Civil Rights Movement
Again.May 25, 2022
Las Vegas: AR-15
Aurora, CO: AR-15
Sandy Hook: AR-15
Waffle House: AR-15
San Bernardino: AR-15
Poway synagogue: AR-15
Sutherland Springs: AR-15
Tree of Life Synagogue: AR-15
Emmett’s mom opened his casket and started the Civil Right’s movement.
Show the carnage.
Trying to reinstate the ‘94 ban after Sandy Hook attracted 12 fewer votes in the Senate than Feinstein had mustered to renew it in 2004.
See the photo Emmett Till’s mother wanted you to see — the one that inspired a generation to join the civil rights movement
By Jerry Mitchell Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting
Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, wanted the world to see “what they did to my baby.”
His body looked monstrous, as if the 14-year-old had absorbed every blow of hate delivered by his killers — a photograph that ran in Jet magazine and many other African-American publications, but never appeared in the nation’s mainstream publications.
As a result, many Americans have never seen the photograph.
It is time the world did, his family members say.
In his book, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, Juan Williams concluded that decision by Till’s mother “without question … moved black America in a way the Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation could not match.”
“It is insane that we let an 18-year old go in and buy an AR-15. What did we think he was going to do with it?!” A furious Beto O’Rourke railing on TX gun laws after interrupting The Texas Governor’s presser.
[Reporting from Garrett Haake.]
Speaking to reporters after publicly confronting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today, a furious Beto O’Rourke rattled off four “solutions” to the mass shooting epidemic that he said have “broad bipartisan support right now”:
- Banning the sale of AR-15s
- Universal background checks
- Red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders
- Safe storage laws
‘When you vote ask yourself, who running for office has publicly stated that they’re willing to do anything & everything to protect your children from the criminally insane # of guns in the U.S.?’ -Stephen Colbert
“Deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the people of the US and President Biden over this tragedy. The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and all Americans.”
New York Times front page for Thursday, May 26th.
“And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” — Isaiah 1:15
The front page of Thursday’s Uvalde Leader-News.
Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen with Krista Tippett from 2005 and posted again in context of the latest mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas.
This is the story of the birthday of the world. In the beginning, there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. Then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand thousand things, emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. And then, perhaps because this is a Jewish story, there was an accident. [laughs] And the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness in the world, the light of the world, was scattered into a thousand thousand fragments of light. And they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.
Now, according to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people; to lift it up and make it visible once again and, thereby, to restore the innate wholeness of the world. This is a very important story for our times — that we heal the world one heart at a time. This task is called “tikkun olam” in Hebrew, “restoring the world.”
Ms. Tippett:Is there a connection between the story of the sparks and tikkun olam in Jewish tradition? Are they bound together?
Dr. Remen:They’re exactly the same.
Ms. Tippett:I did not know that those two come together.
Dr. Remen:Tikkun olam is the restoration of the world. And this is, of course, a collective task. It involves all people who have ever been born, all people presently alive, all people yet to be born. We are all healers of the world.
And that story opens a sense of possibility. It’s not about healing the world by making a huge difference. It’s about healing the world that touches you, that’s around you.
Dr. Remen:Well, I don’t want to talk politics here. I’m not a person who is a political person in the usual sense of that word. But I think that we all feel that we’re not enough to make a difference; that we need to be more, somehow, either wealthier or more educated or, somehow or other, different than the people we are. And according to this story, we are exactly what’s needed. And to just wonder about that a little, what if we were exactly what’s needed? What then? How would I live if I was exactly what’s needed to heal the world? I think these kinds of questions are very important questions.
Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI), clinical professor of family medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and professor of family medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. Her books Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings have been translated into 24 languages.
From Activist and author Courtney Martin.
We belong to one another
and we can do so much better
I dropped my kids off at school today for their last days of kindergarten and 2nd grade. In a couple of hours, I will go back for a little kindergarten promotion ceremony and party for our Stella. She wore a hand-me-down dress with a suit vest over it—her own transcendent definition of “looking fancy.”
Maya is beyond excited because we are having a playdate this afternoon with her two best friends—Layla and Misgana. They have dubbed themselves the MALS and written an original song, choreographed an original dance, and of course, created the requisite secret handshake. This is a layered expression of their devotion for one another, a sentiment I remember so well from being that age and falling madly in love with my friends and the feeling of belonging to a few people.
The 21 people who were murdered yesterday by someone carrying an AK-47 belonged to so many people. The 10 people murdered last Saturday belonged to so many people.
As I oscillate in and out of being able to think and feel this morning, I keep reminding myself: the 19 children murdered yesterday are no less real than my two girls. Their caregivers are no less real than me. Their teachers—two now dead—are no less real than Ms. Galvin and Ms. Price and all the other teachers I have come to respect so much.
If I sit with that—our equal and shared realness—I feel like a Redwood, burned out from the inside, like I’m here, but there is nothing left inside of me that can be solid in the face of that level of real loss. I imagine what it would be like if I were the mother of one of the murdered children. I can only imagine I would be in a coma—spontaneously or by some kind of medical intervention. I know people survive profound loss, and yet, I am incapable of imagining myself opening my eyes ever again if one of my daughter’s was murdered, much less my heart or my mouth.
And then I think of the parents of the Sandy Hook victims—how they did, somehow, manage to open their hearts and mouths again. And how this day must feel to them.
I think of the teachers—the trauma on top of trauma on top of trauma they have been shouldering. The absence and outburst and tears they have been meeting with resilience and unconditional love and an eternal commitment to learning.
I think of the first responders who had to walk into that school and witness those little bodies, into that supermarket and witness those innocent victims. What will they do with those images burned into their minds?
I’ve been trying to do my work this morning, which I can justify has some linkage with building a better world, a better country, but part of me just feels like we should all be lying in the streets right now, refusing to move one more muscle, toast one more waffle, tweet one more tweet, until our kids can expect to live through a day at school and our aunties and uncles to pick up groceries without fearing for their lives.
Some people in this country, as I understand it, are preparing for a kind of war. A race war. Maybe a war for their own sense of superiority in a country with a changing demographic, their sense of control in a season of so little of it, their sense of invincibility when we are all objectively so vulnerable.
I am preparing for a long-awaited after school play date between three girls whose families come from different countries, speak different languages, and yet their love for one another is evident in hand slaps and coordinated spins. I am preparing to hear 25 five-year-olds sing this song, which may, in fact, prove too tender on a day where I am so excruciatingly tender already.
Which is to say, I am preparing for love and care and a fierce resistance to anybody who tries to normalize this level of loss. Death comes for all of us. We have a lot of work to do in acknowledging that vulnerability.
But death by AK-47 need not come for any of us. We have a moral mandate, long neglected, to make that truth undeniable. If it takes donation, walk-out, laying down in the street to make that clear, whatever it takes, I’m there, beside you, tender as hell.
Take care of yourself today. Gather with others. Rely on your rituals or make them up. We belong to each other.
And a beautiful letter to our collective compassion from faith healer, author, and documentarian Valerie Kaur.
Oh my loves.
What does it feel like in your body? For me – like a primal scream that won’t stop. When the death toll in Uvalde climbed to 19 children, I knew I had to wash the tears from my face and go downstairs and hug my babies and get them to bed. I wondered: Is the heart big enough to hold this? All this grief. All this rage. All the joy in their faces. My ancestors said: Oh my love, Yes. That is the heart we gave you.
That is the heart they gave us.
If you can’t function, it’s OK. If you can’t feel, it’s OK. If you can’t find your breath, it’s OK. Your breathlessness is not a sign of your weakness; it’s a sign of your bravery. It means that you are awake to what is happening right now: that the violence in our country is getting worse, the hate violence and the gun violence. And that the only way we will survive this – the only way we will change this – is together.
So let’s begin with a breath —
Let it come.
Hold for four counts.
Let it go.
Here’s why I believe we can change this:
Ten years ago, I worked on the ground in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in response to the horrific white supremacist shooting at a Sikh gurdwara. It was the largest massacre of Sikhs on this soil. I remember looking into the open caskets of people who looked like my family, and feeling like I was going to fall into the abyss. Then the doors of the gym opened, and people started to flood in for the memorial. Thousands of people. They didn’t even know us, but they showed up to grieve with us. You don’t have to know people in order to grieve with them; you grieve with them in order to know them. And because they grieved with us, many stayed to organize with us. And together, we changed federal hate crimes policy within the year.
After months in Oak Creek, my husband and I boarded a plane home to Connecticut. I was relieved to go home and ready for rest. But as soon as the plane touched the ground, my phone blew up with the news: A shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We didn’t go home. We went straight to a church in Newtown to grieve with people we did not know. I had left the site of one mass shooting only to go home to another.
In one massacre, the gunman hated us. In the next, the gunman hated himself. Both men had cut himself themselves off from humanity, others and their own.
This week – the same pattern. The news of Uvalde broke an hour before I was about to speak at an event about solidarity in the wake of Buffalo. Once again, we were all hurled from the site of one mass shooting to another. The gunmen in these shootings weren’t even born when many of us began this work. What do we do with when the violence is generational – and firearms are making killing more efficient?
#1 We need gun safety legislation absolutely. The majority of Americans want background checks. A handful of Senators are holding the nation hostage. But we are not helpless. Other countries have taken dramatic steps to save lives after mass shootings. So can we. Scroll down for immediate actions.
#2 We need to build beloved community where we are. We need a shift in culture and consciousness, block by block, heart to heart. I believe we can make every school, every house, every workplace, every community a place where we where we leave no one outside our circle of care, where we help one another be brave and whole. We can become the medicine that stops violence at its root. We can do this by putting love into practice.
What is your role right now?
GRIEVE: What is the shape of grief in your body? If you feel the primal scream in you, this is the time to make space for healing. Let yourself touch the sorrow, rest and breathe. Don’t isolate. Show up to a healing circle at your school with parents and teachers. Organize one if needed. Go to vigils. Be with people who make you feel safe. Let in softness and love into the places that ache. Make space to just to stop — and feel this together.
RAGE: What is the force of rage in your body? Notice where you are constricted, tense, or numb. Now move that energy – curse, scream, shake, dance, run. Don’t choke down your rage. Or let it fester. Be with people who can honor this rage and process it in safe containers. Your rage carries information – what is it telling you? You have something to fight for. You have a role to play, and no role is too small.
FIGHT: What courageous step are you ready to take? Do not swallow the lie that nothing can be done. You have a sphere of influence. Every choice we make – every word, every action, every encounter – co-creates culture and shapes what happens next. Will you use your voice, your art, your story, your money, your power, your heart?
REIMAGINE: What is the world you want? What does beloved community look like, feel like? We can only live into what we imagine. Protect time and space to dream and dream big. Then take one step toward that dream.
BREATHE: How will you breathe today? This is the work of a lifetime. Our lifetime. Take time to rest, step away from the news, nourish your body and your beloveds. Remember the wisdom of the midwife: Breathe, my love, then push. When joy comes, let it come. In joy, we presage the world to come.
Imagine that one day we look back on this era in our nation’s history with regret that it took so long to save the lives of our children – and relief that we were the ones who finally put an end to the carnage.
I believe that world is possible. Believe with me. Breathe with me – choose one thing above – now push.
In Chardi Kala – even in darkness, ever-rising spirits,
Pathos, compassion, and pleas. Please watch, and share.
Jimmy responds to the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and talks about 89% of Americans wanting background checks, our cowardly leaders listening to the NRA instead of the people they actually represent, firearms becoming the #1 leading cause of death for American children and teens, Ted Cruz speaking at an NRA event this weekend, the 27 school shootings so far this year in America, and making sure that lawmakers do something about common-sense gun laws. If you can, please support Everytown in their fight against gun violence. https://www.everytown.org/
“To do nothing about this ongoing carnage is a sin.”
Talk about it, act, in every community, in every state. The politicians, elected, won’t. Have not. Will not. We must.
- Background checks.
- Gun registration.
- Safe storage laws.
- Age limits on possessing and buying w e a p o n s o f w a r.
The least, the least, we can do.
And finally, my prayer remains people will override profit in this country for the safety of people and assault weapons will be completely banned, again. Weapons of war should not be on our streets. The ban worked before, it will work again. I b e l i e v e.
“We hold the mystery of transformation…’April 13, 2018
Richard Rohr, American Franciscan friar and author
”Being on the edge of the inside…”
“Your body is not an isolated, separate entity. We are our truest selves only in community—with our ancestors (carrying their stories and DNA), our natural environment, and our neighbors. We hold the mystery of transformation…”
Today Barbara Holmes continues reflecting on the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) and their evolving, embodied way of fighting for justice:
As the millennials will tell you, “This is not your grandmother’s Civil Rights Movement (CRM).
”They are right. Although both the CRM and BLMM seek the betterment of life for black people and their communities and both resist oppression with contemplative practices and activism, they use different strategies and leadership models and seek different goals. . . .
The BLMM is a decentralized network of local organizations. . . . Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the BLMM, says, “We are not leaderless, we are leader-full.”  . . . It is difficult to infiltrate, undermine, or disrupt an organic movement that draws its power from regenerating communal cells. . . .
During the CRM, the blindness of dominant culture to the plight of the African American community meant that the message had to be delivered by one voice in language that white Americans could understand and support. Lives were at stake, and [Martin Luther] King’s biblical and patriotic references combined with his soaring oratory ignited the nation and inspired the movement.
Now, fifty plus years after the CRM, another approach is needed, and the BLMM like the LGBTQIA justice movements are updating the art of contemplative confrontation and noncompliance with the status quo . . . oppression and violence against black bodies. Today, the most respectable image that young protesters can offer is their authenticity, resolute voices, and pride in community and culture. . . . The BLMM uses disruption for transformation rather than the predictable politeness and political compromises that were part of the ordinary negotiations of social activists. . . .
They block traffic and refuse to allow “business as usual.” The response is not riot or violence, it is the twenty-first-century version of the sit-in. CRM activists got parade permits and stayed along the side of the road so as not to interfere with traffic. BLM activists “shut it down” with song, putting their bodies on the line. . . .
BLM activists are not singing “we shall overcome,” they are not saying “I am yet holding on” or “making a way out of no way” like the church mothers and fathers of old. They are saying “we ain’t gonna stop ‘til our people are free” and “I can’t breathe,” as they shut down malls and highways to stop the killing of young black men and women. [Far too often, by the very officers who are supposed to “protect and serve,” I might add.]
Rep. John Lewis & Stephen ColbertSeptember 1, 2016
August 31, 2016
Rep. Lewis joins Colbert for an interview about the Civil Rights Movement and his graphic novel series, March. Oh yeah – – and there was crowd surfing.