The Confederacy: A Proud American Legacy or Suppressed Treachery? (Part I)

Prior to global protests against police brutality and systemic racism, Jennifer Luck and I were merely colleagues in theatre education. Currently a professor at Jacksonville State University, I first met Jennifer during the stage production of Mahalia at Birmingham Festival Theatre.

 

However, we now have another shared memory we would both rather forget – seeing men sworn to protect and serve pin an unarmed black man down in the gutter of Minneapolis. Officer Derek Chauvin was seen on camera pressing his knee into George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds to keep him from breathing. Standing by, clearly aiding and abetting, were his three colleagues. And it changed everything.

 

Enraged protestors flooded city streets nationwide following the senseless murder of Floyd by rogue police on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. All four officers involved would not be arrested or charged for nearly a week.

 

Removing Historic Figures or Traitorous Rebels?

In Alabama, activists led a slew of peaceful rallies, until some protesters decided it was time to remove the constant reminder of why the Confederacy existed in the first place – the graven statue of U. S. General, Robert E. Lee, in downtown Birmingham’s Linn Park.

 

As protestors defaced and vandalized the Lee statue, attempting to knock it down, Mayor Randall Woodfin assured the disgruntled crowd that he would have the statue removed within two days. This spurred protestors across the country to follow suit.

 

NASCAR announced it would no longer fly the confederate flag, and cities and colleges across the nation began removing state-funded statues and symbols of confederate soldiers from their grounds. But traitorous hate attempts to prevail, as Alabama’s only African-American NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace, and team #43 are attacked, arriving to races at Talladega Speedway on June 21, only to find a noose in his team’s garage stall.

 

Help from the Community

My friend Jennifer and many other fellow white Americans seek to understand what we as Black America has endured, actively working to see how they can address policy to effect positive change. What encourages me even more, is that she and other residents of Jacksonville are making a concerted effort to have a confederate statue in Jacksonville, Alabama’s town square removed.

 

“We have a petition and our art historian is doing the research and writing a provenance,” Jennifer stated. “We’ve already been to one city council meeting and raised the question in the public comments, and will speak again this evening. We’ve been looking into relocation options because we want it to be moved to a more appropriate place where it can be contextualized, not kept in a public space in the center of town.”

 

The Truth of America’s Treacherous Past

Some white Americans around the nation refuse to support the outcries against injustice, maintaining that American history is being destroyed by removing confederate symbols. However, truth about the Confederacy needs to be properly retaught to adults, including President Donald J. Trump.

 

During his election rally in Tulsa, OK on June 20, Trump seemed to provoke attendees in a mournful measure, saying that protestors were “tearing down our beautiful statues.”

 

We must remember that the 11 states who seceded from the United States in 1860 (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia) operated as a completely separate government with Jefferson Davies as President, following the election of President Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War was instigated by these seceded states, under the most notable Generals in the Confederacy, which included General Robert E. Lee, and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

 

“We are still dealing with the problems that were perpetuated by those who thought themselves to be superior based solely on the color of their skin,” notes Jennifer.

 

When the U.S. government made plans to abolish slavery, the majority of southerners waged war against its own country. This operation reeks of treachery, and it has been grossly glorified, intentionally mistaught, and yet honored in American history for over a century.

 

Jacksonville’s Issue in Town Square

Moved by Jennifer’s persistence in getting Jacksonville to authorize the removal of its confederate statue in Town Square, we delved deeper in hopes of garnering greater support for her efforts, and maybe even aiding in repealing Alabama law.

 

“Most of the confederate memorial statues were placed around the early 20th century by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC),” said Jennifer. “This organization of white women sought to reframe the narrative of the Civil War and the Confederacy, not as treasonous rebels who lost, but rather as heroic men fighting for a noble ‘Lost Cause.’

This was accomplished at the height of the Jim Crow era as confederate soldiers began to die off, intending to disenfranchise Black Americans and enforce segregation throughout the South. They wanted to reinforce ideas of white supremacy, which didn’t stop at erecting monuments. It continued with rewriting textbooks that were used in schools in Southern states throughout the 1970s.

They used their wealth and clout, being from prominent families, to impose their agenda on school children from all walks of life. Some of the challenges is overcoming the narratives of the ‘war of northern aggression,’ ‘states’ rights,’ and ‘happy darkies working in the fields,’ which are a direct result of their influence.”

 

Jennifer believes that removing these monuments from public places is just a first step in correcting American ills against African-Americans.

 

“Systemic racism exists,” Jennifer said pointedly. “It is baked into the foundational documents of our country. The constitution values a Black life at 3/5 the value of a white life. We had to amend it to rectify that horrific mistake. The place of Black Americans is full participation in our democratic processes, full participation in our society, and full equality under the law.

“These reminders placed by segregationists keep those wounds open and don’t allow for healing the wounds of racism and moving forward. Relocating them (confederate statues) to places where they can be contextualized as historical objects may not abolish racism, but it is a step in the direction of making our public spaces more welcoming to ALL of our citizens.”

 

Relocating Statue for Educational Purposes

Jennifer has also discovered parts of her family history and is more adamant than ever about removing the confederate statue in Jacksonville’s town square.

 

“We are working towards relocating the Confederate monument the UDC installed in 1909.  We garnered over 1,200 signatures on a petition, and our goal is to build community consensus to relocate the monument to a more appropriate location where it can be historically contextualized. One of the women working on this project is an art historian who has been researching the history of the monument and Jacksonville.

“We are conversing with local organizations that may be willing to house the monument, along with the city council about our public spaces in town. The essential question at hand is, ‘Does this monument reflect our community values today?’ We don’t believe it does.

“The inscription on the monument reads, in part, ‘Be it ours to transmit to posterity our unequivocal confidence in the righteousness of the cause for which these men died.’ We don’t have confidence in that righteousness. Owning other human beings as property is not righteous or part of our contemporary value system. It should not represent the heart and soul of our town.”

 

How You Can Help

Jennifer and other residents will reappear before the Jacksonville City Council tonight at 7 p.m. to petition for the removal of the confederate statue. They are asking all residents to engage in the discussion.

 

Citizens can immediately help by signing the online petition here at Change.org.

 

“We will continue posting updates for further actions taken by the community, and communicate progress that has been made in the effort,” said Jennifer. “As we move forward, there will likely be fundraising campaigns to cover the relocation and fines to pay to the state of Alabama.

 

The Wordz Blog follow-up story with Jennifer Luck will appear in the next blog, The Confederacy: A Proud American Legacy or Suppressed Treachery? (Part II). Stay tuned!

 

SIGN THE PETITION AT CHANGE.ORG NOW!

A Letter to Satan

What may hell look like?

A Letter to Satan

By LaShanna R. Tripp

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. ~Isaiah 5:14

 

Dear Satan,

My spirit mourned another death yesterday, as you dealt more blows to brown people. You invited the Supreme Court to once again overlook centuries of injustice in our plight as Congress signed a bill for a win that attempted to once again mute our cries of #blacklivesmatter.

Yet, we shall still have the last laugh. At dawning of this new day, Father Yahweh gave me a message for you:

In your incensed anger, you again worked through man’s suffering and ailing spirit, forgetting that which God warned you millenniums before He created this world:

Satan, you LOSE.
Almighty God reigns FOREVER.
We WIN.
The lake of fire still awaits YOU & ALL OF YOUR HATEFUL, UNBELIEVING, LYING, RACIST & DEMONIC MINIONS!

 

I declare and decree the Word of God:

No weapon formed against us will prosper and EVERY tongue that rises up against us, God gives us wisdom to condemn! This is our heritage as His saints, and our righteousness from Almighty God!” ~Isaiah 54:17

In Our Savior Yahushua’s Holy Name,
Amein!

#SatanYouLose
#GodReigns
#WeWin
#LakeOfFireAwaits

A Protest Poem for Police Brutality

If We Must to War…

*In the wake of George Floyd’s murder while in police custody on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, I struggled to find my voice. When it finally struck, it was at 2:00 a.m. on May 28. There is no filter here. Please ingest with caution. 

If we must to war
Rest assured we will die
But better like this
Than at the crooked hand
Of any blue-clad whites
Who provoke a perverse
Pivot back to a segregated past
Where ink on a
1964 Civil Rights Bill,
Which hasn’t bothered to last,
Dies over the graves
Of an exhausted generation
Who spoke of better days
For us

When those babies stood up
Against Bull Connor
And marched the racist streets of
“Bombingham” with Dr. King
As silenced adults stayed home
With bottles in their mouths,
Afraid to blink,
And risk their jobs,
As water hoses speared the
Innocent backsides
Of the
Beautiful brown skin
Of their children like knives…
Yet, 56 years later,
The grandchildren of those babies
Die in American-sanctioned
Hebrew genocides nationwide,
Full lives
Unlived.

If we must to war
Be sure
You are driven
By a heavenly Word
To stir a pot
That’s rotten
Like forgotten gumbo in NOLA
When the Levees Broke
Like the Ebola,
Now it’s Corona…

DON’T TELL ME WHAT THE HELL TO GET OVA
WHEN TWO EPIDEMICS ARE RACING TO KILL
ME, MY HUSBAND, SON & DAUGHTERS IN THESE STREETS!

Between Corona and Racism
I don’t know what to think!

They blasted Ahmaud
Before the quarantine hit
Had nerve to try and hide it
Shot Breonna cold dead
In her bed
Then kneeled down on
The neck
Of George, our gentle giant
May all our senselessly dead
Rest in sweet heavenly peace
Couldn’t speak
Cuz my brotha
Couldn’t breath!

AND NONE OF THE OTHER THREE
MOVED TO BLOCK IT
MAMA…
MAMA, HELP ME
STOP THIS!

I. CAN’T. BREATH, Ameri-KKK!!!!

I’m on fire like Minneapolis
Your Targets are a target
What a pity, this city…
Now havoc is runnin’
Cuz you were gunnin’
To remove me from
This rat race
With your racist
Maliciousness
Now pace yourself
Because one thing I know

Is if we must war
Heaven already knew
He told us
In Ecclesiastes 3
Verse 16 divided by
Two Tales of America
Prophesied this sore
White people, I ask
What are you waiting for?

You hugged me
Said you loved me
Said you cared
Will you now dare
Your privilege to
Take on this massive demon
And help gain victory
For a detested Hebrew like me?
He said,
To everything there is a season
And a time to every purpose
Under His sun

Now…is the time to SPEAK!
Now…is the time to BREAK DOWN!
NOW…is the time to WAR!!!!

War against a system
That spills our blood
Too easily into the streets
And laughs mockingly at the anguish
That consumes our souls

Through unequal education,
Incorrigible wages,
And pathetic healthcare
All the while
A false smile
An inhumane hand
Stabbing us in the back
Like the forgotten stepchild
As we rise to take a stand
For being Hebrew
But He knew
The thoughts
The plans
And they aren’t few…
So…

If we must to war
Heaven prophesied this sore
White people, I ask again
What are you still waiting for?
Whatcha gonna do about
Bad cops, bad cops…
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do
When Yah comes for you?

If we must,
We will die.
For He has already
Given prophecy of
Ultimate victory
Over your unbridled hate!

 

Rest in peace, Mr. George Floyd, and the too many black lives senselessly lost due to racist and rogue police.

Video timeline of Mr. Floyd’s final moments on May 25, 2020:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/30/video-timeline-george-floyd-death/?arc404=true

New Devils STOP!

What adversaries are stopping you from taking a leap of faith? Just pick any distraction.

Distractions are interesting. Distractions cause us to pause and more often than not, miss out on important, right-now moments in a life we’re not promised to be living tomorrow.

These disruptive distractions are unnecessary hesitations that delay what we know in our hearts we need to be doing. They are also emotions fed to us by others seeking to infest us with their own innate fears.

Today should be the day we stop living our life based on other people’s fears!

These distractions are simply your adversary seeking to delay you from your purpose. And man, did one hit me just this week through a loved one.

I found myself on a call that was intended to be a moment to catch-up, but it became pretty shady fairly quickly. I felt as if my talent and choices to transition to a new career was being attacked through a hidden, one-sided verbal war I thought I was unsuited to fight.

Out of respect, I could only sit there in shock as I listened to an onslaught of self-righteous opinions that sought to apparently somehow correct me. The goal, of course, was to stall me and take me off of my game!

I finally just hung up, but I could only stand there, stupefied. And then it hit me out of nowhere.

NEW DEVILS.

Earlier that morning, while running errands with my husband, he pulled to a STOP sign in our neighborhood that we’ve passed hundreds of times before. However, my eyes caught something posted on the sign that I had never noticed before. The two words somehow screamed at me just then, and I instinctively knew that it was a warning:

NEW DEVILS

I Corinthians 16:9 rushed to mind. I recalled that as doors and resources are being opened up to us during a season of growth and transition to greater, many adversaries rush in right along with the blessings. Now, this sign can be seen in different ways if we add punctuation:

  1. NEW DEVILS STOP. (Meaning new devils distract you and keep you from moving forward.)
  2. NEW DEVILS, STOP! (Meaning we shout out and tell the new devils to stop distracting us!)

I immediately just thanked God for the warning because it allowed me to focus back on what He told me: that this time won’t be like last time!

Both interpretations of this sign today were important to me!

Some of you, like myself, have taken risks before and failed very well, and are now in a season of trying again. God has promised that this time won’t be like last time.

That last time, you didn’t have a plan.

The time before last time, you were younger and didn’t seek wisdom and understanding.

This last time, you didn’t trust Him like you do now.

This is not the last time. This time, is your time.

Despite what your adversaries are doing, focus on what God said to you! Do you need discipline? Buckle down. Do you need help? Ask Him for it.

Fulfillment will only come when you are in pursuit of utilizing your gifts and talents to help others.

Cory Asbury’s moving song, Water and Dust, reminds us that God makes beautiful out of our ugliness. When everything around us is falling apart and not shaping up to be what we thought, don’t lose heart. He is working. 

You were created for greater! Tell the new devils you are three feet from striking gold, and you are not quitting!

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Everything you have is because #GodDidIt!

#GodDidIt

Everything you have is because #GOD DID IT!

LaShanna R. Tripp

©2019 Wordz & Rhythmz LLC Publishing. 

 

Everything we have is because God did it.

What happens when we forget Who brought us from meagerness to greatness?

This poem is a reminder of this truth, which God spoke to me through a rushing wind as I stood on a hill overlooking Homewood from a building our production studio now calls home. In that moment, I knew that He was trusting us to never withhold giving Him glory for what He was doing in our lives.

We have been able to overcome lack and stagnancy only because God did it. 

It is through divine connections that we are in this studio space. The years of being stripped of everything we owned, enduring heartache through miscarriages and hurtful jabs from people we loved and trusted had culminated into this moment. And I was completely full!

All I heard Him say was simply, “Don’t forget Me!”

Can God trust you in the territory you are wanting Him to bring you into?

Will you be able to to tell everyone that God Did It?

 

#God Did It!

©2019 Wordz & Rhythmz LLC Publishing. 

 

Who…moved…my…cheese?

A mouse, caught in a trap

Public classrooms / brought dooms

Your sista didn’t see that on a map!

Now, it served for a time

But poured out too many limits

Admins slapping my hand, saying, 

“Mrs. Tripp, betta quit it!”

 

That daily grind?

Honey, I surely don’t miss it!

Educator, underpaid

And these kids don’t get whippings?!

 

Brand new theatre, no respect for the craft

Directing shows, teens calling each other hoes

As colleagues I respect

Just stand back and laugh?

I looked up to God in year 7, and said,

“Lord, is this job complete?”

See, it served for a time

But poured pain into me!

 

So when things didn’t change

After four years plus four more

God spoke, loud and clear,

From Luke 5 and verse 4

 

“Launch into the deep…”

And tears raced down my face,

For I knew, in my soul

It was time for a change!

 

So, I stepped out on faith,

Though scared, yet upbeat!

Where I am is because

All my fears He defeats!

And as I look around, from this hill to those streets,

I holler,

(Hashtag) GodDidIt!

On all social media feeds!

 

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