and who loved his country which he represented very well. He deserves this honor.”There is no question that he does. As a young man on the frontlines of civil rights movement, Lewis was battered by police while marching for voting rights in Selma, Alabama on a day in 1965 that would go on to be remembered as “Bloody Sunday.” He went on to dedicate the rest of his life to the expansion and preservation of civil rights.In comparison, the monument that once stood before the DeKalb courthouse was an obelisk erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to celebrate the treasonous men who fought against the U.S. so they could keep enslaving Black people. Despite a Georgia law that was passed in 2019 to protect Confederate monuments, the massive obelisk was removed last year after a judge ruled it a public nuisance and safety threat.Further details about the forthcoming memorial to Lewis have not been announced, CNN reports. However, another public structure in the South could be dedicated to the beloved civil rights champion in the near future. Legislators in Alabama are now considering a measure to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge—the site of the “Bloody Sunday” protests which bears the name of a Confederate general who was also a Ku Klux Klan leader—in Lewis’ honor.
ONE OF THE TENETS OF WHITE PRIVILEGE IS THAT ONE DAY YOU CAN BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. White America calls it the American Dream. Yet, “that” American Dream is folly at best for Blacks. Even if you are eminently qualified, great qualifications do not usually translate as electable for Blacks. Barack Obama was THE notable exception. It goes without saying Barack Obama was eminently qualified to serve as President. He was a graduate of Columbia University, worked as a community organizer in Chicago, was the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review, graduated from Harvard Law School, worked at a civil rights law firm in Chicago, taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School, was an Illinois State Senator, and was a sitting United States Senator. A soaring orator, Barack Obama articulated and understood the needs and the concerns of many Americans, and obviously Black America.
The Contrast between President Obama and donald trump cannot ring louder or show more clarity. donald trump came into the White House with a defined narcissistic checkerboard past of lying and cheating and Racism and sexism and misogyny and xenophobia and crudeness and a plethora of other charges. Add to that, paying an adult film star more than $100,000 to keep her quiet about an ongoing sexual affair. The same issues would have seen Barack Obama mercilessly excoriated in the White press, or land him in jail, let alone allow him to continue a presidential campaign, and his election as president. donald trump is a Racist who resents being compared to President Obama. Yet he cannot run from the comparisons as he continually looks over his inarticulate shoulder at the accomplishments and the sheer achievements of this Black man who was his immediate predecessor as President.
When you ask the question why was donald trump elected, two answers come back at you “like a snowball rolling down the side of a snow-covered hill.” First, donald trump’s White Privilege, because he was certainly not qualified or even close, to serve as president; and Second, donald trump’s Core Racist Attitude connected with White America’s Core Racist Attitudes---A veritable match made in Heaven, or Hell if you will. His first year has shown you what to expect just as his campaign showed you what to anticipate. This Racist president has expanded his Racist ideology by filling his White House staff and his cabinet with those who look like him and who thinks the same Racist thoughts.
White America and Black America can no longer pretend Racism does not exist. America has always been saturated and infused with Racism, and now a Racist president is making it a part of the nation’s daily conversation. Racism is out in the open now, and officially emanates from the White House.
And as always, The Struggle Continues.
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.