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Passions in Poetry

Hasta Cuando?

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Bob K
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75 posted 01-18-2008 04:53 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Nobody now alive committed the atrocities in question.  Most of us, except the indians, have derived and continue to derive benefit from them.  I wonder how the Indians feel about their current status under the BIA, and exactly what their current status actually is.  I wonder how I would feel were I to share such a status under law; and what anybody here would feel, were the folks in charge Russians or Swedes or Chinese, or Greeks, or Germans.  I can't imagine my feelings going away after a hundred years.

     Look, it's coming up time for Easter, pegged to Jewish Passover.  The Jews make and have made a point of remembering a time of captivity and slavery for over 3000 years.  Are we actually expecting Indians to get over it this quickly?  At all?    

     Their recourse to Law is real, it must be acknowledged, but it's somebody else's Law now, isn't it?  How would the U.S. Government feel about turning over the adjudication of some of these cases about Indian property rights to the jurisdiction of Indian Courts using Indian Law?  I can imagine the howls of protest now.  They would probably be about the prejudice of the Indian Courts and how such courts should recuse themselves.

     I am climbing into the stratosphere of the hypothetical here, aren't I?  Please forgive me.  The point of this is that United States courts, for all their attempts at objectivity, look back at hundreds of years of ill-advised Indians being forced into gun-at-their-head deals by people who know how to cross their legal t's and dot their legal i's and the whole notion of actual justice not only takes of her blindfold but leaves the building.

A few thoughts.  BobK.
TomMark
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76 posted 01-18-2008 05:18 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

If there is a chance to make peace or mending then make them. people do have memories and unwanted past.
Brad
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77 posted 01-18-2008 05:31 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Their recourse to Law is real, it must be acknowledged, but it's somebody else's Law now, isn't it?  How would the U.S. Government feel about turning over the adjudication of some of these cases about Indian property rights to the jurisdiction of Indian Courts using Indian Law?  I can imagine the howls of protest now.  They would probably be about the prejudice of the Indian Courts and how such courts should recuse themselves.


Hasn't this question already been answered in  a different context? We call them SOFA's.

I'm not banging on SOFA's, I see very good reasons for having them, but, at the very least, issues of sovereignty are getting a little murky these days.

Or perhaps they've always been like that.
TomMark
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78 posted 01-18-2008 06:00 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Sir Brad,
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=112395
http://www.kimsoft.com/2002/how_two_korean_girls_were_killed.htm
Brad
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79 posted 01-18-2008 06:16 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yes, that was the incident I was thinking about, I just didn't want to get this thread ( ) too far off subject.

TomMark
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80 posted 01-18-2008 06:18 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

don' want you to get hurt and hurt again on sofa.

[This message has been edited by TomMark (01-18-2008 08:59 PM).]

Bob K
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81 posted 01-18-2008 08:24 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

So Fa, so good.
TomMark
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82 posted 01-18-2008 08:58 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Dear Bob K, you are smart.
TomMark
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83 posted 01-19-2008 10:19 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

about political (or social) correctness.
PC in  general is away from truth for gaining  political interests. I think that they are three types of it
1. say something that is not true.
2. Does not say something is true.
3. Absolute silence.

I will find examples of them.

I think that it is one of the self-protective behavior that one yields own power to a higher power (such as owner, mainstream opinions and bullets or something life threatening) through lying. Why  lying? because there is a presence of tyrannical power. A best example is  The Emperor's New Suit.    



[This message has been edited by TomMark (01-20-2008 10:57 AM).]

Ron
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84 posted 01-20-2008 07:26 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
With regards to my example, I ask that you take it literally and not substitute Indians and European white men, you will see what I was trying to say.  If I go to a real estate broker, am shown a house and buy it and am later told that the house was being sold because the owner had been murdered, should I then feel partially guilty or responsible for his death because, in a very roundabout way, I actually benefited by his death by being able to buy a house that otherwise would not have been on the market? I don't think so...

I don't think so, either, Mike.

I'm certainly not suggesting we should assume responsibility for suffering simply because there is suffering. There are no shoulders this side of Heaven wide enough to bear THAT load. You wouldn't be responsible for the life a stranger took, any more than I would be responsible for the devastation of a hurricane named Katrina. If you treated the widow with a little extra consideration, or I contributed a few extra dollars, that would be kindness, not responsibility, humanity, not obligation.

quote:
So why the hell do the children of the perpetrators think they should be able to skate? Perhaps because they didn't commit the wrong, did not have any participation in the execution of the wrong, did not applaud the wrong?

Doesn't that just give them a lot in common with the children of the victims, Mike?

The question, I think, boils down to this: What do you inherit from your parents?

Ultimately, of course, we're talking about the intangible things, things like values, respect and admiration, a strong sense of self and family, and so much more -- but just to keep it really simple for now, let's limit our question to just the tangible and common things.

Do you withdraw all your father's money from the bank and leave his bills unpaid? Do you take the good that was your father and leave behind the bad?

I suspect it would help satisfy our American sense of justice (and I honestly do believe this is a cultural issue) if everyone in the world received a clean slate at birth, Mike. It would be equally nice if life was always fair, wouldn't it?

It clearly doesn't work that way, though, especially not if your parents or grandparents were victims. Life, we both know, isn't always fair. The son of a slave isn't born a free man with a clean slate dependent only on his own future actions. The son of a slave inherits the yoke of his father. Why should the son of the slave owner get to insist his slate be wiped clean? Does that really satisfy a sense of justice? Is that somehow more fair? Neither son has committed a wrong, neither feels they are to blame, but both I think must bear the weight of their inheritance.

The one should get a clean slate, Mike, only when both can get a clean slate. And we ain't there, yet.

quote:
I am more than willing to be held responsible for my actions and I'm conscientious enough to be able to sympathize with those who were mistreated or victimized but I'm not going to take off my shirt so they can use a whip on me.

Again with the guilt, Mike?

There's a big difference, I think, between being culpable for your father's actions and being responsible for them. You have to pay Daddy's second mortgage -- even if it means selling that shirt on your back -- but that has to be measured in terms of justice, not vengeance. You owe the debt. That doesn't mean you're guilty of incurring it. The difference may seem a subtle one, but I'm convinced it's a very real one.


TomMark
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85 posted 01-20-2008 11:24 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Powerful writing, Dear Ron, esp
There are no shoulders this side of Heaven wide enough to bear THAT load.
This is the summery of the "responsibility" of the past.  Very, very right!!!!!
How many death or who to die can bring back my grandpa and his sister?

But something is still here today. Prejudice are not only in certain groups. It is the self-proud characters. One of my Jewish friend told me that he could not walk on the street in east San Diego. He would have chance to get killed. and he was  retained for several hours almost each time he passes US customer when come back from Israel.  ( I said to him "probably you are one of the terrorist" )

if something can bring a little peace for today and future, then we shall do it.

Again, Dear Ron, powerful write. and a good title for a poem.            

[This message has been edited by TomMark (01-20-2008 12:03 PM).]

Balladeer
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86 posted 01-20-2008 01:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, your explanations are making me see things more clearly and I understand better where you are coming from.....and agree.

We get a lot more from our parents than DNA. Blacks can easily get the feelings of prejudice against them, of being "second-class citizens".They can, subsequently, develop, inferiority feelings as they grow. Does that mean they are inferior? No, but it means the feeling is ingrained. Whites can grow up with a fear of blacks? Why? One could make the argument that  the guilt or feelings of responsibility of the actions of their forefathers creates it. Do they personally feel guilt? No, but the feeling is there. Women who will swear they feel no prejudice at all  will hold their handbags a little tighter when a black walks toward them.

There is the commonly-told story of the lady in the Las Vegas hotel who stepped into the elevator after a very successful run at the blackjack table, with a sizeable amount of money in her purse. Two blacks stepped in with her, one a very sizeable person. She stood there, with the men behind her for a minute until the large fellow said "Hit the floor", at which point she dropped to her knees, let go of here purse and said "Please don't hurt me!" The man said, "The floor of your room, lady. Hit the button!" Later that night a large bouquet of flowers was sent to her room with a note...."Thank you for one of the biggest laughs I;ve ever had"...and it was signed Eddie Murphy, who was the man in the elevator, along with his bodyguard.

A cute story but it has truth in it. Those feeling do exist in  many people. For the most part, there IS a barrier. How is it resolved? Good question. I think it has been resolved in many areas. Mixed marriages, once considered travesties, are now commonplace. It takes work on both sides and I agree with you that whites need to understand the positions of our ancestors and where blacks are coming from with their actions and requests. I also agree that whites can go the "extra mile" in an attempt to rectify the past. True, there are blacks that simply use the past as an excuse for their own personal gain but there are also millions who just want to be considered on the same level as anyone else. I can understand what you are saying.

I would have no complaint about changing the song if there were a movement among blacks to have it removed. I don't think it was written from a prejudicial direction, but simply using the black vernacular of the day. I've heard the song sung many times and I have NEVER heard it sung in that manner. It is sung in the same manner we would sing any song, with the exception of using the word mammy. I've never heard the stanza sung which contains the word darkie. It is one of those songs where only the first stanza is sung and known for, much like America the Beautiful. Having said that, however, I would still support it's removal if blacks did indeed find it offensive enough...call it my accepting responsibility

Blacks did NOT complain about the song. No black organization complained about the song. Hush shows more outrage at the song than any black in Florida. This was a case of ONE man deciding he didn't want the song to remain and stuck a stick in the beehive for some reasoning known only to him....and having a state legislature jump to appease him out of fear of not being politically correct. Call me wrong but I call it silly at best...
TomMark
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87 posted 01-21-2008 12:58 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

About political correctness again in this case.
There are several conditions here.

1. Change the song based on the demand  of the black people.
2. Change the song out of historically guilt.
3. Change the song for political gain to win the heart of black people for election.
4. Change the song because a single person wants to do it because there is nothing else to do signify the State-government.
5. Don't change because that today nobody is bothered.

A PC case here shall be like this: Black people didn't think that "darkies" as a racial slur but the single one person still wanted to change the song to show that he really cared about their feelings.  

My thought

Bob K
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88 posted 01-21-2008 01:59 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

         In a trip to Barnes & Noble the other day I looked into a current edition of Webster's New College Dictionary to see if the revision had chosen to look at the word differently than my roughly 40 year old home edition.  It had so chosen.  The new version was that the word was offensive and had grown increasingly more so over time.  I thought I'd offer the update because these word searches sometimes prove interesting, because I like to present them whether they prove or disprove what I'm trying to say because I love words, and because I think you probably do too.  

     The word does not appear in Johnson, but then Johnson is pretty much exclusively a source of 18th century English usage, rather than English-American usage.

     As  for your point above that no People of Color or organizations demanded a change in the song, I believe the most that you can say here is that you know of none.
I do not know, either, the details of voter registration in Florida at the time the legislature (a probably Democratic one at that time, I am ashamed to admit)  voted the song the status we are currently discussing.

     Were I a Person of Color in Florida at that time, I don't know how well my interests would have been represented over such an issue.  During World War Two, troops of Color, I am told, were commanded overwhelmingly by white officers rather than same race officers or officers of an integrated officer corps.  This was the state of the society.  Protest over the lyrics of a state song that idealized the glories of the fastasies of the antebellum south would possibly been greeted by widespread support by the citizens of Florida, whom the depression had hit with special fury.  The acutal likelihood of the possibility to my mind seems low, though.

     The existence of feeling or protest against such a song would not only have to be there, but it would have to be reported.  It would not only have to exist, in other words, it would also have to qualify as news.  It would have to meet the man bites dog test, and in most southern newspapers of the time, headlines such as "Negroes Unhappy At Not Being Allowed To Vote!" were nowhere to be seen.  Why?  It wasn't news.  Many if not most white citizens were aware of the simmering resentment and rage over segregated schools and restrooms and literacy tests among People of Color.  The newspapers kept pretty quiet about it, again, because it wasn't news.  This is very circular, I know, but sometimes people get into these circular places as societies and even individually.

     I think the reason you haven't seen much record, Balladeer, is not because it wasn't there, but because it was so much a part of the atmosphere, it simply wasn't news.  Our ancestors did much we may take pride in, and made some really terrible mistakes that our children's children's children will have trouble living down.  Should we have to cover our faces before some of those misdeeds?

     I don't know.  I do believe that if I'm going to happily take pride in the shining legacy that America can at her best offer the rest of the world, then I can't say with any kind of personal integrity—this is for me, you understand, Balladeer, for me—that I haven't any responsibility for cleaning up the messes we've made in our attempts to learn to do things right.  It's part of what I personally need to do in order to feel comfortable looking people in the street in the eye.  It's part of that biblical routine about the beam and the mote, not that I'm generally religious in the way; but sometimes the darn book makes a lot of sense in a short space.  Yours, BobK  
TomMark
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89 posted 01-21-2008 02:04 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Two bullets of Lincoln and King, a sound from our  beloved Sir Balladeer who has a big heart, one shall learn how hard to change a thing racial related.
hush
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90 posted 01-21-2008 02:13 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Well, no, the song doesn't outrage me. But if I were a white citizen of florida, I wouldn't want it as my song either because it implies that I find the use of the word darkie (as well as the 'cloying sentimentality' for the days of slavery) representative of my citizenship and my state. I don't see why you care so much or why it bothers you so much to have a new song. So Al Sharpton and the NAACP didn't complain. Maybe they should have?
Balladeer
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91 posted 01-21-2008 03:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

But if I were a white citizen of florida, I wouldn't want it as my song either because it implies that I find the use of the word darkie (as well as the 'cloying sentimentality' for the days of slavery) representative of my citizenship and my state.

Hush, I feel very confident that at least 98% of the white people in Florida have no idea that the word darkie was even in the song...along with about that same percentage of blacks. I know I didn't..(but then I didn't know what 'cloying' meant, either).

I don't see why you care so much or why it bothers you so much to have a new song.

One has to CARE so much or be BOTHERED so much to bring a topic into the Alley for debate? As I stated, I could give two shakes about the song. What bothers me is what it's symptomatic of. I felt the same about two families out of hundreds getting the Christmas play canceled at their children's high school despite all the other families, even ones of other religions, having no problem with it. I felt the same about Speedy Gonzalez being banned by a few Mexicans claiming to be offended by it when the polls and facts showed that the large majority of Mexicans LOVED the cartoon and were against it's being banned. THAT's what I was complaining about....
Balladeer
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92 posted 01-21-2008 03:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

BobK,

We are not talking about World War II nor the time that the song was selected as the state anthem. We are referring to THIS period of time where the reporting of any such protest or controversy either by the people or by the black organizations would certainly have been reported, if they were to exist. The fact that the complaint by the ONE person which generated the change WAS given the proper news coverage bears that fact out.

It makes me wonder just how many Indians are offended by the Atlanta Braves, the Florida State Seminoles or the many other teams who have received demands to have their nicknames changed by virtue of the fact they are insulting. My guess would be the same...an extremely small amount of people making demands for the sake of publicity over a topic the vast majority of the same people would have no problem with....but that's another thread
Sunshine
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93 posted 01-21-2008 03:45 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Foster

I bring this in to shed a little light on the background of the man whose work is in question of being “banned”, or removed as the state song, by the State of Florida.
quote:
Stephen was greatly influenced by two men during his teenage years: Henry Kleber (1816-1897) and Dan Rice. The former was a classically trained musician who immigrated from the German city of Darmstadt and opened a music store in Pittsburgh, and who was among Stephen Foster’s few formal music instructors. The latter was an entertainer –- a clown and blackface singer, making his living in traveling circuses. These two very different musical worlds created a tension for the teenage Foster. Although respectful of the more civilized parlor songs of the day, he and his friends would often sit at a piano, writing and singing minstrel songs through the night. Eventually, Foster would learn to blend the two genres to write some of his best work.
Emphasis added.
Quite possibly, he was not alone in his work?
quote:
Many of Foster's songs were of the blackface minstrel show tradition popular at the time. Foster sought, in his own words, to "build up taste...among refined people by making words suitable to their taste, instead of the trashy and really offensive words which belong to some songs of that order." He instructed white performers of his songs not to mock slaves but to get their audiences to feel compassion for them.
Emphasis added.
That pretty much speaks for itself, overall.
quote:
"My Old Kentucky Home" is the official state song of Kentucky, adopted by the General Assembly on March 19, 1928.

Will Florida push Kentucky into the same venue of changing its state song?  Check out the wording of "My Old Kentucky Home."
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94 posted 01-21-2008 04:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Sunshine, for the input.

In that light, Stephen Foster and his wordings could be viewed along the same lines as someone like Samuel Clemen's, for example.
Sunshine
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95 posted 01-21-2008 04:52 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Well, that was my take on it, Mike. While I can see by "today's standards" the state song may be offensive, the song itself, through the ghost of Foster's eyes, was written for the humanity of the Black American.

Isn't that taking away Foster's right to his Freedom of Speech[writing]?

Balladeer
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96 posted 01-21-2008 05:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, I think that stretches too far. I would say the free speech of the living overrides the free speech of the dead.

If  blacks consider it offensive now, that's their perrogative and choice and, agreeing with Ron, respecting their request goes with our responsibilities of the past.

My point remains that I do not see this as a black issue so much as a complaint of one man, stirring up the hive.
Ron
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97 posted 01-21-2008 05:44 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What bothers me is what it's symptomatic of. I felt the same about two families out of hundreds getting the Christmas play canceled at their children's high school despite all the other families, even ones of other religions, having no problem with it. I felt the same about Speedy Gonzalez being banned by a few Mexicans claiming to be offended by it when the polls and facts showed that the large majority of Mexicans LOVED the cartoon and were against it's being banned. THAT's what I was complaining about....

How many voices do you need to hear, Mike? If one or two is insufficient, what number will make you feel more comfortable? Ten percent? Twenty? At what point does "that's wrong" become "okay, maybe you have a point?"

Here's a quotation you might remember?

"Unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny." Ayn Rand

I could give you a dozen similar thoughts, from the like of Jefferson to Shaw, but this one is my personal favorite:

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." James Bovard

On December 1, 1955, one woman in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. She was only one of four blacks specifically ordered to move. The other three complied with the order, and an unknown number of others on the crowded bus, black and white, failed to complain. Rosa Parks was just one voice, Mike. Everyone else was seemingly fine with the status quo.

Today's a good day, perhaps, to discuss whether Rosa Parks was right or wrong. It's a good day because the sound of her single voice would, on December 5, lead to the election of a president for the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association, a young and largely unknown minister of a local Baptist church named Martin Luther King, Jr. Ultimately, Rosa Parks' single voice of protest was joined by that of 40,000 black commuters who, for 381 days, refused to ride a bus.

My question for you, Mike, is this: At what point did segregation stop being right and start being wrong?

Many today don't remember that Rosa Parks wasn't the first black to refuse to give up her bus seat to a white. Others before her were arrested, even convicted. She was just the first to receive a whole lot of support. Did the lack of black support make everyone before Rosa Parks wrong? Did her refusal on December 1 only become right on December 5?

If one person tells me the sun is shining and fifty others tell me it's still dark, what am I supposed to do? Do I listen to the single voice? To the fifty? Personally, I say to hell with all the voices. At some point, I think I have to open my eyes and make my own call. I think I know the difference between light and dark, and I sincerely hope we've all learned the difference between right and wrong.


TomMark
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98 posted 01-21-2008 05:47 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

My point remains that I do not see this as a black issue so much as a complaint of one man, stirring up the hive.

Who got hurt the most during civil war? The mothers of Missouri. The woman who just buried her husband fighting with General Sherman was crying on the death of her son fighting along with General Lee. The frustration.

I felt like her now.

Now, the "darkies" is a slur. Will you change it? It doesn't matter that it is one man or NO man's issue. Will you present a Bill to change it?

Believe me. I have not such a gut to put myself into the front page of the news or the last page. And with the knowledge of unknown.  
TomMark
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99 posted 01-21-2008 06:00 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

---"Unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny." Ayn Rand---

Mathematically, 1/0=meaningless. So the statement supported nothing.
 
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