Rosa Park, Listening To It

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BBC World Service has a marvellous programme on Rosa Parks:

“The programme also features a never before broadcast interview with Rosa Parks in which she tells biographer James Haskins what it was really like during the years of segregation in the Deep South. In this recording she describes her upbringing and the events that led her to become a civil rights activist. She dispels many of the myths that have grown up around her 1955 ‘act of disobedience’, by revealing that she had already been active in fighting against racial injustice for over a decade; and that she believed even as a child that she was the equal of any white person.”

It is available on Iplayer.

A podcast, Docs: Rosa Parks – Quiet Revolutionary 23 Feb 2013, can be downloaded too.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott site is superb.

Lest we forget, Huff Post has photos of the period.

James Meredith

I grew up listening to the radio and am a fan of BBC World Service, for all of its faults. Their recent documentary on James Meredith was superb, showing the complexities of the civil rights struggle, discussing the issue and the reality of modern America.

It is available at, A Long Walk Into History.

Downloadable as an MP3 here.

Other BBC World Service podcasts as well.

The Spartacus entry on James Meredith.

On this day in history: James Meredith barred from Ole Miss.

Huff Post.

Racism And First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs

The wedding of Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs should have been a joyous occasion, instead it shows us how racism still has hold in the USA.

The BBC has an audio clip detailing matters.

The Guardian explains:

“God’s love is colour-blind. Not so, it seems, when it comes to the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi.

Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson, an African American couple from nearby Jackson, were all set for their big wedding day on Saturday at the 150-year-old church that they have been attending regularly for months. The sanctuary of the church had been arranged, the rehearsal was set for Friday, invitations had been sent out to friends extending a “special thank you to the First Baptist Church and members”.

Then, at about 5.10pm on Thursday evening Te’Andrea received a call. Some of the congregation of the church, which is largely white, had seen a group of black women setting up the sanctuary for the wedding and complained to the pastor.

“If the pastor married her, because they were black then they would vote him out,” Te’Andrea was told. The wedding was off.

“When I got the news I couldn’t believe it at first,” Charles Wilson told the Jackson Clarion-Leader. “This is not a matter of colour for me, it’s about God, and what better place to get married than God’s sanctuary. God’s love is colour blind.”

Wilson confronted the pastor, Stan Weatherford, and asked him what had happened. According to Wilson, he replied that he had “received all sorts of phone calls, text messages, and it was just not going to happen”.

Later, Weatherford told the local channel WLBT News that weddings of black couples had never happened before in the church, “so it was setting a precedent, and there were those who reacted to that”. He added: “I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn’t want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te’Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day.”

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In The USA, Meet Arthur Jones, Antisemite In The GOP

In light of recent events I am sure we will be told that Arthur Jones is only an “anti-Zionist”, but you make up your own mind on him:

“A congressional candidate running as a Republican in the upcoming Illinois primary says the “Holocaust never happened.”

Arthur Jones, 64, a Lyons, IL, insurance salesman who organizes family-friendly, neo-Nazi events around Adolf Hitler’s birthday, hopes to be the Republican candidate chosen to run against Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

“As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV.

“The more survivors, the more lies that are told.”

A member of the Nationalist Socialist Party in his younger days, Jones took part in the Nazis’ march on Chicago’s Marquette Park in 1978. While he doesn’t deny nor repudiate his “past affiliations,” he says he votes Republican “90 percent of the time.”

“Philosophically, I’m a National Socialist,” Jones said. “Officially, I don’t belong to any party except my own, the America First Committee.”

Jones hopes three’s a charm after blowing his retirement savings on two prior congressional runs. He hopes to win the Republican primary and go on to challenge Lipinski this November. The 3rd District covers portions of Chicago’s South Side and a large swath of the south suburbs. “

Jones even gets a write up at the vile Press TV.

No, I am not in the mood to link to them. Press TV makes him sound like a moderate mainstream politician. Hmm.

UNESCO, Palestine, Syria And Julian Assange.

I think that the ultimate desire for a Palestinian state should be supported, as it is a very worthy aim. I won’t go over the arguments as Marko Attila Hoare does it far better than I could in his post, Israel and the West should embrace Palestine’s independence.

The decision today at UNESCO was a good one, however, the sour reaction from the US was not.

In related news, Tunisia has issued an arrest warrant for Mrs Arafat, presumably related to her connections with the dictator, Ben Ali.

Abuses against protesters in Syria is detailed at NBC.

Americans are worried about the gap in wealth.

The SPLC tries to help reformed Neo-nazis put their racist past behind them.

According to this report, weapons from Libya has leaked into Gaza.

George Brock looks at Julian Assange’s autobiography.

And a reflection on failing memory.