“If there is any document that needs to be preserved from religious squabbling and moralizing, it is the Constitution.”
Filed under: democracy, feminism, media and democracy, politics, Uncategorized
Marian Anderson (pictured) was one of the finest contraltos of her day. She sung before heads of Europe. A piece “Solitude” was written especially for her by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, one of the most internationaly popular composers of the late 19th and early 20th century.
But when Anderson tried to rent Constitution Hall in 1939 for her Washington, D.C. dubut, the all-white women’s society and building’s owner, the Daughter’s of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), denied her because she was African-American.
When D.A.R. member and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (pictured) learned of this shameful discrimination, she promptly resigned from the D.A.R. in her syndicated newspaper column and brought in Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes (pictured) to arrange a performance for Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial.
75,000 people attended that performance, enough to fill several Constitution Halls. Four years later, the D.A.R. invited Anderson to sing at a benefit for the American Red Cross.
On January 7, 1955, Anderson became the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. In 1958, she was officially designated delegate to the United Nations. She was awarded the UN Peace Prize in 1972.
Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed delegate to the United Nations in 1945.
From today’s Houston Chronicle
June 9, 2006, 6:43AM
Grandma worried relative may be gay
Universal Press Syndicate
I have reason to believe that a young man in my family may be gay (he is 15).
I have been thinking a lot about it lately, and have been wondering if circumcision would cure it. What do you think?
GRANDMOTHER in Missouri
Dear Missouri Grandmother:
Homosexuality is not an illness, and therefore there is no need for a “cure.” I predict that your family will be happier if you accept your relative exactly the way he is, love him, support him, and stop trying to think of ways to cure him.
P.S. Circumcision is a sacred rite of the Jewish religion. If your theory were valid, then there would be no Jewish homosexuals. And yet, among the successful, gay, Jewish men who are “out” are Harvey Fierstein, Michael Feinstein, Barney Frank, Isaac Mizrahi and David Geffen — to name a few.
The U.S. Senate killed a bill backed by President George W. Bush that would have permanently repealed estate taxes.
The Senate vote of 57-41 was three shy of the 60 needed for the measure to advance. The House of Representatives had previously passed a bill to wipe out what Republicans call the “death tax.”
As Oprah Winfrey’s character “Ms Sofia” says in THE COLOR PURPLE, “dey is a gawd, dey is a gawd!”
Filed under: 1976, democracy, entertainment, gay and lesbian, media and democracy, politics, Uncategorized
Though it may be difficult to imagine a time when an American politician would have to prove to the country that he is NOT a hard core bible thumper, that time was not in fact so long ago. Flashback to 1976…
Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter grants PLAYBOY magazine an extensive interview to prove to the country that he – a Southern peanut farmer, nuclear engineer and Sunday school teacher – is secular enough to be president.
In the article that was published November 1976, PLAYBOY correspondent Robert Scheer famously asked Carter,
Do you feel you’ve reassured people with this interview, people who are uneasy about your religious beliefs, who wonder if you’re going to make a rigid, unbending President?
Carter’s rambling answer became instantly notorious, including lines as uncommon as, “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust” and “What Christ taught about most was pride, that one person should never think he was any better than anybody else.” Yet the question itself is what makes the history books if you ask me.
A mere 30 years later, we are now faced with a society in which it is nearly impossible to separate the church from the state. For a politician to stand a chance today, s/he has to be or run with someone from the bible belt South and declare an allegiance to a Christian religion.
And don’t think for even a second that any politician running today would dare admit that s/he struggles with “lust” – though we are inundated daily with tabloid media uncovering adulterous practices by politicians who clearly are struggling with power, greed and lust. Clinton was impeached for denying such a struggle, lying bastard that he is.
More broadly, consider how “rigid” and “unbending” have changed in value since 1976. A mere generation ago, these character traits were not perceived as badges of courage and supreme morality, as they are today, but as signs of ignorance and futility, not character traits you want your leaders to possess much less uphold like a middle finger to the true values of American democracy.
If this doesn’t get you angry, nothing will.