Humankind

appreciateIt is 15 years into the 200th century after the death of Christ and in Christian Churches around the world Jesus is still up on the cross.  Isn’t it time to take Jesus off the cross? Isn’t it time for God’s children to stop bickering about who is chosen, who is going to heaven and who is going to hell?

Wasn’t Jesus Christ’s message to LOVE one another. Isn’t it time for people to stop their ignorant foolishness of separation and join hands together to create a world of peace, joy, and prosperity?

Put the books of dogma away because it is evident that they do nothing to unify mankind. Each person should go within themselves to find their own sacred heart and accept their families and neighbors as all children of the same creator. Religious doctrine has been at the foundation of most strife and war in the world. No one person has the answer. Each of us is a piece of the universal puzzle.

If one of us is in turmoil, then all of us is in turmoil. Likewise, if one of us is at peace, then, all of us can be at peace.

joy

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My Awakened Friend Judy Joy Jones

CALCUTTA, NEW YORK

BY JUDY JOY JONES

Image
A musician friend of mine lives in New York City and tells me how many homeless people there are everywhere and how NYC reminds her more and more of Calcutta, India. People live in cardboard boxes, on bridges, in streets and everywhere.

I thought of Mayor Bloomberg and what an example he could make to try and house the homeless. I am wondering why mayors are paid: to do what? They allow their citizens to go hungry and die on streets.

I wrote this poem about the horrid suffering of the homeless because I couldn’t really believe that the mayor who is supposed to take care of the citizens of a city was not doing so.

We all go to sleep every night with the grim realities of the unimaginable suffering of homeless people in New York CIty — and most cities.

POEM FOR NYC

BY JUDY JOY JONES

mayor bloomberg

is king for day

but could be

a god thru eternity

leading all

thru heavens doors

when he feeds

houses and tenderly

cares for the poor

all over the streets

of the city he keeps

reminding everyone

greatness is earned

by the deeds we do

each person we see

with no food or home

could be our mother father

sister and brother

whose only hope

is you and me

in one day

bloomberg could

wipe every tear away

with a few dollars

from the billions he saves

trading his title of king

for compassionate god

whose only goal

is the well being of all

isn’t that

what mayors are for?

Proclamations

Who really built the United States of America?

What’s the matter with white people?

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation Dilemma

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war,” said Lincoln at Gettysburg, “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.” Lincoln was fond of drawing attention outward, from local events to world import, from the crisis in America to the larger question of whether any democracy could survive the test the divided United States then faced. The Civil War, he argued, “embraces more than the fate of these United States.” Before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation — which would free slaves only in the seceded states that remained beyond the president’s immediate control — he fretted about “a document that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the Pope’s bull against the comet,” referring to Callixtus III, who supposedly excommunicated Haley’s Comet because it was a bad war omen.

And when he had finally signed the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862, he spoke to celebratory crowds gathered outside the White House: “It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment.”

This was more than a rhetorical trope, and not just a reminder that the world was watching. Lincoln’s agonizing over the proclamation reflected a host of worries about self-government, practical politics, the future of the newly free African Americans and very possibly his own racist misgivings.

But foremost among these was the question of legitimacy and the constitutionality of the document. Even if issued as a war measure, a mere confiscation of enemy property, it was sure to be seen by many — perhaps even by Lincoln himself — as extraordinary medicine, even extra-legal. His Hamlet-like vacillating and deception during that period 150 years ago, when he pondered the document, wrote it, hid it in a drawer and finally issued it can best be understood in terms of Lincoln’s deep-seated fears about the viability of democracy: Was it capable of fixing itself?

In the late 19th century, as white Americans tried to exorcise the memory of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation lost luster, replaced in the popular imagination by the more eloquent Gettysburg Address (which didn’t even mention slavery). And today it seems strange that we celebrate the proclamation at all, except as a precursor to the far more sweeping and triumphant accomplishment of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which two years later banned slavery everywhere in the country, without qualifications or geographical exceptions. We have mostly forgotten the reality of the document itself, its ignominious origins in military crisis, its lack of moral certainty, its dull rhetoric and all the other faults that led historian Richard Hofstadter to complain that it “had all the moral grandeur of a bill of lading.”

And yet this document of war remains a sacred document of democracy, testament to the messiness rather than the ideals of governing. In an age when Western democracies are confronted by new forms of authoritarianism, which offer prosperity and security in exchange for political quiescence, the Emancipation Proclamation forces us to think about the fundamental vexations of representative government: Is democracy capable of resolving grand crises? Can we defend against terrorism without compromise to liberty? Can we reform our economies and free ourselves from crippling debts? Can we stave off environmental apocalypse? In short, is democracy capable of great things?

Both celebrated and condemned

If you can make your peace with the Emancipation Proclamation, you can make your peace with Lincoln. The president claimed it as the signal accomplishment of his administration, and it established him in the minds of free slaves and the annals of popular history as “the Great Emancipator.” Parsing the document may be the most productive and inconclusive franchise in Lincoln scholarship. Over the past 150 years, it has been celebrated as the death knell of slavery yet condemned as an unconstitutional usurpation of power, a capitulation by the president to his radical left flank, proof of Lincoln’s slow and inadequate evolution toward racial justice, a mere tool in the prosecution of the war, a political gambit to demoralize the South, a reckless invitation to race war, and both the least and the most that a cautious, deliberate leader could manage at the moment.

During his presidential campaign, Lincoln promised that his personal opposition to slavery wouldn’t affect the institution where it was legal. And while the Civil War was first prosecuted with assurances that the goal was the restoration of union, not abolition, Lincoln began dropping hints of of a general emancipation in the summer of 1862.

His record on slavery up to that time had been mixed. He had countermanded or discouraged orders by Union generals freeing slaves in Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, citing presidential prerogatives and the necessity of placating the slave-holding but still-loyal border states. But he had also signed an April 1862 bill that abolished slavery in the District of Columbia, and a few months later he freed slaves throughout U.S. territories.

His rhetoric was equally ambivalent. Lincoln’s opposition to slavery often seemed lukewarm. As Frederick Douglass said years after the war, “Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull and indifferent.”

Historians have attempted to square these apparent contradictions in different ways. John Hope Franklin, in his 1963 history of the Emancipation Proclamation, gave Lincoln the credit of most doubts, depicting the president besieged on all sides, from radical abolitionists who denounced an urgent moral evil to slaveholders still loyal to the Union who constantly threatened to join the South if Lincoln wavered on his promise to pursue only reunification. “The pressure of individuals and groups added to the President’s woes without contributing to a practical solution of the problem,” wrote Franklin.

No matter his feelings on slavery, Lincoln felt compelled to present and defend the Emancipation Proclamation as a military necessity — a strategic blow to the South, where the economy and thus the war effort depended on slave labor — rather than a moral statement. When it came, it was essentially two documents, beginning with a threat issued on Sept. 22, 1862, that he would emancipate slaves in any state still in rebellion on Jan. 1, 1863. He shared the preliminary proclamation with his Cabinet on July 22 but withheld it on the advice of Secretary of State William H. Seward, who feared it would look desperate to issue it in the midst of the summer’s military disasters. Lincoln waited two months, until after the battle of Antietam — by no means a decisive Union victory, but at least not a disaster — to make it public. The actual proclamation, greeted by ecstatic Jubilee celebrations on New Year’s Day by African Americans and abolitionists in the North, made good on the earlier threat.

Version one

The first proclamation wasn’t universally popular in the United States or abroad. It angered abolitionists for its half measures, for being merely an instrument of military policy, for its vague promise of compensation to slave owners and for its mention of colonization — Lincoln’s scheme to send freed blacks to other countries after liberation. The working class in England loved it, but their leaders, deeply embroiled in Colonial projects, saw it as a dangerous invitation to black-on-white war and fundamentally hypocritical. “The principle asserted,” said the Spectator, “is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States.” Between the preliminary threat and the actual emancipation, however, feelings softened, especially among abolitionists.

Yet nothing that troubled Lincoln in the first document was cleared up by the second. Lincoln repeatedly said he believed that the proclamation was constitutional, but it was immediately declared not so by editorialists throughout the North and the South. Even former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin R. Curtis, who had dissented in the notorious 1857 Dred Scott case and resigned from the court in part because of the decision, attacked Lincoln’s proclamation as an unjust extension of executive power. When Lincoln had a chance to appoint a new chief justice in 1864, he chose the stalwart anti-slavery Republican Salmon Chase, in part because Chase could be counted upon not to overturn the proclamation.

Regardless of Lincoln’s motivations and true feelings, his delay and mixed messages had a serious impact on African Americans, according to some scholars.

“There is no making sense of such a perverse record,” writes historian Mark Neely Jr., who has convincingly demonstrated the miserable effect Lincoln’s equivocating had on free blacks. The nation was riven by race riots, and some African Americans in the North were seriously considering leaving the country: “A truthful revelation of the government policy embodied in a document in Lincoln’s desk might have changed the course of their lives.”

But likely, Lincoln was no less consistent than any other man, and though a gifted logician in argument, he was not necessarily logical in his own views on race and slavery. If he could be transplanted from his age into ours, his racial views would sound like the soft-core animus of a genteel “Bell Curve” racist: Intent on basic fairness, but convinced that whites are more civilized and better adapted to self-governance than blacks. His view on abolition might remind us of the sincerely halfhearted way that many people today embrace environmentalism or vegetarianism, convinced of their moral necessity yet unwilling to zealously oppose an entrenched way of life. This is either hypocrisy or moderation, depending on one’s perspective.

In fear of great power

Throughout his career, Lincoln was haunted by an almost superstitious fear of executive fiat, which may best explain his anguish before signing the proclamation. It showed up early, in an 1838 speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Ill., in which he imagined a Nietzschean superman rising up within American democracy and threatening it with dictatorial ambition: “Is it unreasonable, then, to expect that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time spring up among us? And when such an one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.” This “towering genius,” Lincoln feared, might exploit the demagogic potential of slavery: “It thirsts and burns for distinction; and if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen.”

This was Lincoln in fear of a man just like himself. The idea of great power often seemed to flummox him. “If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution,” he said, as preamble to some of his more overtly racist and despairing remarks about slavery. His comparison of emancipation to a papal “bull,” and his frequent reference to it as a “thunderbolt” suggest how keenly he felt it might set a dangerous precedent for a nation of laws, even if limited in scope and justified as an act of war. Perversely, he yielded often enough to the temptation he abhorred, suspending habeas corpus and arresting a political opponent for giving a speech that might discourage the war effort.

And yet there is almost universal agreement — and Lincoln felt so, too — that while the 13th Amendment abolished slavery legally, the Emancipation Proclamation had killed it symbolically, and, short of a Southern victory, in all practical senses. So while a magnificent act of human justice, it was hardly an accomplishment of democracy. By the summer of 1862, Lincoln had despaired of a purely democratic process to abolish slavery, through compensation, containment and a natural withering away. Slavery would require an extraordinary response, a “thunderbolt” from outside the system of laws and representative government. He himself would have to hurl that bolt.

A crisis he envisioned

The unruliness of democracy, bitter sectional feeling, entrenchment of the slave system and Southern moral defensiveness had led America to the place of crisis Lincoln so feared in his Lyceum speech. Secession and war were failures of the democratic system, and the emancipation order underscored that failure.

This was not the way things were supposed to work in the City on a Hill, which looked impotent and broken in a world still full of vigorous autocrats. In 1861, a year before the American emancipation, Alexander II of Russia freed more serfs, and promised them more opportunities, than Lincoln did the slaves. In 1879, as Reconstruction was failing, the czar compared his thoroughly authoritarian solution with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, saying he could not “understand how you Americans could have been so blind as to leave the Negro Slave without tools to work out his salvation.”

Lincoln was long dead. But he might have said it wasn’t a matter of being blind to the problem or unaware of the dangers. He had done what he could, which might be more than the Constitution allowed. And in so doing he had righted a great wrong, paved the way for the union to survive and set a precedent that deeply troubled him.

We can sympathize today, living in a democratic system that is even larger and more unwieldy, and growing more polarized. It is a common theme of political speculation that large, Western democracies may be endangered, today: by the lethargy with which they respond to crises, the half measures and sausage making that vitiates most efforts at reform, and the sheer accumulation of threats — environmental, political and social. The Emancipation Proclamation is a terrifying reminder that sometimes the only way to fix the system is to let it break down and then hit the reset button.

What does America mean to you?

 

Blizzards in 2011

One thing is for sure, all the money in the world cannot control the weather. Mother Earth strikes again!

POWER-LESS

“Big bad man, where can you be?”
“I’m locked inside. It snowed, you see.
“I’ve no machine to stop the snow,
“So, when it falls, inside I go.”

“Inside? You mean you run away?
“From little flakes, you ran, today?”

“Oh, yes, I’m strong, all winter long
“Until the chill turns into snow.
“Then, with a flash, I dive inside.
“Imagine how it hurts my pride.
“The Stock Exchange can’t see me, now.
“Dow Jones would think I am a cow.”

“But what about the little men
“You push all year? What of them?”

“Shhhhh, don’t you say I ran away
“To those I bullied, yesterday.
“My big machines and mighty dollar
“Make little men jump and holler.”

“Well, can’t your Diner’s Club card
“Stop the sky from snowing hard?”

“It can’t, you see, because snow is free
“And credit cards won’t do the job.”

“A gun, I’m sure, would stop the stuff
“Plug up the sky. Point, shoot and puff.”

“I tried a gun. Just made it rain
“And, then, last year, it snowed, again.”

“You’ve one more chance to kill that snow.
“Use propaganda. That’ll make it go!”

“Yeah, maybe that would do something.
“With no more snow, I could still be king.”

“Big bad man, I pulled your leg.
“You can’t stop snow with words that beg.”

“I must admit, it is a blow.
“Ha! Even you can’t stop the snow.
“You’re beat, big man, by tiny flakes
“They stop your show with no breaks,
“The same way you do little men
“With big machines and your money, friend.
“Big bad man, snow is just for you
“So, you could feel empty-handed, too.”

Power-less ©1979 Joan Cartwright

HERSTORY

The voices of women are raising in an alarming quantity. Women poets. Women musicians. Women speakers. Women teachers. Women with messages that must be heard are stepping in the limelight beautifully.

For centuries, it’s been “a man’s world”. The tide is changing and the voices of women are rising with a message of harmony, sanity and peace. Violence by hand, gun, chemical, pure neglect is diminishing. We are happy people on Earth, again.

According to Herstory, things are as we make them. We make them peaceful. We make them harmonious. We make things from abundance that surrounds us. We are co-Creators with the Universe. It is ours to create within. We create happiness and peace.

Reframing His-story

OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE  INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT

IYPAD goes unnoticed by media

2011 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT

Click to read post

Afro-Latin Voices

LET’S GET ALONG!

LET’S GET ALONG!

By Joan Cartwright

The Rodney King statement, “Can’t we all just get along?”, can morph into “Let’s get along!” This statement is more definite . It’s not a question but a command to human beings to consider getting along with their fellow humans.

[February 3, 2010, Fort Lauderdale, FL] This morning, in a conversation with my father (90), I conceived this article. He told me that, when he was a child, let’s say 10, a boy ran into him with his bicycle, an action that left a memory within my father of the evidence that human beings could not get along with each other for various reasons. He indicated that it wasn’t just color, race or creed that put them in conflict with each other, but place of origin. He said the kids from the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas didn’t get along with each other. He still wonders why it is this way, even today, that people in the same country, city, territory cannot get along with their neighbors.

Karen L. Anderson, in her article “To The Keepers of the Hearth and Flame” from Life Compass for Women, says it is Esteem that dictates how a relationship will go. “Esteem is how we value ourselves and others,” Karen says. She lists six H’s of Communication:

  • Hunger: Until someone is hungry to know or learn, save your words.
  • Here: Concentrate on the present because most of us are too busy to visit the past or the future.
  • Honor: Maintain dignity for you and for your relationship partner.
  • Heart: Show empathy and compassion. Offer words and deeds that heal rather than harm.
  • Hope: Encouraging statements and goodwill gestures reflect possibilities for positive change.
  • Humor: Smile and laugh to break the tensions in life and keep a positive perspective.

Karen’s website is www.acts-ionsolutions.com

Scholar, Author, Full Philosophy Professor @ Howard By Leshell Hatley in Education, Philosophy, Scholarly Celebrations The preeminent African American intellectual of his generation, Alain Locke was a professor of philosophy and the leading promoter and interpreter of the artistic and cultural contributions of African Americans to American life. More than anyone else, he familiarized white Americans with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, while encouraging African American authors to set high artistic standards in their depiction of life. As a professor of philosophy, he expounded his theory of “cultural pluralism” that valued the uniqueness of different styles and values available within a democratic society. More than anyone else, he familiarized white Americans with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, while encouraging African American authors to set high artistic standards in their depiction of life. (Continue)


________

[Ángel Franco/The New York Times] After a week of watching news coverage of the Haiti earthquake, Nadege Fleurimond, a Haitian-American event planner in New York, fired off an e-mail message to about three dozen friends and associates. Though she was moved by the outpouring of help from local Haitians, she was frustrated that the effort had not coalesced into something larger and more visible. “We succeed as individuals, not so much as a community,” said Nadege Fleurimond, a Haitian who immigrated to New York when she was 7 and graduated from Columbia University. (Continue)

Haitians in America: A Shifting Population “No major press conferences, no major vigils, no major anything with a statement,” she wrote. “Nothing being written about us besides the fact that we were sad and shocked.” The problem, she suggested, was that Haitians, for all their history and achievements in New York, had not emerged as a discernible entity, with prominent leaders, a united presence, a public face. The e-mail message provoked a spirited debate in Ms. Fleurimond’s circle. And as the initial shock of the earthquake begins to fade, the disaster has touched off similar discussions among Haitians all over New York.

Does this woman look at CNN? Every time I turn it on, there’s the relief effort in Haiti. Is it that she’s looking at what’s not happening, instead of what is happening?

There needs to be an open dialogue between Americans, African-Americans in particular, Haitians and Haitian-Americans about their relationship, especially in light of the recent disaster in Haiti and the influx of thousands of Haitians into the United States, the State of Florida, in particular.

Are you interested?

Join this network and let’s begin the dialogue until it spills out into the public forum:

WHAT AMERICA MEANS – www.americaisforusall.ning.com

[February 12, 2010] If they can get along, so can we!

A lion, a tiger, and a bear! The Jungle Book predators who have forged a lifelong friendship.

They make an unlikely trio, but Baloo the bear, Leo the lion, and Shere Khan the tiger have forged an unusually strong bond. Considering that they would be mortal enemies if they ever were to meet in the wild, it is stunning to see their unique and genuine friendship in these intimate pictures. Rescued eight years ago during a police drug raid in Atlanta, Georgia, the three friends were only cubs at the time at barely two months old. They had been kept as status symbol pets by the drug barons.

Delivered to the Noah’s Ark Animal Rescue Centre in Locust Grove, Georgia, the decision was made to keep the youngsters together, because of their budding rapport. ‘We could have separated them, but since they came as a kind of family, the zoo decided to keep them together,’ said Diane Smith, assistant director of Noah’s Ark.

‘To our knowledge, this is the only place where you’ll find this combination of animals together.’ Living with the zoo’s founders for the past eight years Shere Khan, Baloo, and Leo have now moved to a purpose-built habitat where the US public can witness first hand their touching relationships.

‘We didn’t have the money to move them at first,’ said Diane. ‘Now their habitat is sorted and they have been moved away from the children’s zoo areas where the public couldn’t really get a good look.

‘It is possible to see Baloo, who is a 1000lb bear, Shere Khan, a 350lb tiger and Leo, who is also 350lbs, messing around like brothers. ‘They are totally oblivious to the fact that in any other circumstance they would not be friends.’ Handled by Charles and Jama Hedgecoth, the zoo’s owners and founders, the three friendly giants appear to have no comprehension of their animal differences.

‘Baloo and Shere Khan are very close,’ says Diane. ‘That is because they rise early, and as Leo is a lion, he likes to spend most of the day sleeping.

‘It is wonderful and magical to see a giant American Black Bear put his arm around a Bengal and then to see the tiger nuzzle up to the bear like a domestic cat. ‘When Leo wakes up the three of them mess around for most of the day before they settle down to some food.’

Surprisingly for three apex predators with the power to kill with a single bite or swipe of their paw, they are very relaxed around each other.

‘They eat, sleep and play together,’ said Jama. ‘As they treat each other as siblings they will lie on top of each other for heat and simply for affection. ‘At the moment they are getting used to their new habitat.

‘Shere Khan is being quite reticent about the move, but Baloo, the bear, is very good at leading him on and making him feel comfortable and safe.’ Explaining that the three ‘brothers’ have always seemed to share a unique bond, Charles said: ‘Noah’s Ark is their home and they could not possibly be separated from each other. ‘You just have to remember who you’re dealing with when you are with them, though. ‘It’s when you forget that these fellows are wild animals that you get yourself in trouble.’

The trio’s new habitat had to be constructed carefully, in order to accommodate its occupants. Jama said: ‘The clubhouse had to be very sturdy for the guys, because they all sleep in it together.’ She added, ‘We had to include a creek, because the tiger, and the bear both like to be in water.’

Legacy on the Land and Homeless

Legacy on the Land

In 1998, Frank and Audrey Peterman won the The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award for Outstanding Citizen Advocacy on Behalf of the National Parks, 1998. Of course, I was proud of them and knew that they deserved this honor, after witnessing their hard work to bring African-Americans to the awareness of the splendor of our National Parks. But, in good consciousness, I had to ask Audrey if there would be as many homeless people in America, if the National Parks were accessible to everyone, like land was before the European colonialists arrived.

My contention was and still is that a great percentage of human beings are nomadic and the forests are where they would live, if they were not designated as National Parks.

Since I knew the Petermans had the ear of National Parks administrators, I suggested that they propose that several acres of the parks could be developed as free camping grounds and lodges to house those who would normally travel from site to site, similar to how Native Americans did six centuries ago. To my chagrin, Audrey skimmed over my idea and the discussion ended abruptly.

Now, 11 years later, I’m reading their newly published book, LEGACY ON THE LAND and truly enjoying Audrey’s descriptive writing of the couples joyous romps through the Badlands and other vistas of our glorious country. Yet, homelessness is evident in higher numbers as thousands of American families are evicted from their apartments and foreclosed homes. Mothers and their children are living in their vehicles, while the National Parks stand in pristine and lavish splendor. There is definitely something immoral and downright wrong with this.

Continued at http://nativeamericablues.ning.com