Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Medgar Evers, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift & Scott Beason walk into a voting booth…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 13, 2013

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

June 12, 2013, marked the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ death in Jackson, Mississippi.

Bob Dylan’s music on Medgar Evers was recently featured on NPR’ afternoon news program, All Things Considered.

As the guest spoke, it occurred to me that the primary difference between this era, and the era of the late Civil Rights leader is that the exceeding majority of today’s youthful musicians are out for the almighty dollar, rather than speaking their hearts and minds for the causes of truth, justice, and the American way.

It’s all about the money.

And according to some, there is perhaps no better representative of the “me” generation than Taylor Swift.

Historical Racist Promotional Image - Citizen's Council of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Historical Racist Promotional Image – Citizen’s Council of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Not being familiar with the body of Miss Swift’s work, I must rely upon interviews with her, and from remarks by those whom are familiar with her work. And it seems that there are many who utterly despise her work, for no other reason than that “practically every song she sings is about herself.”

And in defense of Miss Swift, regarding her work, she has said, “I’ve been very selfish about my songs. I’ve written a lot of songs by myself lately, especially since I’ve been alone so much on the road.”

There’s little denying it when remarks such as “Swift is known for her narrative songs about her experiences as a teenager and young adult” are prominently featured in your Wikipedia entry.

Whatever you do, whoever you are, young, old, male, female, Black, White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Pink, Brown, Purple, Polka-Dotted… if you are an American, or are working toward becoming an American, NEVER EVER surrender your Constitutional rights to vote.

NEVER!

Never vote for politicians or wanna’-be politicians who would subrogate that right only to enrich themselves.

And just to be certain, so that we both know and understand the meaning of the word “subrogation,” and that I used it correctly, here is the definition:

The substitution of one person in the place of another with reference to a lawful claim, demand, or right, so that he or she who is substituted succeeds to the rights of the other in relation to the debt or claim, and its rights, remedies or securities.

A public water fountain in the days of "separate but equal," and legally enforceable apartheid in the United States.

A public water fountain in the days of “separate but equal,” and legally enforceable apartheid in the United States.

There are presently radicals – predominately of the TEAPublican stripe ilk – who would seek to overturn certain sections of the Voting Rights Law, and to return the nation to the “bad old days” when non-White folks were just barely citizens, and had no rights to vote, could not marry non-Whites, and could only barely marry each other.

Little by little, those who believe in the BAD OLD DAYS are working their way into the hearts and minds of Americans, coast-to-coast.

By and through the airwaves of Radio & Television, the Internet, and any other medium of mass communication, they spew their venomous vitriol, along with covert messages of superiority, and turn our nation into a private corporate conglomerate which has the right to refuse service to anyone.

Little by little, inch by inch, they are attemping to privatize America, to remove the rights that were hard-won, for which many died in the process. And oddly enough, it’s in the South, once again.

Alabama State Senator Scott Beason, a Republican from Gardendale, has made numerous onerously offensive, derogatory, inflammatory and racist remarks about non-White people, including:

“They’re aborigines, but they’re not Indians. If Blacks take over the Democratic caucus, she’s completely disorganized. She can’t raise money from the business community.”

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State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, was nowhere near the federal courthouse in Montgomery on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, but he took center stage at the State House vote-buying trial. Prosecutors, apparently trying to pre-empt defense attacks, played recordings of embarrassing racist remarks that he made while wearing an FBI wire in 2010. (The Birmingham News, Hal Yeager)

Beason made the second Machiavellian comments about then-Rep. Yvonne Kennedy, a Mobile Democrat who he said wanted to be House speaker. Beason said he tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Republican caucus to support Kennedy.

His comments were recorded by the FBI as part of an investigation into corruption in Alabama politics, which were later played back in court and heard by jurors as part of the proceedings.

He also infamously intimated killing Hispanics in Alabama when he addressed a breakfast meeting of Cullman County Republicans’ and said in part:

“Democrats do not want to solve the illegal immigration problem because they know, this is a fact, that when more illegal immigrants move into an area, when their children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats. They like big government, they like programs, they’ve benefited from the day they were born because the child was born into poverty because mom and dad are poor.

“Liberals are always going to want to create their utopia — if they just have a little bit more tax money, if they just let a few more illegal immigrants in— they would just create this wonderful melting pot and it would all be beautiful and we’d run through the field of flowers. Well that’s not going to happen, and we have to have polices that are going to work.

“The reality is that if you allow illegal immigration to continue in your area you will destroy yourself eventually.  If you don’t believe illegal immigration will destroy a community go and check out parts of Alabama around Arab and Albertville.

“The illegals are always praised for sending money back home, ‘they are so great’, ‘such family people’. But why is it right for them to send billions of dollars home, before they even try to buy some health insurance here that you and I pay for— it doesn’t make them sound so wonderful does it? They’re basically saying, no we’re going to keep the money and you’re going to pay for what I need. Empty the clip, and do what has to be done.”

Unidentified man at United States Supreme Court building on hearing day.  (photos courtesy Jocelyn Augustino©2013 jaugustino@aol.com)

Unidentified man at United States Supreme Court building on hearing day. (photos courtesy Jocelyn Augustino©2013 jaugustino@aol.com)

Presently, the United States Supreme Court has heard oral argument, and is in the process of considering the arguments presented before them in a case that, if overturned, would invalidate the most significant part of the law.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of our nation’s most effective federal civil rights statutes. Shelby County, Alabama has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is widely regarded as the heart of the legislation.

Read the transcript and hear the oral argument in this case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Section 5 serves as our democracy’s discrimination checkpoint by requiring jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting to submit proposed voting changes for federal approval before they are enacted to ensure that they are free from discrimination. This is commonly referred to as the “Section 5 preclearance” process.

Shelby County has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case following a May 2012 ruling by a federal court that upheld the constitutionality of Section 5. In rejecting Shelby County’s challenge, Judge Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, writing for the majority, ruled that Congress appropriately extended the protections of the preclearance requirement in 2006 for 25 more years:  “After thoroughly scrutinizing the record and given that overt racial discrimination persists in covered jurisdictions notwithstanding decades of section 5 preclearance, we, like the district court, are satisfied that Congress’s judgment deserves judicial deference.”

Unidentified demonstrators at the United States Supreme Court building on oral argument day. (photos courtesy Jocelyn Augustino©2013 jaugustino@aol.com)

Unidentified demonstrators at the United States Supreme Court building on oral argument day. (photos courtesy Jocelyn Augustino©2013 jaugustino@aol.com)

In 2006, the City of Calera, which lies within Shelby County, enacted a discriminatory redistricting plan without complying with Section 5, leading to the loss of the city’s sole African-American councilman, Ernest Montgomery. In compliance with Section 5, however, Calera was required to draw a nondiscriminatory redistricting plan and conduct another election in which Mr. Montgomery regained his seat.

The lawsuit challenging Section 5 was filed by Shelby County less than one year after NAACP Legal Defense Fund  successfully defended its constitutionality before the Supreme Court in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder.  The LDF has intervened once again, to defend the Voting Rights Act.

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder on February 27, 2013.

Representative Terri Sewell has been the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 7th congressional district since 2011. (photos courtesy Jocelyn Augustino©2013 jaugustino@aol.com)

Representative Terri Sewell addresses demonstrators at the United States Supreme Court Building on oral argument day. She has been the U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 7th congressional district since 2011. (photos courtesy Jocelyn Augustino©2013 jaugustino@aol.com)

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