James Jameson, heir to the Jameson Irish Whiskey company, once bought a 10-year-old slave girl for six handkerchiefs because he wanted to sketch the event as cannibals killed, mutilated, and finally, ate her According to a report from The New York Times, Jameson had a fascination with cannibalism and wanted to experience the act firsthand. Jameson was on a trip in Africa in 1890 when an opportunity to fulfill his sick fantasy presented itself because he and his translator happened upon a cannibalistic tribe. Jameson consulted the tribe’s chiefs who told him if he wanted to witness the event, he’d have to buy a slave girl to be killed. Jameson returned a few minutes later with a 10-year-old girl he bought from a nearby slave trader for six handkerchiefs. The translator then approached the chiefs and said, “This is a present from a white man who desires to see her eaten.” According to an eye witness report of the scene, the cannibals tied the girl to a tree and stabbed her twice in the belly. The natives then cut pieces off of her body as Jameson sat sketching in his notebook. Jameson and his translator then made their way to chief’s hut where Jameson finished his sketches in watercolor.
In 1919, in the wake of World War I, black sharecroppers unionized in Arkansas, unleashing a wave of white vigilantism and mass murder that left 237 people dead. The visits began in the fall of 1918, just as World War I ended. At his office in Little Rock, Arkansas, attorney Ulysses S. Bratton listened as African American sharecroppers from the Delta told stories of theft, exploitation, and endless debt. A man named Carter had tended 90 acres of cotton, only to have his landlord seize the entire crop and his possessions. From the town of Ratio, in Phillips County, Arkansas, a black farmer reported that a plantation manager refused to give sharecroppers an itemized account for their crop. Another sharecropper told of a landlord trying “to starve the people into selling the cotton at his own price. They ain’t allowing us down there room to move our feet except to go to the field.” No one could know it at the time, but within a year these inauspicious meetings would lead to one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. Initiated by whites, the violence—by any measure, a massacre—claimed the lives of 237 African Americans, according to a just released report from the Equal Justice Initiative. The death toll was unusually high, but the use of racial violence to subjugate blacks during this time was not uncommon. As the Equal Justice Initiative observes, “Racial terror lynching was a tool used to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation—a tactic for maintaining racial control by victimizing the entire African American community, not merely punishment of an alleged perpetrator for a crime.” This was certainly true of the massacre in Phillips County, Arkansas.
Justice Department to seek emergency stay to allow immigration action reut.rs/1Eep37b
Obama’s approval rating is soft, but new polls of South Carolina and Florida show him ahead of Gingrich and Romney. Michael Tomasky asks: could the GOP be headed for disaster?
How can Barack Obama, as this new NBC/Marist poll has it, be beating Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in South Carolina, of all places? …. Is it conceivable that 10 months and three weeks from now, Obama could actually win the state? If it happens, we will know that the Republicans are headed off the cliff. And that is precisely where we should all hope they go.
…. now let’s look at the Florida numbers from the NBC/Marist poll. There Obama is beating both Romney and Gingrich by outside the margin of error. He leads Romney 48-41 and Gingrich 51-39.
…. if Obama holds Florida, he can afford to lose Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and either Michigan or Pennsylvania, and still rack up a winning 270 electoral votes. But of course, if he’s winning Florida, he’s likely not losing any of those other states, with the exception of Indiana….
Ten months and three weeks is a long, long time. But today’s poll suggests that a wipeout of such proportions is not unimaginable….
Washington Post: Against the backdrop of a tightening Republican presidential contest, much of the hierarchy of President Obama’s campaign is decamping from Chicago to Washington on Tuesday for a high-profile debriefing on the the state of the president’s reelection effort.
…. At the top of the list is an erratic Republican presidential field roiled by the ascent of Newt Gingrich, whom the Democrats view as a weak challenger to the president. They also take some credit for the Gingrich surge, because it appears to have partly been a result of a devastating video attack on Mitt Romney produced by Obama’s longtime admaker.
A speech by Obama last week in Kansas – a searing attack on GOP economic policies – was hailed by one liberal critic as the “most important economic speech of his presidency.” This week, Obama is celebrating the end of the U.S. war in Iraq, making good on one of this central campaign promises. Even the unemployment rate has dipped.
….. senior Obama advisers and supporters are cautiously pointing to signs that perhaps the president’s fortunes have turned a corner. Among their favorites: the laundry list of politically tricky statements that front-runners Romney and Gingrich have made during the Republican race….
NY Daily News: Julianne Moore didn’t bring her research on Sarah Palin home with her ….. the flame-haired actress told us she “read every single thing” she could about the Grizzly Mama and “watched every interview” in order to prepare for her role as the former Alaska governor in next spring’s HBO mini-series, “Game Change.”
But when we asked Moore if she’d developed a newfound respect for Palin after delving deeper into her life, the actress, 51, raised an eyebrow and sighed deeply. “No,” she said quietly.
Rudy Giuliani to Piers Morgan: “My gut tells me right now as I look at it that Gingrich might actually be the stronger candidate, because I think he can make a broader connection than Mitt Romney to those Reagan Democrats…You won’t have this barrier of possible elitism that I think Obama could exploit pretty effectively.”
Robert Peraza, who lost his son, Robert, pauses by his son’s name at the north pool at the 9/11 memorial site
Paul Krugman: ….. What happened after 9/11 – and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not – was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits – people who should have understood very well what was happening – took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
CBS: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is considering a bid for the Republican nomination for president and could make an announcement soon…The conservative Weekly Standard cites “two reliable sources” who tell editor William Kristol that Giuliani sees parallels between his 1989 mayoral race loss and victory in the next election with his loss in 2008 and the current race.
…Kristol says this time Giuliani would go head to head with New Hampshire front-runner Mitt Romney and then try to garner enough electoral votes in delegate rich states like New York, New Jersey and California. “It seems implausible that Rudy Giuliani could win the nomination. But it’s an implausible year,” Kristol wrote.
Steve Benen: … former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose 2008 presidential campaign was remarkable in its ineptitude, hasn’t ruled out trying again. “My major goal is to elect a Republican in 2012,” he said over the weekend. “If it turns out that I’m the best one to do that, I can probably be talked into doing it or convince myself to do it.”
Washington Post: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will announce his plans to pursue the presidency in 2012 on Wednesday, according to spokesman Rick Tyler.