Saturday, November 28, 2015

* Bad Doll / Good Doll test used in Brown v. Board Invalid: Black Doll is Smaller

Although the link above claims the dolls were the same size, look at these original dolls. Is it merely that whiteness makes the doll look larger or is the doll actually larger?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

* Second Retirement

Monday, November 23, 2015

* Luke 2 1-14: Refugee Translation

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Dr. Benjamin Carson that all the world should be taxed and a census taken of all the world.

(And this taxing/census was first made when Bashir Al Assad was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed and counted every one a migrant from his home into a foreign city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed and counted  with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they migrated there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for refuge-seekers in the inn.

And there were in the same country native shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people of whatever country.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who will make people of all lands feel safe and welcomed.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, like the poorest of refugees.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men of all  countries of the world.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

* Pat's Pink Sky

* Two cents worth of chalk can turn life into poetry.

Do not wait until some deed of greatness
you may do;
Do not wait to spread your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you,
now be true:
Brighten the corner where you are.

(a Sunday School hymn from my childhood)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

* Black and White: College Campuses 2015

I was a student in towns where two of the most frightening events in the history of student unrest (one by blacks, the other by whites) took place in 1969 and 1970: Ithaca, New York and Kent, Ohio.

At Cornell, black students protesting racism occupied Willard Straight Hall in 1969 and then armed themselves with rifles and guns, refusing to surrender the premises. Later their photo appeared on the front page of the New York Times,  with upraised rifles as they left  Willard Straight when a compromise was reached with Cornell’s administration.

At Kent State four white students were shot dead and nine white students were wounded by predominantly white Ohio National guardsmen who fired into a student protest at high noon on May 4, 1970 after four days of anti-war protests and the burning of an ROTC building resulted in armed occupation of the campus by guardsmen.

Thirty six years and three masters degrees later (one in divinity from Yale), I haven’t the slightest idea what these events “mean” in the larger picture of American history, especially this year --- 2015 --- when racism has reared its ugly head again and student protests have actually forced the University of Missouri president to resign.  Accusations of his indifference to complaints of racial discrimination felt by blacks on his campus, had led blacks on the football team to boycott future games, jeopardizing millions of dollars in revenue. Exit the President .

Missouri isn’t the only place in turmoil.  Yale---my alma mater -- has been the scene of protests for days now and its president, Peter Salovey, has been anything but indifferent, challenging the campus to debate whether or not to remove  the name of John C. Calhoun from one of its eight residential colleges because he (Calhoun, a U. S. Senator) )  was an avowed white supremacist who defended slavery before the Civil War.  What a can of worms he opened. Yale names its buildings after distinguished alumni.  Calhoun graduated in 1804 with a B.A.

Ithaca College, another of my alma maters, has been in similar turmoil for a month.  Its student body rendered a “no confidence” vote in its young white president, Tom Rochon, after what it perceived as indifference to institutional racism on its campus.

What’s going on here? We have a black man sitting in the White House as our elected president.  It is fifty years after the passage of  Lyndon Johnson’s  Civil Rights Act. A black woman, Oprah Winprey,  is the richest woman in the world---- wealthier even than the Queen of England.  Why are blacks angry?

That was the same question I asked in 1969 when I sat in Cornell’s Barton Hall with 5000 people for five days of an administration sanctioned  Teach-in on Racism, the ransom exacted by the Black United Students group  for ending  their armed occupation of Cornell’s Willard  Straight Hall.

How naïve of me.  Why are blacks angry?  Am I kidding? Or just blinded by my white eyes?

Americans in the land of the free and the brave sold blacks like dining-room furniture for 150 years, but without even the dignity of a dining-room set, which Antiques Roadshow today warns must be kept intact.  Fathers and mothers and children had just as much  if not more value  sold off individually than as a group. Keeping them together as a “set” didn’t increase their value at all, and often was a burden to prospective buyers, who may have needed only one new slave.

When purchasing slaves from overseas was made illegal, Americans merely bred them like dogs to increase their stateside  property. “Breeding” is too kind a word, for the actual mating was not the carefully choreographed sexual coupling of purebreds being stood stud, as animal owners put it,  but tantamount to sexual harassment, or even rape, and often by the white owner.

Then came the Civil War and emancipation. And assassination.  And then-------another 100 years of Jim Crow and segregation until the Civil Rights Act of 1965 tried to undo the damage of separate but equal, in which blacks might legally be free but were treated as if they were one step up from Typhoid Mary: separate bathrooms, separate drinking fountains, separate bus seats, separate schools.

How naïve of me.  A century or more of assault on the black family (Slaves could not be legally married.) A century or more of assault on black literacy (It was illegal to teach slaves to read); a century of  unspoken contamination and legal quarantine euphemized as “segregation” and legalized by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

How naïve indeed.

But it’s been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was pushed through Congress by President Johnson.  And there is a statue to black  Martin Luther King on the same Washington mall where is found white Abraham Lincoln’s monument.  And there is a back president  and black first family across town in the White House.

Why are they still angry?

The answer is in the pronoun: they.

It is  called “the impersonal pronoun” and it connotes separateness, outsider-hood, difference.

They aren’t us.

And that is what happened at Kent State even though all the skin of the victims and shooters was white. The long-haired, hippie, anti-war protestors were turned into “them” and as outsiders it was acceptable for them to be killed. I will never forget watching one white mother in Kent, Ohio being interviewed on the street after the shootings.  She said “If my son had long hair and sandals he should have been shot too.”

This isn’t just ignorance. She is talking about her own son.  It is a psychological disorder. I’m not trained in psychology so I can’t put a name to it, but when human beings look at other human beings as “things” (slaves; anti-war protestors) there is something evil afoot.  Race may only be part of it.


Paul D. Keane

M.A., M.Div., M.Ed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

* Ithaca Journal Guest Column

Link (browser window, not google search)

Sadly, racism still an issue at Ithaca College

Paul Keane 12:12 p.m. EST November 9, 2015

Five thousand people attended the Teach-in on Racism at Cornell’s Barton Hall in 1969. The university shut down for a week to accommodate that teach-in after members of Black United Students ended their armed occupation of Willard Straight Hall — memorialized in a shocking front-page photo in the New York Times of black students with upraised rifles leaving Willard Straight.

I was there, having graduated from Ithaca College the year before. I had remained at Ithaca to teach three freshman English courses at the college and so had a flexible schedule to attend the teach-in.

I persuaded Ithaca College’s president, Howard Dillingham, to endorse holding a similar teach-in at IC. The entire town had been shaken by a student protest that involved students armed with guns and rifles, and so even tranquil Ithaca College went along with the idea that we needed to learn about this new grievance — racism.

I invited Cornell history professor Andrew Hacker, who had spoken eloquently to the Barton Hall teach-in, to speak at our smaller teach-in at Ithaca College, which at the time had about 2,000 students total.

Unlike Cornell, Ithaca did not shut down classes. Anyone attending the teach-in had to use one of the three excused “cuts” they were allowed per class. After three, at Ithaca College in 1969, students lost credit for the course, no matter what the excuse, illness included.

We were stunned and gratified when more than a third of the student body — 825 students — showed up at the student union ballroom for the teach-in, many willingly using one of their three “cuts” to attend. Most of us were white and had never heard of the word “racism.”

Sadly, 46 years later, Ithaca College is hearing the word “racism” ring in their ears these days, with students even staging a “no confidence” vote in their youthful, white president, Tom Rochon.
This is profoundly ironic, since the steps he has taken to respond to their complaints of institutional racism are almost as dramatic as Cornell shutting down classes for its five-day Teach-in on Racism 46 years ago. Rochon has called for students, faculty and staff to engage in institutional soul-searching about racial and cultural bias, and has put administrative projects on hold to allow the college to do so.

If only college presidents had been so flexible and responsive in the 1970s.

I left Ithaca in 1969 for a graduate school English program at a midwestern university I had never heard of before 1969, a school which paid my room, board and tuition and a small salary to be a graduate counselor in its dorms. The school’s name? Kent State University.

Paul Keane is a 1968 graduate of Ithaca College and taught freshman English courses there in 1969. Along with Peter Davies, author of “The Truth About Kent State,” he established the Kent State Collection at Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library in 1977, preserving documents related to the 1970 killing of Kent State students by Ohio National Guardsmen.