Monday, July 11, 2005

Blast From The Past

Vanderpeeps, you'll appreciate this. The rest of you, just play along.

A long, long, time ago, at a small private university far, far away (about 500 miles or so), a professor named Jonathan Farley was very angry about a building called "Confederate Memorial Hall." Traitors such as the Confederates, Farley thought, should not be memorialized in stone on such a great campus. He wrote a piece in the city's main newspaper, the Tennesseean, decrying the hall's name (article here from a small SF-based paper). A young commentator read this piece and found it interesting and sensible, except for one little part - sentences that stated that Confederate soldiers should have been summarily executed at the end of the Civil War. In agreement with the thrust of the article but disturbed by such a casual statement of destructive anger, the young commentator included a sentence about Farley's irresponsible comments in an article commemorating Martin Luther King Day.

Farley, unfortunately, became a victim of subtle censorship and was forced to move on (ironically, to a better job at Harvard). The commentator graduated and moved to North Carolina, assuming the whole issue was behind both he and Farley.

So the commentator was surprised when, on July 4th, 2005, he received a phone call from Dr. Farley. The professor, it seems, was irate about my description of his article as being "imbued with a violent rage." (One wonders why he didn't bring it up in the two and a half intervening years.) He was seeking a retraction to that sentence. Apparently, he feels it has been damaging to his reputation.

Dr. Farley, you're not getting your retraction. Even though, in the intervening years, I have come to understand that the neo-Confederate push to honor the Southern rebellion is almost always accompanied by a healthy dose of racism (read anything James Loewen wrote for a good overview of this). Even though I agree that Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and most other Confederate leaders were traitors and worthless bigots of the worst sort. Even though I understand that the black person in America is dealing with a system that is stacked against him, and even though I understand the rage that such a situation would engender.

Sure, it feels good to want to go back in time and kill the people who fought to keep you in chains. But what positive purpose does it advance? What point is there beyond simple revenge? And what about the 75% of Confederate soldiers who didn't own slaves? Or the fact that white Northerners were really just as racist as white Southerners? And what about Confederates like James Longstreet, who was involved with the Republican reconstruction of Mississippi after the war and who stuck his neck out for the rights of African-Americans at the expense of his own reputation?

I'm not saying there's no cause to be angry, or even that we shouldn't be angry. But there are two types of anger - constructive and destructive. Farley's anger, and the anger of those like him, is destructive. It serves only to divide further, to alienate those who would otherwise agree with you. But the anger of Dr. King, and of late-in-life Malcolm X, was constructive anger. Both channeled their anger into generating positive change, be it instilling pride within the black community or winning respect in the larger community. Some black militants didn't like King, but it's hard to argue with his results. I doubt segregation would have ended had Elijah Muhammad been in charge.

I understand the urge to seek revenge, to talk and act violently. I feel it whenever I see a neo-Nazi, or whenever I hear someone talk about vast Jewish conspiracies and the like. But if change is our goal, if we want to turn our world into something more just and better for all, then we must push aside those urges. We must realize that you rarely change someone's mind by insulting them, but you can by engaging them. Sadly, Farley failed to understand this. And that is why I cannot retract what I have written about him.

Let us now bury these little hatchets of ours and work on convincing people, not through words of violence and hate but through arguments, through facts, and through helping to uncover the truth.

72 comments:

Bradley said...

Jeff - that is one of the most insane things I've ever heard.

How did this guy get your phone number? Was it your cell or your land line? Is any of this taped? I would certainly love to hear it.

Scary to think this guy might have been mulling over this article for the past two and a half years. Yikes.

Ben said...

That is unbelievable! I hope he's not thinking of filing some sort of bullshit lawsuit.

Leah said...

Wow... How did you respond to that? Was he drunk or something? That's insane! It makes me wonder how he reacted to all the other people's comments about his article? Do you think he might contact you later about this blog?

Mike said...

Having Googled "Jonathan Farley" (and refusing to search more than ten pages of results) I can't find your article. One wonders how he found it. Him discovering it on the net is the only logical explanation for the phone call. No way he had old copies of Orbis and just happened to pick it up and read it. If so, that's just pathetic.

This might merit a Slant article.

Jeff said...

On the phone, he asked me to google his name and find all the death threats that have been leveled at him because of his article. I have found none so far - I'm on the fourth page. Of the first 20 results, most are math-related, some are adulatory biographies, and just two are neo-Confederate slimeballs (neither of which want to kill Farley, just insult him a little bit).

The Slant shows up at entry 38.

Eva said...

Hi guys,

I know Jonathan pretty well and he is a wonderful person. Why are you depicting him as a violent person, someone whose phone calls have to be feared, someone who is “insane, pathetic, unbelievable, scary, yes maybe even drunk”? ARE YOU ALL COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MINDS? Jonathan has no track record of violence whatsoever! He is a brilliant mathematician who loves peace and mostly cares about others! How about SUPPORTING him, rather than slandering him? Ben, you describe yourself as a ‘liberal Jesus freak’, someone ‘who wants to use his law degree for more than making money’ – well, here is your chance, - Jonathan needs your support, and certainly more your Christian love rather than your fear from a lawsuit! Lea, you say you are interested in political science, - well, here is a case that you should definitely have been interested in! Jonathan’s essay was about so much more than what Jeff wants to make it sound like. Really, Jeff, why should Jonathan have felt good about “going back in time and kill the people who fought to keep them in chains”? What a weird thought, -why would ANYONE feel good about something like this? It may hurt, however, to see members of the KKK being worhsiped, when ones own people were killed by them for no other reason than having the wrong skin color, and when so amazingly little has been done to process this history …

Barzelay said...

He contacted me recently as well. I plan on posting a full explanation of my interaction with him as well, but I wanted to do some more research on his actual Tennessean article first, re: this From The Editor of mine, to really consider whether I still agree with what I said then. Expect something in the next couple days. He contact me Saturday, June 26.

Michael said...

Hi!
I happen to like Professor Farley!
He is a good guy and deserves credit for his courage! I am definitely going to support him.
We need more like him...

Jeff said...

There is a disturbing trend here, and that is this - somehow, people such as Dr. Farley, Eva, and Michael believe that if one opposes a method for being mean-spirited and ineffective, then one opposes the goal. This "logic" is absolutely batty. Dr. Farley is right to condemn neo-Confederates - I made that perfectly crystal clear. But he's not right to include violent statements that do more to defeat his purpose than to advance it, no matter how appropriate the feelings behind such statements may be. Keep your eyes on the prize here, folks - feel-good revenge is never the answer.

Bradley said...

"I know Jonathan pretty well and he is a wonderful person."

"I happen to like Professor Farley."


Great. You like him. Yay!! Because that really has something to do with Jeff's blog...seriously.

This man a) inappropriately advocates (extreme) violence, as Jeff has said repeatedly, and b) called someone, on an apparent whim, almost three years after an article has been published, wanting an apology.

The former is all too common, unfortunately, but the latter puts this man in a class all by himself. There will always be detractors and naysayers - why bother responding? Anyone as "intelligent" as this former Vanderbilt employee would have the common sense to move on, and to let bygones be bygones.

Period. End of story. Move along, folks...nothing more to see here.

I think I'll celebrate this ridiculous tangent of blog commentary by calling up my roommates from senior year and demand an apology. I don't know for what, but get ready guys, I'M GOING TO TRACK YOU DOWN AND MAKE YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID.

Mike said...

Hey now, Bradley, what did we do? And who was the one who played Missy Elliott's "Work It" constantly?

Seriously, I hope Eva, Michael, and others understand that no one here bears any ill will toward Dr. Farley. Personally, I like him, from what I know about him. (In Barzelay's Slant article a while back, as linked to above, he says the same thing.) I agree with many of his points, and more importantly, I respect him for having the guts to write what he wrote.

Now, being a descendant of Confederate soldiers (none of whom, incidentally, owned slaves), I am somewhat glad they weren't summarily executed. But I wholeheartedly defend Dr. Farley's right to have voiced his opinion. What bothers me is that Dr. Farley, in making this phone call, does not appear to support Jeff's right to voice his own opinion in return.

Eva said...

Guys, sorry that I had to return to this blog, but you are JUST NOT RIGHT! Let me show you the sentence Jonathan wrote in his essay and which, in your view, represents -extreme violence-:

Indeed, the race problems that wrack America to this day are due largely to the fact that the Confederacy was not thoroughly destroyed, its leaders and soldiers executed and their lands given to the landless freed slaves.

Jeff claims that
-- Farley's anger, and the anger of those like him, is destructive. It serves only to divide further, to alienate those who would otherwise agree with you. But the anger of Dr. King, and of late-in-life Malcolm X, was constructive anger. Both channeled their anger into generating positive change, be it instilling pride within the black community or winning respect in the larger community. Some black militants didn't like King, but it's hard to argue with his results. I doubt segregation would have ended had Elijah Muhammad been in charge. –

Jeff, your naïve writing completely misses reality –
Firstly, - where are the positive changes induced by Martin Luther King and alike - or rather, for WHO are these so called changes positive, who benefits most if blacks do not get upset, by their past, for example? Second, if you think segregation has ended, pay a visit to ultra-liberal Boston! Roxbury, Dorchester, - there is no other term than segregation for what you will see when driving through these places. Could that be news to you??

So I am asking you (no double-standards please, - just imagine you are black): if others actually DID abuse and kill thousands of African slaves in America, then how, on earth, could it EVER be inappropriate for someone like Jonathan, whose ancestor may have been among those unjustly abused and killed, to reflect upon his history? Again, I remind you: OTHERS actually DID KILL, - Jonathan does NOT, and (for those in doubt) has no plans to do so.

I think, the root of this conversation is not Jonathan's instilling anger and destruction. That is just what you try to make it look like, while YOU are actually getting angry, maybe about your own feeling of guilt? Denial is one way to deal with it, but I think everyone can do better than that.

Ben said...

Nobody is arguing that the Confederacy was in the right. They were wrong and the cause for which they fought was evil. Even if most of the Confederate soldiers did not own slaves, that doesn't change the fact that, if the Confederacy had won, it would have been a tragedy of horrific proportions...a victory for tyranny.

Let me also say that, as a descendent of slave-owners, I am appalled and ashamed by what my ancestors have done...by the legacy they have handed down and by any possibility that I may have still benefited from that legacy.

But let us also be perfectly frank about what Dr. Farley was advocating. No, he is not committing violence. No, he is not advocating future violence. But he is saying that the Confederate leaders and every soldier in the Confederate army should have been killed. He is saying that en masse revenge killing of hundreds of thousands of men was the right thing to do.

With that, I cannot agree. And that does not make me racist.

The parallell I see is to the history of Rwanda. With the help of Belgians, Tutsis oppressed the Hutus for decades. When the Europeans finally got out, Hutus eventually got their revenge: 1 million Tutsis killed in the worst act of genocide in my lifetime. Was that justified? Was that morally right? Did that make the world a better place?

No, of course not. It simply left a deeper legacy of hatred, suffering, and fear.

And Dr. Farley suggested - in his otherwise wonderful article about the disgusting racism of neo-Confederates (whom I once mocked here: http://www.theslant.net/index.php?page=story&story_id=603) - a course of action that would be quite similar to the Rwandan genocide (revenge killing of former oppressors). In that one sentence he was wrong, and Jeff does not owe him anything.

Eva said...

Ben, - how can you compare Jonathan’s statement (referring to the Confederacy’s LEADERS and SOLDIERS) to the killing of A MILLION INNOCENT people? You imply that Confederates also were innocent, when indeed, as you yourself state, they - fought for an evil cause-!

And I am still refusing to accept that Jonathan’s sentence contains any destructive elements. It is a philosophical statement, which refers to the fact that THEY (the confederates) seem to have learned NOTHING until today, as they haven’t changed and STILL appear to be more than happy to go after blacks!

It is one thing to be loyal to your own people (and I appreciate Mike’s and Ben’s frank words about their own confederate ancestry, -- as well as their expressed disgust about racism!). But it is wrong to let such sentiments block your fair judgment.

Ben, I am sure it would be equally hard for me to accept if someone told me that my ancestor basically did not deserve to live. However, growing up in post-world-war and post-Nazi Europe has taught me to confront such issues. I can see that we, the new generation, are different. That we act most responsible when we begin acknowledging the misdeeds of the past. You, Ben, Jeff, would have to do so also; if you indirectly support these Neo-confederates by slandering Jonathan, then THAT I compare to supporting Neo-Nazis. Which, by the way, is against the law, in Europe. That’s how far extreme action CAN, and SHOULD, go in order to rectify extreme wrongdoing, as encountered by both Europeans with Jewish descent and American’s with African descent.

Please direct your anger towards those who deserve it and start supporting Jonathan. MLK's philosophy forgot to emphasize that whites should reach out to blacks, and not (only, but also, of course) conversely.

Andy said...

"“…The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us!" Frederick Douglass, 1865.

Amazing, 140 years and how much has changed and how much has not. I wonder if Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Carlos Watson, Condi Rice, (note, no athletes), etc feel like it's still the 1860s. Blacks are billionaires, senators, famous actors, all walks of life, yet to hear some of these above comments, the chains are still on, whips still flailing, schools segregated.

Douglass went on to say,"If nothing is expected of a people, that people will find it difficult to contradict that expectation." But who is it really that thinks nothing of blacks? While neo-Confederates get all the press, one must admit, they are the exception, not the rule.

Perhaps the recent comments from Wisconsin civil rights leaders can shed some light. I won't pull-quote them all, only say this: while white America still has much work to do in bridging the racial divide, perhaps black America should begin to judge itself as well: stop valuing sports over education, reduce single-parent families, curb welfare, and so on.

That constructive criticism given, I return you to the non-constructive flame war that is this post.

Mike said...

Another piece of constructive criticism: it's generally not a good persuasive technique to begin a counterargument with: "you are JUST NOT RIGHT!"

That having been said, Eva, you make some good points. However, it's interesting how you note the segregation of "ultra-liberal Boston", which fought for the North. It seems to me like racism would have still existed past the deaths of Confederate leaders and soldiers. In addition to the North, Confederate women who did not fight and their young children who probably would have been a tad pissed about the loss of their husbands/fathers and land.

The point is, we're not judging Dr. Farley's comments from three years ago anymore. Jeff (and I, and Ben, and a lot of others) respect Martin Luther King very much - for his lingering words, for his courage, for his passive resistance to white oppression in the South. To commemorate his respect, Jeff wrote his personal opinion, that Dr. King would have disagreed with Dr. Farley's words. He did not, and does not, call for Dr. Farley to retract those words.

I reiterate: my beef is not with what Dr. Farley said in his article. Rather, it is that he has the audacity (and two years later, at that!) to call Jeff and demand a retraction, to ask Jeff to surrender his freedom of speech. I respect Dr. Farley for his academic achievements, his staunchly-held and heartily-defended viewpoints. But not for this phone call.

Dante said...

Eva,

Stop constantly capitalizing for superfluous emphasis; it makes you far more annoying than you already are. I also suggest you look up the definition of 'slander' before flinging it around so aimlessly.

Disclosure: my bloodline never set foot here before 1900.

You could not have missed the point more. Presumably, Farley is all for togetherness, tolerance, and integration. If I'm wrong, read no further, but I'll assume I'm right on that assessment.

In his own words, he clearly believes that things would be better off if southern leaders and soldiers were wiped from existence (assuming the term 'executed' still means what I think it does). That is the most ultra-violent war policy in the history of mankind. No rights, no prisoners, nothing. It is the stuff of Ghengis Khan, not civilized combat, where you try to eventually win your enemy over through submission, not mass execution after the fact. What is more intolerant than forced death? It is the absolute end. Intergration requires multiple parties. How did Farley expect integration to happen if only one party fully existed? How is he so blind to the fact that violence begets violence? There is simply no reasonable basis for his comments.

What's also maddeningly funny about this joke of a person is the fact that in the link in the first post, he is photographed next to Che Guevara, everyone's favorite violence-loving murderer extraordinaire.

Easy on the Kool-aid, babe; you sound like the Sparkle Motion coach at the end of Donnie Darko.

Jeff said...

I would just like to point out that we're all on the same side here. None of us are racists, none of us support neo-Confederate ideology, and none of us deny Dr. Farley the right to be angry about what was done to the ancestors of New World black people (and Old World black people for that matter - ask a Congolese or a South African).

The problem is simply this: if the goal is to convince neo-Confederates of the error of their ways and teach them to live in harmony beside their darker-skinned brethren, is it right to tell them that they shouldn't exist? Keep in mind that that is what is said when you say "your ancestors should have been killed."

(Incidentally, my family didn't make it here until about the turn of the century.)

A quick note to everyone here - King's resistance wasn't "passive" and wasn't devoid of anger. Far from it - King was, I would argue, every bit as militant as Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. Difference is, King was non-violent and solution-oriented. He saw whites not as certain enemies but as potential allies, and understood that an ideology, not a person or a group of people, was the enemy. That was the beauty of it.

Also, Eva, I think it's total crap that neo-Nazism is outlawed in most of Europe. You don't fight ideologies by attacking their subscribers, but you don't ignore them either.

18 comments - that shatters the previous record on this blog, by the way.

Mike said...

You're right, Jeff. I should have used "non-violent" rather than "passive" - peaceful was really what I meant.

I had a feeling you would make that point about outlawing neo-Nazism. Thanks for not letting me down :)

19 comments now. My blog's record is 6. My kudos to you.

Eva said...

This blog is a cold place...
We started talking about a wonderful person with great values and the sincere desire to live in a world free of prejudice - Jonathan. For a moment I thought you understood. Now, one of you calls Jonathan a -joke of a person-, and the rest counts the number of comments needed to break a blogger's record. This all is probably just fun for you. It was not for me.
Good night now, everyone

Ben said...

Because, of course, we are are all one collective who think exactly alike. Anything Dante says, clearly I think the same thing. Anything Mike says, clearly Jeff thinks the same thing.

And of course, any attempt at levity among old friends is a sign of hatred towards Dr. Farley.

Nothing I say can convince you that I don't hate Dr. Farley and in fact admire his courage, can it? Because if I vehemently disagree with one thing he says, I must be "slandering him." And then I'm one and the same with the neo-confederates who gave him death threats.

See my own blog for a further defense and critique of Dr. Farley.

Andy said...

I feel like I showed up to the event as everyone was leaving. I had so much more to add. . .

/walks away, head down

Barzelay said...

Okay, I posted in my blog about it today. Come see it and re-kindle the flame war here.

Bradley said...

Wow...23 comments so far. Even though I find myself unable to wade through all these posts, I'm glad I returned for Eva's parting masterpiece.


This blog is a cold place...

How nauseatingly melodramatic of you, Eva. You also seem frightenly unable to engage any of the other individuals involved in this discussion on the actual points.

There's some hope for you, though. I hear the Hustler is looking for writers for the Fall.


Good night now, everyone

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Dante said...

I hear the Hustler is looking for writers for the Fall.

Haha, thanks for reminding me why I never sent them an op-ed and instead put all my energy into The Torch.

Eva said...

Being the curious person I am and always willing to expand my horizon, I spent the past few days with a little investigation…

The question I asked myself, - after having had this more or less unpleasant encounter with you white bloggers (some of you sons of confederates), who claim that you condemn racism and know better than Jonathan Farley (an African-American math professor who wrote a piece where he critically spoke out against the Confederacy and the KKK) what serves the cause of blacks, - namely NOT what Jonathan has to say, - so the question I asked myself was ‘is what you write actually in support of blacks’? After all, - I thought- my ancestry is European and so I my knowledge about the current dialogue between blacks and whites in this country may just not be up to date…

In order to address my question, I took the time to show your above blog entries to a handful of African-American friends of mine. None of them knew Jonathan, nor you, of course. Here are the results:

It might be interesting for you to learn that, uniformly, I was told by my black friends that YOU guys sound like racists, namely the sort of racists who hide behind pseudo-statements and who ARE NOT and NEVER HAVE BEEN interested in an actual discussion or exchange with African-Americans; they were repelled by your statements and commentaries and advised me to stop communicating with you, because ‘-I was wasting my time-.

Thus, I guess, one conclusion that you guys could draw from this evaluation is that, if you are REALLY (as you claim) anti-racists and so very much into supporting blacks that you even feel entitled to tell an actually black guy what he should, or should not, say in order to bring blacks and whites together, that the approach you took (i.e., your way of communicating and the way you talk about blacks, the way you interpret blacks’ views) does not seem to work really well …. Which, in turn would mean, that you should acknowledge blacks’ views and change your own behavior, accordingly, if you want to be perceived consistent with your claims of brotherly support for blacks,

Alternatively, you could now explode in outrage and continue ridiculing the important issues surrounding segregation and black rights. You could continue claiming that you are right and whatever else has been said in this blog is wrong. However, that being the case, you should also admit to yourself that you are RACISTS. Do yourself the favor … it might feel liberating, - just spell it out that YOU GUYS HERE HATE AFRICAN-AMERICANS (the ‘economic entity’ of your forefathers, the slaves that were irresponsibly damaging this country’s economy by claiming their freedom…).

Watch what you say next…

Dante said...

Eva,

Curiously, what in my posts was racist, if anything?

Paul said...

Dear fellow Bloggers, I have been following the deabte over Prof.Farley's article with some interest. I am a British professor of sociology and urban studies based in London and I have spent extended periods teaching at American universities so am I very familiar with some of the passionate debates about race, history and multiculturalism exhibited here. May I first commend all sides of the debate for their passion and committment to these important 'historical' issues that obviously have such a burning resonance to our situation today. It is exactly the lack of such committment to such issues in my own country (the UK) that I feel leaves many Brits grasping for answers in the wake of the horific London bombings. While I commend both sides for their committment I must say that I see a depressing familiarity in the responses of Jeff, Bradly, Ben and others to Eva's searing critiques of white liberalism. Such liberals often feel that that there is a line that should not be crossed by Black and ethnic minority 'comrades' in the struggle and that indeed these colleagues should be grateful for their support in the first place. The feeling (never openly stated) is that black colleagues should 'know their place' and not 'cross the line'of white liberal tolerance. When black and minority freedom fighters 'cross the line' by even just hinting at more radical possibilties of change- possibilties that may involve temporary resorts to self-defensive violence or radical change that will significantly alter the balance of power- they are seen as being beyond the pale (so to speak!)and become seen as dangerous threats to polite 'peace loving' liberal society who feel more confortable with incremental change or even the status quo. What they refuse to accept is the simple but ancient truth that if you want to make an omlet you have to break some eggs. The doctrine known as 'creative destruction' has long been central to western artistic and political movements from Marxism and freemarket capitalism to modernism and poststructuralism. It means that for society to advance and for a new era or paradigm to emerge, certain elements of the old order must transform and adapt or be swept away in the tide of history. This is context in which I believe professor Farley's comments in the article must be placed- a time honored tradition of radical critique and praxis. In other words, he has been seen by some to have 'crossed the line'; stepped 'out of place'; shown disloyalty to the 'tolerance' of white liberalism; gone beyond the pale. In doing this I believe prof. Farley is the latest in a long and honorable line of dissenters and critics of the status quo both BLACK AND WHITE who have been pilioried for what they believe. For this I salute him.

Jacob Grier said...

Silly professor, this isn't about race, it's about disagreeing with a man who advocated that hundreds of thousands of people should have been executed for their part in an extremely large scale war. You can ennoble and obscure that among your academic colleagues all you like by calling it "radical critique and praxis," but I think the white liberals on this blog will continue to oppose mass death without fear that doing so means we hate blacks.

Jeff said...

Paul, your point about "creative destruction" is the point I've been trying to make this whole time. Keep in mind, though, that all the instances of "creative destruction" that have worked regarding the race issue have been non-violent. I'm thinking of Rosa Parks, of the sit-ins, of the Selma march, etc. (Contrast with the Watts riots and the like.) Dr. Farley's comments would have fallen into this category - and indeed been praiseworthy - had he stopped the paragraph at "The UDC honors traitors." Alas, by adding the bit about executing soldiers, he crossed the line from creative to violent destruction.

Point taken wrt us sounding like the "white liberals" - I gather such as those on the receiving end of Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Suffice it to say that it's not Farley's radicalism I oppose - indeed, I share it - but his unfortunate inclusion of two statements that endorsed the use of violence.

Eva, to respond to this bit of yours: "It might be interesting for you to learn that, uniformly, I was told by my black friends that YOU guys sound like racists, namely the sort of racists who hide behind pseudo-statements and who ARE NOT and NEVER HAVE BEEN interested in an actual discussion or exchange with African-Americans; they were repelled by your statements and commentaries and advised me to stop communicating with you, because -I was wasting my time-."

This is the most self-defeating attitude I've ever heard. Perhaps your friends have experienced so much racism in their lives that they expect it out of every white person that comes along, like a war vet that ducks at the sound of a backfiring engine. They gain nothing from running away and hiding. The success of the civil rights movement rested on black people channeling their righteous anger and confronting their tormentors directly and non-violently. If your African-American friends view us as tormentors, encourage them to do the same.

You may also tell your friends this: I feel that it is possible to be radical and pacifist at the same time. I detest racism and neo-Confederate ideology. But I abhor equally violence and statements that allude to it. We can disagree on the merits of such statements, but to twist my visceral reaction to violence into disrespect for the reasonable anger felt by black people on this issue when such disrespect has never been voiced? That's a low blow. For about the eight millionth time - and Eva, I'm going to keep saying this until it sinks in - it's not the radicalism or the anger I don't like. I begrudge no one the right to get angry. Hell, I encourage it - angry people are the ones who get stuff done. It's the endorsement of violence. Pure and simple.

And wouldn't it be great if we channeled some of this anger into fighting the underfunding of inner-city schools? Or the racist execution of drug laws? Or the lack of sufficient career services for the urban poor?

tony said...

I support Dr. Farley's article 100%. As a northerner, I'm disgusted by any statue or building that honors either confederates or a confederacy that hundreds of thousands of union soldiers died to defeat. In addition, I would support a flag burning amendment to the US constitution that also made displaying the confederate flag illegal Some people on this blog say they don't like the statue of Nathan Forrest either, but why did you not have the courage to speak up about it two years ago?

Dante said...

Some people on this blog say they don't like the statue of Nathan Forrest either, but why did you not have the courage to speak up about it two years ago?

I didn't write about Farley 2 years ago, but from what I know, if I had to venture a guess, I would say that Forrest was never a point of contention. The posters here probably have no bone to pick with Farley if he railed against the statue. His advocacy of mass murder is an independent issue.

Eva said...

Jeff, in response to your following statement:

-- ... and Eva, I'm going to keep saying this until it sinks in - it's not the radicalism or the anger I don't like. I begrudge no one the right to get angry. Hell, I encourage it - angry people are the ones who get stuff done. It's the endorsement of violence. Pure and simple. --

Let me ask you this: - Do you consider yourself a patriot? Because if yes, your above statement surprises me, given the current US foreign policy requires at least SOME personal endorsement of aggression, or violence, in my view. However, if you really are against violence, as you claim, than how come you have no problem ATTACKING A PERSON LIKE JONATHAN FARLEY - (who did nothing but uttering an opinion that seems more than legitimate given he is black and has a hell of a lot more to say on the issues discussed than you) in such a hostile manner? Is that what you call non-violent? Or have you not heard of verbal violence yet? Moreover, was it not YOU who stated, just a few blog entries above, that ‘revenge is never the answer’? Okay, then please adhere to your own rules and stop your disrespectful comments!

I am sorry, but you guys, -- the Jeffs and Jacobs of this blog, really DO sound like racists, namely (reiterating myself) the sort of racists who hide behind pseudo-statements and who ARE NOT and NEVER HAVE BEEN interested in an actual discussion or exchange with African-Americans. I could almost bet that you have no single black friend, am I right? Or else you would have lead a totally different kind of discussion here. But you are just not serious. Not to be taken serious either.

Mike said...

Um, okay. So apparently, we "ARE NOT and NEVER HAVE BEEN interested in an actual discussion or exchange with African-Americans." Extraneous capitalization notwithstanding, at what point in these long diatribes has anyone attempted to engage anybody in a discussion about race? My advice to your friends would not to be to "stop communicating" with us, but rather, actually discuss race with us.

As it stands, and as Jacob points out, we have not talked about modern race relations in this country. The first comments were primarily against Dr. Farley's phone call which seemingly wanted to rob Jeff of his right to free speech. Only later did we get onto the topic of Dr. Farley's article itself (and here I thought that issue had been left behind two years ago). At that point, we also discovered that most of us were against the idea that hundreds of thousands of Americans should have been executed 140 years ago. Imagine that.

Fortunately, if there will be a discussion about race as it currently stands, Jeff is bringing us to it. His questions are certainly worth addressing. I definitely don't have many answers to what can be done about these issues, but I'm happy to read suggestions.

Tony, I have opposed the statue of Nathan Forrest ever since it came into existence. But as much as we may speak out against it, it was erected with private funds on private property. Personally, though I loathe the Supreme Court's recent ruling on eminent domain, I loathe that statue even more, and am completely in favor of using the Court's ruling to seize the grounds the statue is built on and raze the damn thing to the ground.

And don't let's start on a flag burning amendment. Of the people in this debate that I know personally, they would be 100% against it. Fortunately, it does bring us back to the original point, freedom of expression. Jeff had every right to print his opinion about Dr. Farley's article and, no matter how much you call him a racist, I have a feeling he'll stand by it.

Dante said...

However, if you really are against violence, as you claim, than how come you have no problem ATTACKING A PERSON LIKE JONATHAN FARLEY - (who did nothing but uttering an opinion that seems more than legitimate given he is black and has a hell of a lot more to say on the issues discussed than you) in such a hostile manner? Is that what you call non-violent? Or have you not heard of verbal violence yet?

Eva, this is nonsensical. What you call verbal violence, we here in the real world call criticism and evaluation. Nobody here has come close to advocating any harm to Dr. Farley. That fact that Dr. Farley is black does not give him any more right to pass off mass murder as a forward-thinking social policy than anyone else. It's a crime against humanity no matter whose mouth it comes from.

And knowing Jacob (don't know Jeff much), it's comical to hear him called a racist. Bizzaro World lives!

Jeff said...

Eva wrote: "I could almost bet that you have no single black friend, am I right?"

I just read your comment, and I find what you say completely ironic. Not twenty minutes ago did I just watch one of my friends - who is black - drive away from my house after spending the afternoon hanging out here. And then I had a nice five-minute chat with my (black) next door neighbors about the fireworks their kids were setting off. It's just funny to me. So I guess your supposition is wrong.

The point I've been trying to make is the following: Racism is wrong. The Confederacy was abhorrent. I just don't like violence. I guess I am guilty of being a pacifist. (My girlfriend disagrees with me - she thinks that sometimes violence is necessary. Slavery is evil, and she thinks that all slave owners should have been executed - not the kids though. Me, I would have liked life in prison, though it's hard to argue with the death penalty there.)

Eva said...

As I see it now, Jonathan's article outraged you, because the pacifist in you got angered by your own violent interpretation of one of his statements...

Well, I am also against violence, Jeff.
BUT, above all, JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS concerns me most.

I view slavery and the torture, rape, abuse, and killing of innocent, peace-loving, beautiful people (which was going on until so recently! - I have a friend whose aunt and grand mother still lived through the atrocities of the KKK, having to view exhibited body parts of their beloved ones in formaldehyde-glasses on the counter of their local grocery store, and other, most sickening things!!) as extremely wrong.

That NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS HISTORY WAS EVER TAKEN, NO SERIOUS APOLOGY OR EVEN DISCUSSION OF SOME SORT OF REPARATION ever took place, concerns me.

Your concern of violence in Jonathan's important article took precedence over all these other much more important issues, it appears. I wonder why you couldn't give him the benefit of doubt of being just as peace-loving as you and most normal people are. That you did not, but rather wrote a hostile blurp about his wonderful article, where you fall into the old stereotype that all blacks are aggressive, is where I detect racism, and that is what I reject. But maybe this discussion is also helpful for you, may help put things into the right perspective.

And Mike, let me tell you this, - your being against the idea that a few hundreds of Confederate leaders should have been executed 140 years ago is fine, AND hypothetical, because no one ever seriously wanted something like that. But has it ever occurred to you that the millions of slaves who were killed might have been against the idea of their being killed? And guess what, THEY ARE dead now.

Dante, who Eva never has a response for, said...

I wonder why you couldn't give him the benefit of doubt of being just as peace-loving as you and most normal people are.

Dr. Farley is the only person mentioned in, or contributing to, the discussion on this board who has advocated mass murder.

...where you fall into the old stereotype that all blacks are aggressive,...

Pleasepleaseplease provide a quote to support this because I must have missed it. Thanks.

But has it ever occurred to you that the millions of slaves who were killed might have been against the idea of their being killed? And guess what, THEY ARE dead now.

Ooohhhh, I see we are now on the precipice of an "eye for an eye" philosophy. How biblically primitive of you, Eva. Very peace-loving.

Mike said...

Eva, never did I claim that the fact that millions of slaves were tortured and killed didn't upset me deeply. It disturbs me that my race has had such a violent history in this country (first the Native Americans, then the African-Americans). I honestly don't know how to put the past right - I wish I did. The best thing I can think to do is acknowledge it, learn from it, and try to move on and work for a brighter future. Like Dante said, I reject the notion of "eye for an eye". Hammurabi was nuts.

And please understand that the fact that Jeff, and I, and others, disagree with what one black man said in one article does not make us racists.

Chad said...

I've just finished the quite lengthy read down to the depths of this comment page, and as much as I'd love to make a meaningful contribution I wonder if I'll be immediately typecast before my thoughts are even heard.

Incidentally, this thread has long past succeeded in proving not only Godwin's Law (as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one) but also its corollary (that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost) AND its codocil (that any intentional invocation of Godwin's law for its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful).

I only mention this to illustrate a question I've been thinking about as I've been reading: are there actually topics that are outside the scope of legitimacy in discussion? Is anything off-limits?

Maybe this makes me too much of a relativist, but I would say no provided that the speech doesn't cross the line into a credible threat against a person. I would say that if Professor Farley wants to write that "[e]very Confederate soldier, by the mores of his age and ours, deserved not a hallowed resting place at the end of his days but a reservation at the end of the gallows" then he is welcome to do so provided that he does not actually exact such violence. Dr. Farley is protected in expressing his point of view by the same right to free speech that protects us all equally, just as Dr. Farley is exposed to opposing points of view by the same right to free speech that exposes us all equally.

No one's race gives them an exclusive privilege to speak authoritatively on a subject, nor does one's race protect them from criticism in kind. Some would argue that Dr. Farley's article was a great success -- it generated interest in his campaign for public office and it led to a resurgence of public interest in the attempt to rename Confederate Memorial Hall. I would argue that, even if this is true, Dr. Farley definitely bore harsh reprecussions for his words in the form of national press, local mockery, and I suspect harrassing correspondence and death threats as well. My guess is that some, if not most, of the "backlash" to Dr. Farley's comments was hostile and threatening beyond what I would consider to be protected speech and crosses more of a line than anything Dr. Farley said in his original article. I wouldn't put either Jeff or David's articles in anywhere near the same category as actual death threats or even harrassments, but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion.

What I don't understand, what I don't think anybody understands, and what I perceived Jeff to be alluding to when he posted on this topic in the first place, is why would Dr. Farley intentionally reopen a 2 1/2 year old can of worms that has absolutely no discernable positive or negative bearing on the present? Certainly it's his right to do so; nobody is questioning that. But just for sheer curiousity's sake, why are these articles the source of present irritation, and why is refighting an old fight preferable to writing a new article or seeking out a more current injustice? At its heart, this post merely asks why -- and I suspect it's a question only Dr. Farley himself is capable of answering.

Jacob Grier said...

Way to kill the conversation, Chad. You racist!

Mike said...

Hey Chad, where did Godwin's Law come from? I love it and its corollaries.

Indeed, your question is precisely the one that I want to know. From the beginning of these long diatribes, the oddest thing to me was that Dr. Farley would call Jeff now.

I am comment number 42. That is awesome.

Eva said...

No, confederate bloggers, that’s just precisely why racism will stay with us (through you): because you always only asked the unimportant questions.

Bradley said...

Yeah, like...

WHY THE HELL ARE YOU STILL HERE??

DAnte, who Evs still never has a response for, said...

She' still formulating a response to any or all of my posts, which she has yet to counter. I have faith in you Eva. Subject|predicate. Attagirl!

Joe Machy said...

Isn't it funny, and in a hollow but yet sick commentary, that many of the comments thus far have yet to bring forth the real issue at hand-not Professor Farley, or the misguided superiors of Vanderbilt University- but the fact that an estimated 3 million enslaved Africans had lost their lives in order to fatten the coffers of Europeans who even today would deny those of African descent their humanity. Unfortunately, what my European brothers and sisters fail to realize, is that a highly educated black man's comments as those made by Professor Farley represent a historical means of defiance to a system that has been set up to destroy the lives and character (through defamation, ropes and bullets) of outspoken black men who have had the sagacity to decry oppression. My white pals, do the names Malcolm and Martin ring a bell? Well let me continue. Patrice Lamumba, Kwame Ture, and the list goes on! You see, the "real deal" is that behind your cloak of compassionate conservatism and inclusive liberal hypocrisy is the fact that although you all promote free speech, that right certainly has not been extended to blacks and the brown people of America. In essence, through your statements, the underlying theme is N_ _ _ _ _ know your place! We the descendents of slavery
are merely reactionary. The views you interpret as hatred are merely the remnant bellows of our ancestors heard in the hulls of slaving ships. The "We shall overcome" days are over. A far as I am concerned, in order to combat this scourge, requires the mentality of a Nat Turner.

Joe Machy said...

Isn't it funny, and in a hollow but yet sick commentary, that many of the comments thus far have yet to bring forth the real issue at hand-not Professor Farley, or the misguided superiors of Vanderbilt University- but the fact that an estimated 3 million enslaved Africans had lost their lives in order to fatten the coffers of Europeans who even today would deny those of African descent their humanity. Unfortunately, what my European brothers and sisters fail to realize, is that a highly educated black man's comments as those made by Professor Farley represent a historical means of defiance to a system that has been set up to destroy the lives and character (through defamation, ropes and bullets) of outspoken black men who have had the sagacity to decry oppression. My white pals, do the names Malcolm and Martin ring a bell? Well let me continue. Patrice Lamumba, Kwame Ture, and the list goes on! You see, the "real deal" is that behind your cloak of compassionate conservatism and inclusive liberal hypocrisy is the fact that although you all promote free speech, that right certainly has not been extended to the blacks and the brown people of America. In essence, through your statements, the underlying theme is N_ _ _ _ _ know your place! We the descendents of slavery
are merely reactionary. The views you interpret as hatred are merely the remnant bellows of our ancestors heard in the hulls of slaving ships. The "We shall overcome" days are over. A far as I am concerned, in order to combat this scourge, requires the mentality of a Nat Turner.

Joe Machy said...

Oh I forgot to add, that at the end of the day, you "Guys" hide behind your laws and guns. The reality is, that you emasculated males do not have the brains or the balls to tangle one on one with Professor Farley...Go and Fuck yourselves!

Dante said...

...of outspoken black men who have had the sagacity to decry oppression.

Nobody on this board has had a problem with Farley, or anyone else for that matter, decrying oppression. His advocacy of what would be no less than a major war crime by today's standards is what is troubling and totally perplexing. It's definitely a viscerally pleasing policy, but by no means is it logical, constructive, or even coherent.

From what I can gather, Farley has
yet to offer up an account of what his preferred policy of mass murder would have accomplished in terms of making America a more harmoniously integrated country. There are plenty of idiot southerners who still hold a grudge against the North's massively destructive military sweep, and take out that anger on blacks. In Farley's preferred world, there would be a similar, massively magnified effect.

Lindsay said...

Dear Bloggers,

As a Black British intellectual and long time admirer of Prof. Farley, I am both saddened and dismayed by the puerile attempts to besmirch his academic and personal reputation which I now see unfolding before my eyes on this site.

Prof. Farley, as far as I see it, is merely espousing the eminently sensible Fanonian need for “cathartic violence”, as detailed in his 1961 magnum opus “Les Damnés de la Terre”. (For those of you unable to read French, that translates as “The Wretched of the Earth”)

Your pathetic traducement of a man of great moral probity and gargantuan intellect, not to mention warmth and humanity, are truly tragic, and speaks volumes.

In addition, there are an astonishing plethora of philosophical and noetic non sequiturs in your argument which make for truly painful reading!)

Prof. Farley, as one of your country’s leading mathematicians and most incisive cultural commentators, is a veritable polymath who munificently holds aloft a beacon of intellectual liberty and truly sagacious counsel, dedicated to the betterment to humanity (especially addressing the plight of African - Americans).

In short, Prof. Farley is the Virgil to your Dante. Lost in a dark wood of white liberal confusion, beset by ontological torpor and searingly acute post-colonial guilt, when unpalatable truths disorientate your already twisted moral compasses, you flounder, arms flailing, crying havoc.

You would do well to heed his insightful Virgilian counsel, should you wish to attain a Dantean salvation.

L

Dante, (not a fake name), said...

You would do well to heed his insightful Virgilian counsel...

Which part of his cousel? The 'peace, love, and harmony' part or the 'mass murder' part? The two are completely irreconciliable and not one of his supporters on this blog has attempted to explain otherwise. Time and again I have asked for a rational explanation and now the non-responses have been reduced to a flippant, irrational excuse and thesaurus-waving praise (almost as annoying as Eva's schizophrenic capitalization).

When, if ever, one of you tries to counter my arguments, please be specific and logical. Emotion-based rationalizations do not cut in the real world of up, down, right, wrong, success, and failure.

If adressing men specifically, do not bother assailing the guilt-ridden faults of white liberalism. I claim no responsibility for that crowd.

Dante said...

That should read: "If adressing me specifically..."

sorry

Dante said...

and "adressing" should be "addressing"

double sorry

Lindsay said...

Dear Dante,

I refer to you comment about "thesaurus waving praise".

Let me take this opportunity to set you straight. We in the mother country have no need for recourse to a thesaurus when composing a missive.

Please refrain from projecting onto me your own lexical inadequacies.

Many thanks

Eva said...

DANTE, now that you disclosed you are a NEO-CONFEDERATE, why don't you hush?
There is nothing meaningful you could contribute to this blog.

Dante said...

L,

It is quite possible that the Brit educational system spends more time on vocab than the American one, so I will defer to that explanation.

Eva,

...why don't you hush? Wow, that sounds like a polite version of Blowhard O'Reilly. Way to be engaging. Do you always tell people to shut up when they challenge you? Also, which part of my posts leads you to think I'm a neo-confederate? Is it the anti-violence part or the skepticism of how one can advocate large-scale violence and a desire for societal harmony at the same time?

Lindsay, I'm surprised that after several days you have yet to posit a specific response to any points I've made about Farley's comments. Cathartic violence as a problem-solver? Please. I can understand Eva and Joe not being able to put forth a critical response, but you seem like the ready-willing-and-able type. Let's hear it.

Eva said...

Dante, I wished you were more of a challenge.

Your contributions to this blog sound like they are written by an ultra-conservative racist.

You neither know Professor Farley nor have you ever read his essay. And yet, you dare to utter your opinion - WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?

Have they brainwashed the Arcieros? Wake up!

Dante said...

Eva,

It appears that you have lost your sense of reality and possibly all concept of time and space as well, so let me give you a run-down of this thread so far:

Times I read Farley’s essay before my first post: 2
Times I read Farley’s essay since then: 1
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 1
Times Eva called posters who disagreed with Farley a racist: 1
Times I’ve asked Eva what in my posts makes me racist: 1
Responses from Eva on what in my posts was racist: 0
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 2
Times I’ve asked Eva what in my posts makes me a neo-confederate: 1
Responses from Eva on why she thinks I’m a neo-confederate: 0
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 3
Times Eva has called me an ultra-conservative: 1
Quotes cited by Eva to justify that label: 0
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 4
Times Eva had no concept of how to properly use ‘slander’: 1
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 5
Times Eva confused ‘verbal violence’ with ‘critical evaluation’: 1
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 6
Times Eva said Jeff falls into the “all blacks are aggressive’ stereotype: 1
Times I asked Eva to provide a quote supporting that claim: 1
Times Eva has provided said quote: 0
Eva’s running count of dubious assumptions: 7
Times Eva has said that I am not a challenge: 1
Times Eva has responded individually to any of my particular challenges: 0
Times Eva has attempted an ad hominem attack instead: 3
Times Eva couldn’t correctly construct said attacks: 3

Times Eva described Farley as peaceful, loving, etc: 3
Times I have said I was happy to assume such things: 1
Times I have retracted that assumption: 0

Times, after numerous requests from me, a Farley supporter here has explained how Farley’s stated inclination towards mass murder in a particular instance can co-exist in harmony with his presumed ideals of peace, integration, and brotherly love: 0

Have they brainwashed the Arcieros? Wake up!

Could you define this mysterious “they” for me?

What is your motivation

Simple, to have a Farley supporter explain how one person can advocate mass murder as a legitimate, productive, reasonable, logical, and moral social policy in a given circumstance. All I want is and answer. If I am truly not a challenge, then this should be no problem for you, despite your score of dubious assumptions. High scores don’t win, by the way. I figured you knew that, but I didn’t want you to have to add another notch on you belt.

Bradley said...

Missy Elliott - "Lose Control"

Music make you lose control
Music make you lose control

[Fat Man Scoop]
Let’s go
Hey hey hey
hey hey hey
Here we go now
Here we go now
Here we go now
Here we go now
Watch out now
(Music make you lose control)
Misdemeanor’s in da house
Ciara’s in da house
Misdemeanor’s in tha house
Fat man scoop man scoop man scoop

[Missy Elliott]
I’ve got a cute face
Chubby waist
Thick legs in shape
Rump shakin’ both ways
Make you do a double take
Planet rocka show stoppa
Flo’ proppa head knocka
Beat styla tail droppa
Do ma thang muthafuckas
Ma rose Royce Lamborghini
Blue Madina always beamin’
Ragtop chrome pipes
Blue lights outta sight
Know me sow it in
Set it in sow it in
Make dat money tho it in
Booty bouncing gon’ hit

[Missy Elliott & Ciara]
Everybody here
Get it outta control
Get yo backs off tha wall
Cuz Misdemeanor said so
Everybody (step,step)
Everybody
Everybody (step,step)
Everybody

[Ciara]
Well ma name is Ciara
For all you fly fellas
No one can do it betta

[Missy Elliott]
She’ll sing on acapella

[Ciara]
Boy the music
Makes me lose control

[Missy Elliott]
We gon’ make you lose control
And let it go fo’ you know
You gon’ hit tha flo’

I rock to the beat till I’m (tired)
Walk in da club it’s (fiya)
Get it crunked and wired
Wave ya hands scream (louda)
If you smoke den fiya it up
Bring da roof down den (holla)
If you tipsy stand up
DJ turn it (louda)
Take somebody by da waist den (uh)
Now tho it in dey face like (uh)
Hypnotic robotic
This here will rock yo bodies
Take somebody by da waist den (uh)
Now tho it in dey face like (uh)
Systematic histatic
This hit be automatic

Work wait
Work work work wait
Work work work wait
Work work work wait
Do it right

[Fat Man Scoop]
Hit tha floor hit tha floor
Hit tha floor hit tha floor
Hit tha floor hit tha floor
Hit tha floor

[Missy Elliott & Ciara]
Everybody here
Get it outta control
Get yo backs off tha wall
Cuz Misdemeanor said so
Everybody (step,step)
Everybody
Everybody (step,step)
Everybody

[Fat Man Scoop]
Let’s go

[Missy Elliott]
Everybody here
Get it outta control

[Ciara]
Get yo backs off da wall

[Missy Elliott]
Cuz Misdemeanor said

[Ciara]
So
Everybody (step,step)
Everybody (keep on steppin)
Everybody (step,step)

[Missy Elliott]
Everybody(step)
Get loose

[Fat Man Scoop]
Now put yo back on tha wall
Put yo back on tha wall
Put yo back on tha wall
Put yo back on tha wall
Misdemeanor’s in da house
Yeh Ciara’s in da house
Misdemeanor’s in tha house
(Music make you lose control)
We on fiya we on fiya
We on fiya we on fiya
Now tho it girl, tho it girl, tho it girl
Yeah, now move yo arm to tha left girl
Now move yo arm to tha left girl
Now move yo arm to tha right girl
Now move yo arm to tha right girl
Let’s go now, let’s go now, let’s go now,
Woo, let’s go
Should I bring it back right now?
Now bring it back now
Woooo oohhh
I see you C
Now see Ima Ima do it like C do it
Now shake it girl
Come on and jus shake it girl
Come on and let it pop right girl
Come on and let it pop right girl
Now back it up girl
Back it up girl
Back it up girl
Back it up girl
Woooo, woooo, woooo, go go
Bring it to da front girl go go
Bring it to da front girl go go
Bring it to da front girl go go
Bring it to da front girl let’s go, let’s go, let’s go
(Wooo)

Eva said...

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.
One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.
So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.
So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.
The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Dante said...

Excellent speech transcripts posted by Eva: 1

Totally irrelevant posts of speech transcripts made by Eva that address nothing in response to a previous post directed at her: 1

Bradley said...

Song lyric posts of Missy Elliott that make me want to lose control: 1

Posts by Eva that make me want to lose control: TOO MANY

Eva said...

Whatever more nonsensical posts you may have:

I have to remind you that this blog started with your SICKENING ATTACK against one of the most brilliant African-American, Professor Farley, who is one of the few speaking about the ongoing harassment that black Americans (still!) have to endure.

Admits all the hatred he had to encounter before and during this blog, from racists like yourselves, he has remained a caring, peace loving person who, above all, stands firmly for justice and fairness.

While it appears as if you, Dante and Bradley, have nothing left to say, I can reassure you that Professor Farley’s friends will not stop defending him against you and alike racists.

Bradley said...

From Jonathan's film consulting website, hollywoodmath.com:

"He had the second-highest grade-point-average in his graduating class."

Wow. With all the credentials this man has, he feels compelled to put his GPA information on his PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY?

What a clown.

Now Jonathan, run along and go find yourself another playground where you haven't lost all credibility quite yet.

Eva said...

My dear Bradley,

You still won’t stop harassing Professor Farley?

Come, let us see what YOUR credentials are. My guess is you were
- Mediocre in your academic performance
- Mediocre in sports
- Mediocre in writing
- Mediocre in relationships
- Mediocre, boring, mediocre.

Oftentimes, an escape from such depressing realities is (as you keep demonstrating) to go after others who are brighter and have achieved what you failed to.

My advice is to rethink your evaluation of Professor Farley. That might be a good starting point.

Bradley said...

Good idea. Let me rethink my evaluation of Professor Farley.

Yep. Still seems like a pretty lame individual.

Now back to my mediocre existence...

Dante said...

I'm back, hope I wasn't too missed. Anyways...

Eva, you continue to amaze me. So your new contention, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that you are sickened by the fact that I question Farley's singular advocacy of mass murder. Amazing.

I am also waiting for any sort of articulation from you as to what in my posts can be deemed racist. Feel free to review them and post your results. I expect it to be very short post in the form of an apology.

Ben said...

Wow, I wasn't aware this discussion - if it can be called that - is still going on.

I'm not much into name-calling, so let me just briefly respond to all the British intellectuals and their theories of "creative violence." Creative violence is still violence. And violence is wrong. No matter the race of the perpetrator or the victim.

If anybody's interested in thoughtful discussion, Jeff tried to talk seriously about race about a month ago here: http://opinionsnobodyaskedfor.blogspot.com/2005/07/revisiting-farley-flap.html

Meanwhile, at the risk of being comment-bombed, allow me to also recommend something on my blog, where I talked about my conflicted feelings about criticizing outspoken folks like Dr. Farley: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12732441&postID=112139531008392527

Please don't kill the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Eva, my friends (several African-American) think you're racist. I kindly suggest you stop being racist.

Dante said...

Ok, I've waiting long enuogh to allow for responses to my requests, none of which have been forthcoming. Sooooo.........

Victory is Mine!!!!

Anonymous said...

I concur.

Anonymous said...

I ran across this article while looking at references to JD Farley's mathematics work. I started reading the thread, and couldn't turn away from the ongoing trainwreck of logic from the whole "Boy howdy them Confederates wuz EVIL" crowd. Fascinating - absolutely fascinating.

I propose that Eva and the other anti-Confederates engage in a quick thought experiment.

Let's imagine that I have in my possession a red button that you can press which will instantaneously reach back through time and prevent Africans from ever having been enslaved.

At the press of a button, you could change past events and wipe out the legacy of bitterness and hatred and pain that resulted. UNFORTUNATELY, if you did press the button, you would also instantaneously wipe out the vast majority of living African Americans. Why? Because their existence was made possible only because their ancestors met here in the USA where slavery resulted in many tribes being mingled together. In the absence of slavery, those ancestors would likely never have met.

So here's the question, Eva. Do you press that red button, and wipe out everything you know and love right alongside all of those historical events that you despise? Or do you look at that button, and feel a profound gratefulness for the fact of your existence and your incredible good fortune in being an American citizen?

If you have any sense at all, you would not press the button. You'd be able to realize that all of us are products of our history, and that there's not a damned thing anyone living today can do to change anything that has happened in the past. Our ancestors did terrible things, but it's not our fault. It's not even remotely reasonable to imagine that all of them were terrible people, or deserved to be hung, because their actions do not match up to modern standards.

If you understood the implications of your action, I doubt seriously that you'd press that button. I doubt that Al Sharpton, or J D Farley, or any of the other Black firebrands would do so either.

But here's a thought for you to chew on - thanks to your constant moaning and bitching about the actions taken by people more than 140 years ago, there are one HECK of a lot of people in this nation who would be happy to push that button and erase the legacy of slavery in an instant - and you along with it.

How many of you other readers would push that button?