GUEST COLUMN: Two Anniversaries in Black History

The Reverend Dr. Magby
The Reverend Dr. Magby

by Reverend Dr. Gwendolyn D. Magby….

Since 1976 the United States has recognized February as Black History Month.  Since 1948 February 1st has been recognized as “Freedom Day” because it was on February 1st that President Lincoln signed the joint congressional resolution that authorized the 13th Amendment which ultimately prohibited slavery in the United States, obviously one of the most significant dates in black history in America. (February is also the birthday month of Abraham Lincoln and his friend, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass.) This past February 1st was particularly significant because it was the 150th anniversary of that important event.

Although Black History Month ended Saturday, last Wednesday, March 4th  was the 150th anniversary of a very significant event, not only for African Americans, but for all citizens.  It was the anniversary of President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.  Most will remember the closing  words from that speech:

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive onto finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds;to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow,and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

Lincoln Second Inaugural Alexander Gardner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Lincoln Second Inaugural
Alexander Gardner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the 701 word speech Lincoln mentioned God fourteen times, quoted Scripture four times, and invoked prayer four times.  Surprisingly, in all previous inaugural addresses God had been mentioned only once.

It took Lincoln less than ten minutes to read the speech to the crowd of approximately 40,000 citizens who had gathered to hear his remarks. Among those in the crowd were his friend, the ex-slave, Frederick Douglass, and several of the conspirators who assisted in his murder less than forty five days later.

Most see his speech as a call for unity between both sides in the war that had cost so many lives.  Lincoln mentioned that both sides read the same Bible and prayed to the same God.  But Lincoln considered slavery an offense of Biblical proportions and indicated that the blood shed by both sides might be in expatiation for the evils of slavery.  In another oft-quoted passage he said:

“Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray–that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ “

In researching Freedom Day for our anti-slavery rally on February 1st we discovered another, little known, Lincoln speech he made on the Monday before his death.  This speech is not well  known but perhaps we suggest is as important as his Second Inaugural.

Speaking from a White House balcony on Monday, April 4, Lincoln suggested that literate blacks and black veterans be given the right to vote.  When his statements were reported to John Wilkes Booth, Booth exclaimed to a friend: “He wants to make niggers citizens!  By God, that is the last speech he will ever make.”

One historian has called that speech proposing black suffrage the event that sealed his fate. Lincoln was a martyr for his role in ending slavery. The Second Inaugural Address is important because it shows what might have happened in this country had Lincoln been able to serve out his second term.  He wanted reconciliation with former enemies and civil rights for the freed slaves. It took more blood, shed by many 100 years later, to accomplish Lincoln’s dream.

By Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bloody Sunday

This Sunday is the 50th anniversary of what has become known as Bloody Sunday.  Those who saw the film “Selma” know what Bloody Sunday is about.  But for those not familiar with it, the story is worth telling.

It is interesting that it occurred just one hundred years and three days after Lincoln’s Second Inaugural. The Student National Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had been staging protests in the small town of Selma, Alabama because of that town’s resistance to registering blacks to vote.  On February 17th an Alabama State Trooper shot and killed one of the protestors.  In response to this murder (what else can it be called?) a protest march was planned for Sunday, March 7th.

Approximately 500 predominantly back protestors showed up for the march, which was led by twenty-five year old John Lewis (now a United States Congressman who has spoken at the Little White House).  The marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge but they were stopped by local police and Alabama state troopers.  When the marchers refused the demand that they turn back, the police charged the marchers and used their billy clubs to beat the protestors bloody.

On that Monday the New York Times described what happened:

When they stood in place, the troopers charged at them.  The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground screaming, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across the grassy divider strip and on to the pavement on both sides. Those still on their feet retreated. The troopers continued pushing, using both the force of their bodies and the prodding of their nightsticks.”

By Kevin Saff at en.wikipedia [Public domain or Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
By Kevin Saff at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Over fifty marchers were beaten so badly they had to be hospitalized and one of the persons beaten the most fiercely was John Lewis.   The police actions were televised throughout the world and shocked the nation, indeed the world.

Ultimately a second march was organized and started on March 21st and under federal protection.  It  took four days to complete the forty-five mile journey from Selma to Birmingham.  The dramatic story is retold in “Selma” and I would urge all readers to see the movie if they have not already.

The actions of the courageous marchers and the blood they shed ultimately paved the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which was enacted on August 6, 1965.  Thus it took over 100 years for this country to achieve what Lincoln proposed on April 4, 1865.  How different our history might have been but for the assassination of President Lincoln, an event that occurred 150 years ago next month.

It could be said that most African Americans did not truly become full citizens until their right to vote was secured.  It is hard to believe that happened but fifty years ago.


Rev Dr Gwendolyn D Magby

Dr. Gwendolyn Magby pastors Trinity Presbyterian Church on Simonton Street and she chairs Keys Coalition, the Monroe County anti-slavery organization.  Next week we will publish her essay on modern day slavery.

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26 thoughts on “GUEST COLUMN: Two Anniversaries in Black History

  1. Rev. Dr. Magby,

    Excellent presentation. Beautifully put together.

    Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas did not cower before any man. Their blood sacrifices sanctified the hallowed ground, upon which a new nation was birthed.

    Thank you for an uplifting and inspirational article.

    Blessings & Respect…

  2. Rev. Dr. Magby,
    I second what Mr. Donnelly said.Thank you for this well written and informative article. I might add that sadly so much of what Lincoln and ultimately MLK worked for and accomplished has been eroded by current right wing ideologues and blatant racist political legislation to overturn those achievements of the civil rights movement of the sixties. The SCOTUS decision to overturn the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has given the signal to those that wish to return to the bad old days of voter intimidation and Jim Crow, well, that’s there prerogative. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”- American Abolitionist and liberal activist Wendell Phillips on January 28, 1852.

  3. OK Symington, a little history lesson from the “internet troll.”

    lincoln did not work to free the slaves. he did not make a single decision, nor initiate a single policy with a humanitarian toward the black population. the civil war had nothing to do with slavery (railroads, tariffs, you know money like always). the emancipation proclamation did not free all the slaves(it actually kept those slaves it had access to enslaved, and “freed” those slaves that it could not reach). lincoln actually thought re-colonization back to africa was the solution of choice for slavery. and in deference to Rev. Magby, lincoln only supported voting for blacks who had served in the union army. aside from that, he did not believe they should vote, hold office, serve on a jury, nor intermarry.

    he was simply a man of his time, and not a revolutionary progressive.

    books are your friend.

    1. revisionist history

      Lincoln hated slavery, considered it an evil that made America’s concept of freedom appear hypocritical. He say his primary goal was keeping the Union together, whether that meant keeping slavery or abolishing it, that is true. He did also campaign on preventing its spread into the territories, but promised not to touch those who already had it. The slaveholding states did not believe him, which was their declared reason for seceding upon his election, before he even had the chance to do anything one way or the other.

      Since the seceded over their belief he would take slavery away… the war was about slavery.

      The reason the emancipation proclamation only spoke to the south was that slavery was already illegal in the north and the territories.

      considering his time, he was quite the progressive, even though he wouldn’t be now.

      1. yes, a progressive who imprisoned the Maryland legislature and suspended habeas corpus and imprisoned dissenters…

        go back to the library junior. read the man’s speech’s and letter’s. look at the laws and policies he set. and for God’s sake, know what the emancipation proclamation said before you spout off.

        and don’t provide comic book links.

        1. more silliness.

          the link I provided is a site that documents the civil war, and if you find fault with them, the transcript of SC declaration remains the transcript.

          you can read the emancipation proclamation here if you like, I was agreeing with you that it only freed slaves in the south. the reason being the rest of the nation already had done so. once again you are being argumentative on points that are not in contention.

          you want to argue that bad things happen during war, no one will disagree. but don’t try and change history and claim the war was about something it wasn’t

          1. the emancipation proclamation did not apply to the slaves in the border states that remained loyal to the union, or to those parts of the confederacy that the union controlled. it only applied to that part of the confederacy that the North had no control over, you know, the part that it was fighting, and therefore it was pretty meaningless. it had no application to the North, and again, you cannot agree with me on something that I was not even discussing, as it is clear that we understand the document in two different ways. but it says what it says, and perhaps you could get some assistance in understanding it. as it was authored strictly as a military tactic it also does not speak to any great anti-slavery sentiment by lincoln.

            the south was the raw material provider for the industrial north. the railroads depended heavily on this business. more importantly, at that time the federal government had only two sources of revenue; excise taxes and tariffs. at that time about 90% came from tariffs, and southern ports accounted for 75% of that. then as now, following the money gives you the motive.

            did you know that there were more FREE blacks living in the south than the entire northern black population? did you know that some of those folks owned farms and plantations and had their own slaves? did you know that some of them fought for the confederacy? did you know that just about all of them stayed put during the war rather than flee to the “free” north?

            what, your micky mouse website didn’t tell you that?

            you go to mainstream sites, you usually get mainstream information. i looked at that site you posted, and it is owned by an individual. are you kidding me? that’s your source, some guy named captain thornton?

            if you have an interest in the REAL history of this , i will gladly steer you to some places to look. here’s one.


            and it’s even mainstream so you wont get too freaked out!

  4. Excerpts Taken From the “Collective Works of Abraham Lincoln”

    Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in those states that were in rebellion. He vigorously supported the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery throughout the United States, and, in the last speech of his life, he recommended extending the vote to African Americans.

    This brief study of Lincoln’s writings contains examples of Lincoln’s views on slavery. It also shows one of his greatest strengths: his ability to change as it relates to his public stance on slavery.

    March 3, 1837
    At the age of 28, while serving in the Illinois General Assembly, Lincoln made one of his first public declarations against slavery.

    The following protest was presented to the House, which was read and ordered to be spread on the journals, to wit:

    “Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed both branches of the General Assembly at its present session, the undersigned hereby protest against the passage of the same.

    They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy; but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than to abate its evils.
    Abraham Lincoln/Dan Stone

    October 16, 1854: Speech at Peoria, Illinois
    Lincoln, in a speech at Peoria, attacked slavery on the grounds that its existence within the United States made American democracy appear hypocritical in the eyes of the world.

    I cannot but hate [slavery’s spread]. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself.

    August 24, 1855
    In a letter to his friend Joshua Speed, Lincoln freely expressed his hatred of slavery but he did not recommend immediate emancipation.

    You know I dislike slavery; and you fully admit the abstract wrong of it. So far there is no cause of difference.
    I do oppose the extension of slavery, because my judgment and feelings so prompt me; and I am under no obligation to the contrary.

    July 10, 1858: Speech at Chicago, Illinois
    In this speech at Chicago, Lincoln reiterated his hatred of slavery and also his belief that it should not be touched where it then existed.

    I have always hated slavery, I think as much as any Abolitionist. I have been an Old Line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the Nebraska Bill began. I always believed that everybody was against it, and that it was in course of ultimate extinction.

    August 1, 1858[?: Definition of Democracy
    This is perhaps Lincoln’s most succinct description of his beliefs on democracy and slavery.

    As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

    October 7, 1858: Fifth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas, Galesburg, Illinois

    In 1858, the Republican Party sought to unseat one of the nation’s most powerful United States Senators, Stephen Douglas. To oppose him, they nominated Abraham Lincoln. The resulting Lincoln-Douglas debates gave each candidate ample opportunity to publicly express his opinions on slavery. During the fifth debate, Lincoln claimed that slavery ran counter to American democratic principles because the Declaration of Independence’s phrase – “all men are created equal” applied to African-Americans.

    October 13, 1858: Sixth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas, Quincy, Illinois
    In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Douglas maintained that the Founding Fathers established this nation half-slave and half-free in the belief that it would always be so. Lincoln argued that the Founding Fathers considered slavery wrong, and firmly expected it to die a natural death.

    October 15, 1858: Seventh and Last Debate with Stephen A. Douglas, Alton, Illinois
    To some Americans, the phrase “all men are created equal” applied only to some. To Lincoln, it applied to all.

    And when this new principle [that African Americans were not covered by the phrase “all men are created equal”] — this new proposition that no human being ever thought of three years ago, — is brought forward, I combat it as having an evil tendency, if not an evil design; I combat it as having a tendency to dehumanize the negro — to take away from him the right of ever striving to be a man. I combat it as being one of the thousand things constantly done in these days to prepare the public mind to make property, and nothing but property of the negro in all the States of the Union.

    March 1, 1859: Speech at Chicago, Illinois
    I do not wish to be misunderstood upon this subject of slavery in this country. I suppose it may long exist, and perhaps the best way for it to come to an end peaceably is for it to exist for a length of time. But I say that the spread and strengthening and perpetuation of it is an entirely different proposition. There we should in every way resist it as a wrong, treating it as a wrong, with the fixed idea that it must and will come to an end.

    April 6, 1859: Letter to Henry L. Pierce
    This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.

    September 17, 1859: Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio
    I think Slavery is wrong, morally, and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union.

    April 11, 1865: Last Public Address
    In Lincoln’s last public address, he recommended extending the right to vote to the African Americans who had fought for the Union. This expressed his belief that African Americans should be granted full political equality.

    It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man.

    Granting rights and freedom to African-American Slaves, so inflamed and enraged the hatred of President Lincoln’s assassins; that within 4 days of these words being spoken, John Wilkes Booth and his 6 fellow conspirators murdered our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

    1. again, there are simple facts that can not be disputed.

      Lincoln hated slavery.

      Lincoln was willing to let slavery exist if it kept the Union together.

      Lincoln campaigned on making slavery illegal in the territories (no expansion) but not touching the slave states.

      the south did not believe Lincoln wouldn’t take away their slaves and so they seceded upon his election, which started the war…. therefore the war was about slavery.

      all the economic facts you stated are true and not in dispute, but change nothing about the motivations.

      when the war was over, the proclamation was definitely effective until the 14th amendment took over.

      whatever opinions people may want to try to ascribe to Lincoln, it is because of his leadership during the war that slavery ended.

  5. Keysbum,

    Always good to hear from you. Hope all is well.

    Sir, please open your mind up, just a little bit. You have such an intelligent and firm grasp on so many topics. It is foolish to deny the clear and accurate connotations of Mr. Lincoln’s own words on the subject of slavery. He hated it. It was an abomination. He thought the great suffering and destruction that America experienced because of the war (punishment); was because of the sins of slavery.

    The piece I presented honestly portrayed Lincoln’s struggle with this issue, as he navigated to preserve the Union.

    I understand your wanting to present Lincoln as a Man and not a Messiah. I get it. However, why do you want to twist, contort and create a view of this man that is inaccurate and not reflective of his true position on this issue.

    His actions and beliefs on this matter caused him to be murdered.

    Thank you for your well-written and interesting comments.
    Blessings & Respect…

  6. sorry junior… 7 states seceded before your boy lincoln was elected. they were s. carolina, florida, georgia, mississippi, texas, alabama, and lousiana. 4 states didn’t secede until after ft. sumter.

    read the article i provided. say what you want about lincoln, but don’t give him credit that is not due. not agreeing with slavery is a far cry from killing 600,000 americans over it.

    why were all the european powers able to extricate themselves from slavery without armed butchery?

    there has never been a war fought over humanitarian reasons, and this one was no exception.

    i can provide you guys with the facts, but i guess i can’t erase the pablum you’ve been fed all your lives.

    ignorance is bliss as they say. and you guys must be the happiest group around.

    1. Lincoln was elected in November 1860, the southern states seceded in this order, none before his election, (before his inauguration yes which was foolish because they would have had congress):
      South Carolina December 20, 1860
      Mississippi January 9, 1861
      Florida January 10, 1861
      Alabama January 11, 1861
      Georgia January 19, 1861
      Louisiana January 26, 1861
      Texas February 1, 1861
      Virginia April 17, 1861
      Arkansas May 6, 1861
      North Carolina May 20, 1861
      Tennessee June 8, 1861

      his election was the catalyst. fear that he might take away their slaves made them secede. there is no getting around it. the declaration of immediate causes of secession, sites the federal government infringing on their states’ rights to slavery as the primary cause, repeatedly.

      one thing you have never done is provide facts.

      have good evening.

      1. my bad; i should have said taken office. but it still renders your points moot in that lincoln had not yet taken office, so had done nothing to the south about slavery. add to that in all his words and writing he was very clear that he would do NOTHING about slavery.

        i have provided many facts; you simply choose to ignore them. read the article i provided; then read the source material.

        you guys continue to recite the States version of history; get beyond the high school level stuff and find out what really happened. you give credit to the confederacy, and their reasoning, for the entirety of starting the war. the south may have fired the first shot, but it was the north who waged war.

        anyway, i am done with this. you can pull all the propaganda you want to fulfill your agenda.

        but just remember, if i wanted to prove that obama was a dog eating muslim from kenya, i could bring up the articles to prove it. you have to look at the scholarship you are referencing; yours had none, mine had plenty.

        i’ll go with mine.

        next thing you’ll be telling me is that George Washington was a great general, a military hero!

      2. Keys Bum, you have continued to hold forth as if you have all the facts and know everything about the topics to which you comment under blue paper articles. Thinking you know everything delusional and is one definition of insanity.

        And, you have continued to do it anonymously, despite my several challenges that you put your real name on what you post here. In some ways, including the talking down to other blue paper reader contributors, as if they are your inferiors, reminds me of a former blue paper contributor, who stopped posting comments under blue paper articles after I published under blue paper articles, to which she was holding forth, verbatim comments she had made to me about “the jew paper, that is, the blue paper. Naja published “the jew paper ” comments, and the Jew hater stopped commenting under blue paper articles.

        The way you have carried on under Rev. Magby’s article, Keys Bum, leaves me me wondering if you are KKK.

        On Rev. Magby’s article and the reader comments, at the soup kitchen on Flagler Avenue last week, a black man told me that a little known view, which was his view, of the Emancipation Proclamation, is President Lincoln hoped it would incite a slave uprising in the Confederate states, a black insurgency, so the Confederacy would have two wars on its hands: one against the union, and one at home against the slaves, and in that way the war would end quicker in the Union’s favor.

        On another war front, Sunday before last, I attended the morning service Rev. Magby’s church. Nearly all of the 2 1/2 hour service was devoted to black history. After the service, many of the congregants adjourned to the fellowship hall next door, for lunch. At it turned out, hardly any accident, I sat directly across from Rev. Magby and her husband Hayward, who sits on the Key West Citizen’s Police Review Board. The food was excellent, and the conversation with the Magby’s was interesting.

        Toward the end of the meal, I told Rev. Magby, I called her Gwendolyn, that I’d had something on my mind, which I wished to say to her. She said for me to speak. I said Martin Luther King opposed the continuation of slavery in his efforts to give black people rights equal to white people. But he also opposed black men fighting in Vietnam for rich white men, which was another way slavery was continuing in America, and that form continues today. And that’s what got Dr. King killed.

        I said white ministers and white Americans today will not stand up against rich white American men’s wars being fought by black people, but maybe black ministers and black Americans will do it. Gwendolyn said that was a good point.

        I had felt terrible throughout the service and had nearly skipped the lunch. I had nearly left the lunch early, because I felt so badly. But after I said that to Gwendolyn, I felt better immediately; the evil I had been carrying that morning was gone from me. I should have spelled it with a capital E – Evil. Or, EVIL.

        That’s what drive drove America in Vietnam. And in Iraq. And in Afghanistan. You’d thing, and hope. President Obama, who is half black, would put an end to what Dr. King spoke against. Perhaps President Obama will wake up, is waking up, to what really is going on.

        Colin Powell did not seem to grasp it, when he was Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff, nor when he was Secretary of State under the first G..W. Bush Administration. President Obama did not grasp it, when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, while still waging G.W. Bush’s two wars.

        As I said above, maybe President Obama will wake up, maybe he is waking up. I hope so.

        The past is supposed to be instructive, lead to not repeating the same mistakes over and over. The profit motive, however, could care less, as long as there is money to be made in war. On that, Keys Bum and I are, I think, in agreement.

        On nation, under God, is a sick joke. Especially, when it is ranted by Christians. Jesus would never condone those wars. Or Vietnam. What are Christians thinking, who support those wars?

        I hope Gwendolyn, and all black Americans, including all black US military personnel, will refuse to continue to fight rich white American men’s wars, even when supported by white women, such as Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

        It’s time for another Selma march. It’s time to complete Dr. King’s work, and Abraham Lincoln’s work. Lincoln had to know he was a dead man, but that did not deter him. Dr. King had to know he was a dead man, but that did not deter him.

        The Selma marchers had to know what they were up against at the Pettus Bridge, but that did not deter them. I wish now I had been there with them. I lived, grew up, in Birmingham, 100 miles to the north. I was too dumb and prejudiced then, to do what I should have done. Shameful, after being raised by the daughter of an American slave, who loved me as her own child. Shameful.

  7. Sorry Sloan, but you were not the cause of my not posting here. Everything I wrote to you at goodmorningkeywest I had also tried to comment to thejewpaper. I have come to the realization that all of the writers for this paper have their eyes wide shut and all are proxies for the zionist new world order agenda. Not my cup of tea. I hope Keysbum rips you a new one Sloan for the comments you made to him but I wouldn’t fault him for not wasting his time. Oh, and congratulations on your new relationship. I checked out her mug shot…birds of a feather, as they say.

    1. Get your head out of your hind end, Sister. I told you repeatedly, I have no sympathy for America supporting Israel, that America should pull out of the Middle East all together, in every way. I have published repeatedly that the Jewish diaspora and the holocaust in Nazi Germany, and the similar holocaust in Stalin Russia, was Jewish karma for rejecting the way and teachings of Jesus in the Gospels.

      Did you check out Kari’s and my photo at the end of today’s “with a little help from my friends and other paradise return apocalyptic seaside attractions, Key West curriculum ” post at Kari has more guts than you and Keysbum squared and cubed. And, yes, she is not perfect. She knows it, admits it. And she indeed is a bird of a feather, the first one I’ve been around in over 10 years. And I’m running with it, for that reason, and because the angels put us together and they want me to run with it, even though it often looks like mission impossible to me, and, oh my, are people lining up to hammer me about Kari, you are way at the end of the line. Kari also has a long line of people lining up to hammer me, because they don’t think she should have anything to do with me. I told her it would go that way, when she and I starting getting close.

      I didn’t believe you, Sister, when you wrote to the blue paper that you would not be making any more appearances here. I had you in mind, when I told Keysbum in this comment thread that he sort of reminded me of you. I wondered if you would go back on what you had said, and I was not surprised to hear from you again.

      In fact, when Naja published all that you had written to me about the jew paper (the blue paper), you then said you were not going to be commenting further at the blue paper. Yes, you couched your exit in the same anti-Zionist language as this time, but I no more believed that was your reason, than I believe you and Keysbum are brave.

      1. I had asked you not to mention me in your posts Sloan. Since you did, I needed to defend myself, something you may need to figure out how to do given your girl’s rap sheet. The photo is very nice Sloan, sincerely.

        1. Kari’s rap sheet was examined in the “with a little help from my friends and other paradise return apocalyptic seaside attractions, Key West curriculum” post yesterday at, in plain view, in public. She was in on the examination. It was rough for her. She wept. She despaired.

          For doing what she viewed as defending her fellow and herself from a deadbeat tenant, Kari now is homeless. I did far worse things than what’s on her rap sheet, and I have published it, and I was beaten up for it, you were at the end of a very long line of people who beat me up for it.

          I know many people down this way who have done far worse things than what’s on Kari’s rap sheet.

          There is an article in the Key West Citizen ( today about developers evicting the residents of Seahorse Trailer Park on Big Pine Key, so the developers can transfer 100 ROGO units (building rights) to an upscale condo-marina development the developers are doing on Stock Island. According to the Citizen aritcle, that’s viewed as “the price of progress”. I view it as a ticket straight to hell, for the developers and for the local and state government officials who agreed to it.

          Kari herself has done far worse things than what’s on her rap sheet, but they were not crimes against against other people, but were against herself, and against God. Who do I know, who has not done much the same? No one do I know.

          Tell you a story Kari told me, which you will not see in her rap sheet.

          Some years ago, she was a secretary/clerk in the Key Largo office of Visiting Nurses and Hospice. One of her duties was to send nurses to patients at their homes. She created a flow chart, which she had up on the wall. The nurses didn’t like it, and they didn’t like being told which patients they had to visit.

          One day, Kari overheard a nurse grumbling to other nurses about a patient they did not like, and a nurse said he, the patient, should be given more than the usual morphine and put to sleep. As if, it seemed to Kari, this was something the nurses were doing with patients they didn’t like dealing with.

          Around that time, Kari noticed nurses were bringing back to the office unused morphine, after patients on morphine had died, instead of flushing the morphine down the toilet, with a witness observing, as required by the Visiting Nurses and Hospice’s regulations, perhaps even by law, I now wonder.

          The morphine brought back was being collected and stored in a room, and one day Kari left a window cracked, and later, after everyone was gone and the room was locked, from outside she sneaked into the room through the window with a camera and photographed all of the morphine, which was supposed to have been flushed down a toilet.

          Kari gave the photos and her written report on all of the above, including putting hospice patients to sleep, to Lisa Kern, who was in Key West and managed the entire Visiting Nurses and Hospice program. Lisa fired Kari.

          Kari told me, on their own, she and her male companion for many years, started a program and facility for helping disabled and elderly people. Kari wrote the grants for the funding of two facilities, one on Key Largo, one on Marathon. They faced considerable local resistance to getting the programs up and running.

          I personally have seen Kari be more than kind to many homeless people, men and women. I have seen her talk with them long after I would have walked away. I have seen her be their friend, do all she could to console them, advise them, to the point I sometimes told her she was wasting her time, she was using it to divert away from doing all she can to save herself.

          She has serious troubles, which need addressing. Personal troubles. Troubles I remain convinced require miracles to resolve. Troubles far more serious than her rap sheet. And, she’s out there on the street, an attractive woman being hit on by homeless and not-homeless men, ongoing. Being harassed by city cops ongoing, even though she has no place to sleep at night, but outside.

          Yesterday in Bayview Park, we were talking and reading and a city cop, female, rode her cruise over the curb into the park to tell us we could not have our bicycles parked on the grass nearby, it was an arrestable offense. She told us to take our bicycles over to the bike rack, on the other side of the tennis courts. I said, last weekend there was an event in the park, and many bicycles, where we the police? This cop was not pleased I said that. I said not to worry, we were going to do what she told us to do.

          Walking my bicycle toward the basketball court, I veered around it, because I was not sure it was okay to have a bicycle on the basketball court. The cop loudly said I was going in the wrong direction. I told her I was headed to the bike rack, and I pointed to a bicycle lying on the ground beside the basketball court, near a bunch of young boys playing and having a good time. I said, there’s a bicycle in park. Do something about it. That did not please the cop either.

          So, she drives her cruiser over there, and finally she gets out of it and talks to the boys. She does not tell them it is an arrestable offense to have a bicycle in the park. But she scares the hell out of them, apparently, because the boy whose bike it is gets the bike and they all leave the park, where they were h having a great time.

          The cop gets back into her cruiser and drives it around the park for a while. Drives it, not walks. It’s okay to drive police cruisers in the park. It’s okay for the police station to use the park as a parking lot for police cruisers, as happened yesterday, because the parking lot at the station across the street is full of construction vehicles – the roof is being replaced because the original roof was not build correctly.

          I have no doubt that cop came into Bayview because she saw Kair and me, and she knew who we were. What I don’t get is why the cop drove her cruiser into the park, instead of parking it beside the park like everyone else has to do, and then she walked maybe the 100 feet to where Kari and I were and told us to take our bikes to the bike rack.

          There are really bad things happening in real time, while we talk about stuff in cyber time. But to deal with the really bad stuff in real time requires putting life and limb on the line. I hate to think what that cop’s rap sheet in heaven’s police department looks like. I hate to think what my rap sheet in heaven’s police department looks like. I doubt anyone I know wants to know what his/her rap sheet in heaven looks like.

          Kari told me this morning that she dreamt last night of being with horses, and she was a porcupine. I laughed, said I liked that dream. Nothing messes with a porcupine, unless it’s crazy.

          In yesterday’s post at is a description of a dream Kari had about riders on horses coming her way – the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She was with horses in the dream last night. The horses are with her. She is a horse whisperer.

  8. Sloan,

    Your work as an instrument of the Creator has no begriming, nor end. The evolutionary process required of you; mandated every thought, sequence, understanding and experience that you have undergone; so that you could arrive at a Self-Realized (Actualized) state of being.

    You are a perfect Sloan Bashinsky. You can be nothing else. All that you have gone through, provided you with the lessons and growth opportunities that have forged your spirit, heart, soul and mind into the beautiful human being that you are.

    As a young child in the South Bronx, my mother could detect my discomfort as I lied in bed at night. She would come over to me and start rubbing both my legs up and down, as she explained to me that what I was experiencing were ‘growing pains’. It was a prelude to the growth that would be required of me throughout the rest of my life (spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically). These experiences, all of them, the good, bad and ugly; catapulted me into the space I occupy right now.

    Without all of the experiences that I went through, I would be nothing but a wet noodle, without stature or substance.

    Blessings & Respect…

    1. Thanks, John, but I am nowhere near perfect, which the angels remind me of day and night, usually in my dreams, but they have a number of other ways. In a dream before dawn today, they showed me a Christmas tree I was growing was getting saltwater, and the tree had to be replaced with a smaller tree, and the bed I had used for the old tree had to be rebuilt and then new dirt brought in to place the old dirt. Waking from the dream, I felt it was about what I was saying publicly, in writing; most recently the two comments I submitted last night into this reader forum, and perhaps generally, and maybe in the new part of my heretofore monk life. I’m feeling my way.

      As I recall the Gospels, Jesus told his disciples to be perfect, even as their Father in heaven was perfect. He did not view them as perfect, when he said that to them. He also told them they could become like, but not greater, than their teacher, who himself was being tested and undergoing change day and night, moving closer to God.

      I don’t recall ever criticizing a man for having fought in Vietnam. However, I have come to view that war as Evil, driven by corporate greed, national arrogance, false patriotism, and grave assumption that America had God on its side. Given later events, I don’t see America learned a thing from Vietnam. Its wars today have the same drivers as Vietnam had. I don’t see that changing, unless a revolt come from the American military itself, and from American veterans of foreign wars. For who, better than they, have standing to lead that revolt?

      I am a civilian. I never served in the American armed services. I never fought in a war such as Vietnam, or the later American wars. You did, John. Many like you did. I hope you, and they, will rise up in revolt. Like I told Rev. Magby that I hope she and other black ministers, and blacks generally, and black US servicemen will rise up and stop fighting rich white men’s wars, which is a modern version of the slavery practiced from the beginning by many white American settlers, which other white American settlers permitted and many profited from it..

  9. it says more about you people when you call me intelligent, elitist, superior, having all the facts, or none of them, than you know. now i am kkk and insane. and this from a man who talks to angels.

    that is a sign of your own failings and insecurities. yes, i can write better than all of you; yes i am an intelligent person; yes i am a smart person; yes i suffer from less cognitive dissonance than most (and all of you).

    but i am just a guy with an open mind, open to the thought that there is a different reality out there than the one that we are socialized to accept. i have an ego that tells me that i do not have all the answers, and that there is more out there to learn than just what is put in front of me. i realize that there are scholars and researchers out there with far superior knowledge than I, and i seek them out. you choose not to. that is your choice; but to condemn, and ridicule me for doing so because it is counter to your close mindedness and lack of curiosity, or dare i say it, intelligence, should be cause enough for a little self-reflection. and if you are true to yourself, the image you get back wont be a pretty one.

    and bashinsky, calling me a racist is beyond repugnant, even for a delusional such as yourself. or did your sky daddy and his angels tell you to do it?

  10. Keysbum,

    Learning how to accept compliments with grace and poise is a virtue.

    I refer you to my previous article “Words Can Never Hurt You”; only if you allow them, want them to, or something within you amplifies them to an intolerable level.

    If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. You’ve called me a ‘murderer’ on more than one occasion. I’ve not responded to you in kind. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

    Because you write something or think a particular way; it doesn’t make it true, nor you correct. By now you should have learned that there are no absolutes.

    I have not seen anyone condemn or ridicule you. I’ve seen an inordinate amount of compliments directed your way. For the most part, you robustly presented arguments are cogent; trending with descriptions and thoughts that support your position. However, when you get rattled or challenged your thinking appears to become cyclic, constricted and inflexible.

    From my perspective, there are a series of weaknesses in your compositions that can be improved upon. We are all imperfect, and we all submit blemished work.

    When I look into the mirror, or into my soul, I experience great joy and beauty.

    As I’ve said before, I am far from being a good writer. I will never write as well as you do. Although I may not talk or write correctly, I’m drawn to address matters that stir my spirit.

    I’ve always commended you and appreciated all of our exchanges. I’ve learned a lot from you. I hope we will continue our relationship. However, if not, we must be aware that “one monkey don’t stop no show”.

    I’ll be in Key West for several days towards the end of this month. Along with all of The Blue’s contributors and commentators, I’d like to meet with you. I’ve been contacted by some producers to construct a ‘book/screen-play’ type of document that creatively describes two personal experiences that I’ve written about. I’m out of my league and I could use some guidance and counsel, as on how to proceed.

    Keysbum, I see you as a beautiful, brilliant and courageous individual; who needs as we all do, a little LOVE….
    Blessings & Respect

  11. mr. donnelly…. with all due respect, calling you a murderer is simply a definition of what you did. your acts, self admitted, fall within the parameters of the words definition. it was not meant as an insult, it was meant as a definition in the context of our discussion. calling me racist is quite another matter, and does not, should not, and will not be construed as just another insult to be gotten over. i take plenty of jabs from you contributors; who do you think is the “internet troll” referenced in both articles and comments? i don’t care about name calling, it bothers me not in least. i can take whatever you guys dish out, and i can certainly return the favor, and have. i consider that all in good fun and in the spirit of “internet debate.” i do not know any of you except for the words i see on my computer screen, and so superficial insults are meaningless and harmless. but consider this: would calling me a “fag” be appropriate? or how about “dirty jew”? of course they wouldn’t, and neither is being labeled a racist when i am known to none of you, nor have i uttered a single word that would even hint at such a thing.

    if you don’t see the difference, i don’t know what to tell ya.

    and oh, i have not been challenged yet, so i don’t know where this “rattled’ thing comes from. i am frustrated that i have NOT been challenged. ignorance and arrogance reigns supreme, but not at my end. and the “compliments” that have come my way, they were dripping in snark.

    1. Keysbum, I challenged you to put your real name on your comments, and you declined, and that told me more about you than you can possibly imagine. Ditto, Sister, who also declined to put her real name on her comments. Alex Symington’s article in this blue paper edition, “Infantile Narcissism,” dragged a big net and snagged more fish than perhaps Alex imagined when he submitted the article. To read your catterwallering under that article, and under this article, and your boasting and patting yourself on the back, and continued pretense that your poop don’t stink and you are smarter than God, brings to mind, “The lady protests too much.” As John Donnelly said, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. John experienced more heat in Vietnam than you can possibly imagine, and you won’t even put your name on what you spew into blue paper forums. You’re still shitting your diapers.

      1. and now bashinsky, after authoring your rant, you can understand why i choose not to reveal myself to the likes of you. i frequent the Tropic, as do you, and the last thing i desire is to be accosted by a delusional psychotic. i realize you have “difficulties” and so observed a hands off policy when dealing with you. now however, you have crossed over from “gadfly” to loathsome.

        tip: a visit to your local pharmacy may do wonders in getting your little winged friends to finally fly away.

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