In a sweeping 6-1 vote this week the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four monuments that were erected after reconstruction and in a time of the flourishing Jim Crow era.
The most prominent of those statues is the one of General Robert E. Lee, Civil War General, and Confederate darling, which stands at a prominent New Orleans circle bearing the same name. Among other statues to be removed are those of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance of New Orleans City Park, and Confederate president Jefferson Davis. One monument, erected in 1874 to commemorate the uprising against reconstruction, the obelisk dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place, has also been slated to be removed.Â
There has been heated debate on both sides of the argument since the summer of 2015 when New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu originally announce a plan, under the local nuisance ordinance, to have them removed. Over the last 6 months, people from all over the country have weighed in on the subject via social media, written commentaries, and even attending local area meetings. Now, all those sparring matches have come to an end.
#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonumentsWhy do YOU want New Orleans' Confederate monuments removed?
Latoya Lewis, local community organizer for the New Orleans Workersâ€™ Center for Racial Justice, stated, â€œThese monuments are of people that reigned down over not just New Orleans but also the South and kept people enslaved.â€ Multiple groups including Latoyaâ€™s, joined by, Stand with Dignity, and Take â€˜Em Down Nola, have partnered in advocating for the removal.
Proponents havenâ€™t been the only side advocating in this debate, opponents have also offered up their criticism of what they are dubbing as the removal of history. Â A project called Save Our Circle was formed on the day that Landrieu announced his intent. According to their website, â€œWe believe that not only is this action by the mayor an attempt to ‘hide’ history from plain site, but a divisive move that will and has already divided the entire community. But most importantly, the mayorâ€™s focus should be on more pressing issues affecting the city.â€
Let New Orleans City Council know that these white supremacist monuments must go! Sign our petition via the link in our bio if you haven't already #takeemdownnola
This week the mayor addressed the city council and stated, â€œThe Confederacy, you see, was on the wrong side of history and humanity.â€
No matter where you fall in the debate, this is a matter that has brought feelings to the surface on both sides. Unfortunately, my news feed has been full of many disingenuous posts from the LGBT community. One would think that with all the battles that our community has had, and continue to have, that some people would be more sympathetic to an entire group of people who still feel ostracized in this country.
Will the removal of these monuments, fix our problems in this country with race relations? Absolutely not. But as a community, we must stand by other groups who are still being singled out by a majority of people based on the color of their skin and not the content of their character. Â
#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonuments #BlackLivesMatterWhat's the message these monuments send to Black New Orleanians?
Iâ€™m reminded of a post I made back in June, that read,
We cannot as a commUNITY – continuously fight and push for LGBTQ equality without pushing for and speaking up for rights of all Americans. We cannot be silent, we MUST speak up for the continued rights of women, for the inequalities in race relations, and continued hate crimes, to only name a few. To remain silent is to turn a blind eye on your brothers and sisters that are struggling as you have.
All rights go hand in hand and it starts with us. Only then can we truly have equality across this nation. Let us come together and push for the righting of all inequalities and make this a better place for everyone. We should settle for nothing less. Today as we mourn the loss of those in Charleston, let us not only pray for justice and peace, but for understanding and guidance.
But not everyone in our community agreed with the city council and the vote. Some took to Facebook to voice their opinion, â€œThis a bunch of bullshit! What are we gonna call Lee Circle now? #â€Žhistoryisimportant #â€Žwhitestatuesmatter.â€
Other members of the local LGBT community joined in and took to Facebook to voice their disapproval as well. Another local business owner and community member wrote on his timeline,
â€œThe city council voted to remove the statues today erasing my families [sic] history from the city. My family came here 300 years ago and now we have been erased. I am calling for any buildings built by slave labor to be torn down and replaced with stucco condo’s. Also, the white house will need to go, as it is a monument to the slaves that built it. One thing I loved about New Orleans is our history, but now we will just become another Houston or Dallas. Start building the condos!! Or we could just erect a monument to the young gang members that are killing everyone on a daily basis.â€
There were some more positive ones on the other side. Anita Daniel, wrote,
â€œI’m seeing a lot of posts on my newsfeed in reference to the City Council decision to remove the Confederate statues. If these statues represented the oppression of women, or the oppression of the LGBT community, or the oppression of a certain religion, there would be no discussion…if fact, we would have never allowed them to be erected in the first place. The removal of them will not erase history or rewrite the text books. The removal of them will not solve the horrible civil rights problems that African Americans are still facing, today. But, I would argue that their removal will send a needed message, that we as a Nation have failed one another, many times, in many ways, but we learn. We learn from our weakest points in history, in order to create our strongest future. No one is free until we are all free. And, lastly, just because a symbol holds no power over you, does not mean that it holds no power at all. #â€ŽBlackLivesMatter.â€
Another pointedÂ out in their post, â€œIf you need a statue to remind you not to enslave people or to tell you not to try to rip our country apartâ€¦ You need to stop talking to statues.â€
#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonumentsThere's no sitting on the sidelines of institutionalized racism.
Some were looking to cut the celebration in city government short. Just hours after the signing of the controversial ordinance was signed by Mayor Landrieu, a group of preservationists filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop monument removal. The group of preservationists made up of the Monumental Task Committee, the Louisiana Landmarks Society, Foundation for Historical Louisiana, and Beauregard Camp No. 130; argue that removing the monuments violate the constitution, stating it maintains â€œthe right for people to preserve foster and promote their respective historic linguistic and cultural origins.â€Â
Legal experts weighed in right away, â€œThe research has been done. He (Landrieu) knows what he needs to do legally,â€ Foret said. â€œThe only question is are the preservationists going to be able to file a lawsuit â€¦ and get any relief? My legal opinion is I think not.â€
This week showed us in many ways how much further we have to go, and how much more work has to be done not only in our city, and our community, but across the country. We must work to put our differences aside and stand together, so that our division across communities can heal and help to mend those hearts who oppose us.Â
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Florida Christian School Warns Parents All LGBTQ Students ‘Will Be Asked to Leave Immediately’
Citing the Book of Leviticus a Florida K-12 private Christian school is telling parents any student found to be LGBTQ will be asked to leave “immediately.”
NBC News reports it “obtained an email from the Grace Christian School in Valrico, about 20 miles east of Tampa, sent before the beginning of the school year by Administrator Barry McKeen.”
The school’s email lumps being LGBTQ, or engaging in acts including “bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography” as “lifestyles.”
“We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgender identity/lifestyle, self-identification, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful in the sight of God and the church (Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; I Corinthians 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:2-7),” the email reads. “Students who are found participating in these lifestyles will be asked to leave the school immediately,”
NBC News says the “June 6 correspondence to parents cited scripture and said that students will be referred to by the ‘gender on their birth certificates’ during the school year beginning this month. While the email refers to ‘biological gender,’ the National Institute of Health defines ‘gender’ as a social construct, as opposed to ‘sex,’ which is the biological difference between females and males.”
On its website Grace Christian says annual fees are up to $6595, plus items including books and other fees.
“It is our desire to provide the best Christian education and training for ALL children, for God is not a respecter of persons,” Grace Christian says. It calls “humanism, materialism, secularism, and New Age” philosophies “godless.”
The school’s website also says, “Students are only admitted when the administration believes that the parents and their church are in full support of the purposes and policies of the School. Expressions of dissention or lack of support for the School’s mission, policies, or leadership are grounds for dismissal of any students of a family in which such action occurs.”
“ALL STUDENTS are expected to abide by rules set forth by the administration. Attendance at Grace Christian School is considered a privilege and not a right. Students forfeit this privilege if they do not conform to the standards and ideals set forth by the administration. The school may insist on the withdrawal of any student that, in the opinion of the administration, does not conform to the spirit of the ministry.”
Watch: McConnell Blasts GOP ‘Candidate Quality’ as He Admits Democrats Likely to Keep Senate
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a surprising admission Thursday: the GOP’s candidates running for Senate may not be good enough for Republicans to take control of the chamber he once led as Majority Leader.
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” McConnell responded when asked at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon about his projections for the upcoming November elections, as NBC News reported.
“Senate races are just different,” he explained. “Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
“Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly,” McConnell added, wrongly.
The country is not 50-50.
According to a Gallup poll conducted over a three week period in July, 28% of Americans identify as Republican, 29% as Democratic, and 41% as independent.
Thanks in large part to Donald Trump, “candidate quality” is definitely a challenge for the GOP.
There are 35 Senate seats up for (re)election in November, 14 are held by Democrats and 21 by Republicans. Possibly sensing the headwinds five GOP Senators and just one Democratic Senator are not running for reelection and are retiring.
The GOP pulling cash out of races it may think its candidates cannot win.
“As midterm election campaigns heat up in the Senate’s top battlegrounds, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is canceling millions of dollars of ad spending, sending GOP campaigns and operatives into a panic and upending the committee’s initial spending plan,” Politico on Monday reported.
Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight currently shows Democrats have a 64 in 100 chance of retaining the Senate, a number that’s been growing: On July 22 it was 50-50.
Watch Leader McConnell below or at this link:
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate … Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not sound too confident in Republicans’ ability to retake the Senate pic.twitter.com/XK8G451i01
— The Recount (@therecount) August 18, 2022
Herschel Walker Raked in Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Giving Paid Speeches While a Candidate for Senate: Report
Like nearly every candidate for elected office, entrepreneur and former NFL star Herschel Walker, the Republican Party’s nominee for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia, has been giving speeches since he announced his run for office. Unlike nearly every candidate for public office, Walker has been charging for those speeches.
Not entrance fees for an audience to hear him speak, but actual speaking fees, paid by lobbying groups and even non-profits like a Boys & Girls Club in Georgia.
And he’s racked up big money doing it as a declared candidate for elected office.
The fees he says on his disclosure form he’s received range from $12,000 to $60,000.
After having served as a U.S. Senator and then as a U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was flogged by Republicans for giving paid speeches after leaving the Obama administration, during the time she was a private citizen and far from declaring any intention to run for office.
But Walker is making money as a candidate for elected office, according to The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberg.
A lot of money.
“Herschel Walker—who has so far only agreed to participate in the one debate that provides topics in advance—has earned $569,000 in speaking fees since Jan. 2021,” Sollenberger reports, citing Walker’s financial disclosure.
“More than half” of that $569,000 “came after he launched his Senate campaign last August.”
That means Walker has raked in well over a quarter million dollars while a declared candidate for public office.
NCRM examined Walker’s annual SEC filing, dated August 15, 2022. It lists his declaration of candidacy for office as August 24, 2021.
In February of this year Walker was paid $60,000 by the University of North Texas for its Kuehne Speaker Series. Last year, before officially declaring as a candidate for office Walker was paid $35,000 by the All Sports Association, and $25,000 by the Boys & Girls Club of Gainesville, Georgia.
These payments and many others – 21 in total – are listed under the section titled “Honoraria Payments or Payments to Charity in Lieu of Honoraria.” The filing asks, “Did any individual or organization pay you or your spouse more than $200, or donate any amount to a charity on your or your spouse’s behalf, for an article, speech, or appearance?”
Walker answered “Yes.”
The filing asks, “Who received payment?” For each of the 21 entries Walker indicated “Self.”
Under “Activity,” each response was “Speech.”
There are many others.
Three days after officially declaring himself a candidate Walker was paid $35,000 by the Texas Bankers Association. A few days later $20,000 by the Georgia Realtors Association. $35,000 in October by the Baldwin County Community Drug Foundation.
In December of last year the Atlana Journal-Constitution reported Walker is “the richest man in Georgia Senate race.”
“U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker is worth somewhere between $29 million and $65 million, and he pulled down about $4 million in income from late 2020 through late 2021, according to financial disclosures he filed late Wednesday,” the paper reported.
“About $400,000 of his earnings were from speeches he delivered to over a dozen groups, including charities such as the Boys and Girls Club that paid him as much as $27,000,” the Journal-Constitution confirmed at the time.
Walker, who was the subject of great controversy after The Daily Beast revealed in a series of reports that Walker, despite criticizing Black men for being absent fathers, has three secret children, and says he lied to his own campaign about their existence. In addition to his adult son, a popular social media influencer. One of the three is an adult but the other two and young children.
Walker has also taken money for speaking to anti-abortion organizations.
“He was paid $20,000 in October to speak to the Mid City Women’s Clinic in Hurst, Texas, and $27,000 in November to speak to the Pregnant Choice medical group in Augusta. Both are among a network of clinics that seek to deter abortions.”
Image: Screenshot via Facebook
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