On Wednesday after the presidential election I ran into a former US Government student at the dentist office. We didn’t discuss politics but she did recall my telling her after the 1992 Clinton victory that regardless of how much you disagreed with the president-elect, the people had spoken and the office demanded your respect and support.
When I said that I meant it. But never did I imagine anyone like Donald Trump being elected to the White House. Trump’s choice challenges so much of what I’ve held true about American democracy, American politics, the two-party system, and the basic intellect of the American people.
I’m no rookie when it comes to losing elections. My good friend and fellow Democrat, John Baal, and I many times commiserated with a six-pack over getting our political butts kicked. Being a liberal Democrat is a lonely life in Southern Ohio.
I’ve written lots of words, and read even more, about the ongoing Trail of Tears controversy. I’m going to try to make this the last blog I write on the subject and the topic is how to move it forward, how to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Based on what I’ve read in the local newspapers the school’s path forward is to take a couple of class periods and teach the story of the forceful removal of Indians during the early 1800s. This was ordered by president Andrew Jackson, in defiance of a Supreme Court order, and resulted in the tragic deaths of thousands of Eastern Native-Americans.
Additionally the cheerleaders involved met with Hillsboro’s cheerleaders where an apology was offered.
When American was experiencing its first sexual revolution following the advent of the birth control pill came about I must have been out of the country because I missed it.
This is interesting to reflect on. How much of this change have you witnessed? Are we better off? How much do you think will have gone away 100 years from now? What comparison had the greatest impact on you?
Saturday, March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day. Mark it, celebrate it, honor it, recognize it in any way you believe fit. But do take a few moments to reflect on what women all over the world and throughout all time have endured. With that in mind there is reason to celebrate as described in a Forbes Magazine article titled, 10 Reasons for Optimism.
For many decades it was thought that former slave, Abby Fisher, had written the first cookbook by an African-American, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, was published in 1881. In 2001 it was learned that a free black woman named Malinda Russell had published Domestic Cook Book: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen in 1866.
Much of the food America loves has its roots in the poverty enslaved blacks endured for centuries in the American South. Known today as soul food it made use of those food stuffs the white slave masters saw little value in. Protein came from beans and legumes and the occasional lesser cuts of pork and poultry. If you could still find a small traditional grocery serving a mostly black population in today’s South you’d likely see coolers stacked with ox tail, pig knuckles, tails, ears and feet, salted fat back, chicken feet, necks and rooster combs. Add to that large bags of rice, red beans, and corn meal you’d have the basis for countless recipes that still keep people moving and enjoying comfort today.
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. I’ve noticed the media and politicians are arguing about the worth and success of the Great Society and accompanying War on Poverty. To me the answer is simple, certainly it’s been worth it and just as certainly it has not perfectly met the two major goals set forth.
The Great Society was to begin the elimination of poverty in America as well as create a society of equal opportunity, free of the historical biases and barriers of race, creed, gender, age, ethnicity, and skin color. Its critics look at the last 50 years and flatly declare it a failure. But note, America has always been a work in progress and altering centuries of accepted social and economic normality can’t happen with the flip of a switch. The switch of change is not on/off, it is linear like the dimmer on a lamp or the volume control of a radio. It can advance by lesser or greater degrees but it can also be turned backward. So, as one president or congress comes into the room the lights may brighten while another may seek the dark.
There is a certainty that comes with any argument involving race in today’s America. Mention, in any way, that America is still not a nation of racial equality and some Tea Party radical will accuse you of, “Playing the race card.” Somewhere between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and the election of Barack Obama, much of white America has decided that everything is
honkie hunky dory.
Well, it isn’t. Certainly blacks and other racial minorities, as well as women, have made great strides in the past sixty years. But the great ambition of being a nation in which all are created equal and have equal opportunity simply hasn’t been yet achieved and there is no shortage of evidence.
In spite of all the legislation there still exist a huge disparity of wealth between white and non-white America. Men still earn far more than women for performing the same jobs. The children of the educated will have a far brighter future than those of the ill-educated. The children of Norther parents will find it an easier world than those of Southern parents. Income, health, education, social and economic mobility, quality of life, environment and other factors are not the same for people of color, people with different sexual proclivity, women, or people of different geography. For much of the past one-hundred years a goal of the US Government has been to, with great success, narrow these divides.
It has not been without conflict or controversy, however. The conservative right has always opposed using the power of the federal government to correct the ills of our economic and social institutions and that war is being waged today as much as ever. Those who have will always be fearful of those who don’t have, just as they will always use what they have to keep the have-nots in their places. It is the very core of what conservatism means. Progress is measured not in change but in maintaining the status quo.
What sparked this diatribe was an online article containing a variety of charts and graphs showing the validity of what I have thus written. I’ll include two graphs and a link to the remainder. Click each graph to enlarge. For additional information click HERE.
If you grew up during the early days of television you may recall a program named Super Circus. It was one of several shows that were required watching for the kids in my neighborhood. The character I remember the most is Mary Hartline, a beautiful blonde lady adorned in sequins. It wasn’t Hartline’s beauty or talent that I recall, it’s that one of the neighborhood girls idolized Mary Hartline and was often seen wearing a red sequined outfit with a white heart and the words “Mary Hartline on the bodice.
I saw my neighborhood friend this morning and the memory came back. So when I got home I did a search and found the following video clip of Super Circus and featuring Mary Hartline.
By the way, at age 87 Mary Hartline is still strutting her stuff. She resides in her hometown of Hillsboro, IL.
Alison Gingerich, daughter of Norman and Susan Gingerich, has been doing modeling gigs since her teenage years and literally it’s taken her around the world. She has appeared in a television series, in major magazines and catalogs, runway modeling, on the cover of several teen magazines and currently she is the image representing the John Frieda hair products line. Here’s a video she recently appeared in for John Frieda.