The Brighton…

 

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I recently research for a story I was outlining about the asylums almost 100 years ago. I did wonder if the patients of today get the same treatments. The answer is yes…

The facilities are cleaner, cheerful in many ways, however, the electrical shock therapy still exist; maybe a bit more human, but it does exist as well as cold bath treatments. Most of the control is by drugs, the dose of a drug is upped until it has made the patient more controllable.

We talk about “walls” keeping the US citizen and foreigners’ out, we talk about “civil rights” and we talk about conditions in schools and private homes. What about the home of the mentally ill? A short excerpt below give more thought on Asylums.

 

The Brighton…

 
Brighton was located in Illinois, a house of torture. In 1900, bleeding, freezing and kicks to the head, and shock therapy this best describes Brighton a home for the insane; and their treatment of patients until they were dead. It was Brighton’s’ policy for the insane, they received often physical abuse, water torture, and lobotomies, convinced it would eventually set the patients mind free.

There are those who believe that a spirit lives there today, a young girl, caretakers thought she had run away. They found her lifeless body in 1979 they called it an accident not a crime. Cold, lifeless and unclothed, how she had died no one would ever know. They say a stain in the shape of a human can still be seen on the floor where she died, and at night a ghostly figure floats up and down the hall, many have heard her cry.

A haunting you might say, Brighton a real life house of horrors where murder, suicide and brutality reigned while bodies frail and bloodstained were constrained. Closed, yes, but its dark history remains, buildings and tunnels crumbling and rotting, but the torture within those crumbling walls should never be forgotten.

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Many of these practices are still used today, like then, no one talks about it!

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

The Black Box…

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The Black Box…

Shotgun weddings continue in the lives of many southerners, arranged marriages among the wealthy in the Deep South are still tradition; such a marriage would be the beginning; and end of one innocent life in the summer of 1950. Rebecca Darwin returned home after living in an all girl boarding school in western Georgia for twelve years; within weeks she was married to Carter Clayborne one of Tennessee’s’ most eligible bachelors; a union arranged by her mother.

Rebecca was forced into a loveless union arranged by her mother that quickly turned into a never-ending nightmare, one far worse than she could have imagined. Her days filled with constant commands from her mother and mother-in-law, and long nights surrendering to the cruelness of her husband. She would never have believe that being the daughter of Randall Darwin and Katherine Gilhanna-Darwin of Gilhanna Stables in Shelby County Tennessee.

She had seen her parents only once a year for a few days during the past twelve years. In her mind, Rebecca had created a loving father who gave in to the cruel ways of her mother. It was her father that drove her home from graduation; the agonizing silence was overwhelming as she stared out the window at the rolling hills. Her father dropped her off at the front door of the main house; she let the tears spill over her pale cheeks when he drove down the driveway toward the stables and the carriage house where she knew he lived. During the past few visits, Randall Darwin had, for some reason decided to tell Rebecca of his meeting her mother, their marriage and the circumstances surrounding her unwanted birth. Had the father she created been real after all, no!

Now, she was married to a monster with no one to help her. She had given up hope of her father, or that anyone would question the bruised cheeks and swollen lips that appeared the day after her wedding; she knew that everyone, including her father looked the other way; never questioned the heavy make-up or sunglasses. Time moved slowly, it took one year for her to get pregnant; and after losing a baby due to the inhumanities forced to endure from Carter; Rebecca knew that she was doomed. The day she decided to leave Carter; she drove quickly to Gilhanna, her father had to understand, as he had to tolerate the wrath of her mother himself; if she stayed in this marriage one more day, she would die.

Rebecca drove the winding back roads through the hills of eastern Tennessee with lighting speed; as her eyes focused on the rising line from the blacktop road her mind traveled back to her childhood; even her birth and before into the stories she had heard from her father, and Gilhanna staff…

It was at the Gantry County Bar-B-Q and Harness Race that her father Randall Darwin a young Irish horse trainer came into her mothers’ life. Her father came to the United States from England to train racing horses. He knew of the stone-faced Miss Katherine Gilman, and thought she might be of use to him. Yet, his plans did not turn out as he had imagined; Katherine Gilman possess him as if he were one of her horses, he was a unique breed.

“I don’t think we’ve met, do you plan to make Tennessee your home Mr. Darwin”, the inquiry came from a youthful but plain looking Katherine Gilhanna and rolled like honey from her lips.

Katherine was twenty-years older than Randall she instantly offered him a contract to train her horses and the carriage house to live in while he worked for her. It was her late night visits to the carriage house that resulted in her getting pregnant, a pregnancy she did not want; southern tradition, you marry. They were married in a civil ceremony in the local judges’ chambers six weeks after they met; Randall would continue to live in the carriage house and Katherine’s visits to him ended. Katherine lived up to her reputation, as a “cocksure” southerner and she would not have her reputation smeared by an unwanted pregnancy; employees, if they expected to work at Gilhanna Stables signed confidentiality agreements. Her life as a prominent member of the community would not change; her fake performance, as a loving mother-to-be would be the talk of the county.

The only child Katherine would ever have was born on August 27, 1930. Now, Katherine Gillman had two people to hate, her husband and this red headed half-Irish child. She named her Rebecca, a name she did not particularly like and placed her in the care of a small staff of housekeepers, and a nanny. Katherine had no intentions of dealing with a screaming baby. She would instill a fear like no human would ever know in this child.

On her daughter’s sixth birthday Katherine placed her in a Georgia boarding school, she was not to return to Gilhanna until she was eighteen years old. Katherine only allowed her to come home during the Christmas holidays.

In June of 1948, Rebecca graduated from Highland, the Georgia boarding school had become her home. The years of being away from her family had gone by quickly and her dreams lay in another place; the future, college, and then working in some big city or even going to Ireland to live. She could not have known as they drove toward Gilhanna that her endless threads of thoughts would turn an intangible existence created by her mother.

Katherine Gilman set out to buy her daughter a suitable husband, even before Rebecca graduated; arranged marriages… a commonplace solution to control and meet necessary southern social requirements. Randall left Rebecca at the front door and went to the stables he did not want to see what was going to take place in the main house.

Returning to reality, Rebecca pulled over to the side of the road; these memories frightened her and she was no longer able to hold back her tears. Where had those dreams gone? She could see Gilhanna from where she stopped the car; her first day there after eighteen years came flooding back, and the day she met Carter.

As Rebecca thought back, she remembered entering the foyer; seeing her mother doing what might resemble a peacock’s mating dance with her long time friend Ronnie Clayborne. Rebecca look back at the front door wishing her father had come in with her. Sitting on the sofa was Ronnie’s son Carter; she had remembered both Ronnie and Carter from her childhood; before she was sent away to school.

Instantly she had hated his nauseating southern drawl, he had some years ago graduated from college, and still lived with his mother. Rebecca greeted them both politely and excused herself, going to the stables where she knew her father would be…

“So, you’ve had enough of the grand dame of Gilhanna, her confederated friend and lazy son?”

Rebecca’s’ fathers’ rationalization of certain situations could sometime be very straightforward. Randall Darwin walked among the stalls with Rebecca beside him, both in silence; then he told her that he thought Katherine was arranging a marriage between her and Carter Clayborne. Rebecca remembered running to her room using the kitchen entrance to miss seeing her mother. She soon found that she could not hide for long, when her mother entered the room.

“I have arranged for you to go to the Country Club with Ronnie and Carter, you will be
ready by eight.” An unfeeling Katherine turned leaving the room.

“I will not go anywhere with those snobs.”

Rebecca was not surprised with the pain that the sting of her mother’s hand coming violently down across her face had caused. The tears of degradation and rage did not come until her mother slithered from the room, the venom from her hand leaving Rebecca numb.

During the weeks that followed, Katherine forced Rebecca to be with the Claiborne’s day and night. She could do nothing but keep silent, and conform to her mothers’ wishes. Then suddenly, her mother announced her impending marriage to Carter. Rebecca remembered running to the stables.

“Daddy,” it was all she could get out between breathless sobs.

Randall Darwin held his child close, he knew that he could not help her; he was incapable of helping himself. Rebecca had hoped that he would fight for her freedom until the end, but she lifted her from him and walked away. Three weeks later, Rebecca stood by Carter in the middle of the garden beneath an arbor of fresh cut flowers wearing a simple blue linen suit, everything arranged by her mother, her mind paralyzed by the pills she had been forced to take early that morning, and her gloved hands held no bouquet, only each other.

Rebecca woke that spring morning and decided that she would leave. She pulled back onto the road turning toward Gilhanna. Running from the car straight into her father’s arms, Rebecca cried…

“Daddy, I am going to divorce Carter.”

“Now Rebecca have you talked to your mother, and have you thought this out clearly, what you are about to do that is?”

Randall did the only thing he could do; he called Katherine from his office, waited for her return call and then drove Rebecca to the main house. He stared at the hardwood floor of the drawing room, unable to face his only child; he tried not to make eye contact with her. He stood silently pouring himself a drink as Katherine talk to the family doctor. He left when the doctor entered along with Carter, they were talking about how Rebecca had threatened to kill herself and she needed treatment for her own good.

Rebecca watched her father walked through the double door without looking back at her. Her mother and Carter seem to be making a big fuss over how she had been upset with the miscarriages and talking of killing herself. She looked at her arm, the rubber tubing, the syringe, and felt the numbness that caused her to feel heavy, yet weightless at the same time. Her vision blurring, the fleur-de-lis wallpaper became waves of beige and gold swaying in an invisible breeze. The reason she was there dissolved into an ocean of oblivion.

When Rebecca began to regain her senses, she was lying on an examining table in the Shelby Medical Clinic, she recognized doctor who had given her the shot. Standing in the corner of the room were her mother, husband and two sheriff deputies. This time Rebecca did not protest when the doctor gave her another shot of his magic that sent her to a place where she no longer cared. The wheelchair bumped over each crack in the sidewalk, each feeling as if she was falling into a crater. The doctor and nurse put her in the back of a squad car as her mother began to tell Carter that his wife would never leave him. She leans far into the back seat, and in her own heartless way said in a low evil voice…

“You see what happens when you try to disgrace me,” Katherine said cruelly, “putting you away for being insane will be more acceptable than have you leave your husband.”

Her body quivering beneath the threadbare blanket Rebecca fought violently against the straps confining her to the bed, her mind battled with drugged hallucinations; when she slept, they became chaotic dreams. In the end she always gave in, lie quietly watching the unwanted souls shuffle back and forth in the dimly lit hallway. Rebecca knew of Challis Manor, at the edge of the Appalachian foothills it provided medical treatments for the mentally ill, a place where wealthy Tennesseans paid to have members of their families placed to avoid embarrassment; Rebecca was not there because she had a mental or physical problem, she was there because she tried to leave her husband.

Rebecca struggled in the confusion, she had undergone several shock treatments, and it had not taken away her need to be free. She fought confinement, she fought treatments and she wanted her father to come and take her away.

A nurse brought Rebecca two small pills, it was extra medication and it could mean only one thing, it was time for another treatment. They put her on a gurney and placed her in the hallway outside her room. She could not stop her mind as it suspended itself between reality and the delusional. Should she doubt herself, she examined the redness of her wrist made by her constantly fighting the heavy leather straps causing deep cuts, after more medication, Rebecca’s involuntary thrashing turned into calmness.

Rebecca’s mind seemed frozen in time and her body was controlled, but they could not free her of the madness of her confused memories. She would drift for hours in hopelessness, her flesh burning, she wondered if she would ever escape her anguished nightmares of her childhood, her marriage, her life.

“Daddy, is that you?”

Rebecca’s visions clung to her like the sweat that gathered and rolled down her face in her fretful attempt to free. It is hot, no one cared, she turned over on her side a white clad figure took her hand, the gurney was moving, and then stopped. A glass vial of a syringe glittered in the semi-lit room; it was more medication to help them imprison her mind.

“Daddy I’m afraid.”

“Daddy, are you out there?”

Rebecca’s visions clung to her like the sweat that gathered and rolled down her face; she remembers a little girl riding with her daddy on the back of a fine Tennessee walking horse in an open field. She felt someone pick up her hand, turning it was a white clad figure, the gurney was moving, and then stopped. A glass syringe glittered in the semi-lit room; it was more medication to help them imprison her mind.

“Daddy, daddy are you out there, I’m afraid.”

Rebecca knew about the small room designed for suffering; the plastered walls had cracks that snaked toward the ceiling resembling leafless trees in winter. She tried to open her eyes but the glare from the lights blinded her. The room filled with people, nurses, doctors; one saying shock treatment again might be risky; somewhere in the distance, Rebecca could hear her mother’s voice fervently auguring with someone. She could picture her mother’s face contorted with anger; then remembered, her mother preferred a lunatic in the family instead of a divorced daughter.

“You see what happens when you try to disgrace me, putting you away for being insane will be more acceptable than have you leave your husband.”

White flecks began to explode behind the lids of Rebecca’s closed eyes. Her arms and legs strain against the leather straps as convulsions, a reaction from the drug raced through her body. She opened her eyes and watched as the blood coming from her bound wrist spread across her pale flesh leaving a crimson trail down to the sheet. She drifted among abysmal visions of pain and humiliation; traveling into a realm of kaleidoscopic dreams when she heard her mother say…

“I am paying you people enough to take such a risk, and I signed a waiver, what else do you want?”

Rebecca opened her eyes and looked at the mirrored window across from her; she knew behind it stood her mother, and Carter. The poignant smell of antiseptic became heavy in the air. Rebecca felt herself losing control of her thoughts; she could feel her eyes as if on a mission of their own dart back and forth taking in the limited boundaries of the small treatment room, a surge of electricity violated her body, her mind, and her senses. A nurse put a wooden paddle between her teeth; the electrical current coursed deeply into her brain. If she woke, she would try to remember once again who she was; how she got into the asylum and the Rebecca Darwin that she was before she married Carter Clayborne.

Rebecca’s eyes opened and were oblivious of the intense light invading her enlarged pupils; she tried to focus on a large mirror above her. In its reflection was that of a young girl lying on a small narrow bed, leather straps on her arms, legs and across her chest, her skin had a bluish tint of death; her body emancipated, her hollow raven eyes seem more animal than human. Then the lights became soft, a white garment of serenity blanketed the young girl. Rebecca closed her eyes then opened them for one last look looked; she knew that she and the young girl were the same and would soon be free; she smiled.

It was just a small black electrical box sitting on a chipped white enamel table; nineteen-year-old Rebecca Clayborne her eyes now like dark stagnant pools was unhooked from the box. Before they wheeled her from the room she closed her eyes for the last time, she had firsthand knowledge of the power of the little black box! It altered minds, made people submissive; Katherine Gilhanna-Darwin and Carter Clayborne would no longer have to worry about being embarrassed, there would be no a divorce in the family. Rebecca knew that her mother and the Gilhanna money controlled “the black box”!

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Check on Amazon.com Books – under Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

Rise and Kill the Beast…

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Rise and Kill the Beast…

 

She woke, rising from her bed; the next stop in front of the long mirror in her bedroom. My God, she thought there in the mirror was an old woman thin lips, long gray hair, crevices lining her face. She watched the face turn pale, fear rose from the pit of her stomach closing off her breath. Suddenly she grasps the sides of her face stretching her cheeks upward until the face was smooth. When had this happen, it was her face in the mirror! Was it during the dense darkness of the night that this happen? She open her mouth to say something, the words’ fell upon her ears anxious, a sham, her heart beat faster and fear hung in her mouth like hot lava. What is next, hopelessness, death? This is the stage in life that people pray to their God for their sins, or whatever they have done wrong, the end could be near, was this fear.

 
Where did the time go, the long dark braids, the nimble fingers and graceful body? The body that played tennis, rode a bike, skied over rough waters, time was so short. She was a person that shields her spirit from the darkest, deepest pits of the Hell and learns to tolerate life. Someone, whose body gave birth, lived with the Devil’s own spawn until her escape. The one who refuse to cry or shrivel in fear as she waited for the feel of a fist.
Someone who waited for the long fingers to clutch around her neck, then in the light of day hide the truth and lies, live in mystery so no one would know. She trembled but let out no sign of fear. The body allows tears to fall after the evil thing had gone away. She tried to flatten herself upon the bed made of stones, her mind fled before she could breathe the stagnant air before the extravagant retreat.

 
These pains were hard to bare, the Devil’s spawn wanted groveling, her throat already like splintered wood, why had fate brought her to this doomed place, imprisoned her to live and be lost forever. To live in torment and dire despair, her spirit continuous crawling through the fires of hell, and she wailed her doom to the pits darkness. Never knowing a peaceful life, a loving or genteel life denied. Her mind always filled with wisdom and untouched by the suffering. Sure, she was defeated, but she would someday rise and kill the Beast.

 

 

 

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

Books can be purchased at Amazon.com – Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction

The Chickasaw – Part 7

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The Chickasaw – Part 7

Sipsee took hold of the horse carrying Hawk’s body and started the sorrowful procession deep into the forest.  The Indian families followed their song of death floated into the wind that was shaking the leaves and bending small branches.  They buried Hawk in the forest he loved.

Sipsee decided that she had to leave as quickly as possible, the logging cabin belonged to the Mill and they would want to hire another logger.  The Mill owner brought her a small wagon and she loaded it with the few belongings that they would need.  She gave horses to Hawks’ closest friends and hitched two of them up to the wagon.  Placing Jane on the seat, she pulled herself onto the wagon; Sipsee never looked back.  She took with her a letter of endorsement from the white woman that taught her English.  The letter was to be given to the woman’s sister farther down in Alabama Territory.  She promised Sipsee that she would find work there.

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Sipsee arrived in the late evening and was welcomed by all to Chadwick Manor; Beatrice Chadwick-Alboin was the owner with her husband Axial a chosen individual by her parents.  Sipsee was given a position serving the “Lady” of the house.  The “Master” kept commenting on Sipsee’ beauty; the Lady of the house chastised him and he walked away.  When she was given a tour of the house,  where she could or could not go, Sipsee thought the house would hold ten families.  Jane was also given a position; she would serve the only child they had, as would Sipsee in Jane’s absence.

After introductions to everyone in the house, Missus Chadwick called for the houseboy to show Sipsee where she and Jane would be living.  Both mother and daughter quickly discovered that they were to live in the Negro quarters.  Their lives and how they lived was not different than the slaves on Chadwick Manor other than they were free to come and go as they pleased.

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Sipsee thought often that this life was in many ways worse than the ones her family would be living on western lands; this life was witness to pain and sorrow.  Jane learned to live in a world free to practice the customs of her parents; she also learned the world of hate for both the Negro and the Indian people.

She would learn how to survive…

To be continued…

Authors Note:  I have tried to construct the stories about the Chickasaws’ told by Ma (my Great Grandmother), Aunt Vina and my daddy so that I may create a written legacy to share the lives of my ancestors with my readers and the general public.  Thank you for your support.  EAJM

Story Resources:

Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father.

Grandson – Roy C. Johnson

Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter

 

BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM BY ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree/dp/150029070X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8/

https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought/dp/1540862356/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Rutted-Roads-Collections-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1532909365/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF81

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500502960/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Sachet-Poetry-Adoration-Aspirations-Asylums/dp/1500483354/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Voices-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500426709/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500168645/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The Chickasaw – Part 4

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Continue – The Chickasaw

They all spoke softly among themselves about what was happening and of the strange land, they were taking them too.  What use to be a proud people, they were now faltering under degrading conditions. Many elders, young children and babies died as all were herded like cattle on a dusty path.   Many years later, this action by the white man against the Indians would be called “The Trail of Tears”.

Ma’s grandparents died before reaching Arkansas …

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There were many fires at night when they were allowed to stop; all Nations were represented, the most were the Cherokee.  Ma was told that many young men spoke of escaping, Hawk agreed with them.  She remembered her father saying that he had rather be dead than living like animals herded into circles by the soldiers.  One of the Over-Town elders a Shaman, “married” them, giving them many spiritual blessings.  Hawk would not leave without Sipsee.  During the darkness of night, they slipped away; Hawk did not tell Sipsee, he knew that their parents would pay for their freedom with their own lives.

 

Hawk found a way to cross the Mississippi River into Northern Alabama.  They made their home on the Eastern side of Alabama.  They lived among a few Indians that were not forced to leave.  Hawk knew that if they did not live like the “white man” they would be forced to leave or killed.  Sipsee learned the language and would walk to the nearest settlement to work; they wanted to build a cabin.  Sipsee knew that they must change with the times, Hawk kept to himself and his own dreams.

 

 

To be continued…

Resource – Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton”
1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was
Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything,
It was her body that was ready for death; she lay
down for an afternoon nap and woke only to
say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter

 

HITLER vs. TRUMP-a comparison and my opinion…

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HITLER vs. TRUMP-a comparison and my opinion…

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Hitler meant to wipe out the physical embodiment of social equality in Germany, the conflagration provided the first step down a path that led to Hitler’s dictatorship and to the most devastating war, the world has ever known. This was no accident.

(Did Trump purchase plants that can produce war ammunitions and other destructive weapons that will bring him profit; is that why he is pushing for the possibility of War? Trump is using his bullying tactics about FIRE AND FURY is no accident either.)

Nazis succeeded in marginalizing the rest of the government through political tricks as well as brute force. Police was in charge of imprisoning anyone who was an enemy of Hitler and journalists massively disappeared behind bars.

(In Trumps’, case its “You’re fired”. He has had a staff turnover every day, almost since he was elected.  Although he has used the news media for his own purpose, he calls every thing printed or televised as FAKE. )

Hitler quickly became popular when he promised change. Hitler blamed the Jews for losing WW I, therefore he promised to get rid of the Jews, improve the economy and make Germany just as powerful as it use to be.

 
(“Well, DEJAVU! TRUMP SCREAMS  I CAN MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”)

 
Then comes such statements as, Trump saying “North Korea better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations having ever been in trouble.” He also said that it was time that someone stood up to Kim Jong Un.  Doesn’t Trump know you do not go about handling an Idiot in this manner?

 
Then I wake this morning to our Idiot’s view on NK attacking Guam. In addition, I quote, “If there is one thing that Guam does not have to worry about while in the nuclear cross hairs of North Korea, its tourism. Trump also said that the threat would boost Guam tourism “tenfold.”

 
Hey, I looked it up in the dictionary, Idiot… an utterly foolish or senseless person. thKZOPHWAPYep, there it is a picture of Trump.

 

But Hey, all of this is just my opinion!  Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

The NAACP has a message…

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The NAACP has a message for a mostly white Alabama town that got the green light from a federal judge to split from a racially mixed county school district and start its own system.  In the end, however, Haikala allowed the split to be fair to the parents in Gardendale “who support a municipal separation for reasons that have nothing to do with race.”  However, Haikala also reserved the right to reverse her decision if Gardendale reverted back. Corky Siemaszko – NBC NEWS

The subject of this news clip is a small town that is home to some of what I call “shirttail” relatives’, however, I am certain they are relatives from the “white” side of the family.  Gardendale, Alabama a suburb of Birmingham was always white; it is located in Jefferson County and there has always been racial discord there.  Since desegregation became a reality to die hard Bible belt white folk, Gardendale has wanted to create its own school system and town leaders, it appears that these white folk are concerned that their town may become mostly black, while they prefer it to be mostly white.

I suppose that I am back on Trump again, nonetheless, I am fearful that these types of shameful situations will be on the rise as segregation, outlawing Islam, destroying US agriculture by deporting most of its field workers is the plan wanted by many of his followers.  Trump has been endorsed by major racists in the US, many White Supremacist hate groups openly campaigned for him.

AGAIN, I AM ORIGNALLY FROM ALABAMA!

I remember some of the wording (so I had to look it up) of the ORDINANCE OR GENERAL CODE created by the City of Birmingham, Alabama.  It stated that it would be unlawful for a Negro and a white person to play together, or be in the company with each other in any game of cards, dice, dominoes, checkers, baseball, softball, football, basketball or similar games.  Now, this ordinance was created from some of Alabama’s finest!

I have seen what happens up close and personally, what hate will do.  I personally witnessed what hate can do, and I will tell you now that even as a student in school if you were not a part of the “Jim Crow” laws or believed in them, you were called traitor or worse .  I lived through the demonstration eras of the 1950s and 1960s; it was horrible to hear of innocent people being treated as horrible as they were and the rules were made up as each incident occurred, not lawful rules; rules of hate.   There were still struggles to follow but the Civil Rights Act of 1964-banned segregation in public accommodations and employment in Alabama.  This may have ban segregation in the physically, but not the mentally.  There were no laws on how southerners thought and felt about what they were being “made” to do.

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Which brings me to the rise of African Americans as they were called in those days of essential freedoms, and that the Native Americans were not even considered American citizens at the time; the 14th Amendment that gave Blacks their citizenship excluded Native Americans.   Native Americans were not granted U.S. citizenship and the right to vote 1924 was 54 years after African-American men were allowed to vote, and four years after women received the same right with the 19th Amendment.

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My father, who was of Native American Chickasaw heritage, did not have the right to vote until he was twenty-one-years old.  His grandmother who was of the Mississippi Old Towne Tribe raised him, she eventually moved to Tarrant City, Alabama where she became a woman of means for the times.  My father came to live with her when he was just a boy after his mother died because he was going to be sent to the Indian School where they Americanized children.   The idea was that when indigenous people learned United States (American) customs and values, they would be able to merge tribal traditions with American culture and peacefully join society.  She removed him from the danger of this Americanization and placed him (for the right amount of money) into the local Catholic School.

I went through school hearing “kids” say that my father was a dirty Indian; that was the country school I attended, when we moved into town not so much (maybe the city kids were less “Redneck”).  Rarely did my mother go anywhere with my father, I believe she was embarrassed because she was a very prejudice person, why did she marry him, that’s another story.  When he moved his grandmother in with us, along with a grand old black lady that I called Aunt Francis (a common name for the times) that help raise me; I rarely saw her myself.  It was my father, great-grandmother, and Aunt Francis who taught me the values I possess today; I am so very grateful to them.

Therefore, as you can see I have lived in both worlds where prejudice lived and it was not present, when I read that towns like Gardendale, Alabama can now return to segregation I am embarrassed all over again.   Alabama is a beautiful state and I am certain that there are wonderful people who live there, but beauty as it is said to be only…skin-deep.

As a country that has always been GREAT…we cannot go backwards, we have lost too much in gaining what we have to let these crucial laws be changed.  We all need to join the fight against segregation laws being overturned.  Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree