July, 2017 archive
When my family got our first stereo, a huge floor-standing console, South Pacific was one of the first albums we purchased. If you know the story, you know that one of its undercurrents is a protest against racism. The story points out that, to be a racist, you have to the carefully taught.
Still rising again after all these years . . . .
Jasmine Shepard should have become the first Black valedictorian in 110 years at Cleveland High School in Mississippi. An amazing achievement considering that Cleveland, MS still has not fully complied with federal desegregation orders from Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. But Jasmine was denied this honor when she was forced to share it with a white student who did not qualify for it.
Since filing a lawsuit against the school district a few weeks ago, Jasmine and her family have been the target of a torrent of racist and hateful messages. Messages that are too sickening and hateful to be shared here.
Back in the 1960s, my Southern school district finally realized after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that segregation was done and began a show process of integration. There was one black student in the white high school, a senior, the first year; eleven black students joined it the next year as juniors; and so on–full merging of the black and white schools did not occur until I was in college.
I am certain that those students were carefully picked and all of them acquitted themselves well. There were no overt tensions at the school (of course, this wasn’t in Mississippi, either). By the time my brother graduated a few years after me, the valedictorian was a black girl. The students accepted it, because she had clearly earned it.
More to the point, the parents, the administration, and the community accepted it, though a small percentage of the white student body fled to two “seg academies” and were roundly resented by the students who remained in the public high school. I have long been grateful that the administration had the wisdom to admit defeat.
Dick Polman reminds us that it can happen here and that, if it does, it’s our own damn fault for not paying attention, as a polity, to the politics. A snippet:
The news that his (Donald Trump’s) team seeks to control, thwart, discredit, and perhaps terminate Robert Mueller’s independent probe; the news that he’s already weighing the idea of pardoning himself (and aides and family members) for whatever crimes he claims have never been committed – none of this Putinesque behavior should surprise us. It was all telegraphed in technicolor during the presidential campaign.
In a way I don’t even blame Trump, because he doesn’t know any better. A poseur with Louis XIV pretensions (“L’etat c’est moi,” said the French king – “I am the state”), Trump has no concept of checks and balances, no respect for America’s enduring democratic institutions, and he’s been dodging accountability his whole life. His one mode is attack; long-dead Roy Cohn, his thug mentor, appears to be dispensing advice via his tooth fillings.
Florida man phones in politeness:
Police said utility workers were working on lines near the home when 64-year-old Jorge Jove approached them on Wednesday morning. Jove was apparently upset because the trucks were parked in front of his home, officials told WSVN.
The workers told the man they would move the trucks after the work was completed. The man then went inside his home and came back out with a gun and started shooting at the tires.
A British hacker is on trial in Germany for attacking Deutsche Telekom to establish a botnet.
The defendant, who was not named, was arrested in February at London’s Luton airport on a European arrest warrant for attempted computer sabotage and extradited to Germany.
German police said the goal was to infect users’ computers with a “botnet” – a network of web-connected machines that can be manipulated with malware and used to attack other online targets.
The Briton told the court he was paid $10,000 (about €8,500) by a Liberian telecom company which wanted to use the botnet to damage a rival company.
Remember, in Republican World, there is no such thing as the common good.
Via Job’s Anger.
Really. Donald Trump’s been President for only six months?
Dick Polman looks back:
In his first 181 days, he tweeted 991 times, played golf 40 times, and signed a grand total of 0 major legislation. Those stats tell us plenty about a tenure that appears fated to rank with the very worst in history, but in truth they only hint at the destabilizing chaos he sows on a daily basis. We are no longer citizens; we are hostages trussed with rope in the trunk of his careening limo.
All this, from a guy with a 36 percent approval rating, by far the worst of any elected president at the six-month mark — but what we’ve learned by now is that he “governs” for that 36 percent, the people who think he’s kickass because he stokes their grievances and hates the same institutions they hate.
Follow the link for the complete article.
Yet more familial politeness . . . .
The bullet grazed a nine-year-old in the chest and then hit the boy’s arm.