I’m done with domestic terrorists

Weapons of Mass Killings in America

I came home yesterday to BREAKING NEWS and a crawl announcing another multiple casualty shooting at an American school. After shouting several MF’s at the screen, I’ve had it. I’m done with these Weapons of Mass Killing. I’m done with what we are actually experiencing: Domestic Terrorism.

America is six and a half weeks into 2018. And on February 14, we watched  television screens as our youngest citizens scurried out of Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. With hands raised in the air, they tossed their book bags on a pile of other book bags while swat teams dressed in black and armed with high powered weapons, carefully guided them to safety. Seventeen people are dead, fourteen others wounded and hundreds upon hundreds of teachers, families and students are traumatized after experiencing the terror caused when a heavily armed man entered their Halls of Learning.

This Is Not Normal.Our children and educators in schools shouldn’t be “practicing  Lock Downs”. ‘Lock Downs’ are for prisons. Please, lawmakers: button your lips and stop uttering that “… this is not the time to discuss gun safety” along with your lame statement of ‘thoughts and prayers’ to the victims’ families.

It’s apparent that legislators–in states and in Washington–greedily scoop multiple millions of dollars from the NRA into their campaign coffers in the name of protecting 2nd Amendment rights. In the meantime, efforts of gun safety advocates and legislators to protect us from these Weapons of Mass Killings are blocked. Time for a different strategy against these Weapons of Killing.

Gun safety advocates often describe the NRA and their complicit lawmakers as having “…blood on their hands…”. I wish to add that some of that blood spills and splatters on to workers in the gun manufacturing industry. My message to Workers in the gun manufacturing industry: Stop contributing to Domestic Terrorism! You must realize your contribution is with every design or test or approval, or the assembling or packaging or shipping or promoting of Every Weapon of Mass Killing.  With the proliferation of guns in America, odds are that these workers are producing weapons that could mistakably kill either one of their children or spouse or sibling or parent or relative or one or more of their friends. Workers in the gun industry should consider finding a different vocation.

Florida Governor Rick Scott spoke at a press conference this morning, insisting that this tragedy could be solved with increased mental health counseling. Standing behind him were law enforcement personnel and hospital physicians whose faces displayed their painful weariness from confronting this tragedy. Sorry Gov–mental health counseling is not the solution, especially since complicit lawmakers recently agreed that individuals with mental health difficulties can purchase weapons.

I’m done with domestic terrorists, followed by chicken-shit lawmakers mouthing their thoughts and prayers every time American lives are murdered by guns.

 

A Reading List for Black History Month

Harriet Tubman Monument in Bristol Pennsylvania

This past Monday night I had the pleasure of meeting lovely residents at the Montgomery County retirement community,  Foulkeways at Gwynedd.  I had been invited to present OUT FROM SLAVERY, my lecture about the African’s diaspora that began with their capture in the Motherland and their eventual Flight to Freedom.

Many Americans often dismiss slavery as insignificant, often moaning ,”Stop living in the past! …. Move on!” The era of slavery that brought us the Civil War is an event of  importance equal to the Indian Wars or the Lewis & Clark Expedition or the Building of the Railroads or others. This was my eighteenth presentation when at every conclusion, I leave a list of recommended books–non-fiction and fiction–that tell stories of the brave people in the abolitionist or anti-slavery movements and how thousands of slaves succeeded in escaping the inhumanity of their oppressors.

To lovers of history–I offer this selection which is the tip of the iceberg featuring hundreds of other books about this era of our Nation.

BEFORE FREEDOM Edited by Belinda Hurmence. Narratives of African American former slaves interviewed in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’ Project.

THE BONDWOMAN’S NARRATIVE by Hannah Craft. This manuscript was discovered by Dr. Henry Gates, Jr. and purported to be the life of a former slave.

BOUND FOR CANAAN by Fergus M. Bordewich. Bordewich weaves the life of Josiah Henson in the struggle of the anti-slavery movement beginning in the 1800s to the 1870s.

GATEWAY TO FREEDOM by Eric Foner. A detailed history of the abolitionist and anti-slavery movement in New York.

KINDRED by Octavia E. Butler. A work of fiction by this African-American author whose published work is in the science fiction genre. This is about an African-American women living in the early 1970s transported back and forth to a plantation in the ante bellum South.

LANGHORN AND MARY by Priscilla Stone Sharp. Sharp’s research into the Stone family’s history brings the discovery of her white ancestor who married a free Black man. Taking place in Bucks County during the 1840s, Sharp weaves true events of anti-slavery and abolitionist Bucks County.

SLAVES IN THE FAMILY by Edward Ball. Ball traces his family’s legacy which begins with his ancestor’s arrival in South Carolina in the 1600s.

THE LIFE OF JOSIAH HENSON by Josiah Henson. Henson was born in slavery and eventually fled to freedom in Canada, often returning as a conductor to rescue slaves. Some of his life is written in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

THE U.S. COLORED TROOPS AT ANDERSONVILLE PRISON by Bob O’Connor. O’Connor has done meticulous research into the colored men who served in the Civil War and are buried in the Andersonville cemetery.

SOMEONE KNOWS MY NAME by Lawrence Hill. A fictional account of a former slave approaching her 60th year who recalls her life from the time she was abducted from Africa to her journey to Freedom.

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead. A fictional account of a young female slave who flees her plantation.  Whitehead creates his underground as a real train buried beneath the earth.

Curiosity always opens that door marked “Knowledge”.