Martin Luther King, Jr.: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

“We’ve waited too long. ” – ML King, Jr., 1966

MLK.foolFrom CBSnews.com:

In an interview with Mike Wallace in 1966, Dr. King continued to stress the path of non-violence, despite a summer of violence. Race riots were taking place across the country, and rifts in the civil rights movement were widening.

Militant leaders – like Stokely Carmichael and his call for “black power” — demanded that the movement part from Dr. King’s gospel.

“The mood of the Negro community now is one of urgency, one of saying that we aren’t going to wait. That we’ve got to have our freedom. We’ve waited too long.

“So that I would say that every summer we’re going to have this kind of vigorous protest. My hope is that it will be non-violent.”

King: from Montgomery to Memphis. A powerful three-hour 1970 documentary of the public life of Martin Luther King, Jr. here. A “lost” film restored.

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated April 4, 1968.

May rambling #1: Kings down

Ben E. King’s original version of Stand By Me was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.

Rummy.looting
Rumsfeld: Looting is transition to freedom.

11 Stupid Reasons White People Have Rioted.

These 10 Questions Can Mean Life Behind Bars.

US cited for police violence, racism in scathing UN review on human rights.

The History of ‘Thug’: “The surprisingly ancient and global etymology of a racially charged epithet.”

Why are we celebrating the beating of a black child?

So You’re About To Become A Minority…

Part of Michelle Obama’s revealing speech at Tuskegee. The whole thing. Plus the reaction from certain parties.

The NRA’s brazen shell game with donations.

Art Spiegelman: Je Suis Charlie —But I’m Not Pamela Geller. AFDI is “the anti-matter, Bizarro World, flipside, mirror-logic version of what Charlie Hebdo is about.”

Rating Last Week’s Craziness. What should we do when debunking just isn’t enough?

The 10 biggest lies you’ve been told about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

There is no “Blue Wall” for the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: American students face a ridiculous amount of testing. Oliver explains how standardized tests impact school funding, the achievement gap, how often kids are expected to throw up.

Former Homeless Teen Cyndi Lauper Testifies Before Congress On Ending LGBT Youth Homelessness.

An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day). And, from last year, the holiday’s centennial: Its Surprisingly Dark History.

In case you missed it, Harriet Tubman was the selection of the Women On 20s voters. Now tell the President.

Judge Rules Man Fathered Only One Twin.

L’Wren as she was.

Dustbury on the passing of the lead Kingsman, Jack Ely, of Louie, Louie fame; and the wonderful Ben E. King. I’m SO pleased that King’s original version of Stand By Me was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, only about a month before King’s death. As Mr. Frog noted, Ben E. King also performed Save the Last Dance for Me with the Drifters.

Then, unsurprisingly, the great bluesman Riley B. King, known as MB.B. King, died this week. From NPR: “He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ’87. He was so beloved that he received honorary degrees from the Berklee College of Music as well as Yale and Brown universities, among others.” Here’s an episode of Sanford and Son, featuring B.B. King.

SamuraiFrog remembers Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves.

The Mike Wallace Interview featuring Rod Serling (1959). Serling’s legacy lives on as his hometown of Binghamton, NY opens a museum exhibit in the Bundy Museum of History.

Grief is powerful. “Here are 6 lessons survivors learn from tragedy.”

Will Rogers.war

There’s a Facebook graphic noting that, in the American way of writing dates, all of the days in this 10-day period are palindromes, e.g. 5/17/15, 5/18/15. It was also true in April 2014, March 2013, February 2012, January 2011. It was similarly true in 2001-2009, if you use the leading zero in the day field: 1/01/01. 2/01/02, et al.

It’ll be true next June: 6/10/16 et al., then starting 7/10/17, 8/10/18, 9/10/19, 1/20/21, 2/20/22, 3/20/23, 4/20/24, 5/20/25, 6/20/26, 7/20/27, 8/20/28, and 9/20/29. Then not again until 2101, so prepare your memes now.

Frontier Town: yeah, I visited there a long time ago.

David Kalish: The incredible adventures of my wife’s nose.

Mark Evanier’s 60th birthday, starring his mother. And Ken Levine’s mom gets him a writing gig.

Let it Beep, Apple Computers! And Beep Beep by the Playmates.

Tammy Wynette’s greatest Top Pop success. (It’s NOT Stand By Your Man.)

Omnified G and Turning the Corner and We want our nickel back.

SamuraiFrog ranks Weird Al: 90-81 and 80-71.

Paved in Robbie Williams platinum.

No, beards are no more filthy and dangerous than everything else.

The many MGM logo lions.

JEOPARDY!: Louis Virtel’s one regret after losing (and snapping) on the show. Why Ken Jennings’s Streak Is Nearly Impossible To Break; almost certainly true. Plus 6 Inside Facts; these are totally true.

Nurses from the Opening Credits of MASH, the TV show.

Muppets: a whole lot of stuff, including Orson Welles.

GOOGLE WATCH (me)

Arthur and his blog and Facebook and breaking technology. Something like that.

ADD does the A to Z. So does Monsieur Frog.

Dustbury would LIKE to wear sunscreen. Plus a Stevie Wonderesque medley.

Chuck Miller writes the Best of our TU Community Blogs every Thursday. My posts have been on the list occasionally, but for May 7, my post about Kent State was the READ FIRST.

Florida: race, murder, self-defense

“The most damning element here is not that George Zimmerman was found not guilty: it’s the bitter knowledge that Trayvon Martin was found guilty.”

After George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin death in Florida, the New York Daily News did a piece When will it end? Deadly racial targeting of black men and teens is hardly ancient history.

So I find it difficult to look at the case as a singular event but in the context of a social pattern. Black-on-black murder doesn’t make headlines, unless it hits an epic proportion, as it has in Chicago recently. Black-on-white murders statistically draw tougher sentences. So there is always uneasiness when a white-on-black killing takes place.

In the “good old days”, there were often no consequences, and in these days, laws such as Stand Your Ground can justify the same result.

Jelani Cobb has covered the Zimmerman trial for the New Yorker. Her stories are all worth reading. George Zimmerman, Not Guilty: Blood on the Leaves has some quotable pieces.
“The most damning element here is not that George Zimmerman was found not guilty: it’s the bitter knowledge that Trayvon Martin was found guilty.”
“Yet the problem is not that this case marks a low point in this country’s racial history—it’s that, after two centuries of common history, we’re still obligated to chart high points and low ones. To be black at times like this is to see current events on a real-time ticker, a Dow Jones average measuring the quality of one’s citizenship… That [Trayvon’s shooting] occurred in a country that elected and reëlected a black President doesn’t diminish the despair this verdict inspires, it intensifies it.”
*”Perhaps history does not repeat itself exactly, but it is certainly prone to extended paraphrases. Long before the jury announced its decision, many people had seen what the outcome would be, had known that it would be a strange echo of the words Zimmerman uttered that rainy night in central Florida: they always get away.”

Of course, the case may have hinged on the judge’s jury instruction, which was appallingly incomplete.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the review of the newly-released movie Fruitvale Station,- the true story of Oscar Julius Grant III, a young black man unjustly killed in California in 2009, notes how that story echoes the Martin case. “The film’s portrayal of a young black man as a complex human being– [not that] you’re either a thug or a saint, good or bad, black or white (sometimes literally), with no shades of grey between…. [T]he eagerness with which the pro-Zimmerman faction of the populace and media leapt breathlessly upon any scrap of negative information about his 17-year-old victim–he smoked pot! He talked like a thug on Twitter! He flipped off the camera in pictures! He may have stolen jewelry!… But even if every vile posthumous rumor that attached itself to Martin was true, even if he was a pot-dealing, thugged-out thief, what then? Is tweeting like Tupac a death-penalty offense?” Supporters of Trayvon have suggested he was a good son, someone who did well in school, who went to church, who did community service; assuming that’s true, that’s fine, but it’s just the “saint” side of the portrayal, and, for me, doesn’t materially affect the tragedy of the situation.

Another Florida case in which Stand Your Ground may be invoked is the first-degree murder case in which Michael Dunn, who is white, is charged with shooting into a car, killing 17-year old Jordan Davis, who was black, after an argument over loud music. (Sidebar: someone on Facebook complained about a person mentioning this case on FB, because the original story came out back in November 2012, as though it were old news, or resolved. Just this month, 2nd judge leaves the Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis case.)

Meanwhile, I came across this bizarre story from May 2013: Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots. “Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.” One is left wondering if she had instead killed her husband, she would be walking the streets, or whether her race (she’s black) or gender would have played into the case.
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Related: this week is the 150th anniversary of the New York City Draft Riots. “With the ludicrous Newt Gingrich (who claims to be a historian) insisting the peaceful Trayvon Martin protesters were ‘prepared to be a lynch mob,’ it’s worth remembering that devastating eruption of white mob violence 150 years earlier when at least 11 black men were actually lynched.”

Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers Assaulted on Stage Dedicating Set to Trayvon Martin, with link to “Time has Come Today.”

Kids Who Die by Langston Hughes.

Kegs and Eggs Riot, plus one year

The solution designed by UALBANY was to have its mid-semester break, not during Presidents Day week and/or around the Christian Holy Week, but rather this past week.

Apparently, for years, there had been these “kegs and eggs” parties, although I had been blissfully unaware of them until 2011. I gather the “point” of the activity was to drink beer all night, have some eggs for breakfast, then continue to “party” through that day’s St. Patrick’s day parades and other celebrations.

Except that, in the “student ghetto” a half dozen blocks from my house, the morning marauding after breakfast turned into a riot; check out some pictures here.

Interestingly, some students objected to the term “riot” for their behavior. Let’s look at the dictionary: 1) a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons…, 2) Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes. 3) violent or wild disorder or confusion. Yup, it was a riot all right. I think some rejected the term because it’s something that someone ELSE does.

In any case, the solution designed by UALBANY was to have its mid-semester break, not during Presidents Day week and/or around the Christian Holy Week, but rather this past week. Unfortunately, St. Paddy’s Day is on Saturday this year, and I have to wonder if a bit of partying stupidly by students will still be taking place tonight. Or last night, for that matter, with students crashing at the houses of townie friends.
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Almost everyone in America deigns to be Irish on this day, whether they actually are or not. As it turns out, Barack Obama, back in 2007 during his initial campaign for the Presidency, found out about his Irish ancestry. “Last year, he traveled with the First Lady to pay a visit to Moneygall, the town of 300 people where his great-great-great-grandfather was born, and jokingly told a crowd there: ‘My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obamas, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way.'”

Naturally, his reelection campaign has seized on the opportunity to sell T-shirts. $30? You’d think it was a rock concert. Or maybe campaigns ARE rock concerts.

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