Move The Confederate Rebel Flag To Museums

We The People Petition

WE THE PEOPLE Petition: Remove the Conferderate Rebel Flag from State House Grounds

Force the state of South Carolina to remove the Confederate Rebel Flag from the State House grounds.

With the recent events in Charleston, South Carolina at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, the symbol in which this act of terrorism was committed was through the representation of the Confederate Rebel flag. We ask President Barack Obama to have the flag removed from the South Carolina State House grounds and from all governmental buildings. It epitomizes hate and destruction of a much darker time.

SIGN THE PETITION: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/force-state-south-carolina-remove-confederate-rebel-flag-state-house-grounds

June 22, 2000 Ku Klux Klan member holding Confederate Rebel Flag
June 22, 2000 Ku Klux Klan members holding Confederate Rebel Flag

Obama thinks Confederate flag ‘belongs in a museum

6/19/15 By Jordan Fabian – TheHill

President Obama believes the Confederate flag “belongs in a museum,” the White House said Friday amid calls for it to be taken down, following a mass shooting in South Carolina.

“The president has said before he believes the Confederate flag belongs in a museum, and that is still his position,” spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One.

A mass shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., has renewed the debate over whether the Confederate battle flag should continue to fly in the state.

The suspected shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, reportedly drove a car with Confederate flag license plates.

And while the U.S. and South Carolina flags were lowered to half-staff following the shooting, the Confederate flag that flies near the state capitol flew at full height, a move that drew criticism.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s office said Thursday she could not lower the flag without approval from the state legislature. The GOP governor has dismissed calls to remove it in the past.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), the Palmetto State’s former governor, said talking about removing the flag is like “opening Pandora’s Box.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), a 2016 presidential candidate, called the Confederate banner “part of who we are” as South Carolinians.

NAACP President Cornell Brooks said Friday the flag must come down. He criticized those who say it’s simply a symbol of the state’s history, calling it an “emblem of hate.”

“When we see that symbol lifted up as an emblem of hate, as a tool of hate, as an inspiration for hate, as an inspiration for violence, that symbol has to come down,” he said Friday in Charleston.

Obama first called for the Confederate flag to be retired to a museum in 2007 during his campaign for president, months before their South Carolina primary.

Lennos Lemon, 12, sits on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Lennos Lemon, 12, sits on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it’s past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

 


UPDATES:

June 2015 

July 2015

June 2016

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37 thoughts on “Move The Confederate Rebel Flag To Museums

  1. WH

    Saturday, June 20, 2015

    First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama depart Venice

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

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    President Obama departs San Francisco, CA en route to Palm Springs, CA
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    President Obama arrives in Palm Springs, California
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    President Obama overnights in Palm Springs, CA

  2. WE THE PEOPLE Petition: Remove the Conferderate Rebel Flag from State House Grounds

    Force the state of South Carolina to remove the Confederate Rebel Flag from the State House grounds.
    With the recent events in Charleston, South Carolina at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, the symbol in which this act of terrorism was committed was through the representation of the Confederate Rebel flag. We ask President Barack Obama to have the flag removed from the South Carolina State House grounds and from all governmental buildings. It epitomizes hate and destruction of a much darker time.

    SIGN THE PETITION: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/force-state-south-carolina-remove-confederate-rebel-flag-state-house-grounds

    • Obama thinks Confederate flag ‘belongs in a museum

      6/19/15 By Jordan Fabian – TheHill

      President Obama believes the Confederate flag “belongs in a museum,” the White House said Friday amid calls for it to be taken down, following a mass shooting in South Carolina.

      “The president has said before he believes the Confederate flag belongs in a museum, and that is still his position,” spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One.

      A mass shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., has renewed the debate over whether the Confederate battle flag should continue to fly in the state.

      The suspected shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, reportedly drove a car with Confederate flag license plates.

      And while the U.S. and South Carolina flags were lowered to half-staff following the shooting, the Confederate flag that flies near the state capitol flew at full height, a move that drew criticism.

      South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s office said Thursday she could not lower the flag without approval from the state legislature. The GOP governor has dismissed calls to remove it in the past.

      Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), the Palmetto State’s former governor, said talking about removing the flag is like “opening Pandora’s Box.”

      Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), a 2016 presidential candidate, called the Confederate banner “part of who we are” as South Carolinians.

      NAACP President Cornell Brooks said Friday the flag must come down. He criticized those who say it’s simply a symbol of the state’s history, calling it an “emblem of hate.”

      “When we see that symbol lifted up as an emblem of hate, as a tool of hate, as an inspiration for hate, as an inspiration for violence, that symbol has to come down,” he said Friday in Charleston.

      Obama first called for the Confederate flag to be retired to a museum in 2007 during his campaign for president, months before the South Carolina primary.

    • What the Confederate flag really means to America today, according to a race historian

      June 19, 2015 By Roberto A. Ferdman – washingtonpost

      In the aftermath of Thursday’s tragedy in Charleston, the U.S. and South Carolina flags flew at half-mast over the top of the South Carolina State House to honor the black victims of a hate crime. But flying high in front of the building was another symbol: a Confederate flag.

      Some argue that the flag is a symbol of slavery and oppression, while others insist that it is purely a matter of Southern heritage and pride.

      But too little of the conversation takes into account the flag’s complicated history, according to Matthew Guterl, a professor of Africana and American studies at Brown University who studies race in the aftermath of the Civil War. Given his research, which has touched frequently on the use of the Confederate flag, Guterl says that he finds it impossible to argue that it’s a neutral symbol.

      I spoke with Guterl to learn what exactly people misunderstand about the flag, its history, and how that affects what it symbolizes today. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

      Let’s start with what drives the mentality that has angered so many people. Why do people embrace the Confederate flag?

      There are at least two reasons why people embrace the battle flag or the stars and bars, which was first used by the army of northern Virginia.

      The first, which is a kind of surface explanation, is that they imagine that in that context the flag is a representation of Southern history, Southern heritage, and Southern culture. They tie it to questions of state’s rights, and the absence of federal oversight.

      People see it as a symbol of the South as a bound and discrete place. A part of the heritage that’s being celebrated with it is that the South is the South, that the region has clear borders that might collate with the borders of the Confederacy. It’s bound up, in this sense, in the question of the South as a once nation.

      But I also think that people invoke the flag because they want to endorse on some level, even if secretly or subconsciously, the very rationale for the Confederacy. When people say ‘heritage not hate,’ they are omitting the obvious, which is that that heritage is hate. When someone says it’s about history, well, that particular history is inseparable from hate, because it is about hate. It’s about racism, and it’s about slavery.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/19/what-the-confederate-flag-really-means-to-america-today-according-to-a-race-historian/

    • Bill to take down Confederate flag in S.C. on the way

      6/22/15 08:00AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      If Republican presidential candidates are hoping the debate over state-endorsed Confederate battle flags will fade away soon, they’re probably going to be disappointed.

      State Rep. Doug Brannon, a South Carolina Republican, talked to msnbc’s Chris Hayes on Friday night, and the host asked if he’s prepared to sponsor a bill to take the flag down. It led to this exchange:

      BRANNON: That’s correct.

      HAYES: That’s pretty remarkable. What made you want to do that?

      BRANNON: I had a friend die Wednesday night for no reason other than he was a black man. Senator Pinkney was an incredible human being.

      Note, the debate won’t begin right away. In the interview, Brannon went on to say that his plan is to pre-file the proposal in December, so that the bill will be ready when state lawmakers’ return to work in January for their 2016 session.

      Again, just to clarify, Brannon is a Republican, which raises the prospect of a bipartisan bill generating quite a bit of attention next year — just in time for South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary on Feb. 20, 2016.

      That’s almost certainly not what the Republicans’ White House hopefuls want to hear. On the contrary, in the face of repeated questioning and considerable public discussion, exactly zero GOP candidates have explicitly called on the state to remove the controversial flag from its Statehouse.

      For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/bill-take-down-confederate-flag-sc-the-way

    • South Carolina governor calls for Confederate flag’s removal

      6/23/15 By Harriet McLeod, Luciana Lopez and Alana Wise

      CHARLESTON/COLUMBIA, S.C. (Reuters) – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday called on lawmakers to take down the Confederate battle flag at the state capitol grounds, a week after a white gunman allegedly shot dead nine black worshipers at a historic church.

      The flag that has flown at the State House grounds in Columbia for a half century became a fresh focus of criticism after the Charleston church massacre. Federal authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime and an act of terrorism by accused gunman Dylann Roof, 21, who posed with the flag in photos posted online.

      “It’s time to move the flag from the capitol grounds,” Haley, a Republican, told a news conference in the state capital, about 100 miles (161 km) from the shooting.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/south-carolina-governor-calls-confederate-flags-removal-001226151.html

    • NEXT: The State of Mississippi needs to alter their flag!

      Mississippi 2001 Flag Referendum

      Design was proposed in the past, but never officially adopted 2001 proposed flag of Mississippi

      In 2000, the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that state legislature in 1906 had repealed the adoption of the state flag in 1894, so what was considered to be the official state flag was only so through custom and usage. The flag was officially readopted on February 7, 2001. In January 2001, Governor Ronnie Musgrove appointed an independent commission which developed a new proposed design, and on April 17, 2001, a non-binding state referendum to change the flag was put before Mississippi voters. The proposal would have replaced the Confederate battle flag with a blue canton with 20 stars. The outer ring of 13 stars would represent the original Thirteen Colonies, the ring of six stars would represent the six nations that have had sovereignty over Mississippi territory (various Native American nations as a collective nation, French Empire, Spanish Empire, Great Britain, the United States, and the Confederacy), and the inner and slightly larger star would represent Mississippi itself. The 20 stars would also represent Mississippi’s status as the 20th member of the United States. The referendum for a new flag was defeated in a vote of 64% (488,630 votes) to 36% (267,812) and the old flag was retained.

      • Mississippi leaders are now talking about the Confederate logo on their state flag

        6/23/15 By Colin Campbell – Business Insider

        The Confederate flag debate appears to be moving from South Carolina to Mississippi, where the state flag prominently features the Confederate battle flag.

        Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), one of the more prominent leaders calling on South Carolina to move its flag, reportedly urged Mississippi on Tuesday to drop the Confederate symbol as well.

        On Monday, South Carolina’s governor and two senators held a joint press conference to announce a bipartisan push to take the Confederate flag down from the state capitol grounds.

        The announcement came in the aftermath of last week’s massacre in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, has been repeatedly photographed wielding the Confederate battle flag, which is often used by white supremacists.

        But as many observers pointed out, several Southern states have official flags that evoke Confederate images. Of those, Mississippi is by far the least subtle.

        At least one prominent Republican is calling for Mississippi to get rid of the Confederate icon. The Clarion-Ledger reports that Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) released a statement on Monday calling for the Confederate emblem to go.

        “We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Gunn said. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”

        According to The Associated Press, State Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones (D), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, agreed.

        “We should be constantly re-examining these types of stereotypes that label our state for what it used to be a long time ago,” he said.

        However, not every leader in the state thinks the flag should be changed. Notably, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said the legislature should not overrule the electorate, which in 2001 voted to keep the state flag as-is.

        “A vast majority of Mississippians voted to keep the state’s flag,” Bryant said in a statement, according to the local ABC affiliate WAPT, “and I don’t believe the Mississippi Legislature will act to supersede the will of the people on this issue.”

    • Virginia governor orders Confederate flag removed from license plates

      6/23/15 Reuters

      RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) – Virginia will phase out vehicle license plates featuring the Confederate battle flag, the state’s governor said on Tuesday, following the fatal shootings of nine black worshipers at a historic South Carolina church, allegedly by a white gunman.

      The state, which was part of the pro-slavery Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War, will no longer allow specialty license plates for the Sons of Confederate Veterans group that feature the flag, said Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat.

      Supporters of the flag describe it as a symbol of the South’s history and culture as well a memorial to the roughly 480,000 Confederate Civil War casualties, but detractors see it as a symbol of racism.

      “Its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people,” McAuliffe said in a statement.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/virginia-governor-orders-confederate-flag-removed-license-plates-152930901.html

    • Mississippi leaders are now talking about the Confederate logo on their state flag

      6/23/15 By Colin Campbell – Business Insider

      The Confederate flag debate appears to be moving from South Carolina to Mississippi, where the state flag prominently features the Confederate battle flag.

      Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), one of the more prominent leaders calling on South Carolina to move its flag, reportedly urged Mississippi on Tuesday to drop the Confederate symbol as well.

      On Monday, South Carolina’s governor and two senators held a joint press conference to announce a bipartisan push to take the Confederate flag down from the state capitol grounds.

      The announcement came in the aftermath of last week’s massacre in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, has been repeatedly photographed wielding the Confederate battle flag, which is often used by white supremacists.

      But as many observers pointed out, several Southern states have official flags that evoke Confederate images. Of those, Mississippi is by far the least subtle.

      At least one prominent Republican is calling for Mississippi to get rid of the Confederate icon. The Clarion-Ledger reports that Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) released a statement on Monday calling for the Confederate emblem to go.

      “We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Gunn said. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”

      According to The Associated Press, State Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones (D), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, agreed.

      “We should be constantly re-examining these types of stereotypes that label our state for what it used to be a long time ago,” he said.

      However, not every leader in the state thinks the flag should be changed. Notably, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said the legislature should not overrule the electorate, which in 2001 voted to keep the state flag as-is.

      “A vast majority of Mississippians voted to keep the state’s flag,” Bryant said in a statement, according to the local ABC affiliate WAPT, “and I don’t believe the Mississippi Legislature will act to supersede the will of the people on this issue.”

    • GOP WRONG WAY

      House Ducks Confederate Flag Decision by Canceling Vote

      July 9, 2015 by Billy House and Jim Myers – bloomberg

      Torn between demands to banish the Confederate flag as a symbol of racial hatred and a desire by some lawmakers to let Confederate Memorial Day ceremonies go on unchanged, House leaders punted on the issue for now.

      “I don’t want to see this become a political football,” Speaker John Boehner told reporters as leadership pulled the underlying legislation from floor consideration.

      The Ohio Republican said he wants “members on both sides of the aisle to sit down and address what, quite frankly, has become a thorny issue.”

      Before the bill was pulled, New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries had urged his colleagues to leave intact the Confederate flag restriction in the Interior-EPA appropriations bill, H.R. 2822.

      “We have an opportunity today to make a definitive statement, to be leaders not individuals who cower in fear of some narrow-minded Americans who aren’t aware that the South lost the war 150 years ago,” Jeffries said. “The Confederate battle flag is nothing more than a symbol of racial hatred and oppression.”

      Earlier this week, the House had agreed by voice vote to add to the spending bill restrictions on the display and sale of the flag in national parks. Republican Ken Calvert of California proposed paring back some of those restrictions, and a vote had been scheduled today on his amendment.

      Calvert proposed codifying a National Park Service memorandum that would allow small Confederate flags on graves of Confederate veterans in states that have designated a Confederate Memorial Day. That memo also specifies that the flags should come at no cost to the National Park Service; that they shouldn’t be flown on any cemetery flagpole; and that they be removed as soon as possible after Confederate Memorial Day.

      The memo also asked vendors, nonprofits and partners to “voluntarily withdraw sales in their stores of Confederate flags” and souvenirs with flag on them.

      Boehner didn’t say when he might allow a floor vote. “That bill is going to sit in abeyance until we come to some resolution,” he said.

      Boehner said he doesn’t personally support having Confederate flags in the national cemeteries.

      The bill was pulled from the House floor hours before South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was scheduled to sign a bill removing the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. A flag-removal ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow.

      Still pending in Congress is a measure that would require the removal of Mississippi’s state flag from House office buildings and the House side of the Capitol. The upper corner of that flag shows an emblem of the Confederate battle flag. The resolution, H. Res. 341, by Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, is awaiting action by the House Administration Committee.

    • South Carolina governor signs bill to remove Confederate flag

      July 09, 2015, 04:26 pm By Jesse Byrnes

      South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) on Thursday signed a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds

      “This is a story about action. This is a story about the history of South Carolina,” Haley said during a press conference after signing the bill.

      “Today, I am very proud to say, that it is a great day in South Carolina,” Haley said.

      Haley called for the flag to be removed from the Statehouse grounds days after a June 17 shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine people dead.

      “May we never forget the actions those people took to get us to this point today,” Haley said of those who died. She was flanked by members of their families on Thursday.

      The state House voted 97-23 early Thursday to remove the flag after more than 12 hours of debate. The South Carolina Senate voted earlier this week to move the legislation.

      The flag will be officially removed on Friday morning [at 10:00 AM ET].

      For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/247426-south-carolina-governor-signs-bill-to-remove-confederate-flag

      • Rep. John Lewis delivers emotional floor speech on the Confederate flag

        July 09, 2015, 04:57 pm By Cristina Marcos – TheHill

        Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), one of the key figures in the civil rights movement, gave an emotional plea on the House floor Thursday to ban the display of the Confederate flag.

        Hours earlier, House GOP leaders pulled an Interior Department spending bill from floor consideration due to an intraparty division over whether the Confederate flag should be allowed in certain national cemeteries. And the House effectively punted on whether to ban the display of Confederate images around the Capitol complex.

        “I must tell you, my heart is heavy. I’m saddened by what has happened here in America,” Lewis began.

        Lewis, who is the only living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, compared signs indicating facilities for “colored” and “white” people to the current struggle over taking down the Confederate flag. The Georgia Democrat served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was the youngest of the most prominent civil rights activists during the 1960s.

        “During the height of the civil rights movement, we broke those signs down. They are gone. And the only place we would see those signs today would be in a book, in a museum, or on a video,” he said.

        The Confederate flag, he said, should similarly be relegated to history.

        “We need to bring down the flag. The scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in every corner of American society,” Lewis said.

        “I don’t want to see our little children, whether they are black or white, Latino, Asian-American or Native American, growing up seeing these signs of division,” he added. “Hate is too heavy a burden to bear. We need not continue to plant these seeds in the minds of our people.”

        For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/247436-rep-john-lewis-on-confederate-flag-my-heart-is-heavy

  3. Statement by the President on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

    12:20 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.

    Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.

    Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

    Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.

    The FBI is now on the scene with local police, and more of the Bureau’s best are on the way to join them. The Attorney General has announced plans for the FBI to open a hate crime investigation. We understand that the suspect is in custody. And I’ll let the best of law enforcement do its work to make sure that justice is served.

    Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case. But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing.

    But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

    The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.

    The good news is I am confident that the outpouring of unity and strength and fellowship and love across Charleston today, from all races, from all faiths, from all places of worship indicates the degree to which those old vestiges of hatred can be overcome. That, certainly, was Dr. King’s hope just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama.

    He said they lived meaningful lives, and they died nobly. “They say to each of us,” Dr. King said, “black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely with [about] who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American Dream.

    “And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him, and that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace.”

    Reverend Pinckney and his congregation understood that spirit. Their Christian faith compelled them to reach out not just to members of their congregation, or to members of their own communities, but to all in need. They opened their doors to strangers who might enter a church in search of healing or redemption.

    Mother Emanuel church and its congregation have risen before –- from flames, from an earthquake, from other dark times -– to give hope to generations of Charlestonians. And with our prayers and our love, and the buoyancy of hope, it will rise again now as a place of peace.

    Thank you.

    END
    12:28 P.M. EDT

    • Michelle Obama lights candles in Italy for shooting victims

      6/18/15 By COLLEEN BARRY – The Associated Press

      MILAN — Michelle Obama and her daughters visited Milan’s Duomo cathedral on Thursday, where an official traveling with her said they lit candles in memory of the victims of the shooting in South Carolina.

      The first lady, dressed in black, and her elder daughter Malia were seen by photographers entering the Gothic-inspired cathedral on the unannounced stop. They were joined by the Obamas’ younger daughter Sasha and the first lady’s mother Marian Robinson, the official said.

      For more; http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/michelle-obama-lights-candles-in-italy-for-shooting-victims/

    • June 18, 2015

      Statement by the Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden on the Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

      Hate has once again been let loose in an American community. And the senseless actions of a coward have once again cut short so many lives with so much promise. Our hearts ache with sorrow with the entire Emanuel AME Church family as they seek solace and comfort in the shadow of a gunman’s act of pure evil and hatred. Our love and prayers are with them.

      We last saw Reverend Clementa Pinckney less than a year ago at a prayer breakfast in Columbia. He was a good man, a man of faith, a man of service who carried forward Mother Emaunel’s legacy as a sacred place promoting freedom, equality, and justice for all. We pray for him and his sister as we do for the seven other innocent souls who entered that storied church for their weekly Bible study seeking nothing more than humble guidance for the full lives ahead of them.

      We have no doubt the coward who committed this heinous act will be brought to justice. But as a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities.

      As Mayor Riley made clear, all of Charleston’s heart bleeds today—but the overwhelming display of unity will bring forth the city’s healing. We will never forget those innocent souls who lost their lives. We will be there with all the strength and support and prayers we can offer to the families who now grieve. And as a nation we will come together.

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Stop and take a look …. The meaning behind this flag is despicable. Many despicable acts have been committed in its name. It’s time to give that part of history up!

  5. June 19, 2015

    Statement by the President on World Refugee Day

    Tomorrow, on World Refugee Day, we will pause to reflect on the millions around the world who have been displaced from their homes—the hardships they face, the courage and resilience they demonstrate, and the dedication of those who come to their aid.

    This year’s commemoration comes as worldwide displacement reaches record levels, with nearly 60 million people uprooted by wars, violence, and persecution. From Syria to Iraq, from Burma to Burundi, from South Sudan to eastern Ukraine, the number of displaced and vulnerable has escalated. The struggles of some are captured in searing images—of people waiting at border crossings, housed in endless lines of tents, and crammed into rickety boats at sea—while those of others, crowded into the shadows of large cities, may go unobserved.

    World Refugee Day is a solemn occasion for the United States to join our partners in the international community in recognizing the dignity, value, and potential of every one of these lives. It is a time to recall this Nation’s proud tradition of providing support to those who are most vulnerable, and a moment to challenge ourselves to continue being as generous and resourceful as we can in meeting their needs.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/19/statement-president-world-refugee-day

  6. US Supreme Court Hands Down 2 Decisions on Immigration

    June 20, 2015 9:42 AM VOA News

    The United States Supreme Court handed down two important decisions this week, striking down substantive due-process rights for immigrants, but offering procedural protections for immigrants who miss deadlines in deportation proceedings.

    The first case, Kerry v. Din, discusses the rights of Kanishka Berashk, the spouse of Fauzia Din, to be able to immigrate to the U.S. to join Din, who is a U.S. citizen.

    After the U.S. State Department denied Berashk’s visa application, citing a broad terrorism-related statute because he used to work in the Taliban-controlled government, he sued Secretary of State John Kerry and tried to get the high court to review that denial.

    No right

    The Supreme Court held that because Berashk is not a U.S. citizen, he did not have the right to get a court review, and his U.S. citizen wife also did not have a due-process right to get the visa denial challenged in a federal court.

    Steven Yale-Loehr, a law professor at Cornell University, said the Supreme Court’s decision on this case has a much broader impact on immigration to the U.S.

    “If a U.S. citizen marries a Chinese citizen in China and tries to petition through the green-card process to have the foreign spouse come over to the United States, and if the U.S. (consulate) in Guangzhou were to deny the visa because the foreign spouse is a former member of the Communist Party, or they allege maybe the Chinese citizen committed some crimes in the past even though it is unproven, that would not be reviewable in the U.S. court,” Yale-Loehr said.

    That means the couple would be either separated or the U.S. citizen spouse would have to move to China to live there with his or her spouse, he added.

    Kerry William Bretz, a New York-based immigration attorney, said the court clearly separated the rights for people inside and outside the U.S.

    “Due process applies to people who are in the United States, whether you are a citizen, not a citizen and you cross the border without inspection,” Bretz said. “It does not apply to people abroad.

    “Most of the folks that are looking for review of the denial of visas are abroad and they are asking for a nonimmigrant visa, and any nonimmigrant visa is at the discretion of the Department of State,” he said.

    Deportation proceedings

    In the second case the Supreme Court decided recently, Mata v. Lynch, Noel Reyes Mata, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was put in deportation proceedings after he was convicted of assault.

    Mata’s appeal was ultimately denied by the Immigration Board of Appeals after his attorneys failed to submit the appeals brief and later missed the deadline in filing motions to reopen the case.

    After the lower court dismissed Mata’s case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal appeals court has the authority to hear his case and decide whether people facing deportation should be able to extend the deadlines in immigration proceedings.

    Yale-Loehr, of Cornell University, said the Supreme Court emphasized procedural protections in immigration deportation proceedings.

    “The Supreme Court said, ‘Look, we are not going to decide whether the Mexican citizen case should be overturned, but at least the federal court has jurisdiction to hear the case.’ ”

    For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/us-supreme-court-hands-down-two-decisions-on-immigration/2830500.html

  7. Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    June 20, 2015

    Hi, everybody. As President, I spend most of my time focused on what we can do to grow the economy and grow new pathways of opportunity for Americans like you to get ahead.

    And we’ve made progress. More than 12 million new private sector jobs in the past five years. More than 16 million Americans who’ve gained health insurance. More jobs creating more clean energy. More kids graduating from high school and college than ever before.

    But in a relentlessly-changing economy, we’ve got more work to do. And one of the things we should be doing, for example, is rewriting the rules of global trade to benefit American workers and American businesses. I think we should write those rules before China does. That’s why I’ve been working with Congress to pass new, 21st century trade agreements with standards that are higher and protections that are tougher than any past trade agreement.

    I believe it’s the right thing to do for American workers and families, or I wouldn’t be doing it.

    I believe it’s what will give us the competitive edge in a new economy, or I wouldn’t be doing it.

    Now, several Members of Congress disagree. That’s why it’s still tied up there, along with a lot of other good ideas that would create jobs. And eventually, I’m optimistic we’ll get this done.

    But America doesn’t stand still. That’s why, on issue after issue where Congress has failed to act, my administration has partnered with mayors and governors across the country to advance economic priorities that most working families in America are in favor of right now.

    And we’ve had success. Over the past couple years, 17 states and six major cities have raised the minimum wage for their workers. 19 cities have enacted paid sick days, and five states have enacted paid sick days or paid family leave. 34 states have increased funding for quality Pre-K. And 19 cities and states have signed up for our new TechHire initiative to train workers for the high-wage, high-skill jobs of tomorrow – the kind of jobs that new trade deals would help create.

    Some of these victories have been small. Some have been quiet. But they’ve added up to a big difference for working families across America. And that’s what matters to me. Because it matters to you. On Friday, I talked about these initiatives and more in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Check it out at WhiteHouse.gov. Some of it might matter to your city.

    Thanks, and have a great weekend.

  8. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Italy Itinerary

    Saturday, June 20th
    _________________

    First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama depart Venice

  9. WH

    Sunday, June 21, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama return to the White House

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:20 PM
    President Obama departs Palm Springs. CA
    Palm Springs International Airport, California

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    8:40 PM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews

    8:55 PM
    President Obama arrives White House
    South Lawn

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  10. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Italy Itinerary

    Sunday June 21st
    ________________

    First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama return to the White House

  11. The White House, Washington

    Hi, everyone —

    This Father’s Day, I want to take a moment to thank all of the dads across the country — and across the world — who aren’t just “around,” but are deeply involved in the lives of their kids.

    But today also reminds me of the countless children whose fathers aren’t showing up for the most important job they’ll ever have.

    As a man who grew up without a father, this is personal for me. And it’s a big part of the reason why I started the My Brother’s Keeper initiative last year.

    I want every child to know — especially those growing up without dads — that regardless of their circumstances, they’re no different from me.

    I want every child to know that they matter. They count.

    Having a father around drives that point home, but the rest of us can step up to make sure that every kid can reach their full potential.

    Share your own story of how you’re making a difference in the life of a young person in your community — and learn more about My Brother’s Keeper and how you can get involved.

    Being a dad is the most important job many of us will ever have. And that’s something that should be on our minds today — and every day.

    Thank you, and Happy Father’s Day.

    President Barack Obama

    • The White House
      Office of the Press Secretary
      June 19, 2015
      Presidential Proclamation — Father’s Day, 2015

      FATHER’S DAY, 2015

      – – – – – – –

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      A PROCLAMATION

      Being a dad is one of the most important jobs a man can have, and few things bring as much joy and pride as the blessing of fatherhood. Raising your children is an incredible privilege, but it is also a tremendous responsibility. It requires hard work, frequent struggle, and a commitment to always be there for your daughters and sons. Today, we celebrate the men who provide us unconditional love and support, and who teach us to lead lives of courage and character.

      Fathers are some of our first role models and coaches in life. They inspire us to strive for what is possible — supporting us no matter what path we choose, encouraging us to reach higher, and always believing in us, even when we may not believe in ourselves. Through their example, they demonstrate that with self-discipline and dedication, we can achieve our highest aspirations, and they are there to cheer us on every step of the way.

      Fatherhood demands sacrifice, and it is often difficult work — but being a dad does not require perfection. Our children do not expect us to be superheroes, but we do have an obligation to show up and be there for our kids. If we want our sons and daughters to work hard, fight for what is right, and earn their piece of the American dream, we must show them that we can overcome challenges with grit and determination, strive to do better every day, and throughout it all, never give up hope. It is in seemingly small acts and ordinary moments that our children learn big ideas and the most important lessons in life. Through a love shown and earned by being present, we teach our children what matters and pass on a spirit of empathy, compassion, and selflessness.

      These are the lessons fathers — whether married or single; gay, straight, or transgender; biological, adoptive, or foster — can teach their kids, and across America responsible, committed dads are proving that their children are always their first priority.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/22/presidential-proclamation-father’s-day-2015

  12. Pope says weapons manufacturers can’t call themselves Christian

    6/21/15 By Philip Pullella – Reuters

    TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

    Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

    “If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.

    “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

    He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another.”

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/pope-says-weapons-manufacturers-cant-call-themselves-christian-184139430.html

  13. *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Title IX – 43rd Anniversary″

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