Flags Half-Staff for Charleston South Carolina Church Massacre, All Except the Confederate

kkk robe henry ford museum and greenfield village, photo by dan gaken

kkk robe henry ford museum and greenfield village, photo by dan gaken

CHARLESTON, South Carolina - On 10 July 2015 during a historic ceremony, the Confederate flag which had flown full mast at the the South Carolina Statehouse for 50 years despite numerous efforts to have it removed. It was a symbol of defiance from a sect of people who protested against the Civil Rights movement and integration of all public facilities, including schools and transportation.

It was because of the heinous act of violence perpetrated by Dylann Roof, 21, that the groundswell of pressure from local, state, and national entities forced the government to respond. "Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill Thursday, 9 July 2015 to relegate the Confederate flag to the state's "relic room."

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19 June 2015 - Dylann Roof, 21, has been identified as the assailant who allegedly sat and prayed during a fellowship meeting Wednesday night at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. Survivors recount how Roof with malice aforethought shot and killed nine people inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, near the heart of Charleston's tourist district. Eight died at the scene; a ninth died at a hospital.

According to CNN and other news outlets, six women and three men were killed, including the church's politically active pastor, State Senator Clementa Pinckney, a black Democratic lawmaker. The lone survivor who pretended to be dead, confided in her friend afterwards, that Roof shouted long espoused racists rhetoric along the lines of black men raping white women and taking over the country presumably in reference to the first African-American President Barak Obama.

A law enforcement official said witnesses told authorities the gunman stood up and said he was there "to shoot black people” and subsequent investigations into Roof’s background revealed that he possessed racists memorabilia, and expressed Confederate sympathies, though it is not clear that he officially belong to any white supremacists groups.

For the family and friends of the nine people Roof murdered in a racist and premeditated act of violence, the trauma is just beginning and our hearts and prayers go out to them. There are many different national news outlets discussing, analyzing, and updating American citizens on the latest developments in the case. But, a less discussed, but equally important aspect of this case is the climate of racism in the heart of South Carolina’s government as demonstrated in its choice to continue to fly the Confederate Flag above the South Carolina State House.

According to Schuyler Kropf, “Officials said the reason why the flag has not been touched is that its status is outlined, by law, as being under the protected purview of the full S.C. Legislature, which controls if and when it comes down.

State law reads, in part, the state “shall ensure that the flags authorized above shall be placed at all times as directed in this section and shall replace the flags at appropriate intervals as may be necessary due to wear.”

The protection was added by supporters of the flag to keep it on display as an officially recognized memorial to South Carolinians who fought in the Civil War. Opponents say it defends a system that supported slavery and represents hate groups.” (Source: Post and Courier)

What many people don’t understand, and almost certainly those unfamiliar with the history of slavery in America, is the magnitude of racism and oppression that this flag represents. It connotes the same venomous hatred and violence towards blacks as the white robe and hood of the KKK. It is the heart and soul and standard-bearer to those who proudly proclaim that “the South will rise again!” A “South” where blacks were kept in their place, preferably enslaved or at least subjugated, where enforcement of Jim Crow statues were meted out by members of a number of white supremacists groups, most notably the Klu Klux Klan (KKK).

At a time when South Carolinians are shocked and appalled at the calculated massacre perpetrated in the name of white power, one would think that the State House would have the decency to remove or at least lower the Confederate Flag to half-staff as were the U.S. and S.C. flags. Nationally, states and the federal government lowered the flag to express solidarity with the victims and sadness at the horror. But, the most recognizable emblem of the Confederacy, KKK, white supremacists and their politics, towered proudly above even the U.S. flag, the flag of the American nation.

This obvious display was a not so subtle assertion that the racially motivated massacres were unimportant and not worthy of acknowledgment. That in fact, State Senator Pinckney’s life was of no value, that all attempts to remove this racist symbol will continue to fail, and that Confederate sympathizers and white supremacists have a chance to return to the halcyon days of old. An obstinately proud symbol of the time when the Confederacy legislated that blacks deserved no honor, no justice, and no acknowledgement.

It is unfathomable that this emblem of racism cannot be removed or lowered without a legislative vote. This is the time when black and white South Carolinians should stand up not only for justice for the victims, but should also demand the removal of this symbol of oppression and domestic terrorism which is displayed in their name. To remain silent is tantamount to tacit approval, and ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

 

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Could You Murder Her? Some Say Yes

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LOS ANGELES, CA - This post is neither for nor against the difficult choice some people face as they attempt to exercise their right to self-determination. We are, however, emphatically for human rights and against injustice.

We encourage everyone who weighs in on this issue to remember the old Native American saying, "Do not judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccassins.'

Life is not easy anywhere, and it is exponentially challenging in countries with stagnant or emerging economies. Female infanticide occurs most often in countries where females are perceived as a drain on finite economic resources, and this burden serves as justification for aborting or killing a girl.

According to Palash Ghosh in a September 2013 article titled "A Deadly Preference For Male Offspring: The Killing Of Baby Girls In India And Pakistan," there is an ancient preference for male offspring in South Asian society and other parts of Asia and the Middle East.

This preference, according to Ghosh, resulted in the horrendous murder of a one-and-a-half year old Pakistani baby girl who was drowned by her father in front of her mother because he wanted a son.

Amazingly, less than a year later, in April 2014, India's supreme court in a landmark ruling declared that "It is the right of every human being to choose their gender," as it granted rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.

According to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project, 2013 marked "the highest number of murders of minors in the five years it has been keeping statistics. Since the beginning of that year, 22 trans people were reported killed. Eleven of these were under the age of 18.

These include a 13-year-old trans girl strangled in Macaiba, Brazil, on June 9; a 14-year-old trans girl strangled in the city of Ibipora, Brazil, on Oct. 15; and 16-year-old trans girl murdered by a mob at a house party in St. James, Jamaica, on July 22.

Since 2008, Transgender Europe has documented 1,374 murders of trans people in 60 countries worldwide. Of these, 108 victims have been under the age of 20." (Source: Buzzfeed)

Given those circumstances, and the fact that men in general enjoy greater economic prowess, freedom to chart their own destinies, and a host of other intangible benefits; it is a wonder that any person born male would opt to live as a female.

Thus, when people learn about the beautiful transgender child pictured above and in the video below, the bias against females is tossed out, but an often less defined, but more visceral response is evoked. Unlike millions of transgender people around the world, the angelic child whose name is Jazz Jennings has the full support and love of her family, which has often been the only thing standing between her and the people who desire to physically harm her.

I Am Jazz: A Family In Transition, aired on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and presented a transparent view into the life of Jazz and her family; thus transmuting her from the status of "the other" to that of "human." We may not understand. We may even feel from a cultural or religious standpoint that she is anathema. But, at the end of the day, not one human has a heaven or a hell to send someone to, and we would do well to remember that despite our individual struggles we are all God's creatures.

KKK Targets Jewish Community Center Killing Three Christians

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OVERLAND PARK, Kansas -- So often, hatred is crippling. On Sunday, hatred was blinding in Kansas City. On a mission to incite terror and assail Jewish community buildings, Frazier Glenn Cross killed anyone and everyone in his reach. 

Cross, who also went by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a 73-year-old Missouri resident. This weekend, his well-documented history of ignorant rhetoric turned deadly.

The elderly man targeted the Jewish Community Campus of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom senior center, before being captured by police outside a local elementary school.

During the shooting spree, Cross killed three Christians while spouting "Heil Hitler" and other bigoted slogans. According to authorities, he had a shotgun, pistol and assault rifle at his disposal. An eyewitness remembers the perpetrator smiling as he was taken into custody. 

Among the victims were two Methodists, Dr. William Lewis Corporon, age 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood. Corporon passed away outside of the community center.

Underwood was transported to a hospital where he would later die from his wounds. The high school freshman was auditioning for a vocal competition at the Jewish Community Campus. He and his escort were bombarded outside the event. 

The third victim was 53-year-old Terri LaManno, who was visiting her mother at Village Shalom when she was attacked. LaManno was also a Christian. Cross allegedly attempted to kill two others, who escaped to safety. Certainly, the foundation of the community has been shook. 

The defendant is a veteran of hate-mongering. Cross rose to power as the "grand dragon" leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, known more commonly as the KKK. Realizing he had not reached his potential to perpetuate ignorance, Cross would later create the White Patriot Party in 1985, a group founded on anti-Semitic and white power platforms. His other lowlights include the intimidation of Morris Dees, a Civil Rights activist and lawyer who used civil lawsuits against groups like the Ku Klux Klan in a successful career that lasted decades. 

Often in the spotlight, Cross was a proud white-supremacist who shared his divisive message in television interviews and publicized Klan meetings. In 2006, he ran for the House of Representatives but gained little support. Cross tried again to gain political office in his failed 2010 Senate campaign. During both attempts, he sponsored radio advertisements lobbying his hate-filled agenda. In 1999, he authored "A White Man Speaks Out." By all accounts, the memoir is steeped in equal parts paranoia and hostility. 

According to police, Cross will appear in court on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. However, this will not be his first stint in prison. In 1987, Cross served three years after failing to comply with his bond agreement. A national search for the runaway ended in a Missouri trailer, where Cross and several others had retreated with a massive weapons stockpile. The one-time fugitive will likely spend the rest of his life in detainment. 

The Overland Park community and the nation are grieving the loss of three wonderful citizens. But the incidence has also raised serious questions about possible preventative measures. Given his well-documented history of militant behavior and criminal history, many question how Cross was able to obtain the arsenal used in this weekend's attack. As with any act of terrorism, Cross sought to alter the world outside of the small Kansas City district. Sadly, he has gained the attention of the American people. Hopefully, the collective reply will be a positive one. 

Follow Michael on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Senior Correspondent: @MAndrewRansom

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Facebook Post Sparks Attack on Buddhists

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 03:53 AM EDT, 1 October 2012

Buddhist Monk Standing Before Buddha, Photo by Ruro PhotographyCOX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh - In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed two ancient statues of the Buddha called Bamiyan in an attempt to cleanse the country of Afghanistan of what they perceived as Hindu heresy.

Today, nearly 12 years later, Buddhist temples and homes are once again under attack ostensibly to revenge an insult of Islam. At least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes of Buddhists were destroyed by an angry mob of approximately a hundred Muslims.

The Cox's Bazar area is in the southeast of Bangladesh, and has historically been a model of successful, peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Buddhists. This coexistence has been assiduously maintained despite efforts to foment dissension by agitators.

Similar to the recent violence that swept across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia in response to a video which depicted the Prophet Mohammed in blasphemous terms; the riots in Cox’s Bazar were instigated by Muslim protesters because they were outraged by a photo of a burned Qur’an which was posted on Facebook.

The photo was posted on the Facebook page of a young Buddhist boy who claimed that he wasn’t responsible for the inflammatory picture. The ability of others to post photos on user pages is fairly simple. Adept users can easily circumvent privacy settings by tagging a photo with a person's name which then automatically posts the image to the unsuspecting user's page.

The boy and his mother are currently under police protection, and in response to the violence the police have increased security presence in the area to prevent further protests from erupting.

"We brought the situation under control before dawn and imposed restrictions on public gatherings," said Salim Mohammad Jahangir, district police superintendent for Cox's Bazar.

Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir described the attacks on temples as a "premeditated and deliberate attempt" to disrupt harmony. (Source: AP)

Bangladesh’s is a Muslim dominated city of 150 million people of which Buddhists comprise less than 1 percent. According to witnesses, this small population refused to be intimidated by recent events, and over 100 Buddhists staged a silent protest of the attacks in the capital Dhaka on Sunday afternoon.

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