What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 22, 2013

Some Important Parts

From President Obama's Second Inaugural Address:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional -- what makes us American -- is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal –is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
I was curious about the alliteration in that third paragraph ("Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall") and what each had to do with  the national creed that "all of us are created equal."

Seneca Falls

In July of 1848, a two-day convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY hosted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.  At that convention a document called the "Declaration of Sentiments" was discussed and voted upon (in the end, 100 out of the 300 attendees signed it).  The document, patterned after the Declaration of Independence, demanded among other things the right of women to (gasp!) vote.

The 19th Amendment guaranteeing a woman's right to vote would not be ratified for 72 years.


In March of 1965, a series of marches took place to protest, among other things, the killing at the hands of the police of Jimmie Lee Jackson, an unarmed 26 yr old recently ordained deacon at a night time protest the previous month.  As the Anniston Star puts it about  what happened on the evening of February 18:
A few minutes into the confusion, perhaps 10 Troopers chased a group of protesters into a place called Mack’s Café just off Marion’s city square and directly behind Zion. From that point, nearly all historical accounts and press reports at the time agree the following happened:

As the Troopers entered the café they immediately started overturning tables and hitting customers and marchers alike. In the melee, they clubbed 82-year-old Cager Lee to the floor and his daughter Viola Jackson when she rushed to his aid. When her son, Jimmie Lee Jackson, tried to help his mother he was shot in the stomach by a state Trooper.
He died a few days later in the hospital.  Of course he was served with an arrest warrant in his hospital bed.

The first protest march took place March 7.  The marchers were attacked by police with billy clubs and tear gas and the reaction was national.  President Johnson introduced legislation 8 days later that became the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and on March 21 of that year, the National Guard was called out to protect them thousands of people marched from Selma to Montgomery to protest.

The Voting Rights Act was signed into law the following August.


According to these National Historic Landmark Nomination documents:
Stonewall is regarded by many as the single most important event that led to the modern gay and lesbian liberation movement and to the struggle for civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. The Stonewall uprising was, as historian Lillian Faderman has written, "the shot heard round the world...crucial because it sounded the rally for the movement."
The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar located at 51-53 Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. As part of a pattern of raids and harassment of gay establishments, the bar was raided by the New York City police at about 1:30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969. The reaction of the bar's patrons and of the crowd that assembled in the street (which included a diverse segment of the gay community and other Greenwich Village residents and visitors) was not typical of such events. Instead of dispersing, the crowd became increasingly angry as the Stonewall's employees and patrons were arrested. Soon participants began chanting, throwing pennies, beer cans and other objects, and the police were forced back into the bar. Reinforcements were called in, and for several hours the police tried to clear the streets while the crowd fought back. Over the next few evenings the uprising continued. Two quiet nights followed before the final episode of street fighting occurred, late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, July 2nd and 3rd. The street events occurred outside the Stonewall Inn, in Christopher Park (across the street from the bar), along Christopher Street between Seventh Avenue South and Greenwich Avenue, and along adjacent streets, notably Waverly Place, Gay Street, Greenwich Avenue, Sixth Avenue and West 10th Street. At its peak, the crowd included several thousand people.

The struggle for gay rights did not begin that night, as groups had previously been organizing in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities to plead for the recognition of gay and lesbian people and for an end to discrimination. However, Stonewall marked a major change, as gay men and lesbians began to demand their rights vocally and assertively
The struggle continues and there's still a lot to do.  I'll give the president the final word:
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity -- until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.


Maria Lupinacci said...

I got to assume you knew what Selma and Stonewall where, right? I really loved that line.

Dayvoe said...

I knew the general outlines of each but not some of the details - the killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson or the fact that the riots went on for days.

Hutch said...

OK Dayvoe it's time for a little history. I am going to leave Seneca Falls and even Stonewall alone because real women's rights were gained and discrimination against gays is abhorrent. Selma we must talk about. Your following if I understand it correctly is the Progressive Movement.....You are the 99% correct ? I would challenge you to look at one of your vaunted leaders Hillary Clinton as she proclaimed to be a "Turn of the century Progressive". This implies Woodrow Wilson. Do you have any idea what this evil man did to the black community in America ? Whites Only signs originated with him. Your political party is responsible for so many deaths and other less lethal deeds against Black Americans that it is hard for me to stomach this post. Rewriting history won't work. I have lived an inner city life that has proven to me, right in this city, the lies of Democrat racism. Look at the Hill District and the Civic Arena. Every Democrat was not a member of the KKK, but every member of the KKK was a Democrat. Look up the vote tallies of the various Civil Rights Amendments votes and see who blocked them. Obama's speech was anti Constitution talking about the collective and redefining liberty. Sir he has done more to make the rich....who you hate and I don't richer and the poor poorer than any other President in history. What do you want here ? The Great Society that LBJ promised would keep nigg..s voting Democrat for a hundred years did just that, now 70 some percent of American Blacks are born out of wedlock. We "celebrate" 40 years of Roe v Wade and the genocide continues...how about an expose of Margaret Sanger and her Progressive plans

Hutch said...

Email request

Dayvoe said...

Um, Hutch?

I know you're new here but if you're looking to convince anyone that you're a thoughtful, rational conservative (one that that can be taken seriously) you're failing at it.


You might want to check your punctuation and grammar (like the difference between "you're" and "your") and your factual assertions (what is your evidence that "every member of the KKK was a Democrat" and that "I hate the rich") and then try again. Oh, and I'm also not a member of the Democratic Party.

You might also want to put quotation marks around what LBJ reportedly said about the Civil Rights Act and why it was important to him. If not, it's way too easy (considering the context of the rest of your rant) to assume a high level of racism on your part since it looks like you're the one using an offensive racial epithet - not him.

Ol' Froth said...

Shorter Hutch, once again.

EdHeath said...

Hutch - I have seen some of your previous comments and based on that Dayvoe's response is not unfair (perhaps not entirely unfair).

But I will say you are not entirely wrong in what you say in your "little history". I am not sure "white's only" signs originated with Wilson, but he and his administration did some racist things. Yet to link him to Hilary Clinton because she described herself as a "Turn of the century progressive" is an extreme stretch. Ronald Reagan actively called for passage of the 1994 Assault Weapon ban, so does that mean that any conservative who expresses admiration for Reagan is also pro gun control?

Similarly, Margaret Sanger expressed some complicated views on eugenics, but was respectful of people of all races. A glib snark about her views is unworthy of any thoughtful person.

And yes, the Republican party started as an abolitionist party, and many Democrats opposed starting the Civil War because they did not think ending slavery was worth it. And after the Civil War, many white voters were Democrats for just this reason. So there is reason to believe that the majority if not the entirety of KKK members were Democrats (to the extent they registered to vote at all). And this situation persisted up to the late sixties, such that many if not all Southern Democrats voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and it was Republicans who joined Northern Democrats to pass the bill.

But we both know what happened to the Republican Party in the 1970's. Choosing to actively recruit Southern Democratic politicians and voters through racist code words has forced the Republicans down a path of simpler views. Most recently the combination of the Republican Party and the Tea Party has made Republicans anti-science and pro-racist. What happened to the party of Lincoln?

I would trace the roots of the current progressive movement to the sixties, myself. Yes, there were strong union movements from the turn of the century on, but I don't think they connected to the radicals of the sixties (not even in California with Caesar Chavez).

In any event, in the interest of honesty I have to agree Democrats have done some shameful things in the past, and I strongly disagree with some of the things Obama is doing now (as I disagreed with some things Clinton did). But on the whole I have at least slightly more respect for the Democrats right now, and essentially no respect for almost all Republicans (Colin Powell and Chuck Hagel would be possible exceptions).

The very fact you use the "N" word as you assert the LBJ wanted to create a situation where 70% of African Americans are born out of wedlock makes crystal clear that you have no interest in a discussion of solutions, you only want to snark and insult people.

I remember the Republicans of the 1980's wanted to have cap and trade used as a remedy for cases of pollution, because such a "market-based" solution would waste far fewer dollars than one size (doesn't) fit(s) all limits imposed by Congress. Now conservatives accuse Obama of being a communist, or "anti-constitution" (whatever that means about a constitutional scholar). What happened to the Republican party exactly? When did being stupid become smart? I want to know because I once was a registered Republican, now I am not.

Hutch said...

Dayvoe, Thank You, I consider myself grammatically schooled. I will never pretend to have your skills in this area as it is what you do and do well. The KKK or the military wing of the Democrat Party has a well documented history. http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan I assumed with the "We Are The 99%" banner on your home page, that you indeed loathed the 1% that I understand to be the rich. I also took it for granted that you were a Democrat and I won't do that again. I also appreciate your last paragraph as that is what fuels my passion on this subject. My biggest problem with this subject is the blatant rewriting of history and the very real consequences, intended or otherwise, of public policy initiatives. I also am getting tired of being labeled a racist at every disagreement with Leftist ideology.

Hutch said...

EdHeath, I'm not sure of the exact origin of the first "whites only" sign. Woodrow Wilson clearly began segregation in the federal government and into the armed forces during WWI.http://www.academia.org/progressive-segregation/ If not Woodrow Wilson, the father of the truly Progressive Era, then who might Hillary be comparing her style to ? Reagan was wrong on gun control but right about most issues. Margaret Sanger sir was far from respectful of people from all races, another rewriting of history that with a little effort you can check for yourself http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/special_issues/population/the_negro_project.htm A glib snark it was not and I consider myself thoughtful.

The KKK members did not just vote Democrat, the organization was a wing of the Party. They're objective was to stop Republican initiatives and suppress votes among other things.

I would ask that you look at the south today. The diversity after the southern Democrats were ejected is plain to see. Bobby Jindal, LA Nikki Haley, SC and Tim Scott the newest US Senator to name a few. You are apparently confused concerning your description of the "Tea Party" I'm surprised you didn't just hit up the "Tea Bagger" moniker. All the Tea Party folks want is sanity and a return to constitutional principals. I'm not sure what you are referencing with "anti-science".

The Progressive Movement started in or around 1900.

My use of language was a quote. The Great Society began what has ended up as terrible, possibly unintended consequences in the black community. I'm not insulting anyone, solutions are awesome. Let's start with school choice. Empower black families to decide where to send their children to school.

I'm not really concerned that the Republican Party has made mistakes, it has. I'm concerned with truth. I don't feel Republicans are stupid. Obama's actions, regardless of label, have been socialist and anti constitution several times. I was a Democrat and now I am not. A few more Powell's and Hagel's and I won't be a Republican either.

Maria Lupinacci said...

For fucks sake, Hillary Clinton did not 'proclaimed to be a "Turn of the century Progressive".' She called herself a "modern progressive." She merely noted that the word 'progressive'"has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century." (That meaning being reforming government and eliminating corruption.)

Newsmax spins enough without additional spin by you.

Besides, Wilson was originally lukewarm at best to women's suffrage and was greeted daily by protestors. So according to your logic, Hillary has some doubts about women voting!

Hutch said...

Maria, I did some further research and I stand corrected.

Sara Umair said...

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