Monday, September 23, 2019

Fishers, Indiana Library Actually purchases a "Black" book!

Chapter 3 in my ongoing exchanges with the Hamilton East Fishers, Indiana Library.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Fishers Library actually expended someone's funds to purchase the book "Soaring on the Wings of A Dream" by Ed Dwight the first black astronaut.  Normally when I do a search request  and see that the library does not have a book by a black author or on a topic related to black people, the library has resulted to getting the book for me via interlibrary loan rather than going out and buying the book for their holdings.  I am currently reading  "Before the Mayflower" by Lerone Bennett, Jr. courtesy of a loan from Grace College to the Hamilton East library.  The college and theological seminar is located in Winona Lake, Indiana.  I admit I had no idea the college existed prior to receiving the book.

Once I saw the library had purchased Ed Dwight's book, I did wonder why Hamilton East could not have purchased "Before The Mayflower".  I am halfway through Bennett's book and it is very educational regarding the experience of black people in this country from the early days of the 1600s on forward.  So why would Hamilton East want to deprive the citizens of Hamilton County of such knowledge?  Well it might be because some of the information in the book does not present European Americans in a very positive manner. For example, I never heard of  the Fort Pillow massacre where Confederate troops slaughtered black troops who had surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee during the Civil War.  I don't think there would be much celebration of the Confederate flag if stories such as what happened at Fort Pillow were part of the history told in the American educational system.  Well, I take that back.  There might be more celebrating!

So congratulations to the Hamilton East Library for doing your part to keep purity of actions as the false landscape of European American history.  I am enjoying Bennett's book and am thankful that Grace College had the courage to purchase the book for it's holdings and was willing to loan it to the resource rich Hamilton East library.

As I come across more titles and topics by minority authors, I will be nominating the books for purchase by the Hamilton East library.  European Americans need to be given the opportunity to learn the truth about racial issues in this country.  Keeping such books away from white Americans only maintains the status quo of ignorance towards other races and their experiences in these United States of America.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Is the FBI Doing enough to combat domestic terrorism?

Twelve and counting.  That is the number of mass shootings which have occurred in these United States of America in 2019.  Somewhere, a person is planning to eclipse the carnage of October 1, 2017 when 58 people were killed and 422 others injured in one incident in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The FBI.  The vision of the "Bureau" is "Ahead of the threat through leadership, agility, and integration".

The priorities of the FBI:
- Protect the United States from terrorism attack;
- Combat significant violent crime;
- Protect civil rights

Based on the continued incidents of mass shootings, how well do you think the FBI is doing in fulfilling both their vision and priorities?  Is the FBI doing enough to gather information to paint a profile on the type of person most likely to commit these acts of domestic terrorism and then take proactive action to prevent them from occurring?

Most of these incidents have been committed by white males.  Most of these incidents have been related to use of weapons of mass destruction.  The American favorite, the assault weapon.  The assault weapon sold in the country with the self proclaimed best armed forces in the world.  An armed forces designed to protect us from attack by our external enemies.  But the armed forces is not designed to protect us from our neighbors.

That is where the FBI comes in.  The priorities of the FBI need to be redefined and clarified.  Protecting the United States from terrorist attack should be expanded and clarified to include acts of domestic terrorism.  In the 1960s and 1970s the FBI actively profiled, followed, and spied on civil rights activists, Native American activists, and members of the Black Panthers.  The redefined terrorists are now those who look like the  majority of FBI agents.  White and male.  Many of these domestic terrorists have an affinity to hate groups.  Hate groups consist of people who hide behind the United States banner of freedom of speech.  That same freedom of speech that condones and allows for hate, biases, and prejudice.

Now is the time for the FBI to have their priorities reset and their vision clarified.  Their is a serious domestic terrorism problem in the United States.  Regardless of whether the incidents are based on mental illness of the attacker, action must be taken to preempt the actions of would be mass shooters.

No, we should not take our eye off the prospect that a foreign terrorist act still can occur.  But, we now have ample evidence that our own citizens can cause more collective harm over a period of time than one foreign terrorist incident.  Our government needs to take action.  The FBI and our Department of Homeland Security need to revamp the approach to ensuring our safety.

We need protection now.  Otherwise just tell us that we are on our own.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

National Anthem Directions and Instructions

I was at a high school football game this past Friday. It was a decent late summer evening.  Not too muggy and warm. I had just finished watching the pre game team warm ups when it was that fateful time.  Time for the national anthem.  The stadium announcer directed us to stand and pay respect to our country and flag.  Instructed us to remove our hats if we had one.  At that point it struck me that we are being told what to do as if we had no choice. "You will stand, you will take off your cap, you will respect the flag and the country!"  This direction and instruction in the land of the free.

I thought to myself "why do you have to direct and command us on what to do? "  If we really respect the flag and all it is supposed to represent, we would not need anyone's directions and instructions when the anthem played.  We would simply stand once we heard the opening melody of the anthem.  The fact that we have to be told what to do seems to infer that we really don't respect the flag and the country.  Respect is being demanded from us.  We are complying because we don't have a choice but to comply.

What would happen if standing for the national anthem became optional?  How many of you would remain seated?  Why is it necessary to play an anthem anyway?  Is it to reinforce a false security in our allegiance to themes we really do not believe in?

A second thought came to mind as I robotically complied and stood looking aimlessly around the stadium. I saw one gentlemen walking out of the bleachers to an area behind the bleachers wearing a hat in the process.  I thought to myself, "now he had the right idea!"  Instead of standing via command I should have escorted myself out of the stands and stood somewhere out of sight while the anthem was being played.  Or I should have just stayed seated with my hat on, waiting for all the patriotic stuff to end.

Lastly came the thought why can't we just stand or sit quietly and say a prayer to ourselves to our Creator?  Why does allegiance to a country that supported enslaving people for hundreds of years have priority over praying to our Creator in whatever way we individually want to pray?

It all comes down to man made rituals and customs that have been forced upon us.  Forced upon us in schools.  Forced upon us in the military.  Forced upon us at sporting events.  Sporting events which are supposed to be a distraction for us from all the serious parts of daily life.  What happened to freedom of choice?  Why are you compelling me to stand for a flag and an anthem which supports a country that dehumanized my ancestors for hundreds of years?

I need to follow the direction of that gentlemen I saw at the football game.  Take a stroll to the rest room or to a hallway and say a prayer.