Restricted States

Thus far, 7 states…ALABAMA, ARIZONA, GEORGIA, KENTUCKY, MISSOURI, MISSISSIPPI, and UTAH…are asking independent-minded women to take themselves and their business elsewhere. These states are still controlled by white men who claim God’s mantle in denying women the right to decide what they can do with their own bodies. Unfortunately, there are women in these states who support the same agenda. Whether it’s because that’s what they’re use to doing, or because they too believe God has asked them to serve as his stand-in on earth.

Perhaps it’s time for women, who believe in their own equality under the U.S. Constitution, to choose where it is they reside and where they spend their hard-earned dollars. Granted, not all such women can exercise their rights due to circumstances beyond their control. However, for those of us still able to exercise our equal rights, it is imperative we stand against their oppressors. We can boycott those 7 states. And any others that follow suit. It is a small sacrifice in the furtherance of women.

When are women finally allowed our rights under the law? If not now, when? Why does the fate of all humankind rest only with men? Why did 25 white men decide the fate of all women in Alabama?

WHY?

America was founded by those who escaped persecution from religious fanatics. Like those ancestors, women are being subjected to the tyranny of so-called Christians. Folks who want to strip the rights of some in furtherance of their own dogmatic beliefs. Not satisfied with controlling their own lives, they feel empowered to control all lives according to their own whims. Again, they do so in the name of God.

I believe in the God who gave us free will. The God who bestowed upon us gifts with which to make our own lives. He who loved all creatures equally. He who will judge all when we stand before Him, bereft of all material trappings. Only then will we be judged for our earthly deeds.

Who are these men and women who dare take God’s place, and stand in judgment of others before He makes Himself known? They set themselves up as “false gods” before us. He will deal with them when they stand before Him.

Meanwhile, God charges us with the duty to help the oppressed. Those whose voices and whose lives are made miserable by the oppressors. God does not ask us to judge them for that is within His realm, and His realm only. We are but His disciples, called upon to lift up the downtrodden.

We can protest such oppression, but if it is within our economic power to boycott the oppressors then we should have the courage to do so.

Remember…GOD IS ALWAYS ON THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSED.

Let us reflect upon that truth…

………hugmamma.

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history repeats itself…

After leaving the White House, President Johnson said: “I don’t believe you would have had any Wilkinses, Thomases, or Eatons [the murderers of Viola Liuzzo] if you didn’t have leadership that gave them that idea that they could do what they did with immunity.”

Many white Alabamans had made their peace with integration and a new kind of South, but George Wallace was not one of them. In 1970 he had won election as governor for a second time applying an overtly racist strategy an aide described privately as “promise them the moon and holler nigger.”

As Wallace campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in 1972, he continued to deny that he was a racist. The governor blamed the press that “got folks believing now that I’m against certain people just because of who they happen to be.” Out on the campaign trail, he was on his best behavior, but sometimes things would just creep out, as when he referred to United States senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass.) as a “nigger.”

Wallace had risen to power on racial issues, and wherever he spoke on his presidential campaigns, his audiences were full of people who feared or mistrusted black people. Now in the last years of his political career, he played the race card again, but in a different way.

Thanks largely to the 1965 Voting Rights Act that Wallace had fought against, black Alabamans had won the right to vote, and the day was coming when it would be impossible for a Democrat to win an election without their support. The governor had not even wanted black Alabamans to attend his first inauguration. Yet now, when he needed them, he went to Tuscaloosa and crowned a black woman the University of Alabama homecoming queen, and he appointed black officials throughout his administration.

In 1974, Wallace won reelection as governor for the third time with 25 percent of the black vote. In his fourth and final gubernatorial campaign in 1982, he received around 35 percent of the black vote in his victory.

Wallace sent out one of his new black appointees, Delores Pickett, to campaign for him among her people. “Forgiveness is in our Christian upbringing,” she told her black audiences. “It’s something that Martin Luther King taught us.”

Black Alabamans were for the most part churchgoing people who were taught that redemption comes from forgiveness. They wanted to believe the governor had changed, and if he of all people had changed, then the world had changed.

As he sat in his wheelchair filled with pain, Wallace said he had found Jesus. But that faith never led him to face up publically to his long-held beliefs. He claimed his actions were driven by a belief in states’ rights and that he had never felt prejudice toward black people. He might have taken the lynching of Michael Donald and the conviction of the two murderers as a moment to talk about the wrongfulness of so much he had said and how words led to deeds, but he remained silent.

Despite the limitations of his public apologies, in private Wallace was beginning to grasp that he shared moral responsibility for so many reprehensible acts. One evening during his final full year in office in 1986, one of his aides, Kenneth Mullinax, was over at the governor’s mansion. Cigar smoke wafted down from an upstairs bedroom, and Mullinax went up to chat with Wallace.

“I have a lot of regrets,” Wallace said, “and I really worry about my soul.”

“But you’re born again, Governor,” Mullinax said.

“I flew all them runs over Tokyo dropping bombs, but that don’t worry me none. It’s my words. They kilt a lot of people. That’s why I’m worried I’m going to hell.”

Wallace had spoken the most provocative rhetoric. Then he had stood back and taken no responsibility for what his words led people to do. Now after all these years, he had come to an understanding of what power he truly had possessed, how profound his impact had been, and how tragic the results.

This was taken from THE LYNCHING…THE EPIC COURTROOM BATTLE THAT BROUGHT DOWN THE KLAN by Laurence Leamer

…trump…wallace, all over again.

………hugmamma.

 

“service with a smile”

Having both worked in service-oriented jobs for many years, with my husband still in the business, we agree that customer service is a “dying art.” Shopping on the Internet has made it more convenient for consumers to surf the global market for all their needs. An appealing product, savvy marketing and a credit card completes the transaction. There’s no need to interface with a flesh-and-blood person. After all, Google can answer any of your questions. And if you’ve got a hankering for “warm and fuzzy,” click on “smiley face” or download your choice of YouTube videos, to get your endorphins moving.  

Businesses grew by leaps and bounds when consumers had quantities of disposable income. Customer service was unnecessary, so it became a thing of the past. A few retailers, like some purveyors of travel and TV’s QVC, continued their traditional practice of being solicitous towards customers. But some, like E-Bay, Amazon.com, Craig’s List, department stores, supermarkets, drugstores, fast-food chains, medical practitioners and airlines, may have opted to minimize service in favor of quick turnover, with a “get ’em in, get ’em out,” attitude.

With the downturn in the economy, companies are scrambling to win back customers who have fewer dollars to spend. Customer service may be on the rise again. I hope so. It doesn’t cost businesses more to have employees smile, offer a warm greeting, listen with patience, offer options for resolution, and express appreciation for ongoing patronage. However, a company may want to invest in customer service training. Even employees with impeccable manners and the greatest intentions, will meet their match in irate persons. I know, I’ve sat on both sides of the desk.

In my mid-20’s I worked as a customer service agent for the Hawaii Medical Service Association in Honolulu. It represents Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the islands. I had extensive training in the technical aspects of HMSA’s policies so that I could answer policyholder questions. I did so in person, and on the phone. I enjoyed helping people, especially when I could clarify or demystify the finer points of their coverage. Receiving their thanks, and seeing their smiles when they turned to leave, was extremely gratifying. Of course, there were some who were disgruntled with what I had to say. And there were a few who insisted upon speaking with my supervisor, hoping his response would be different. Sometimes a review was scheduled, but often his answer confirmed mine. One particular encounter left me “shaking” in my muumuu (long, Hawaiian dress).

A gentleman from the island of Molokai had called, unhappy with a bill payment. I think it was a hospital claim, probably of a sizeable amount. I explained how the insurance carrier had determined his coverage. Unhappy with the information, I can only imagine how the man’s eyes bulged, his belly heaved, and how difficult it might have been to breathe, as he screamed profanities through the telephone. The tirade continued when I handed the call over to my boss. We were mistaken to think we’d heard the last of the policyholder. Not long after, the huge Hawaiian man  arrived at our offices, having made the flight specifically to address us in person. I gladly introduced him to my supervisor, who withdrew to the privacy of his office, with the angry islander in tow. I think someone from upper management eventually joined the conversation, but I don’t remember the outcome. Needless to say, the experience left me wary.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been the irate customer. However I’ve certainly done my fair share of yelling, I’m sorry to say. But it’s always been when I felt inconsequential, the company having already snagged my business. There was the time we’d refinanced with a bank at a low-interest rate. Because the appraiser hadn’t submitted his report on time, our rate was due to be increased. Not until I spoke with the President’s secretary, shedding tears of frustration, did she resolve the matter in our favor. 

When my 19-year-old daughter’s VISA bill showed an annual $85 fee for fraud protection on a credit limit of $500, I went ballistic! If she didn’t pay the fee, she’d be slapped with a finance charge. And if that kept up, she’d reach her allowed max in no time.  It was ludicrous that a billion dollar corporation would take advantage of a teenager. Unfamiliar with marketing schemes, my daughter thought VISA’s $2 rebate check was a reward for opening a bank account. Cashing the check actually signed her up for credit card protection, as indicated on the back, in fine print. My nonstop tirade failed to move the customer rep until I asked how she’d feel if her teenager had been scammed. The rep agreed to remove the fee, without requesting repayment of the rebate.

Purchasing a used sofa back table in Atlanta for $300, I agreed to pay the dealer another $265 to ship it to my home in Washington state. He shipped with a small, regional carrier because of its comparatively low-cost. When the merchandise arrived in Tacoma, my husband was told that the price had escalated to $600. In speaking with the seller, I learned that the price change had occurred within the shipper’s bureaucracy. The clerk with whom the transaction originated, wrote up the piece as a “sofa bed,” not a “sofa back table.” Sight unseen, the receiving office modified the price accordingly. When we asked that they open the crate to verify that it was a table, not a sofa bed, we were aghast when the amount shot up to $800+. No reason was given, but I surmised the decision was made that the piece was an antique. If I refused to pay the exorbitant price to retrieve my belonging, it could be sold locally for a hefty sum. After phone calls to 3 different offices, I was directed to the company’s corporate offices in Alabama. I wrote a letter describing, in great detail, the events leading up to my outrage. I addressed it to the President of the freight company, copying the President of its parent company, and express mailed both. It was sent on a Saturday, and I followed up with a call on Tuesday. Long story short, the Tacoma branch delivered the table to my husband for the originally quoted price of $261. That didn’t include door-to-door transportation, but it did in my case.

Who wants the grief that accompanies confrontation? Not me, that’s for certain. I’d just as soon turn my back, leaving it to those with hardier constitutions. But as I’ve indicated in my earlier posting, “put a ‘face’ on the ‘unknown,’ ” sometimes I’m integrity gone amuck! As with most people, there’s a “line” which when crossed, Mr. Jekyl steps in for Dr. Hyde. At that point, I become “warrior mom,” battling until my opponent is “face down,” eating dust from under my high-heeled stiletto, specifically removed from moth balls for the occasion. 

In my travel experiences from one end of the country to the other, southerners and Hawaiians exude genuine warmth and hospitality. The tellers at my mother-in-law’s bank welcome her with sunny smiles, and assist patiently with any questions she may raise. I find Southern wait staff gracious in their greetings, and their drawls hold my attention as they enticingly describe the “specials of the day.” What both ethnicities share is a slower paced lifestyle. That seems to translate to great customer service. Of course, as with anything else, there are exceptions to the rule. But I enjoy spending time in those locales, where “getting to know you” and “service with a smile” are more than fanciful sayings. They’re a way of life. 

for amazing customer service, huge hugs…hugmamma.