Peace and Justice

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We found our way to Montgomery, Alabama mostly because of Anne and Ron’s recommendation of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.  Also, there is a shop we thought would be able to do a front-end alignment on the bus, they are not that easy to come by.  So, the short story is that the shop kept the bus from 8:15am until almost 4pm to determine that they couldn’t do the job.

The long story is centuries old and more disturbing than we (randy and I) have allowed ourselves to believe.   The Legacy Museum is sponsored by eji – Equal Justice Initiative.  “They are committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the US, to challenging racial and economic injustice and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”

I am not sure how to share the story.  It is something we all know but often choose not to think about.  We (Randy and I) are white Americans, middle class Americans trying to live in a bubble.  Much of this story has not affected our lives the way it probably should have.  Every one of us needs to open our eyes and hearts to the plight of the less fortunate “most vulnerable” people in our communities.

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The story of course starts with the forced enslavement of millions of African men women and children being shipped against their will to be bought and sold, owned and abused.  Importing slaves became illegal in the US in 1807, but the slave trade continued for much longer.

Slavery by itself is abhorrent and should have never happened, but the belief that black people are less intelligent and unable to take care of themselves so they were being helped by being enslaved is unbelievable.  We all know about the Civil War and its “end” to slavery with the thirteenth amendment, right?  This finally happened in the 1860s 50 years after importing slaves became illegal…

End of story right, ummmm no.  During the next 100 years – let that sink in 100 MORE YEARS.  Blacks were segregated, treated as non-people, lynched, murdered, spit upon daily.  They lived and worked in the USA and were not allowed to vote or participate in government of any sort, hell they couldn’t even choose any seat on a city bus or which bathroom they wanted use.  Not all white Americans believe in the superiority of the white person, but enough did and still do to make life hell for many black people.

When slavery became illegal other means were found to keep the black people in their places.  Segregation of all public services became LAW – bathrooms, water fountains, city buses, restaurants (you know the Jim Crow Laws) – and when segregation didn’t work public lynching occurred.  Lynching is when a mob of people kill a person or multiple people for any ALLEGED offense with or without evidence or conviction for the offense.   The killing could be hanging, burning, drowning mostly in a public venue.

A large part of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice is dedicated to remembering the victims of lynching since slavery was abolished.  They have a column for each county in each state where documented lynchings occurred with the names of the victims if known and dates of the event.  It is daunting!!!

Below are some of the details of documented lynchings.  UNBELIEVABLE

 

I am sure that many protests, marches, revolts and other actions were taken by black people to obtain their dignity and worth as US citizens (originally brought here unwillingly/forcibly), but we mostly learned about Montgomery and near-by events.  Again, I know we all learned this in school, but that was a long time ago and I think this is worth revisiting.

Rosa Parks – I knew the name and story of her not giving up her seat on a city bus for a white person.  But I didn’t realize that this one act of defiance in 1955 – get that 1955, started the Montgomery city bus boycott.  Black people throughout the city refused to ride the buses for over a year.  Just imagine being so unquestionably involved in a protest that you are willing to walk to work for a year to prove a point???  And not just you but most every black person in the entire city.  Would like to think that some white people boycotted as well???

1965 – the year I was born.  March of 1965 to be exact, a constituent of about 600 people tried to march from Selma, AL to the Capitol Montgomery, AL to guarantee voting rights for black people. The march was stopped after less than a mile at the Edmund Pettis Bridge by the state patrol and other interested citizens wielding guns and tear gas.  On their third attempt with National Guard protection and judicial authority the march was successful.  Later that year in August Lyndon Johnson passed the Voting Rights Act which guaranteed the right to vote to all African Americans.  This right was granted in 1870 by the 15th amendment to the constitution of the US, but not enforced until 95 YEARS LATER….

Now that slavery is illegal and black people can vote and elect people to protect their

interests, there had to be another way to hold them down.  In the 1970s for various reasons the rate of incarceration began to increase dramatically.  Statistics as shown on the below graph speak for themselves.   How could we turn a blind eye to this???  I have heard the stories, seen the news, absorbed the gripes and complaints, all the while believing that the USA is a fair and just country that will protect its own.  Who could be more our own???

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People in my opinion this is terrorism plan and simple Domestic Homegrown Unforgiveable Terrorism.  Forget the wall stop yourselves!!!!  May we all learn and react?!?!

The incarceration rate is decreasing, but not as fast as it increased.  I am not sure what the future holds for American, men women and children that happen to have darker skin than I do, but I do understand why they live in fear!!!

Peace and Justice for all!!!

 

 

 

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Augusta, SC and GA

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Last unexpected but quite enjoyable stop with family, N August, SC.  Had wonderful visits and meals (still can’t believe there is a buffet all you can eat for less than $5) with Uncle Joe and Aunt Anne.  Dinner with Patty Jo and Eddie was such a treat we stayed an extra day to be able to see them, so nice to be flexible with our schedule.  What wonderful memories we revisited and caught up on how the family has grown, with children having children and those children having more children.  This is where grand and great grand children come from.  Looks like childhood cousins have developed into wonderful families and we are sorry it has been so long since sharing love with this branch of the family.

Family is always a piece of you and not matter the passage of time, it is just like we were together yesterday.  Enjoyed every minute and hope to do it again sometime.

Again no pictures, but much love —  GO Clemson in the Championship next week

We also visited downtown Augusta, GA across the Savannah River from N Augusta, SC they have a nice river walk along the levee on the GA side protecting the downtown area.  Not sure what flooding does on the north side??  No levee in sight…  Augusta became known in the late 1800s as a winter retreat from the cold north states, and has grown into one of the best known golf communities in America – you might know about the Augusta National Golf Tournament.

Peace and Love and Happy 2019 to all!!!

November and the Holidays

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Feels like the last two months have been running this fast…  Lots of great times and lots of hard work – sad to leave all the loving wonderful family and friends, but time to resume our adventure.

Guess what I did not pull the camera out once during our holidays.  So, unlike me, but must mean that I was enjoying the company more than documenting the moment??!!??  We spent a couple of weeks in Oak Island reliving a lifetime of memories and many lifetimes before ours.  So very cool to visit a different era, when people use to write letters, hand make clothes, make photo albums, make your own furniture, have family heirlooms and fine china.  Today everything seems so disposable…

And I am one to talk since we disposed of almost everything nonessential when leaving on our adventures.  Anyway 27 Yaupon Way holds so much love and memories with many more to come.

Back to the visit and holidays.  We really  enjoyed Thanksgiving with Aunt Anne and Uncle Ron, the entire family was there much love Rhonda Rodney Ella and Mason – Rich Leah and Regan – Hailey and Michael – Gibson and Lydia – Beth, Geneva and anyone I may have missed.  Mason left shortly after for a big adventure in Park City, UT, so  happy for him  – hope you Have a Blast!!!

Christmas was in Greensboro with the Turner, Tyson, O’Kelly families and more.  Lots of great family time, baking and painting cookies, carols including the 12 Days of Christmas with 30, dirty Santa, Italian cuisine, Chinese on the Eve, candle light church service, Christmas day gifts and breakfast, etc.  What a wonderfully special time we had thanks to the hostesses and host, Wendy Millie and Brian!!!  Loved seeing and visiting with each of you Millie Wendy Brian Hannah Patrick and Parker – Ricky Jennifer and Richard, – Robert Janice Ben and Jillian – Polly and Jerry – Dave Pam and Conner – Cindy Chuck and extended family – Josie Kimberly and extended family.    And anyone else I missed, we love you all and had a blast thank you.

Even more love to those we saw Larry and Louisa – Greg and Teresa – Jimmy – Billie Kris and Scott  – Bobbie Anne and Dave and those we didn’t see You all make us like calling North Carolina home!!!

Peace and Love and a wonderful 2019 to all!!!

 

Hailey and Michael

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Next stop HOME for quality time with the family and the joyous union of Hailey and Michael.  November 11, 2018 our family added quite a few new members thanks to Michael.  He made my sister Hailey’s dreams come true.  Finding love at any age or time in your life is a blessing, but finding it a second time can only be a gift.  Michael and his family are a gift not only to Hailey but to us all!!  We love you both and may every happiness you can imagine come true!!

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Peace and Love and HAPPY 2019 to all!!!

Atlantic, NC

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From the outer banks of NC we landed in Atlantic with good friends Ben and Felicia.  They and their neighbors David and Donna were gracious to allow us to park in the driveway with one of the best views of Core Banks in the area.  We planned a couple of days with them, but with the views, fellowship, fresh crabs and fish the couple of days quickly turned in to almost a week.  Thanks for the love and friendship.  We truly enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing visit.  I must brag that the crabs and fish were fresh each day right out of the back yard!!!  Love you guys!!!

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P. S. Nellie had a wonderful time with Ringo and Blaze, she still loves the toys they gave her.

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Peace and Love