The Black Lives Matter movement is a force. It’s been unapologetic about who it represents and has been doing the work to point out the many racial injustices that African Americans face in the land of the (kinda) free. Eight years have passed since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Since then, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbury, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and a litany of other Black Americans have fallen to racial violence. The BLM movement, which started as a hashtag in 2013, sheds light on all those killings. It forces America to sit in its savagery.
The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Alicia Garza, will be in conversation with Zora editor-in-chief Vanessa De Luca. March is Women’s History Month, but this coming together of two Black titans would be special anytime, anywhere. Find out what it took to organize the most important civil rights movement of the 21st century. And listen to what it truly means to go past a hashtag on social media.
NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058 General Meeting Time: Oct 1, 2020, 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89894541503?pwd=RnZuUE5SRTh3TUVLcmFVdVRvcDhUdz09
As leaders and public servants in the Culpeper community, on behalf of the Culpeper NAACP, also representing Madison and Rappahannock Counties, I chose to delay our response to the recent controversial posts and remarks by our Sheriff to have an opportunity to confer with our NAACP officials, as well as an opportunity to go straight to the source for clarification and intent.
The Culpeper community has flourished in building a cohesive, communicative environment, and as such, I would like to feel that we can continue in that vein. The NAACP, particularly the Culpeper Branch, has always engendered that cooperation and, more importantly, stands for the uplifting of all people. We have never in the past, nor moving forward, condoned acts of threats or harm to any community.
The remarks, as they were written and interpreted by many in our community, were harmful, hurtful, divisive in nature, and highly disappointing. As leaders, we are held to a higher standard, and whether intended or not, the comments have produced a great deal of hurt and pain to many who call Culpeper home.
We have met with our Sheriff and representatives of his office and will continue efforts to find resolve in recent issues that have impacted our community in such an astounding way. We have worked to build bridges leading to a better, more inclusive Culpeper, and are going to collectively shore up those bridges now in need of repair.
While Culpeper is not perfect, we have built, together, a safe community filled with love, support, hard workers, respect, and yes, believers. We will continue the work needed, not just talk, to participate in building a community we can all be proud of; one worthy of fighting for today, tomorrow and the rest of our lives, well beyond November.
Hagedorn’s Facebook post is not an anomaly. He has a history of racist, sexist, and homophobic screeds going back decades. Yet, major corporations that publicly champion racial justice, equality, and inclusion – including UnitedHealth Group, U.S. Bank, Intel, and Best Buy – have donated thousands of dollars to Hagedorn’s reelection campaign.
In response to a homophobic ad run against GOP candidate Mike Taylor, Hagedorn wrote, “[T]he ad really bent Taylor over with rage and caused him to go straight to the bar and get lubricated.” He derided the Supreme Court decision of Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated laws making sex between two consenting adults illegal, as “Lone Star Sodomites v. God and Country,” calling it “an abomination on par with the deviancy it attempted to condone.”
Despite this, companies that claim to be committed to racial and social justice are bankrolling Hagedorn’s campaign.
This Congressman is attacking Black Lives Matter with white nationalist talking points. These companies are supporting him.
In a Facebook post published on June 23, Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) used white nationalist rhetoric to condemn the Black Lives Matter movement. Hagedorn wrote that the Black Lives Matter movement is “at war with our country, our beliefs and western culture.” He insisted that Americans must oppo…
Times change — or rather, times are changed. Prompted by the historic, inspiring, powerful nationwide Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd — and Trump’s appalling use of the military to occupy Washington D.C. in response — Democratic leaders in the House moved forward on the D.C. statehood bill. Last week, for the first time in history, the House passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in the union. The new state would be admitted as the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth — named after famed abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass.
Why is D.C. statehood a response at all to nationwide Black Lives Matter protests? To answer that question, you’ve got to ask another: why does a geographic area in America with more residents than two states, and that pays more federal taxes than 22 states, lack any voting representation in Congress?
The answer to that question goes back long before that first D.C. state constitution draft. You could of course go all the way back to the founding of the country, but let’s jump to 1890. In that year, a southern conservative Senator gave a speech to explain why Congress chose to disenfranchise D.C. residents at the precise moment that the Black population was becoming a political force in the District. The full quote is worth a read:
“Now, the historical fact is simply this, that the negroes came into this District from Virginia and Maryland and from other places…they came in here and they took possession of a certain part of the political power of this District…and there was but one way to get out…and that was to deny the right of suffrage entirely to every human being in the District and have every office here controlled by appointment instead of by election…in order to get rid of this load of negro suffrage that was flooded in upon them. This is the true statement. History cannot be reversed. No man can misunderstand it.”
Those are the words written into the congressional record. No one can misunderstand it.
The Senate Filibuster Is Another Monument to White Supremacy
Tear it down.
Fast forward 130 years.
After the House passed the D.C. statehood bill last week, another southern Senator took the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss voting rights for D.C. residents. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas explained why Wyoming’s overwhelmingly white population of 578,000 should have two senators, while D.C.’s majority Black and brown population of 705,000 should have zero senators. Wyoming, he pointed out, “has three times as many workers in mining, logging, and construction.”
This isn’t subtle. Cotton’s message was loud and clear. No one should misunderstand it.
Now, Tom Cotton’s speech was mostly just bombast and bluster. He didn’t need to even give the speech, because he knows perfectly well that as long as Mitch McConnell serves as Senate Majority Leader, D.C. statehood will never even come to a vote in the Senate. Last year McConnell took to the Senate floor to describe D.C. statehood as “full-bore socialism.”
D.C.’s statehood may have felt like a far-away dream even a few months ago. But the Democratic House has now signaled its support. The Democratic senators have signaled their support. Joe Biden has signaled his support. If we build a Democratic trifecta this November, we could be welcoming D.C. to the Union as soon as next year. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s long — like a hundred years plus — overdue.
Ezra & Leah
Co-founders & Co-Executive Directors, Indivisible
It’s time for America to truly grapple with its legacy of slavery.
“There are those in this society that still hold on to the idea that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about states’ rights or Northern aggression against slavery,” says Karlos Hill, a professor of African and African-American studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory. “Juneteenth is a moment where we step back and try to understand the Civil War through the eyes of enslaved people.”
Why celebrating Juneteenth is more important now than ever
In many ways, Juneteenth represents how freedom and justice in the US has always been delayed for black people. The decades after the end of the war would see a wave of lynching, imprisonment, and Jim Crow laws take root. What followed was the disproportionate impact of mass incarceration, discriminatory housing policies, and a lack of economic investment. And now, as national attention remain focused on acts of police violence and various racial profiling incidents, it is clear that while progress has been made in black America’s 150 years out of bondage, considerable barriers continue to impede that progress.
The Culpeper branch of the NAACP holds its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are currently meeting at the Culpeper Business Center at 14115 Lovers Lane, Culpeper, 22701. All are welcome; you do not have to be a member to attend.