Friday, December 12, 2014

IRISH: THE FORGOTTEN WHITE SLAVES


They came as slaves: human cargo transported on British ships bound for the Americas. T...hey were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. Some were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.
We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade.
But are we talking about African slavery? King James VI and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbour.
The Irish slave trade began when James VI sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.
By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade.
Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia.
Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.
As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.
African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (£50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than £5 Sterling). If a planter whipped, branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.
The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce.
Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish mothers, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their children and would remain in servitude.
In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls (many as young as 12) with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.
This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.
England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.
There is little question the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more, in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is also little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry.
In 1839, Britain finally decided on it’s own to end its participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded this chapter of Irish misery.
But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong. Irish slavery, like any group placed into it is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories.
But, why is it so seldom discussed? Do the memories of hundreds of thousands of Irish victims not merit more than a mention from an unknown writer?

As with most who were placed into slavery, the Irish victims never made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These were slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Today I Stopped Caring.....

Today I Stopped Caring....

By Lt Daniel Furseth, DeForest, Wisconsin Police Department




Today, I stopped caring about my fellow man. I stopped caring about my community, my neighbors, and those I serve. I stopped caring today because a once noble profession has become despised, hated, distrusted, and mostly unwanted.


I stopped caring today because parents refuse to teach their kids right from wrong and blame us when they are caught breaking the law. I stopped caring today because parents tell their little kids to be good or “the police will take you away” embedding a fear from year one. Moms hate us in their schools because we frighten them and remind them of the evil that lurks in the world.
They would rather we stay unseen, but close by if needed, but readily available to “fix their kid.” I stopped caring today because we work to keep our streets safe from mayhem in the form of reckless, drunk, high, or speeding drivers, only to be hated for it, yet hated even more because we didn’t catch the drunk before he killed someone they may know.


Nevertheless, we are just another tool used by government to generate “revenue.” I stopped caring today because Liberals hate the police as we carry guns, scare kids, and take away their drugs. We always kill innocent people with unjust violence. We are called bullies for using a Taser during a fight, but are condemned further for not first tasing the guy who pulls a gun on us.
And if we do have to shoot, we are asked “why didn’t you just shoot the gun out of their hand?” And when one of us is killed by the countless attacks that do happen (but are rarely reported in the mainstream media) the haters say, “Its just part of the job.” I stopped caring today because Conservatives hate us as we are “the Government.” We try to take away their guns, freedoms, and liberty at every turn.


We represent a “Police State” where “jackbooted badge-wearing thugs” randomly attack innocent people without cause or concern for constitutional rights. We are Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Rodney King all rolled into one lone police officer stopping to help change an old lady’s tire. I stopped caring today as no one wants us around, but instantly demands answers, results, arrests, when a crime takes place.


If a crime isn’t solved within the allocated 60 minutes it takes CSI on television, we are inept, incompetent, or covering something up. If we do get “lucky” it was just that and everyone with a Facebook account can post wonderful comments of how “they” would solve the case and how “we” are not nearly as clever.


I stopped caring today because a video of a cop six states away, from a department that you never heard of, screws up and forgets his oath of honor, thus firing up an internet lynch-mob of cop haters even though 99% of us work twice as hard not to end up in the news and to still be “the good guys.” We are “militarized” because we wear body armor and kevlar helmets when shots are fired or rocks thrown at us and carry scary looking rifles even though everyone knows that they are easier to shoot and are more accurate than a handgun or a shotgun.


I stopped caring today because the culture of today’s instantly connected youth is only there to take and never give back. To never accept responsibility for ones actions, but to blame everyone else instead of themselves. To ask “what is in it for me?” versus “what can I do for you?”
To idolize gangsters, thugs, sexually promiscuous behavior, and criminals over hard work, dedication, and achievement. To argue that getting stoned should be a right, yet getting a job or an education is a hassle. To steal verus earn. To hate versus help. Yes, I stopped caring today. But tomorrow, I will put my uniform back on and I will care again.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

What is Facebook


What’s on my mind? Well Facebook, FACEBOOK is on my mind. 6 years ago I created a MySpace account because of my oldest son. A few weeks later I created a Facebook account. And while in Korea I started connecting and reconnecting with friends both far and near. It was great, catching up with people I hadn’t heard from since I was in high school and even found people from before that time in my life. I have always enjoyed looking through folk’s pictures and videos and catching a glimpse of their lives now. Seeing how they have grown, matured and created wonderful lives with their growing families is a privileged thing. And to those I say, thank you for sharing. Reflecting on how some of us have grown and others, still in the same place they were when I knew or met them. But hey, to each his/her own.

So the future of Facebook is what’s on my mind. Facebook has seemingly changed from a place to reconnect and or chat to one where folks spend a lot of energy seemingly promoting hate and or discord. So many posts and videos lately are geared towards separating and creating discord not educating and bringing us together; disappointing to me. Free speech and the expression of ones feeling is a great thing. But it is also a double edged sword. It means that those on the other side of that coin to have a voice and can and should be heard whether we like it or not. Tons and tons of photos, memes, video, etc, etc get posted daily and sometimes I really sit and ponder, “What in the flying F*&k did s/he post that for?” “What is it they are really trying to say but don’t want to say it?” In other words…Intent vs. Impact. You can’t see the other side of a computer screen and its sooo easy to hide behind it.

So is it really Facebook or is it the people on Facebook that have changed? I’d say people have changed…well…some people have changed. Over time I believe some people’s true colors are showing and for me it’s disappointing…personally. I don’t think “unfriending” or cleaning up your friends list is the answer. I think the “Following” button is a much better option. As well as people taking the time to really listen to what others are saying and not looking for agreement. But that’s seems to be easier said than done. Far too often some seem to think if I listen to someone else whose opinion differs from mine and I actually acknowledge and understand what they are saying or their point of view I am by default I agree.  That’s simply not true. I feel SOME spend way too much time trying to convince others they are correct instead of just putting the information out there and allowing others to figure it out for themselves. And for me, personally…I’ve grown tired of it.

So Facebook hasn’t changed for me. I still choose to stay connected and reconnect with friends both old and new. I choose to view Facebook as an additional medium for communication and it will always be that for me. But I’m always mindful of a quote that I feel speaks volumes. One I heard some years ago and it took a while before I really got the message. So I’m gonna close with said quote. “If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you.” Can’t change everyone but that is definitely what the Follow button is for.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Proactive measures


Its Friday babysitters and what’s on my mind? The Eric Garner Grand jury Verdict. People have taken to the streets to show protest and displeasure. Many community activists and some leaders I have been at the forefront lately talking about the Police needing training as well as understanding cultural differences. The Attorney General is looking at police action and excessive force across the nation. How many of you know about the Watts Bears? It’s a community outreach program where the police inserted themselves into the community not just coming in when there is a problem. They figured that if they could at least reach the kids they could change future perceptions about police. “It's a test of "relationship policing" as a way to make life safer and break through generations of hostility between LAPD officers and residents of the projects. The program started two years ago; since then, there's been just one shooting death in Watts' largest housing projects, compared with 43 homicides in the previous six years.” (Banks, 2013) This is one example where the police are thinking outside the box and being proactive instead of reactive. The story premiered on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble” this month on HBO where they spoke to Officers currently coaching and participating, Parents and of course players. A great example of Police doing what they can to be and show a positive side versus what’s being portrait today.

"We had no real relationship before," Coach Sanchez said.

"People might have wanted us there, but they didn't trust us."

Now, single mothers especially are beginning to see the officers as a source of opportunity rather than a ticket to jail for their young sons.

"I thank God they came," said Melody Culpepper, mother of 7-year-son Malachi Russ.

"It changed the image that's been in my head about the police. You hear 'po-po, po-po coming' and you know what that means. "Before, most of the time we get a look, they're harassing people in the neighborhood. This is a different look, a different feel."

And if this effort changes how they see police, maybe it will also change how police see them.” (Banks, 2013)

 Wow, police actually in the neighborhoods. Walking, talking, and interacting with citizens. I feel this program is a step in the right direction. We in the Military do the same types of things when we would do “Presence Patrols.” But along with inserting Police in the communities in which they serve there still needs to be more minority police officers.

One of the fundamental tenants (and goals) of Affirmative Action is that businesses, organizations, etc. should be a reflection of their community. So that means if a town is 85% Asian, then the police force too should be 85% Asian. Or say 60% minority, then again the police force’s goal should be 60% of its officers should be minority. And to you that say this is stupid and that adding minorities isn’t gonna change anything. To you I saw…look at our military. Many whites had issues with blacks and other minorities when they entered service. Many of those whites had never met, associated or befriended a minority until the military. But over time (we aren’t perfect but we are better than society as a whole) many began that friending process. They hung out, they talked. They shared life experiences and in the end friendship and trust were earned as well as mutual respect gained.

Now again, we in the military have those that are racist, sexist, etc. but again, as a whole, I believe we are doing a better example of showing America society how to move forward, act and grow than American society is showing us. So I’m not saying adding minorities to the Police forces will stop all this but it’s a better place to start than sitting around talking about it. I’ve always said one of the greatest weapons we have against the “isms” is education. So for all of you reading this I will remind you of something I was taught and have since used it when I talk about these types of things. Look around you; look at your CIRCLE of FRIENDS. What does this circle look like? Is it exclusive or inclusive? Especially when looking at the racial makeup of said friends? As usual, it will almost always start and end with us…we, the citizens, people, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of this society.

Monday, December 1, 2014

We must be proactive....

Its Monday babysitters and what’s on my mind? I’m sure some of you don’t care so you can stop reading here and enjoy your day. Now…the rest of you who are nosey, go ahead and continue to read. Well while scanning the news stations this morning CNN is reporting that POTUS will address police actions (as a whole in this country) in the wake of the Ferguson/ Michael Brown shooting with Police officials, civil rights leaders (I wonder will those civil rights leaders include Hispanic, Asian and others). I'm assuming he wants to address Police actions as a whole and the use of deadly force.


Ok and I got no issue with that, however how about he also addresses the “Elephant” in the room; the lack of Minorities within the Police forces across the country. Many community activists and some leaders I have seen lately talking about the Police need training as well as understanding cultural differences. On occasion I have had my “Blackness” questioned. Or been told I don’t know what it’s like in the “real” world because I have lived a sheltered life in the military.. I also have lived in more parts of this country and have been exposed to more things (both good and bad) then those pointing fingers. I don’t feel I need to wear my blackness on a daily bases or prove anything to anyone. Last I checked the mirror I’m pretty damn dark. To those folks I say I was born black and I will die black and that’s what’s up.

One of the fundamental tenants (and goals) of Affirmative Action is that businesses, organizations, etc. should be a reflection of their community. So that means if a town is 85% Asian, then the police force too should be 85% Asian. Or say 60% minority, then again the police force’s goal should be 60% of its officers should be minority. And to you that say this is stupid and that adding minorities isn’t gonna change anything. To you I saw…look at our military. Many whites had issues with blacks and other minorities when they entered service. Many of those whites had never met, associated or befriended a minority until the military. But over time (we aren’t perfect but we are better than society as a whole) many began that friending process. They hung out, they talked. They shared life experiences and in the end friendship and trust were earned as well as mutual respect gained.

Now again, we in the military have those that are racist, sexist, etc. but again, as a whole, I believe we are doing a better example of showing America society how to move forward, act and grow than American society is showing us. So I’m not saying adding minorities to the Police forces will stop all this but it’s a better place to start than sitting around talking about it. I’ve always said one of the greatest weapons we have against the “isms” is education. So for all of you reading this I will remind you of something I was taught and have since used it when I talk about these types of things. Look around you; look at your CIRCLE of FRIENDS. What does this circle look like? Is it exclusive or inclusive? Especially when looking at the racial makeup of said friends? As usual, it will almost always start and end with us…we, the citizens, people, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of this society.

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Sons...


For most of you Friday is a welcome sight as you are looking forward to the weekend, have a few beers, relax and throw some steaks on the grill; however for me, this Friday...not so. Today is Friday and it’s a grave reminder that my time has run out.; as it is HS and MS football season in Hardin County Kentucky and the “dead period” is over which means that two players who bare the same name as I must return to
join their teammates as they prepare for yet another season. As a father it is one of the things I always looked forward to with their older brother as well as when I played and coached them on youth teams. My youngest son...I have never seen him play Middle School football and I likely never will. It's sad but it is a part of the realities of life. I have responsibilities to them as a father which unfortunately keeps me from actually being there to see either of them play. Crazy ain’t it. But that’s what grownups do when you have children that you are responsible for. You make the hard decisions so that hopefully, they won't have to when it's their turn.


 I’ve waited patiently since the X-mas break and visit for the privilege of working with and training my sons this summer prior to their seasons starting. See, it's not about me but them.  Some may have gotten tired of my "Project Build-A-Beast" posts, pictures and comments. To you I say..."Tell it to my balls!" As I really don't give a damn. I got to get up and 5 days a week since 7 June I got to work out with my sons every morning and afternoons. I know some father's that don't have the time to do this nor do they care. And that's ok for them as it's my choice to do what I do for my sons. Not necessarily to make up for lost time but because they are my sons and I want to see them be the best they
can be.


 Life is short and childhood is getting shorter every single year. My father wasn't able to be there for me and help me with sports and or train. I have the knowledge, ability and time to so I'd be a fool not to. I have watched and listened to Rome and Jeff, smile, laugh, argue and throw up (twice LOL) since we started this lil venture. I have watched my younger son's face display disappointment when he was slapped with the reality that he wasn't as strong as he thought he was and then beam with joy when he pressed just over 70lbs over his head. I've watched his form like a hawk and have gone from correcting his every move to "Good rep son" as he'd finish a set. He is smart and he has learned as well as worked hard with me. They were here for father’s day which made it that much sweeter too.

My middle son...I'm just as proud of him too. He came 3 weeks later and dove right into our Cross-fit

football sessions. I was impressed but mostly proud of his strength and desire. He has a good work ethic that I attribute to his own personal desire to excel on the field. Yeah...he argued and cried some too but that’s to be expected. But the pics and conversations they provided me with are some I will treasure for a life time. My sons are growing up fast and I've missed so much. But having my summer cut short by their commitment to football and their teammates are something a father can only be proud of not jealous or angry.

So tonight we will take in a movie Rome and Jeff are dying to see and we will surely laugh and get to bed late. Arise early and hit the road for the airport in Raleigh where their journey back to KY awaits them along with their respective coaches and teammates. Yes they have missed a week but they won’t be behind physically because they put in work this summer. It pains me that I don’t get to see them play as I got to be there and watch their older brother play. On some levels I feel a lil cheated but as I said…as an adult, sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to do until you get to do the things you want to do. I love my sons with all my heart and they know this to be true. As I am their biggest fan and supporter of all that they choose to do.  So Rome and Jeff…I’ve enjoyed our summer and I’m happy for every day I got to spend with you. I’ve enjoyed the jokes, debates, smiles, frowns, looks and the laughter. I’ve enjoyed the arguing and the whining. I’ve enjoyed being pissed off at you and enjoyed smiling at you. But most of all…I’ve simply enjoyed…just being your father. Love you always your biggest fan…Dad.



 




Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Message On Father's Day


Today’s is Father’s Day and just about everyone who observes this day knows this. So I’ve heard from one of my sons via text this morning as the other four people I call my kids are still sleeping. My thoughts now drift to my father whom I will call in a few hours when I know he is awake and running about. Throughout today there will be hundreds of comments about Father’s, being a man, being shown how to be a man, fathers who aren’t in their children’s lives and how the day isn’t about them. Or one of my favorites is women who wish themselves Happy Father’s day.

As I sit, I think about what my Father has done for me throughout my life as well as what my father did for me. My father didn’t show me how to be a man because I don’t think it’s possible. I say this because I can show you how to throw a football; I can show you how to hit a baseball. I can teach you how to drive and pass your driver’s test. There are countless forms of information on all these things and various other topics but there is nothing that shows or tells you how to “be a man” or just what a man is. It’s all speculation and based on opinion…no factual data what so ever.  So how come this is so important? Why is “being a man” stressed so? Over the years we our society has bought into so many feel good things, phrases or beliefs it’s hard to tell what’s needed and what’s not.

So now my thoughts are on what my father did…better yet showed me and in turn what I have learned from my father. One of the first things I learned from my father was he was the boss and in charge. He was the adult and I was the child. And though I could challenge him, he had the power and authority. He had the ability to listen or to tell me stop talking because I was now done talking. My father showed me what responsibility was. He was well into his military career by the time I was born and so I grew up seeing just that; my father as a Soldier aka Staff Sergeant Dingle. That title became another way to identify my father. While in Germany I would go to my father’s work and hang out with him and his Soldiers. I would watch them work, laugh and interact. They were all men and back then there were even a few women in his unit. My father ensured there was a roof over our heads; we had clothes, food, medical care, educational opportunities. And it wasn’t until I was grown and on my own that I realized just how he provided these things.

Every holiday my father would have these guys and gals (co-workers and fellow Soldiers)  over our home for whichever holiday dinner it was. This became the norm for the 3 years we were stationed overseas. I saw my father open up our home to these people. As an adult I too have done this same thing; inviting others into my home for holiday meals or for the occasional weekend BBQ. I watched my father in the kitchen and on the grill cooking. I watched and I learned. Just yesterday my youngest son was in the kitchen with me preparing for a friend’s BBQ. I watched my father talk and debate with others as well as laugh and smile. But one of the biggest things I watched my father do was serve his country…honorably. I didn’t really get it until I was serving myself and as I grew older and matured I educated myself about things and began to understand just what things must have been like for my father.

My father grew up loved but with a very hard and stern father whom passed away before I was born so I never met him and all I know of him is based on stories I’ve heard from my father, Aunts and Uncles. So my father was a pretty tough and hard dude. He made a life for himself and us his way. My father has talked to me about how he has chosen to live his life and the choices he has made. But of all those choices I do not believe he has ever said he regrets once decision he made. While in Germany and before my birth my sister fell off a 3 story balcony. My father and his friend (both paratroopers) followed without hesitation and with total disregard for their own lives. That love and fearless act is not something my father showed me but it’s something I learned from him. My father, to the best of my knowledge has lived his life with no regrets.

So I sit here on a Sunday morning thinking about how my father “taught me” how to be a man and I realize that my father has “taught” me nothing. What my father did was live his life and be responsible for his actions. He had a job and he did that job to the best of his abilities. My father made me cry, my father missed football games, my father did things and treated me at times in a manner in which I thought was very unforgiving and very unfair. My father could and was at times a very, very hard man. There were no gray areas with him. Black or white…right or wrong. That’s what he believed in and that’s how he dealt justice. I left home at the age of 17 headed to basic training. 3 years later I would leave one more time and I would not be back. I had to find out who I was and I had to make my way in this world much like I heard stories of what my father did. And like him…I found myself serving my country.

So as I have grown into adulthood many of those life lessons that my father taught me whether on purpose or through observations they have helped shape me into the person and father I am today. I don’t think many young boys really appreciate their fathers and what their fathers done for them until they themselves become fathers. Because…like being a man, there is no manual or instructions on how to be a father. It is something one has to figure out. I figured out that I must have to have a job. I figured out that I must be responsible for those under my charge. I figured out that you must be tough but fair. That you must judge with compassion and empathy. I figured out that I must do the right thing no matter how painful or unpopular it maybe. And most of all I figured out you must have principles. You have got to know right from wrong and be willing to follow that path no matter where it leads and no matter the consequences.

So on this day I want to thank my Father for showing me how to live my life; for all the very tough lessons that almost all of them I did not agree with. I do believe that your principles are there for a reason and they are not up for debate nor are they up for compromise. They are what makes you who you are. They are your moral fabric…a foundation etched in stone. And they are what makes you a man…nothing else.  And that is what my father did for me.