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How a Confederate flag nearly stalled Otis Redding’s career


 
One could be forgiven, perhaps, for thinking that the recent and ongoing national conversation (or racist jagoff chest-thumping tantrum, if you prefer) about the appropriateness of Confederate flag display is a new thing. But that point of view is ahistorical; this isn’t new, just newly launched into noisier, more vigorous debate. That symbol has been considered divisive and offensive for quite a long time.

For example, as early as 1961, that flag kept an early Otis Redding single from receiving airplay! Redding’s second single, the acutely Little Richard-ish “Fat Gal/Shout Bamalama,” was released in 1961 on a label called “Confederate Records,” an imprint owned by a young white Georgia car salesman named Bobby Smith. The center label on Confederate’s releases, unsurprisingly, was a design based on the Confederate flag, which all by itself was a good enough reason for R&B DJs to utterly disregard the single. From an article in the December, 2007 issue of Atlanta magazine:

A rebel flag crisscrosses the first vinyl single of “Shout Bamalama,” released by the Confederate Records label in 1961. Consequently, African American disc jockeys chucked it into the trash without bothering to listen. Had they put the needle to the groove, they would’ve heard Otis Redding belting out his jump-blues tribute to Bamalama, a one-eyed busker who played a washboard with a thimble. It was another inauspicious break for the Macon vocalist, who was reportedly booed off the stage, in tears, the first time he performed outside of church.

 

 
Georgia had incorporated that flag into its own in 1956, as an explicit thumbs-up to white supremacy and segregation. Having been advised that adopting it as a logo for his wares was doing him no favors with his intended audience, the no longer so clueless Smith reissued the recording on Orbit Records, an ad hoc label he started for the sole purpose of getting the pariah Dixie flag off of Redding’s single. Per Smith himself:

Otis and I went on the road promoting “Shout Bamalama”. Stopping at Augusta radio station WTHB, we were told by the DJ it would be played if it were taken off the Confederate-flagged record label. I promised to do so. We went on to Columbia, SC and met with a program director, Big Saul at radio station WOIC, who also promised heavy play, but only if the label was changed. Otis and I hit it off very well with Big Saul. As we drove and listened to legendary DJ John R on Nashville ’s WLAC, Otis said, “Bobby, if that man played my record I would think I had made it”. When we returned to Macon, I wasted no time creating the Orbit label and putting “Shout Bamalama” on it. The following week I went to Nashville and talked to John R, and I explained the situation with Confederate and Orbit. John R was impressed with the record and promised me he would give it heavy duty air play.

 

 
No version of the record would get much attention, let alone “heavy duty air play,” but that would all be moot soon enough, as Smith would amicably part ways with Redding in 1962, when Redding leveled up to record for labels like Stax/Volt and Atlantic/Atco (neither of which sported the banners of states that committed treason in the name of preserving a human trafficking economy and surrendered unconditionally 100 years prior). And then, of course, rock history 101 happened, and Redding’s excellent Monterey International Pop Music Festival appearance brought him mass-audience attention, just six months before his tragic death in a plane crash at the age of 26 robbed the world of his potential.

Here’s that single, “Fat Gal” backed with “Shout Bamalama.”
 

 

 
Bonus! Check out the early Redding song which was the basis for “Shout Bamalama,” “Gamma Lama.”
 

 
Gratitude to Art Chantry for bringing this to our attention.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Someone gave KKK marchers the farty tuba accompaniment they deserved


 
Dangerous Minds reported on the KKK rally held at the South Carolina statehouse on Saturday. What was missing from that report was this video of the Klan’s march toward the statehouse. Genius South Carolina sousaphonist, Matt Buck, gave the members of the KKK and Nazi NSM the farty-sounding accompaniment they deserved. I nearly lost my shit when he busted into the damaged rendition of “Ride of the Valkyries.”

Absolutely perfect.
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Nazis and KKK held a pro Confederate flag rally in SC because it’s all about ‘heritage, not hate’


Scenes from July 18 KKK rally at the South Carolina statehouse. All photos by Bickel. Click on image for larger version.
 
Saturday, July 18th, a few dozen people associated with North Carolina’s Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan piled into their Klown Kars and made the trip to Columbia, South Carolina to rally in protest of the recent removal of the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds. In what is either a case of absolutely dreadful planning or some statehouse staffer’s idea of a joke, a permit was also granted for a rally of Black Educators for Justice, a New Black Panther Party affiliated group, for the same day.

Though the rally for Black Educators for Justice, held earlier in the day on the North face of the statehouse grounds, was sparsely attended, by the 3:00 pm when it was time for the KKK to rally on the South face of the grounds, a few thousand counter-protesters had arrived. Dozens of uniformed officers created a perimeter to allow the Klansmen entrance to a double-barricaded “free speech zone” without being attacked by the counter-protesters who were not at all happy about the Klan’s presence.

The majority of pro-flag protesters were from out of state, the bulk of the group, being comprised of the North Carolina Klan chapter. Some protesters held a banner of the Neo-Nazi NSM, based out of Detroit. Four of the protesters identified themselves as being from Sumter, South Carolina but denied, at least earlier—in front of the barricades—that they were affiliated with the KKK.

Having no PA and being far removed from the crowd of much-louder counter-protesters, the Klansmen could basically only yell and point and attempt to bait the crowd. They came off a bit like wrestling “heels” with their baiting, which would have been actually hilarious if the spectacle weren’t so seriously pathetic. One skinhead made monkey sounds to mock African-American counter-protesters. After an hour or so of police-protected slurring of the crowd, the group attempted to leave the statehouse grounds under guard. The police could not prevent some violence and scuffles.

This video and this video show some of the resistance that occurred. Here is a short clip of a protester being arrested for having a knife, in violation of a statehouse weapons ban.

The counter-protesters chased the Klan members from the statehouse area with cops trying to keep up and prevent violence.

According to one eyewitness the Klan and associates were chased into a parking garage to the top floor where there was very little police protection. Confederate flags were ripped from the hands of the protesters, and some were, according to the witness, “given a little chin music.” After being let out of the parking garage in their vehicles, under the protection of police, one Klan member tried to speed off and hit a pole or tree. The driver was almost pulled from vehicle by the crowd, but police showed up and interjected. According to the witness, “a pop or two was given and a window or two smashed, then after being protected by police, the Klansman was allowed to leave. Overall the crowd, and surprisingly the police, were very restrained.”

Police arrested five people: one for disorderly conduct, two for simple assault and two for breach of peace.

Here is a gallery of photos from the event. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.
 

This skinhead climbed the North face statehouse steps while the Black Power group was setting up their podium, and seig-heiled the crowd.
 

Protesters gathered for the Black Educators for Justice rally that occurred just before the KKK rally.
 

Anti-flag protester, John Holmes. See video at bottom of this article for an exchange between him and the seig-heiling skinhead.
 

 

These protesters identified themselves as being from Sumter, SC—but did not claim KKK affiliation.
 
More heritage, not hate, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Hidden camera shows what it’s like to be gay in Russia
07.13.2015
10:12 am

Topics:
Activism
Queer
The wrong side of history

Tags:
Russia


 
Americans became aware during the run-up to the Sochi Olympics last year that Russia was undergoing something like the opposite of the social revolution that has brought some approximation of equal rights to homosexuals within the United States. If anything, Russia was regressing, and the persistence of anti-gay hate was depressing to behold, just as Russia was the athletic center of the world, and just a few months before that country’s ominous annexation of parts of Ukraine.

ChebuRussiaTV are something akin to the Yes Men of Russia—they make political points and further social progress through the use of pranks. Just a few weeks ago they ruffled some feathers by mimicking oral sex on public park benches.

Their latest idea is incredibly simple and yet devastating in the virulence of the reaction it has elicited. All they did was have two young men walk through public places in Moscow holding hand—not kissing, not engaging in crazy PDA behavior, just holding hands—and documented the reactions of ordinary citizens, most of which are pretty nauseating.

In addition to the occasional resigned sentiment of “Where is this country going?” and various epithets of abuse, ChebuRussiaTV documented two cases of assault (arguably), taking the form of a rough shoulder hit—the second of which certainly threatened to get out of hand.

The Cyrillic headline of the video—”Избиение гомосексуалистов в России”—translates as “Beating homosexuals in Russia” according to Google Translate. The English title is “Reaction to gays in Russia social experiment,” which is a good deal more euphemistic.
 

 
via The Daily Dot

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
As SC lowers Confederate flag, sobbing supporter feels chants of ‘USA!’ were a ‘slap in the face’


 
This morning at 10:00 AM, in a 15 minute ceremony, an honor guard under direction of South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, permanently furled the Confederate battle flag. The flag has flown on the SC statehouse grounds since 1962, when it was hoisted, depending on who you ask, either as a celebration of the Centennial of the Civil War, or as a middle finger to Integration and the Civil Rights Movement.

Thousands of people attended the emotional, but peaceful ceremony. As the honor guard brought the flag down, an impromptu chant of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” broke out.

As I personally watched the spectacle, I couldn’t help but feel like it was the first time I heard that chant and fully appreciated it without irony. Immediately thereafter, another chant hilariously broke out—the chorus of Steam’s 1969 hit “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye.”

While the majority of attendees were celebrating the removal of the Confederate flag as a symbol of power from the seat of representational government, there was a vocal minority in attendance who felt that somehow their “history was being erased” or that somehow their First Amendment rights are being chipped away.

Local Columbia news channel, WIS TV, reported on the ceremony and directly following, broadcast a remarkable chat with a sobbing Confederate flag supporter.

Brandy Burgess of North Carolina, who had driven from an entire state away to see the flag removed, delivers a marvelous Southern word salad in this interview.

“It feels like we’re going backwards. Everybody’s all about equality.”

“Everybody that was chanting ‘U.S.A.!’ and all that… it felt like they were slapping me in the face.”

“If everybody says this should be in a museum for history then why can’t we put the name of history on it?”

Bless her heart. Does anyone have a flag handy to wipe her tears?

Presented without further comment:
 

Via: wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘God don’t like ugly’: Confederate flag parade in Georgia goes hilariously WRONG!


 
This had me on the floor laughing and crying, not the least because of the hilarious commentary coming from behind the camera which predicts what’s to come. But what happens at the end is just too, too perfect. Thank god for smartphones or else we wouldn’t be laughing about these dipsy doodles and their instant karma.

This is less than two minutes long, watch the entire thing and know that your time will be well-rewarded.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
On the wrong side of history: Scenes from a South Carolina pro-Confederate flag rally


 
Fulfilling my obligations as Dangerous Minds’ Senior Southern Affairs correspondent, I wrote last week about the deadly church shooting in Charleston which took the lives of Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson. That article examined the whirlwind of events that took place in the week following the murders, most notably Governor Nikki Haley and several flip-flopping Republican lawmakers calling for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the SC statehouse grounds.

In the few days since, there have been several newsworthy events related to the shooting, the white-supremacist ideology behind it, and the Confederate flag issue. Friday saw President Obama give a moving eulogy for slain South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, which included a pitchy, but truly tear-jerking rendition of “Amazing Grace” sung by the POTUS himself. On Saturday, activist and fearless badass, Bree Newsome, in an inspiring display of civil disobedience, shimmied the 30 foot SC statehouse flagpole and removed the Confederate flag before being arrested by State Troopers. Also, in the past week a string of nighttime fires have hit at least six predominantly black churches in Southern states.

Saturday morning, June 27, just a few hours after Bree Newsome’s act of civil disobedience, a rally was held at the SC statehouse, organized by supporters of the Confederate flag, expressing their desire to keep the antiquated banner flying in front of the seat of South Carolina government. In contrast to a rally held last week calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds which attracted nearly 2000 people, Saturday’s pro-flag rally attracted approximately 50 self-professed “history scholars.”
 

June 27th South Carolina statehouse flag rally. All photos by Bickel.
 
A Facebook post listed the rally as taking place between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. I snapped photos between 10:30 and 11:00 am. There was relatively little media covering the “event.” The flag supporters dispersed later in the day when both a rainstorm and about 50 members of the “Better Consciousness Foundation,” a group comprised of leaders from the Bloods, Folk Nation (G.D.N), and the Crips, organized for social justice, arrived on the scene.

Here are my photos from the “Save the Flag” rally. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version. The turnout was so adorably pathetic, you almost feel sorry for them. As we say in South Carolina, “bless their hearts.”
 

Fittingly lonesome visual statement on the “keep the flag” camp. Click on image for larger version.
 

A man, identified by onlookers as “maybe Katt Williams’ cousin” displays his Southern pride.
 

The protesters went to great lengths to frame themselves as non-racists. This lady yelled to reporters at the scene, “I bet y’all won’t report this: I had dinner with a black man last night!” She then said, I shit you not, “some of my best friends are black people.” A man to her right chimed in that he was willing to bet it was a great dinner because “black people know how to cook.”
 

In all probability, you is.
 

“Freebird!”
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
America’s religious ‘leaders’ make fools of themselves in the ‘Reefer Madness’ of anti-gay docs


And they all think you’re a dick, Mike…

With the Supreme Court hearing arguments today on gay marriage, it seemed like the perfect time to post this extended trailer from Light Wins, a goofball anti-gay rights documentary produced by Janet Porter, who is a weekly columnist for WorldNetDaily and the author of the demurely titled book, The Criminalization of Christianity (Gee, I wonder what that’s about?). Porter is a believer in “dominion” theology, the idea that Christians are duty bound to wrest complete control from non-believers over every aspect of political life. To bring about the return of Christ, of course!
 

 
I absolutely could spend the next 45 minutes coming up with all manner of insulting epithets and nasty things to say about the fucking idiots—including GOP presidential contenders Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul—who took part in this… thing—and it might even be fun, but it would also be utterly pointless. These people discredit themselves and the American/Republican form of Christianity they practice with every second of their onscreen time. It’s wall-to-wall DUMB. They don’t need me, or anyone else, to point out how ridiculous they are.
 

 
But I will say this: If you could go back in time to the Salem witch trials and do a documentary about what happened, it would be assholes just like David Barton, Louie Gohmert and Phyllis Schlafly who would be clamoring to inflict their stupidity on your audience (luckily they can’t burn anybody at the stake in these more enlightened times.). Clearly these folks do not realize how much they BOOST the cause of gay civil rights EVERY TIME they open their mouths! Not like there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell that level of self-awareness would shut any of ‘em up, I’m just sayin’...
 

Phil Robertson, thinking…
 
Yep. If these people are what America’s version of Christianity sees as its moral leaders… in a sense, all I can say is “Hey… great!” Ten years ago, it used to be that the sight of someone like Tony Perkins on TV made me steaming mad, but the distance from the Bush administration to today seems very, very vast. Today Perkins is scarcely even shown respect on these shows, just last weekend, Bob Schieffer (who’s retiring and hilariously called it exactly like he saw it) took careful pains to make sure that the Face the Nation viewership knew that he just didn’t like this guy very much or have any respect for him. At one point Tony Perkins and his icky ilk held the power, now he and they, just look like yesterday’s bigots.
 

‘memba her?

Light Wins, of course, casts this matter as a fight of good against evil. In doing so, it makes itself the perfect unintentional time capsule of the moment we’re living in. No really, it sums up everything about America at this pivotal moment in our history, not just the gay civil rights and persecuted Christianist angles, but how America truly is turning into two nations. Not a Christian vs. secular nation, or merely conservative vs. liberals either. It’s something greater than that, what I like to think of as “the Great IQ stratification.” Smart people vs. dumb people. What’s really going on is becoming starkly obvious at this point, don’t you think?

The participants in Light Wins will not be seen very kindly by history and no one in it is ever going to become President, either.

Here’s the nine-minute long trailer. (If you can’t get enough, there’s also the half-hour version.)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wait a minute, did Rush Limbaugh just ADMIT DEFEAT???


With assholes like Rush Limbaugh, all you have to do is wait…

For days the rumor has circulated that WLS 890AM, the Chicago market Cumulus-owned talk radio station, is about to drop Rush Limbaugh from its 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday slot at the end of March, although the company has denied this.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that this “leak” was a way to grind Limbaugh down in contract renegotiations, but then Limbaugh himself posted this curiously self-aware statement on his official Facebook page:
 

 
My oh my, that sounds to my ears like the “Mayor of Realsville” admitting defeat, don’t you think?

WHO is gonna miss Rush Limbaugh when he retires? The only person whose life would be changed for the worse is that of the woman who married this asshole. Now he’s got more time to spend with her…

Limbaugh has been with the Chicago station for 25 years, but recently his show has become, in the words of one WLS insider “impossible to sell.” Both TIME and The Wall Street Journal have cited Limbaugh’s “failure to generate ad revenue” and credit his fall principally on social media campaigns like StopRush, BoycottRush and FlushRush that put public pressure on his advertisers, shaming them on social media where any association with Limbaugh is obviously toxic. Another of Limbaugh’s corporate benefactors, IHeart Media (formerly Clear Channel) which carries The Rush Limbaugh Show on over 500 of their stations, reported a quarterly loss of $309 million and upwards of twenty billion dollars in debt. Rush needs to pick up the hint and get the hook before he burns their house down! (He’s allegedly got a $400 million contract with them. Regrets? They’ve had a few hundred million, I’d reckon…)

Who says that hate speech, racism, misogyny and homophobia aimed at an audience dying off faster and faster with each passing year doesn’t pay? Ask the fuckwits tanking their stock carrying Jabba the Rush’s relic of a radio program in 500 markets in 2015! (How incredibly innovative of you, IHeartMedia!)

It will be a good day for America when El Rushbo hangs up his headphones for good, but I for one wish him a long life. Not a happy life, mind you, but a damned long one. May his millions pay the finest physicians that money can buy to keep him alive forever, like the Face of Boe on Doctor Who, his big fat head preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, his mind driven to madness by the realization that his entire life’s work was, in the end, of little value to anyone and with the lasting resonance of a particularly sulphurous fart in the howling winds of history. May he live forever and a day.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Even C-3PO and R2-D2 think Jenny McCarthy is an idiot


 
Because so much ink and so many pixels have been committed to the ongoing and breathtakingly stupid culture war over childhood immunizations, I’ll keep my comments brief: anti-vaxers? You are destructive fucking morons and if you die of something easily preventable I will laugh about it.

But though the numbers of anti-vax jackasses have grown dangerously out of control in the recent years since the likes of Jack Wolfson, Jenny McCarthy, and Andrew Wakefield started spewing the criminally irresponsible shit they should all be in goddamn jail for, there have always been people ignorant of the necessity for childhood vaccinations. In the late ‘70s, when Star Wars mania was at its height, the CDC obtained permission to use C-3PO and R2-D2 for an immunization education campaign. From the Nov/Dec 1979 issue of Public Health Reports:

In a continuing effort to focus public awareness on childhood immunization, the Center for Disease control has distributed to State and local health departments copies of a poster featuring the “droids” R2D2 and C3PO from the movie “Star Wars.” Special permission to print the posters was granted to CDC by Twentieth Century Fox as a public service.

The poster has proved to be so popular that it has entered its second printing. The posters have been used as a reward to individual children who complete the basic immunization series, as reminders to parents in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and pharmacies, and as attention grabbers in announcing mass immunization clinics at schools and shopping centers. The poster is also drawing increased attention to child health in conjunction with projects sponsored as part of the International Year of the Child celebration.

 

 
This television commercial from the campaign has an unusual role reversal—R2 is freaking out over bullshit and 3PO serves as the voice of reason. It seems to actually be voiced by actor Anthony Daniels, who played the droid in all six Star Wars movies, and indeed, the typically reliable Wookieepedia claims that both Daniels and R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker did in fact appear in this PSA.
 

 
UPDATE, Thu Feb 5, 2015, 8:17 A.M. EST: This post as originally published contained a significant error, which I deeply regret and have corrected in the text. I misspelled ‘Wookieepedia.’ My sincerest apologies to anyone who was misled by my negligent inaccuracy. See how that’s done, science-deniers? It’s not so difficult.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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