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For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
SIGNOFF QUOTE[s]: “In my work with the defendants [at the Nuremberg Trials, 1945-1949] I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.” ~ Captain G. M. Gilbert, the Army psychologist assigned to watching the defendants at the Nuremberg trials http://www.crisispapers.org/essays8p/empathy.htm (For attribution, I found this information here. Thanks to edwinrutsch3.)
“There’s a reason why you separate military and police. One fights the enemy of the State. The other serves and protects the People. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the State tend t become the People.” ~ Commander Adama, “Battlestar Galactica” (“WATER”, Season 1 episode 2, at the 28 minute mark.)
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MAIN TOPICS: TOPIC: July 14, 2020 – Primary Runoff Elections, ‘Master’ bedroom name to change due to overarching theme, Talking Loud and Saying Nothing: Unilever Will Strike ‘Fair’ and ‘Lovely’ From Its Branding—but Will Continue to Sell Skin Lightening Products, Statues are not the issue. These are ‘history wars’, a battle over the past, I posed the following questions to a mixed group of people on short notice, Removing the Statues (T.R. and Others), Frederick Douglass delivered a Lincoln reality check at Emancipation Memorial unveiling, Voting Info, July 15 Tax Deadline, MORE.
Make sure you are registered to vote! (Voting and election info are items 1 thru 6. Show information begins after Item 4.)
This program was recorded on SUNDAY, JUNE 21. If you call in, you will NOT be able to get on the air, so please do not call the call-the show. We love our callers, but unfortunately live call-in is one of the casualties of COVID-19.
- Next election is a runoff, originally scheduled for May, is now scheduled for July 14, 2020 – Primary Runoff Elections (SAMPLE BALLOT at com). CHRIS HOLLINS, HARRIS COUNTY CLERK
- Make sure you are registered to vote!
- For a personalized, nonpartisan voter guide visit VOTE411.ORG (DO NOT!! go to 411Vote!!)
- If you are denied your right to vote any place at any time at any polling place for any reason, ask for (or demand) a provisional ballot rather than lose your vote.
- HARRISVOTES.COM (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965) VOTETEXAS.GOV – Texas Voter Information
- VoteTexas.gov- Texas Voter Information
- HARRISVOTES.COM – Countywide Voting Centers
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: If you do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it, and show a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- (a) A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- You may vote early by-mail if:
- you are registered to vote and meet one of the following criteria:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: If you do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Make sure you are registered
- Make sure you are registered:Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
- IRS Announces New July 15 Tax Deadline …, By Ashlea Ebeling, Senior Contributor | FORBES.COM| Apr 9, 2020,06:54pm EDT
- ‘Master’ bedroom name to change due to overarching theme, By Raven Ambers | ABC13.COM | Friday, June 26, 2020 8:58PM
- The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) has made changes to its room descriptions on its online property database, replacing the term ‘master’ with ‘primary.’ Master bedroom and master bathroom will now say primary bedroom and primary …
- The change comes after weeks of protests for racial equality and years of discussion about changing the terminology.
- “The MLS Advisory Group regularly reviews the terms and fields used in the MLS to make sure they are consistent with the current market environment. The updates to primary bedroom and primary bath were among nine requests for review that were submitted by members and considered at the most recent meetings, including an option to show whether the property has an electric vehicle charging station and what direction the balcony faces for high rise listings,” HARS wrote in a statement about the changes. …
- Talking Loud and Saying Nothing: Unilever Will Strike ‘Fair’ and ‘Lovely’ From Its Branding—but Will Continue to Sell Skin Lightening Products, Anne Branigin | THEROOT.COM | 6/26/2020, Yesterday 7:30PM
- Spurred by increased attention to racism and racial justice, brands across all industries have scrambled to do the right thing by Black consumers. Among these companies is Unilever, which recently pledged more than $1 million in donations to social justice organizations.
- But the multinational conglomerate, which owns Dove, Palmolive, and L’Oreal, has made much, much more than that hawking skin whitening products to consumers of color around the globe. Now, BuzzFeed reports that Unilever has vowed to trike the words “Fair” and “Lovely” from its skin lightening products. …
- But there’s a catch: There are no plans to change the actual formulas of the products themselves, the company told BuzzFeed. The change is exclusively, and literally, in name only.
- Beauty standards throughout the world are pegged to skin color; in many nonwhite countries, women and femmes, in particular, have internalized the idea that whiteness—or proximity to it—is part and parcel with being beautiful. As BuzzFeed notes, these whitening products are particularly popular in countries like India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, and Ghana, where high demand has made them ubiquitous. In all of these countries, the thirst for lighter skin is pegged to white supremacy, but in some regions, this preference for light skin is also deeply rooted in classism and colonial history, where darker skin tones were a marker of low-paying, agricultural work. …
- Sunny Jain, president of beauty and personal care at Unilever, addressed the company’s culpability in reinforcing toxic, dangerous ideas about beauty and whiteness.
- The focus on language elides the actual, material effects of the “Fair and Lovely” products. Unilever told BuzzFeed that their products didn’t use two of the most toxic and common skin lighteners, hydroquinone and bleach (hydroquinone has been banned by at least three African countries for the damage it causes to the body). But [the] statement [by Sunny Jain, president of beauty and personal care at Unilever], also omits the stated promise of those products: focusing on the products’ ability to even skin tone and make it “radiant,” without mentioning their whitening effects on the skin. Here, she’s speaking in recognized beauty euphemisms: As the South China Morning Post reported earlier this year, brands will label “whitening” products as “lightening” or “brightening.”
- In April 1997, Houston City Council unanimously voted to rename Houston Intercontinental Airport to “George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston”, after George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. The name change took effect on May 2, 1997. (WIKIPEDIA)
- MIKE: I never call it that, and I’m annoyed that the name change was never put up for public discussion.
- Why was it renamed that? Probably because GHW Bush lived in Houston at the time.
- Statues are not the issue. These are ‘history wars’, a battle over the past – It can only be a good thing that national stories so long seen as established fact are being challenged, both in the US and in Britain, By David Olusoga | theguardian.com | Sat 26 Aug 201729 EDT Last modified on Fri 9 Feb 2018 13.38 EST
- … In Charlottesville a young woman was killed while protesting against white supremacists who, alongside groups of neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates and the Ku Klux Klan, chose a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee as the rallying point for their gathering.
- In the US and the UK, drab, grey monuments that, just a few years ago, we might have paid little attention to are at the centre of heated and angry debates. More than 30 US cities are in the process of removing memorials to the Confederacy, or have already done so. Each removal is accompanied by a policing operation aimed at preventing violence. In Britain, serious violence has been avoided but tempers have frayed and divisions exposed over the fates of statues to Cecil Rhodes and Edward Colston, the Bristol slave trader.
- Despite the anger and the violence, little of this is really about statues. They’re the focus, not the issue, which is probably why Donald Trump was so keen to talk about them rather than his refusal to denounce neo-Nazis. This, ultimately, is a battle of ideas. It is a new chapter in what the Australians call the “history wars” – political struggles in which versions of the past that have long gone largely uncontested are exposed and challenged. …
- The great untruth around which everything pivots is the idea that the defenders of these statues are the defenders of history and truth; while those who want to see them toppled or contextualised are the Huns at the gate, who would destroy national histories and bring down great men. …
- [S]omething potentially positive and significant is emerging because, as the new history wars play out, the defenders of statues to slave traders and imperialists in Britain, and Confederate generals in the US, might prove their own worst enemies. By choosing to draw their lines and make their stands around the defence of statues, they are accidently allowing histories that might otherwise have remained hidden to be revealed. …
- I posed the following questions to a mixed group of people on short notice:
- Tentatively, the topic is statues and monuments.
- Who erects them and why?
- Should they ever be taken down? When and why?
- What kind and how much societal consensus does/should it take to install/remove them?
- What are the long-term sociopolitical ramifications of removing statues/monuments?
- What kind of emotions — personal and societal — accompany the installation/removal of statues/monuments?
- Associated with installation/removal of statues/monuments, are there feelings of:
- Simmering anger?
- Inevitable violence (from pros and/or cons)?
- Tentatively, the topic is statues and monuments.
- In a series of Letters To The Editor in the NY Times about Removing the Statues (T.R. and Others), there is far to much to quote. I recommend visiting it. In part:
- ” … Surely the intent of the statue should be left to the man who sculpted it. In [sculptor James Earle Fraser]’s own words, “The two figures at [Roosevelt’s] side are guides symbolizing the continents of Africa and America, and if you choose may stand for Roosevelt’s friendliness to all races.” ” – High Point, N.C.
- As the author of the recent biography “Theodore Roosevelt: A Manly President’s Gendered Personal and Political Transformations,” … While the biography lauds Roosevelt for his domestic policies — particularly his drive for food and drug inspections, workplace safety, and forest, bird, animal and natural resource protection — it condemns him harshly for his lifelong racism, mitigated somewhat only two years before his death. The statue is an express depiction of Roosevelt’s racism. … – Neil H. Cogan, Whittier, Calif. The writer is a professor of political science at Whittier College.
- All people are complex amalgams of different traits. We should not stop reading the Declaration of Independence or rename our capital city because Jefferson and Washington were slave owners. The monuments we should remove are those of figures whose fame and legacy relate primarily to slavery. Different moral views prevail in different times and places; we cannot evaluate historical figures by our current sensitivities. Our moral objection to slavery is one of the few views that can be considered permanent, objective and obligatory. – New York
- … Citizens of Indigenous nations, including my own Onondaga, applaud this reckoning with the centuries of racism and dehumanization by the larger society that continue today, and know that removing statues of Christopher Columbus is essential for that cleansing to continue. The larger society needs to … realize that the symbols of that oppression go far beyond the Confederate flag. – Betty Lyons, Onondaga Nation, N.Y. The writer is president and executive director of the American Indian Law Alliance.
- We should not attempt to destroy our history. We should learn from it. I fully understand the anger of having to view statues of Confederate leaders that appear in our cities. We should follow Hungary’s lead and dedicate a park where these “memorials” can be moved. In 1991 Hungary announced the creation of Szoborpark (Memento Park), where the statues of Lenin, Marx, Engels and many Hungarian Communists hold forth. They date from Hungary’s Communist rule from 1949 to 1989. – Arthur Lieb, Boulder, Colo.
- From a writer friend quoting Thomas Jefferson: “– Should they ever be taken down? When and why?
- Yes. Thomas Jefferson answered this question over 200 years ago, writing to James Madison: “The question whether one generation of men has a right to bind another, seems never to have been started either on this or our side of the water. Yet it is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also, among the fundamental principles of every government. The course of reflection in which we are immersed here on the elementary principles of society has presented this question to my mind; and that no such obligation can be so transmitted I think very capable of proof.—I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, ‘that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living’: that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. The portion occupied by any individual ceases to be his when himself ceases to be, and reverts to the society. ~ ~ Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 9 Jan. 1790
- My friend then writes,
- “Tear them down, I say, and build new ones, and tear those down, and build more yet. The Earth doesn’t belong to those memorialized or those who decided to memorialize them.” ~ David W. Brown in correspondence to Michael R Honig, June 27, 2020
- – What kind and how much societal consensus does/should it take to install/remove them?: “If enough people are angry enough to defy police who are armed like infantrymen, I’d say that’s just the right number.” ~ David W. Brown in correspondence to Michael R Honig, June 27, 2020
- Frederick Douglass delivered a Lincoln reality check at Emancipation Memorial unveiling, By DeNeen L. Brown| WASHINGTONPOST.COM | June 27, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. CDT
- On April 14, 1876, Frederick Douglass arrived at the unveiling ceremony for the Emancipation Memorial, the statue now under attack by some protesters in Washington’s Lincoln Park.
- A crowd of 25,000, many of them African American, had gathered to hear Douglass speak on the 11th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. By all accounts, Douglass, the great orator and abolitionist, was not pleased with the monument …
- In the speech at the unveiling of the monument, Douglass gives the audience an idea of how complicated his relationship with Lincoln was. …
- Douglass criticized Lincoln as not moving fast enough to free thousands of enslaved black people:
- When he tarried long in the mountain; when he strangely told us that we were the cause of the war; when he still more strangely told us that we were to leave the land in which we were born; when he refused to employ our arms in defense of the Union; when, after accepting our services as colored soldiers, he refused to retaliate our murder and torture as colored prisoners; when he told us he would save the Union if he could with slavery; when he revoked the Proclamation of Emancipation of General Fremont; when he refused to remove the popular commander of the Army of the Potomac, in the days of its inaction and defeat, who was more zealous in his efforts to protect slavery than to suppress rebellion; when we saw all this, and more, we were at times grieved, stunned, and greatly bewildered; but our hearts believed while they ached and bled.
- Douglass said abolitionists cared little about how Lincoln proclaimed emancipation.
- “It was enough for us that Abraham Lincoln was at the head of a great movement, and was in living and earnest sympathy with that movement, which, in the nature of things, must go on until slavery should be utterly and forever abolished in the United States.”
- In the speech, Douglass concluded that despite Lincoln’s failings, he should be remembered for the great accomplishment of freeing thousands of enslaved people. …
- MIKE: History is complicated. History isn’t neat. There are three versions of history: The winner’s version, the loser’s version, and the truth. And the truth is messy. ß Me revised, June 27, 2020 Truth is not necessarily as neat as history.~ Me June 27, 2020