Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Poetic States of Mississippi and Alabama with notes.

Strongly recommended the book, Rising Tide by John M Barry (1997), the story of the 1927 Mississippi flood, the worse in history. The book should be of interest to anyone who thought Katrina was fubar. There are several parallels in the way government and the power structure dealt with blacks that are worth noting. In addition, the beginning is a very good outline of how the Mississippi came to be a levy solution, the wrong one for the most powerful river in the world. The treatment of blacks after the flood will sicken you.

Barry is author of The Great Influenza, possibly the most frightening book I have ever read.

Also recommended is the movie, The Big White, starring Robin Williams, Holly Hunter, Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, and Tim Blake Nelson; and released in 2005.

You are probably thinking I never heard of the film. I had not either, but got it off of Comcast On-demand.

It is a sleeper; and in my opinion, one of William’s best – maybe penance for RV.


We were told the 2005 hurricane season was the result of global warming. Now, according to Time magazine, the 2006 non-hurricane season, where none hit the US, is being blamed on global warming.

I happen to believe in global warming, but these kind of statements give rational thought a bad name. I also believe in two other things: One event does not make a trend. And every trend has moments which buck the trend – ups and downs.

Oh, and by the way, the Bush administration wants to make polar bears endangered – due to global warming, which they deny.

And so it goes…


I’ve been posting the Poetic States. In the spirit of the season, I’m skipping Arizona and South Carolina to give you numbers XXIV and XXV about Mississippi and Alabama for two events from civil rights history that should make your blood boil and that make it difficult for me to forgiven the citizens of these states.

XXIV – Mississippi

With Reluctance

I should skip the delta country,
home of the most racist folk
in this land of equality.

Consider a father,
advocate for black voting rights,
killed by Klan cowards
while five sons served with honor
in the defense of their country:

George, sergeant, US Army
Martinez, sergeant, US Air Force
Vernon Jr, master sergeant, US Air Force
Alvin, sergeant, US Army
Harold, sergeant, US Army

Vernon Dahmer shot protecting
his wife and minor children,
house and store firebombed,
daughter severely burned –
all after the Voting Rights Act passed…

I should have skipped Mississippi.

The story: Vernon Dahmer

XXV – Alabama

Herod’s Innocents

Four young girls, barely in their teens,
dressed in white frocks,
their faces scrubbed and hair ribbonned,
for a celebration of youth –

Carol Denise (Niecie) McNair, 11,
Brownie, dancer, fund raiser, baseball

Cynthia Wesley, 14, adopted
daughter of teachers, band

Carole Robertson, 14, marching band,
science club, Girl Scout, dancer

Addie Mae Collins, 15, softball pitcher,
apron and mitt salesman, choir

Four young maidens,
dressed in blood,
their faces destroyed,
their families’ world shattered,
dead within the sacred walls
of a devote church of God.

Four bomb victims
blamed for their own destruction
by the forces of bigotry looking for
“a few first-class funerals.*

Good night, sweet princesses.**

The story: Birmingham Bombing

*Governor George Wallace prior to the bombing.

**Dr. Martin Luther King

Until next week, have a Happy New Year and hope for more civilized behavior.

I’m probably have a few things to say about the Magic Kingdom…if something else doesn’t happen to bump it.


Post a Comment

<< Home