Archive for March, 2008

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Jesus of the Ozarks…

March 28, 2008

Got a big old butt. Oh yeah.

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Julian Pierce (1946-1988)

March 27, 2008

Twenty years ago this week, someone ended the life of Julian Pierce with multiple blasts from a shotgun.

Pierce was 42 years old, a Lumbee Indian, the founder of Lumbee River Legal Services, and candidate for a newly-created Superior Court judgeship in what might have been the most corrupt county in the nation.

His opponent was Joe Freeman Britt, the local DA who held the world record for obtaining death penalty convictions. Britt was very much part of the system Pierce was battling against.

The same month Pierce announced his candidacy, two local Native American activists had taken hostages at the local newspaper office. They had two demands:

1) That they be allowed to surrender to state or federal authorities rather than local ones, and

2) That the state conduct a thorough investigation of law enforcement and government in Robeson County, and that someone look into a bevy of unsolved or suspicious murders that had taken place in recent years, including one one incident where a deputy (who happened to be the sheriff’s son) shot an unarmed man in the back. The DA’s office dismissed the killing as “self-defense.”

Tensions ran very high after that. the DEA opened up an office in Robeson, which closed just a few months later. The agent in charge practically threw up his hands in defeat, saying on the way out that the whole place was “awash in drugs.”

By March, one month after throwing his hat into the ring, Pierce was dead.

Not long after, police rousted a 24 year-old Lumbee man from a closet in his mother’s house and charged him with the murder. He had been dating the daughter of Pierce’s girlfriend, and the official story became that Pierce was helping her break up with him.

Britt’s DA office made short work of the kid.

Britt was named the winner of the election despite losing to the dead man, whose name still appeared on the ballot.

Things would eventually change some in Robeson County. Pierce had been holding voter registration drives and pulling in hundreds of new voters into the process.

“We should never forget what Julian did for this county and all of its people,” said Mac Legerton, director of the Center for Community Action “On this day 20 years ago, many of our lives were fundamentally changed. In many ways, our entire county was changed on this day … Although unspoken, we knew we all had to change.”

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A Thought on Obama and Rev. Wright.

March 26, 2008

God forbid I am ever called to account for every ignorant or hateful statement I heard broadcast from a pulpit.

-Duck

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Another Touching Easter Story

March 24, 2008

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On Good Friday, one of my local state Representatives, Thomas Wright, was expelled from the state legislature during a special session. Wright has been accused of (and is under indictment for) stealing a bunch of money from his own campaign funds, among other things.

I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re thinking that this story is almost exactly like the story of Jesus!

I don’t know whether admirers spread palm leaves across the steps of the state capitol as Rep Wright ascended into the chamber, but Thomas’ lawyer (who was not going out like Peter) summed up everyone’s sentiments nicely after his client had been escorted away:

Irving Joyner, an N.C. Central University law professor and one of Wright’s attorneys, told reporters after the session that Wright would fight the decision.

“I think it’s appropriate this happened on Easter week,” Joyner said. “Like the first crucifixion, we knew we’d be betrayed, but we had to go through the steps anyway. We’ll continue to fight and will look for our resurrection.”

That’s an appropriate analogy, I think.

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Gilbert Gottfried…

March 14, 2008

Says Hello.

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Peace is…

March 12, 2008

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict.”
-Dorothy Thompson

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DOMINIONISM and the AFA

March 11, 2008

 What these clowns are really after:

Dominionism describes, in several distinct ways, a tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action — aiming either at a nation governed by Christians or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. The use and application of this terminology is a matter of controversy.

Tim Wildmon (AFA’s fearless leader) would probably tell you that’s not what the AFA’s after at all.  But consider his own words:

“We’re not opposed to the ability of people to worship their own gods or god, but when it comes to our civil government … it’s always been the recognition of the God of the Bible. Every religion is not equal. That’s my belief. That’s logic.”

When it’s debated, this argument usually comes down to whether or not we are a Christian Nation, and whether the founding fathers themselves were Christian.  The debate tends to center around the latter part of that argument.

Which is, in itself, nothing but a straw man.  Sure, most of the founding fathers believed in God, lots of them in what Wildmon refers to as “the God of the Bible.”  That doesn’t mean they were right-wing crazies like Wildmon is.  There is ample evidence that most of them had relatively nuanced views of God and religion.

But nuance is something these people can’t fathom.