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May 23, 2018

Bought with Blood

For those who think they can lightly throw away their vote, they need to think.

For halfwits like Susan Sarandon who think it’s cute to contemplate a Trump presidency to speed up their revolution, I have something to say.

For those who fly confederate flags and/or talk about states rights as if it is a noble thing, I have a message.

For those who think it is acceptable to contemplate a Trump presidency, that a racist, egomaniacal bully could ever be allowed to be President for one moment, I want to introduce some history.

Elections have consequences, and they can be life and death consequences.

Trump bragged that he could kill someone, and nobody would care; that wasn’t a joke. He has downplayed his association with David Duke, as if it didn’t matter. That should strike fear in the heart of every American. It was this kind of mindset, that one skin tone is better than another and one life more valuable than another, that ruled the Deep South in the 60s.

It has happened right here in the USA and not so long ago. While many of you are young enough to not remember, I, along with many others, will never forget. Do not for one minute think it cannot happen again.

Let me take you back to the Summer of Freedom. It was a time when the Deep South thought it was an entity unto itself that could treat certain groups of people as if they were less than human, and those damn feds had better not come interfere in their business. We’ve all watched the open resurrection of that line of thought with Cliven Bundy and his crowd, so let’s take a moment and look at what that allowed for.

This video is the true story of the murdered freedom riders. It’s about an hour long, but something everyone should devote an hour of their time to, and think long and hard about before November. I’ll give you the Cliff notes in case you can’t find time.

Young people from the North joined with black people in the South for what was known as the Freedom Rides. There are many terrible stories of the Freedom Rides…doors jammed on buses trapping the riders inside while the buses were set on fire and more. We will never know how many black people died due to racists in the South thinking they could do whatever they wished with “their” black folk, but this one small glimpse of that history shows what this same attitude allowed them to do with impunity.

They murdered 3 boys and buried them in an earthen dam. The state of Mississippi wouldn’t even bother to investigate their disappearance. So the FBI investigated, found the bodies, and built the case. And they had the case of all cases. They even had signed confessions, but the state of Mississippi would not convict these cold-blooded murderers. The DOJ could only prosecute under Civil Rights laws, so what little punishment they received was no more than a slap on the wrist considering their heinous crimes. (ONE was eventually convicted in Mississippi… 41 years later).

Three very young men:
Michael Schwerner, 24
James Earl Cheney 21
Andrew Goodman 20

Look at the faces of these gentle boys.

freedom riders

Now look at the faces of their murderers. One was known as “the preacher” because he was, in fact, a preacher.


Schwerner and Goodman were white boys of Jewish heritage from New York, and Andrew Goodman wasn’t even old enough to buy a drink in a bar. They went to the South to help James Earl Cheney and others in their struggle for the right to vote. Yes, that’s all the freedom rides were about…making sure black folk were allowed to register to vote. They were only there to be witnesses to voter obstruction, not to riot, yet they died for that effort.

The two Jewish boys were murdered first, probably because standing with black folk made you worse than a black person in the KKK culture, and that meant you were also an animal who could be disposed of without a second thought. They likely also saved James Earl Cheney for last, so he could know that he was powerless, and there was nobody to save him. They thrived on terror.

They were dragged from their car and shot like stray dogs, and there was evidence that young Andrew Goodman was actually still alive when he was buried in that dam. Think about that when you speak of how horrible Jihadi John was, and ask yourself if there is a difference. Yes, the KKK was and is our ISIS.

Of the 3, James Earl Cheney was probably the bravest because, being from Mississippi and of a dark skin tone, he likely understood better than the others that they didn’t hesitate to murder black people in the South…and that they wouldn’t hesitate to kill anyone standing between them and their prey.

Watch the video, and then tell me if you think we can afford the risk of a President Trump to advance some ideological “revolution.” But most of all I want you to tell me if you will voluntarily throw away the vote that these brave young men died for. This was and is the revolution, people, not having fits at a rally and/or throwing away your precious vote in a fit of pique.

They were little more than kids, younger than most of you, yet they gave all, and it cannot be allowed to be in vain. That vote you speak so lightly of was bought with their blood…and the blood of many others. It was precious blood.

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Cheris Place

Cheris Place

I am old enough to remember a time when Americans worked toward a bright future with hope and promise. We went to the moon because JFK said we would. We marched on seeking that more perfect union. People born after Reagan and the era of negativity never got to see what we can do when we stand together with and for each other, so I feel it is a duty for the ones who remember those times to tell the younger ones who haven’t seen what this country is capable of being. It's why I write.
Cheris Place

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