Embraced by History: Meeting John Lewis An American Spiritual Warrior
Posted on 10/21/2014 @ 05:34 PM
By Delores L. Adams, Precinct and State Committeewoman
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” ~ St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:7 (ASV)
Recently, it was an honor to meet this great Civil Rights icon. From the moment it was announced that Rep Lewis was to be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Hall of Fame Dinner honoring Rep Ed Pastor who is retiring from congress, I began looking forward to meeting John Lewis, my civil rights hero and former congressman.
The irony is, for a split second, it seems, I was deliberately excluded from Rep Lewis’ reception by my old nemesis, the so-called devil. As the old-timers would say: Child, that ain’t nothing but the devil. Hence, this classic line from television comic Flip Wilson (c. 1970s): “The devil made me do it.” Though I was genuinely hurt, as I thought this person was a friend, of sorts, being a veteran Spiritual Warrior myself, I would not be deterred. Thankfully, my campaign colleague, who had been sent an invitation, was right behind me. Thus, the wily ego steps aside claiming it was kidding, which hardly felt that funny to me!
Embraced by History
Nonetheless, I gladly enter the room without further incident, blindly walking past free glasses of sparkling champagne, scrumptious deserts, and impressive VIP’s. My only purpose was to meet Rep Lewis in appreciation of his great service to civil rights. See, I also had a story to tell John Lewis and prayed that I would not cry in the process. Naturally, upon meeting him I felt like crying and said so. He embraces me and I immediately feel at ease.
With tears of reverence under control, I thanked Rep Lewis for his service and then told him about Bobo, my classmate at the time of his tragic death. He then mentions his recent visit to the site of the infamous Bryant’s Grocery, now a Historic Landmark on the Mississippi Freedom Trail, which made our meet all the more meaningful for me.
Emmett Louis Till
Sadly, as most well know, in the summer of 1955 while visiting relatives in Money Mississippi, Emmett Louis Till, we use to call him Bobo, a precocious 14-year old African American youth who, on a dare and being from Chicago, made the fatal mistake of playfully “whistling at a white woman” in the local grocery store. That fateful night, a few days later, he would be kidnapped from his uncle’s home, brutally tortured, ultimately murdered, his battered body weighted down and thrown in the Tallahatchie River by two white men, the women’s kin. Soon the horrific body would emerge and virtually shock the world.
At the persistence of Miss Mamie, Till’s mother, a Chicago student teacher who wanted “the world to see what they had done to my son,” an open-casket funeral was held which naturally awakened the universal consciousness within. Being our classmate, we got together and went to the wake. Mercifully, we girls were strongly advised not to view the body. Even grown men were stumbling out into the streets weeping, which were filled with grief-stricken Black folks as far as the eye could see. I would be haunted by this tragic event for years to come. Yet, little did I know then, that one day in meeting U.S. Congressman John Lewis, now a beloved Civil Rights Icon, I personally would receive a poetic justice for Bobo, my childhood classmate.
Though tried for Till’s murder, yet typical of the segregated South, the two men were acquitted by an all-white jury (yet later sold their murder confession to Look Magazine). Months later in December of 1955, while still remembering Till and his tragic death, Rosa Parks, an exhausted department store seamstress (also a trained NAACP non-violent activist) refused to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus, as then customary. Thus, formally kicking off the historic Montgomery Bus Boycotts and American Civil Rights Movement in which a very youthful John Lewis would ultimately play a crucial role.
Spiritual Warfare or Fighting The Good Fight
In my opinion, there are three legitimate levels of warfare in human affairs; each with its own distinct attributes. The first level being Physical Warfare: use of extreme force to restore the peace and preserve civilization. The next level being Intellectual Warfare: use of good words to point the mind toward truth and reconciliation. And the third level, which is Spiritual Warfare: the wise use of discernment that ultimately kills off the ego, a false self-image also known as false pride (or “the devil” in some cultures).
Hence, all truthseekers are destined to realize that it is the ego, a fear-based product of our own negative thinking that is the major cause of our problems. Having recognized the inner source of our troubles, “the good fight” begins and we become the proverbial Spiritual Warrior, fighting to uphold the truth. With truth comes wisdom, universal love, non-violence and unconditional happiness, which we willingly offer to all.
A recent example of a Spiritual Warrior in the political realm would be our own President Barack Obama, who moved mountains, it seems, to open the way for the LGBT community to live its truth or, as the beautiful transgender actress Laverne Cox recently said on national television (the View), “To live our T”.
Teaching Non-Violence in Our Public Schools, Our Greatest Hope
When asked to be taught wisdom (enlightenment), it has been said the Buddha replied that wisdom cannot be taught, but the way to wisdom can be taught!
Much in the same way, we cannot easily teach the power of universal love in a broken society. But we can pave the way through teaching non-violent principles for daily life in our public schools, which worked in the midst of chaos and violence in the past…and it will work again if we teach non-violence in our public schools.
Thus, teaching non-violence in our public schools is our greatest hope for a more perfect union. It is the way to jointly fight the good fight and rid our country of systemic racism. It is the way to world peace. It is the way. Think about it!
© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2014. All rights reserved.
A version of this piece is posted on my blog titled, “the Aunt Jemimah Post: Where Politics and Spirituality Intersect”.
WATCH: moving our economy forward
Posted on 05/01/2014 @ 04:06 PM
Growing our economy and helping working people get back on their feet is going to be my number one priority as Arizona's next governor.
Please take a minute to watch this video and hear about how we’ll do it.
It’s not going to be easy, but I know that if we roll up our sleeves and work together, we’ll get Arizona’s economy moving forward again.
Fred DuVal, Democrat for governor
P.S. If you haven’t already, check out my op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star.
Advisory: Legislative vacancy and appointment of three-member citizens’ committee
Posted on 03/14/2014 @ 09:22 PM
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Supervisors to appoint three-member citizens’ panel for legislative vacancy
Richard de Uriarte 602-506-7232
March 14, 2014
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to name a three-member citizens panel Monday to consider the legislative vacancy in the state House of Representatives created by the resignation of state Rep. Ruben Gallego.
The citizens’ panel, consisting of Rosie Lopez, Susan Avelar and Warren Stewart, will submit the names of three qualified persons to the Board of Supervisors for appointment. The nominees must be qualified electors, residents of Legislative District 27 and members of the Democratic Party. The board will hold a special meeting Monday, March 17 at 4 p.m. to appoint the citizens panel. After receiving the list of nominees from the panel, the board will appoint a replacement.
Those interested in being appointed to the vacant Legislative District 27 seat Arizona House of Representatives can apply to Fran McCarroll, Clerk of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. They should send a letter and a resume to Ms. Fran McCarroll, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 301 West Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 85003. Ms. McCarroll’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
HB2305 Update. Let AZ Vote!
Posted on 02/14/2014 @ 09:02 PM
We need your help TODAY, Monday, Feb. 17
Now the same politicians who passed HB2305 are trying to repeal it in a desperate attempt to circumvent the referendum process. First they thought they could pass this harmful bill without the scrutiny of voters, now they think they can kill the referendum to avoid being held accountable by the voters.
We think HB2305 is bad because it will hurt voters. Republicans now are trying to repeal it because they think it will hurt them politically. The Legislature has no right to do an end-run around the referendum and the Arizona Constitution, which gives the citizens the right to veto any bill from the Legislature. Additionally, without a referendum, Republicans will be free to pass more harmful anti-voter bills in the future. The Republicans in the Legislature cannot be trusted.
Join us at the State Capitol as we let the Republicans in the Legislature know that we will hold them accountable for taking away the right of the voters to weigh in on this important issue.
Day of Action to demand that the voters are not silenced and allowed to vote on HB2305 in November
TODAY, Monday, February 17, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol
Click Here to SHARE and JOIN our Facebook event for the HB2305 Day of Action
On Twitter, use #LetAZVote
Let's Punish the Cheaters!
Posted on 02/10/2014 @ 07:21 PM
We've all watched Tea Party Republicans in the legislature try to rewrite the rules that govern our elections to their benefit:
- They've tried to make it harder for everyone but Republicans to get on the ballot.
- They've tried to make it a crime to go door to door and collect vote by mail ballots.
- They've written rules to kick voters off the permanent early voter list.
When I was growing up, we called this "cheating," and cheating was punished.
Wanna punish these cheaters?
Then click here to go online and get our Democrats qualified for the ballot.
Help Fred DuVal get on your ballot to run for Governor. Help Felecia Rotellini qualify for the ballot for Attorney General. Help Democrats up and down the ticket, get on the ballot so we can go into the campaign season strong and ready to win.
This online system, called E-Qual, is quick and easy. All you need is your Arizona Drivers License or state-issued ID card and you're ready to sign.
For more information and detailed instructions, Click Here. We can punish the cheaters at the ballot box, but the first step is getting Democrats on the ballot.
Thank you for all that you do,
Arizona Democratic Party
Important Information for Filing Your Taxes!
Posted on 02/04/2014 @ 05:19 PM
As Treasurer of the Arizona Democratic Party, I want to share with you some important information regarding your upcoming tax return.
Did you know that your AZ State tax form offers you the opportunity to donate to the Arizona Democratic Party?
Line 43 on your AZ Form 140, provides you the opportunity to make a political gift to the Arizona Democratic Party. You can enter ANY amount into this box and mark 'Democratic' on line 49; the State will then send us a check for that amount. But if you're using the short form, Form 140A, you can enter in ANY donation amount you prefer on line 41 and then mark 'Democratic' on line 42.
Unfortunately, this option is not currently available if you file the using the 1040EZ form.
This is a GREAT way to donate to the Party because it eliminates most of our processing and bookkeeping costs! Plus, it saves you a stamp—and can make tax season a little less painful because you know you will be helping Arizona Democrats fight to improve our state.
Please take this easy step while you're filing out your taxes to support the Arizona Democratic Party. Also, please forward this information to your friends, relatives and coworkers.
Thank you for all you do.
Treasurer, Arizona Democratic Party
2014 Diamonds & Denim Event Flyer: Feb 1, 2014
Posted on 01/16/2014 @ 01:14 PM
The 2014 Arizona Progressive Candidate Training
Posted on 12/19/2013 @ 01:55 PM
This intensive three weekend-long training will give future candidates the opportunity to explore what it takes run for office.
Topics will include:
Exploring Your Vision for Change
Fundraising For Your Campaign
Developing and Delivering a Campaign Message
Analyzing your Strengths and Challenges as a Candidate
Understanding Your District and Constituent Issues
PLUS lots more!
Training Weekends are:
February 15 & 16
March 22 & 23
April 19 & 20
at the Arizona Education Association
345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Workshops will run from 8:30 am—5:00 pm.
Participants MUST attend all six days.
Registration Fee: $300
For more information or to register contact:
Registration Deadline is February 8 and space is limited so apply today!
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We Were Lucky Enough to Call Fred von Blume Our Friend
Posted on 12/17/2013 @ 04:56 PM
Over the weekend, the wonderful heart of Fred von Blume that gave so much time, energy and love to the Arizona Democratic Party became still. His wife Diane lost her companion; The Party lost part of its soul.
We lovingly called Fred “our geek”, for he did so love computers and gadgets of all kind. He relied on that expertise and attention to detail in the many years he represented the party as an election observer at Maricopa County Election Headquarters. It was only fitting that Fred also served as party Parliamentarian since he virtually memorized Roberts Rules of Order. He kept many a state committee meeting on track with his quick, insightful answer to the most complicated of questions.
Fred was an amazing man. Most of us will remember Fred as that cheerful face behind the desk at the Arizona Democratic Party Headquarters where he volunteered. For more than 30 years, Fred proudly served the party well as a volunteer in a variety of tasks. The party was able to say Thank You last month by inducting Fred and Diane into the party’s Hall of Fame. Fred’s last major volunteer effort was helping coordinate the verification of thousands of petitions as part of the successful campaign to refer HB 2305 to the ballot.
Chances are every time you saw Fred, you also saw his wife, Diane. They were inseparable. Diane says that after living as a single woman for so long, she never thought someone new would come into her life. But then she met Fred. Diane says the 13 years they spent together, the last nine months as husband and wife, were the best part of her life. We know what she means.
We will miss Fred, but we are richer for knowing him. Details on a memorial are pending; we will keep you updated as more information is made available. If you would like to send your condolences to Diane, please address them to 7235 N. Mockingbird Lane, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.
Fred was our colleague and our friend. We love you Fred. Rest in Peace.
Arizona Democratic Party
Posted on 11/25/2013 @ 07:15 PM
If you're like me, you've known for a long time that Jan Brewer has failed Arizona time and again, but this latest revelation, that 6,000 cases of child abuse were never investigated, is the worst we've seen.
We Democrats need to speak out and demand accountability. And one Democrat, Fred DuVal, our candidate for Governor, is doing just that.
Please take a moment to hear what Fred has to say. We'll be hearing a lot more from him in the coming months, and you're going to like what you hear.
Arizona Democratic Party