In 1892, three African-American men—Tom Moss, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart—set up a grocery store in Memphis. Their new business drew customers away from a white-owned store in the neighborhood, and the white store owner and his supporters clashed with the three men on a few occasions. One night, Moss and the others guarded their store against attack and ended up shooting several of the white vandals. They were arrested and brought to jail, but they didn’t have a chance to defend themselves against the charges—a lynch mob took them from their cells and murdered them.
These brutal killings incensed Wells, leading to her write articles decrying the lynching of her friend and the wrongful deaths of other African Americans. Putting her own life at risk, she spent two months traveling in the South, gathering information on other lynching incidents. One editorial seemed to push some of the city’s whites over the edge. A mob stormed the office of her newspaper, destroying all of her equipment. Fortunately, Wells had been traveling to New York City at the time. She was warned that she would be killed if she ever returned to Memphis.
Staying in the North, Wells wrote an in-depth report on lynching in America for the New York Age, an African-American newspaper run by former slave T. Thomas Fortune. She lectured abroad in 1893, looking to drum up support for her cause among reform-minded whites. Upset by the ban on African-American exhibitors at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Wells penned and circulated a pamphlet entitled “The Reason Why the Colored American Is Represented in the World’s Columbian Exposition.” This effort was funded and supported by famed abolitionist and freed slave Frederick Douglass, and lawyer and editor Ferdinand Barnett. Also in 1893, Wells published A Red Record, a personal examination of lynchings in America.
In 1898, Wells brought her anti-lynching campaign to the White House, leading a protest in Washington, D.C., and calling for President William McKinley to make reforms. She married Ferdinand Barnett that same year, and was thereafter known as Ida B. Wells-Barnett. While the couple eventually had four children together, Wells remained committed to her social and political activism.
I be damn! Someone OUTED the government on the collection of millions citizen’s phone conversations. DAMN!! I was hoping it wasn’t true. But, ever since Bush was president I felt I had less freedoms and privacy. And my friends, we were forewarned by George Orwell’s 1984. The government has preyed on our fears of terrorism. Unfortunately, the terrorist threat is real whether home-based or foreign. But, what about our freedoms and privacy?
Listed below are 5 freedoms and privacy that no longer exist:
1. No longer able to have a private phone conversation. Government listening.
2. Serious medical events being private. Medical Information Board. Yes, there is a corporation who protects insurance underwriters by retaining information on those who have had medical events.
3. No longer able to walk down a street without being video taped.
4. No longer expect online activities to be private. The government is receiving information via Google, Facebook and other social media sites.
5. And of course we can’t leave out the driving force in America, the dollar. Yes, the government keeps track of your banking and wants to know when you make large deposits.
I’m sure there are more ways our freedoms and privacy are being eroded! George Orwell 1984 Quotes: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” “Big Brother is Watching You.”
As time passes and I get older, I find I’m like the sister in the Secret Life of Bees, where bad news was soo painful that she had a rock shrine for whatever it was that caused her sadness. For example, the marathon bombing was a heartbreaking tragedy but to hear news reports of how they found the second bombing suspect, my motherly instincts kicked in. The thought that a 19 year old boy lying in a boat wounded and possibly dying a slow death, broke my heart. Do you remember being 19! I know I was pretty stupid at 19 years old. What is wrong in the world where our youth do things that affect their lives forever? I’m curious as to WHY this young man threw his life away. After all, he came to America at a young age and obviously the time the family was here they reaped the benefits of life in America based on the fact that their son attended the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Schools in Boston are prestige institutions such as Harvard, Boston College, MIT, Berklee College of Music, and University of Massachusetts. As though life as a terrorist was a video game that became real and now its over and he can go back to his life as a college student.
When I heard his mother state that he was killed because he was a Muslim sparked my patriotism. I was taken back by the comment. I’m not the type of person who looks for things to make me patrotic but the accusation that we killed her son because of his religion pissed me off. Americans died because of her son!!! And, I’m angry about that especially a 8 year old boy was among the dead.
The technology that law enforcement possesses is awesome because we as the public don’t get to see the arsenal of devices that are used in this day and age with automatic weapons, grenades and other devices in the hands of criminals, we- the average Joe Public don’t know anything about hi- tech weapons until something as horrible as the Marathon Bombings.
There were many Blacks that held state and federal office due to the large population/concentration of Blacks in certain areas right after slavery. Since the Emancipation Proclamation, southern whites looked for ways to keep us in a servitude, harsh and controlling environment by creating laws that kept us from voting and citizenry with the duplicity of the Supreme Court in upholding of some of these laws.
The different attempts to keep Blacks from voting.
Poll Tax – proof of having paid taxes or poll taxes and sometimes used with literacy test.
Education Requirement – literacy test with stipulations not to effect white voters.
Eight Box -indirect literacy test implemented by putting the right size ballot in the correct box.
Grandfather Clause – you could vote if your father or grandfather voted.
African Americans could not vote in the south and different parts of America from 1870 until the passage of the Voters Rights Act of 1965.
Americais home and I love home. Americais like a family, you can disagree and fight amongst each other but when trouble comes we all unite.
When I think of September 11th, I remember being at work receiving the news a plane flew into one of the twin towers of the world trade center. Hence, I work at a television station and went to a department who had TV screens in their area. About the time I got there I witnessed the 2nd plane hit the other tower of the twin towers. Shock! Fear! Confusion! In my little mind, I heard a voice “what the hell is going on this is not an accident.” I have heard of attacks on this building before and the fear that this could be a terrorist attack shattered my world. Oh no, there is a report of a plane near-by not responding to traffic control request.
A plane circled back from heading west and was assumed to be heading for our nation’s capital. Our traffic control tower was evacuated. Then, the news report that a plane went down 80 miles from where we were. This set the tone of fear for the rest of the day. We stayed glued to the TV news. Eyes and mind fixed on the latest news that a plane has also hit the Pentagon. For God sakes, what is going on! The Pentagon, home to our nation’s military and national defense has taken a hit. Are we defenseless to stop this insanity.
By the time I got home from work it was determined that it was a terrorist attack and all air traffic has ceased. Folks were stranded where ever they found themselves. I had two cousins who lived on the east coast but one was on vacation in Las Vegasand the other on business in New Mexico. Both had difficulty in getting back to their families. After calls of concern to family members near and far, I settled down for an evening of watching non-stop news coverage. Finally, at 11:30pm I settled down and got ready for bed. Unfortunately, my sleep was interrupted a half hour later with physical discomfort. My entire body is hot. So, I tried drinking ice cold water and using a cold wash cloth to wipe myself down and now I hear my heart racing. My heart is racing so fast I realize I must try to slow it down by taking deep breathes. It doesn’t work. Now, I feel like I’m suffering from shortness of breath. Time to call 911, I need the paramedics, could this be a heart attack. I unlock the front door in case I need someone to be able to get in to find me. One more thing before I call the paramedics, in case I live through this experience, my health insurance requires me to call my doctor first. The on-call doctor happens to be my primary care physician. I tell him what’s going on, I am about to die from a heart attack. He calmly explains, “Dear, you are having an anxiety attack. Take Tylenol and lay down.” I have always trusted my doctor and I did what I was told but I left the front door unlocked just in case. The next morning, I felt relief that I had lived and September 11th was over. But my life was never the same.
Ten years later, a plane in the sky takes on a different meaning. What kind of plane is it? How low is it? And, at the airport I find myself profiling and treating those around me like I work for TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Osama Bin Laden (al Qaeda) took credit for September 11th and he was killed this year in Pakistan by Special Forces. And as an American, I still don’t feel safe.