Sat Nam. The Custer of American history is a true war hero, not the myth or legend created after 1933 when his widow finally left her earthly body four days before her 91st birthday. No, the Custer I know grew up in Ohio, a blacksmith's son.
For the lies that were spoken
Custer died for your sin
For the tribes you terminated
Custer died for your sin
Custer died for your sin
For the truth that you pollute
Custer died for your sin
The sun is sinking low in the sky above Ashokan
My thoughts will return to the sound of your laughter
Will we climb the hills once more?
Under the moon the mountains lie sleeping
POINTS TO PONDER
. George Armstrong Custer was born on a farm in northeastern Ohio on December 5th, 1839.
. Custer was promoted to Brigadier General at age 23 and commanded the 1st, 5th, 6th, and 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiments, making up the Michigan Brigade.
. Custer was called Armstrong by most who knew him. His childhood name, Autie, was also his nick-name.
. At West Point Custer was called 'Fanny' because of his fair skin and boyish looks.
. Custer was also called 'Cinnamon' because he put the cinnamon oil in his hair. He wore his hair fairly long from 1863 to 66. Custer's hair was not blonde but strawberry blonde.
. Custer had freckles and piercing blue eyes.
. Custer was called 'Ol' Curly' by many of his men and was loved by his soldiers during the Civil War. After he was promoted to Brigadier General he wore a signature red silk cravat. Custer's men loved him so much, that like him, they also wore red ties, only made of wool instead of silk.
. In 1866, Congress downsized the U.S. Army to a small regimental outpost on the plains and Western frontier.
. Custer hunted down the Ku Klux Klan in Kentucky and Texas in 1865-66.
. Congress authorized four more regiments of Infantry and Cavalry to be added to the U.S. Army -- the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. The 9th and 10th were all Black regiments.
. At this time Custer returned to his regular army rank of Captain. He was later offered the rank of full Colonel of the 9th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) but he turned it down.
. Custer then took command of the 7th U.S. Cavalry as a Lt. Colonel by default.
. Because he was a Civil War hero, internationally known, and served as a Major General, Custer would always be addressed as General.
I am perpetually worried every day
The pleasure of the cheerful cuckoo at noon is gone
He is likeYoung Aonghus
Like Conall Cearnach who breached defences
The youngest man (U.S. born), promoted to Brigadier General, is Galusha Pennypacker, in March 1865 (one month before the Civil War ended), at age 21. The Marquis de Layfayette was promoted to Brigadier General at age 19, but he was French. George A. Custer was promoted to Major General, U.S. Army, at age 24 (October 1864), and holds that record.
Sat Nam. Many Americans knew Custer as a hero until 1960s when America went to an undeclared war in Southeast Asia. The Native People (American Indians) could see what ‘White Eyes’ could not . This modern 20th Century racist war was driven by white Europeans, which reminded the Native Peoples of the “Plains War’s" of the 19th century. The Battlefield in Southeastern Montana, named for this Civil War hero, would now be known as the Little Bighorn Battlefield, instead of Custer Battlefield. So in the past 50 years Custer’s name has fallen into darkness in America. One day in his life, the day he died, had become his entire legacy.
I have spent the past 25 years, along with other historians, reminding Americans of the Custer we forgot! The hero of the great Civl War! The first to capture a Confederate Battle flag, the youngest at the time to be promoted to Brigadier General, the success of the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19th, 1864), which would help re-elect Abraham Lincoln to his second term. The Youngest Major General in American history at 24, and the officer who would receive the first flag of truce at the Appomattox Court House, April 9th, 1865. --
Sat Nam, Dear America, "Oh, say can you see?"
I've decided to give my very strong point of view (opinion) on Independence Day on the showing, the waving, the flying and buyer of the flag, called the Confederate Flag. I call it the "Starry Rectangular Red Rebel Flag". It's a long name, but I'm using it for educational reasons.
Today, we celebrate our Independence from Tyranny, Self-government, Liberty, courage and commitment to Union.
I propose a believable scenario...
A 25-year old couple, Karl and his sister (twins), were born in the U.S.A. in the 1990s. Their parents are from Berlin, born in Germany, grew up their, and they remember the stories of their parents during the war in Europe. The grandfather fought in the Wehrmacht Army (Nazi Army) defending the Third Reich. He was a POW, sent back to Tuskegee in Alabama, then released after the war. His brother (their great-uncle), a fighter pilot defending Berlin at the end of the war, was shot down by Tuskegee fighter pilots. (For those who don't know, Tuskegee airmen were all 'Black' college educated young men who set an incredible record defending U.S. bombing missions over Germany). But, I digress.
So your great-grandfather saved a made-from-wool Nazi flag as a family heirloom. Today, you are an American, the war is 70-plus years behind us. The Berlin Wall has been torn down in your young lifetime. You know about Nazi Concentration Camps in Poland, run by the S.S. and the Gestapo. But you have this German Heritage -- it's a relic. Do you bring it out to show your German heritage, your Aryan Pride? Do you run it up the pole?
One more thing, you live in Memphis, Tennessee, in a nice home on the Mississippi River. You're proud that you were born in the good ole U.S.A., but today is the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence signing and you're tired of the guilt from what happened during World War II, so you take the old emblem of hate and 'White Supremacy" out, and run it up the pole, underneath the "Stars and Stripes'. You have a cook-out, eat hamburgers and French Fries (you are of German decent). You enjoy some Sauerkraut on your wieners (hot dogs) and all is right with you. You look up and smile, and the wind is blowing both banners, strongly. Then your neighbors ring your doorbell, a few more even call you on your cell.
Hey! What is that flag doing up on your flag pole? Don't you realize your neighbors are Jewish and many of their ancestors died in Nazi concentration camps. We know you are a decent guy, but it's harmful to our memory that this terrible emblem of a defeated enemy of Democracy is flying today, in our neighborhood. Please take it down! Please!
Okay, Karl! What do you do?
This is like the red Rebel Flag of defiance to a POTUS (Abraham Lincoln), and to a system that one day did abolish the commercial slave auctions. Does anybody tell the horrific stories of Black Americans in 'concentration camps' called Plantations? This is important to hear today. Important to millions of Americans, hundreds of millions?
Does Southern Heritage trump American virtues -- Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, One Nation, (Under G-O-D), with Liberty and Justice for all?
Does an old starry red, rectangular or square (Army of the Northern Virginia), Rebel Flag made in a country, which uses 'slave labor' (Communist China) to make your symbol of Southern Heritage really matter to you?
Or is it that you, in your heart really don't like, and feel superior to anyone that includes Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, First Peoples, Gays, Lesbians, all Protestants, all Roman Catholics, Greek and Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Farsi, Atheist? This Rebel Flag is your emblem of hate, your symbol of what you feel, deep inside?
These are the questions I ask of you, I am White. I am of White privilege, and come from White European lineage. I have blue eyes and I am a Sikh! I wear a turban! But of my American heritage and my awareness of our young, 239 year history, I know one thing -- Today is a really great day to remember that America stands for Equality and Justice, and we include everybody!
PHOTO TO PONDER
The 114th Zouave uniform consisted of baggy red pants, short jackets with trim, and
Sat Nam. Dear fellow citizens of the United States of America, I am an 11th generation American; elevan of my ancestors served at Valley Forge; hundreds of my ancestors served in the Union Army in the Civil War. Six ancestors on my mother's side (the Libbys) were in the 20th Maine on Little Round Top on the 2nd day of the Gettysburg battle; 53,000 Americans died in three days; 750,000 all totalled - war beginning April 12, 1861, and ending officially, April 12, 1865.
Here's my view. Remove all Confederate monuments in every city, period!
Even though Robert E. Lee sent his troops to Charlottesville he never went there. But there is a young Union General who did. He posted federal Cavalry troopers at the University of Virginia and at Monticello. He never harmed a civilian in Charlottesville, and no building was damaged (with the exception of one, which stored Confederate uniforms). Ironically his orders were to do the opposite. He was given the "Keys to Charlottesville" by the Mayor in 1865 for saving Charlottesville and Thomas Jefferson's home on the hill overlooking the city! His name was General George A. Custer!
Custer is the actual hero of Charlottesville from the Civil War era! An equestrian statue of him or at least a historic bronze plaque in his honor deserves to be erected there!
Many Confederate monuments were erected to celebrate "Jim Crow" segregation. They're not about Heritage! They are about hate of the other! They are about the preservation of "Slavery"!
Civil War battle flags and cemeteries should be preserved. Let's tell the history of America's past! Let's put all the Confederate battle flags in museums. America's history (REAL History) should be taught and preserved!
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu blasts Confederate nostalgia
The American Civil War was about only one thing - SLAVERY (racism)! Stone Mountain is NOT Mt. Rushmore! Let's deface it! Let's lower the Confederate Battle Flag at Gettysburg, Shiloh, Durham, Appomattox! Let's fly the American federal flag high!
And to all you Nazi sympathizers - have you ever spoken to your great uncles and grandfathers? They fought against the Nazis and died on battlefields in France, Poland and Germany? They captured Nazi flags! If you visit the historic capital of the Third Reich in Berlin, Germany, you won't see any statues or monuments of Hitler or Rommel! But you will see memorials to victims of Aucshwitz, Dachau, Triblinka! Click here if you dare!
Sat Nam. Como resultado de la ascendencia de Donald J. Trump a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos, y el incidente de Charlottesville, Virginia de agosto de 2017, el karma de los Estados Unidos es evidente. Nuestra opinión es que los estadounidenses han sido afortunadamente bendecidos con suerte para finalmente:
Ejemplos: Aniquilación de los Pueblos Nativos de América, y el robo de sus tierras; El tráfico de servidumbre humana y el abuso de los negros africanos con el propósito de construir una economía blanca suprema basada en la esclavitud.
Los americanos deben colectivamente y finalmente, aprovechar este momento como una bendición y una oportunidad para la redención tomando estas acciones como una situación de política pública:
2.) Exigir que las entidades estatales y locales terminen la veneración de los líderes confederados traidores.
3.) Exigir el retiro de las tierras públicas de cualquier monumento confederado que honre la guerra civil incluyendo monumentos y estatuas erigidas durante la era de Jim Crow (1890-1960).
4.) Exigir que los nombres de las bases militares estadounidenses nombradas después de que los generales confederados, es decir, los generales Lee, Stuart, Jackson, etc., sean cambiados a referencias más apropiadas.
Chardi kala! --
*Nota: 'Jim Crow' es una expresión peyorativa que significa 'Negro'. Las leyes de Jim Crow, a veces como parte de constituciones estatales como la de Florida, ordenaban la segregación de escuelas públicas, lugares públicos y transporte público; y la segregación de baños, restaurantes y fuentes de beber agua para blancos y negros.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
The Sikh officer in the middle, in Army BDUs, Captain Simratpal Singh, was also admitted to West Point Academy 15 years ago. But he was forced to make a choice between keeping his Kesh and Daastar, (unshorn hair and turban), and serving his country. He chose the latter.
10 years later, after being inspired by Lt. Colonel Kamal Kalsi and other Sikh-American soldiers, wearing their Daastar and honorably serving as officers and non-commissioned officers, he challenged the U.S. Army regulations, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Captain Simratpal Singh won his case and remains an active duty officer in the U.S. Army.
The newly admitted West Point Sikh cadets will be the very first to enter the academy with Sikh mandated Daastar, Kesh, Kara, Kirpan, Kanga, and Kachara in its 204 year history.
Waho Waho Gobinda Singh, Ape Guru Chela!
This video shows a sample of West Point Cadet Corps on Parade at the “Point”. You can see from the video that the cadets wear a “plume” on their Shako hats with the West Point Military Academy emblem centered on the Shako. It appears to be 3” to 4” above the Shako. The two Sikh Cadets would wear the same on their Daastars. The larger “Plumes” are feathers for the Cadet commandants.
And leaders in their regiments and classes. This tradition dates back about 175 years or even further to continue the tradition of how the military in the US looked during that period. According to Lt. Col. Kamal Singh Kalsi, this would take place twice a year during the cadet’s four year college education. I, as a Jathedar see no reason for any ‘push back’ on this tradition.
Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh wore Kalgi (plume) to defy the Moghul Emperor. No cadet is showing any disrespect if he or she (provided one day a Sikh Kaur will enter the one of the U.S. Military Academies) wears the plume on his/her Daastar for this period. The history being made for these cadets, the Sikh Panth and the United States of America outweighs that. If someone can show (with reason) why, I want to hear it.
President Thomas Jefferson signed the law making the land on the Hudson the U.S. Military Academy in 1802 (215 years ago). The fact that these two cadets are entering the Academy 200 years from the 1817 when the Colonel Thayer (the father of the Academy was born). During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington made his command headquarters the fort at West Point. That battement is still at the ‘Point’!
This is the first time in U.S. history and Sikh history, two young Sikh American cadets are entering the Oldest Military Academy in the Nation with Kesh, Kara, Kirpan, Kanga, Kachara and Daastar. Imagine the pride when they graduate in four years (2021) when the Jathedar of the Siri Akal Takhat and other four Takhats, the families of these two cadets, many Sikhs within the U.S. will be present to see them march in review and graduate. The tradition is the graduating cadets throw their shako hats into the sky. These Sikhs will be shouting Bole Soni Hal! Sat Siri Akal!
A Brief History of West Point
West Point Academy's role in our nation's history dates back to the Revolutionary War, when both sides realized the strategic importance of the commanding plateau on the west bank of the Hudson River.
General George Washington considered the West Point location to be the most important strategic position in America. Washington personally selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko, one of the heroes of Saratoga, to design the fortifications for West Point in 1778, and Washington transferred his headquarters to West Point in 1779.
Continental soldiers built forts, batteries and redoubts and extended a 150-ton iron chain across the Hudson to control river traffic. Fortress West Point was never captured by the British, despite Benedict Arnold's treason. West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in America.
Several soldiers and legislators, including Washington, Knox, Hamilton and John Adams, desiring to eliminate America's wartime reliance on foreign engineers and artillerists, urged the creation of an institution devoted to the arts and sciences of warfare.
President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy in 1802. He took this action after ensuring that those attending the Academy would be representative of a democratic society.
Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, the "father of the Military Academy," served as Superintendent from 18l7-1833. He upgraded academic standards, instilled military discipline and emphasized honorable conduct. Aware of our young nation's need for engineers, Thayer made civil engineering the foundation of the curriculum. For the first half century, USMA graduates were largely responsible for the construction of the bulk of the nation's initial railway lines, bridges, harbors and roads.
After gaining experience and national recognition during the Mexican and Indian wars, West Point graduates dominated the highest ranks on both sides during the Civil War. Academy graduates, headed by generals such as Grant, Lee, Sherman and Jackson, set high standards of military leadership for both the North and South.
The development of other technical schools in the post-Civil War period allowed West Point to broaden its curriculum beyond a strict civil engineering focus. Following the creation of Army post-graduate command and staff schools, the Military Academy came to be viewed as the first step in a continuing Army education.
In World War I, Academy graduates again distinguished themselves on the battlefield. After the war, Superintendent Douglas MacArthur sought to diversify the academic curriculum. In recognition of the intense physical demands of modern warfare, MacArthur pushed for major changes in the physical fitness and intramural athletic programs. "Every cadet an athlete" became an important goal. Additionally, the cadet management of the Honor System, long an unofficial tradition, was formalized with the creation of the Cadet Honor Committee.
Eisenhower, MacArthur, Bradley, Arnold, Clark, Patton, Stilwell and Wainwright were among an impressive array of Academy graduates who met the challenge of leadership in the Second World War. The postwar period again saw sweeping revisions to the West Point curriculum resulting from the dramatic developments in science and technology, the increasing need to understand other cultures and the rising level of general education in the Army.
In 1964, President Johnson signed legislation increasing the strength of the Corps of Cadets from 2,529 to 4,417 (more recently reduced to 4,000). To keep up with the growth of the Corps, a major expansion of facilities began shortly thereafter.
Another significant development at West Point came when enrollment was opened to women in 1976. Sixty-two women graduated in the class of 1980, to include Andrea Hollen, Rhodes Scholar. Just as women are a vital and integral part of the U.S. Army, so they are at West Point.
In recent decades, the Academy's curricular structure was markedly changed to permit cadets to major in any one of more than a dozen fields, including a wide range of subjects from the sciences to the humanities. --
S.S. SatHanuman Singh Khalsa
Simratpal Singh won the long-term ability
In a recent decision by the U.S. Army, Capt. Simratpal Singh, a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran, has received a long-term religious accommodation to serve with long hair, a beard, and turban in accordance with his Sikh faith.
Singh -- a West Point graduate, Army Ranger, and Bronze Star recipient -- received a temporary accommodation to serve in the military with his articles of faith intact.
A U.S. district court judge issued a temporary restraining order against additional non-standard, discriminatory testing. According to The Sikh Coalition, which represents Singh with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the law firm of McDermott Will and Emery, Singh is the first Sikh American to receive religious accommodation while already actively serving in the U.S. Army.
"My military service continues to fulfill a lifelong dream," Singh said in a statement. “My faith, like many of the soldiers I work with, is an integral part of who I am. I am thankful that I no longer have to make the choice between faith and service to our nation.” --
A professor of U.S. History at Temple University in Philadelphia says,
Sikh spiritual leader’s trip to United States includes
September 11, 2017 -- Giani Gurbachan Singh, the current Jathedar of the Akal Takhat and spiritual leader of the Sikh religion, visited the United States Military Academy at West Point on September 11th, the first ever visit of a Sikh spiritual leader to any U.S. military installation.
West Point was established in 1775 by then General George Washington, who considered it the most important strategic position in America. The Academy traces its roots to 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson directed the creation of a school for the training of future U.S. Army officers, shortly after his inauguration. It is the oldest continuously operated military post in the United States and its campus has been designated a national historical landmark.
The Jathedar met with Brigadier General Steve Gilliland, the Commandant of West Point, and the ranking officer in the charge of student body, known as the Corps of Cadets. Jathedar Singh also met First Captain Simone Askew, see photo above, the highest ranked cadet at the academy, and also the first African-American female to hold that position.
The Jathedar’s visit was particularly significant in light of the recent policy changes adopted by the U.S. Army to permit permanent religious accommodations to the Army’s uniform and grooming standards, enabling soldiers and cadets to wear turbans and maintain beards, consistent with their faith. Giani Gurbachan Singh expressed his gratitude to General Gilland and the U.S. Army for working with the first two Sikh cadets who joined the Corps of Cadets with accommodations granted under the new policy.
The historic visit to West Point was facilitated by Lieutenant Colonel Kamal Singh Kalsi, the first Sikh to receive a religious accommodation in the Army in over a generation. The Army’s 2017 policy changes came after a nearly decade-long effort by Kalsi and the Sikh community. Today, there are over forty practicing Sikhs soldiers proudly serving in the U.S. Army, donning their religiously-mandated turbans and beards while maintaining good order and discipline.
Sikhs have faced hate crimes, bullying and job discrimination in the wake of 9/11.
As the founder of Sikh American Veteran’s Alliance (SAVA), LTC Kalsi says, “This visit helps to push back against discrimination by promoting Sikh military service in one of our nation’s oldest and most revered institutions.” -- Source.
Historic Sikh event takes place at West Point Academy
The event was coordinated to occur on 9/11 to honor the first two Sikh cadets to enter West Point with their Kesh, Daastar and all five "Ks" for the first time since West Point opened its doors 215 years ago.
It's a proud moment. It's important and necessary to bring more awareness to Sikh Americans in a very powerful role -- the U.S. Military.
Thanks to President Obama and former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, the status of Sikhs in U.S. Army has returned to the pre-1981 era. This has also happened at the time of Guru Gobind Singh's 350th birthday.
There are currently 120 Sikh men in the Army, and 12 Sikh women spread throughout all branches of the U.S. Military. There are 40 Sikh soldiers now wearing all five Ks of the 120 men serving in the U.S. Army. Two more now attend West Point Military Academy -- all of them leaders. --
Trump, Race and Sports
Sat Nam. What I am seeing if we just follow all the issues from Colin Kaepernick kneeling to protest innocent black (men) from being murdered by unchecked police in cities across the nation, to Chancellorsville, we see a pattern.
Trump is forcing a reconciliation on the nation. This birther president, with his love for Nazis and supporters who cheer him at "Pep" rallies in red states, he won, is creating an environment in which to debate and discuss RACE!
Our nation's two shameful sins over 500 years range from "Native" debasement to "Slavery" and fear of interaction and marriage of Blacks and Whites. We fought a four year Civil War 150 years ago because of it.
Trump is a con man, a circus barker. He's loved by fundamentalist christian preachers, he's loved by the Ku Klux Klan and other White Supremacists. He's loved by his family. Who else respects him?
My take is he's a catalyst to bring us together to face our challenges. Trump attacked Kaepernick's mother by calling him and other athletes who follow his model "Son's of Bitches" and demands that they be FIRED! Trump's a fool. He's using the U.S. Flag and America's National Anthem to divide Whites from Blacks.
Its not going to work. Three areas of the nation are integrated and understand their environments -- U.S. Prisons, U.S. Military, and U.S. Sports! We have a president and his administration who are affecting negative change in Prisons and Law Enforcement by making them more divisive and hostile to communities, more potentially violent and hostile. Trump says he wants to support and make the U.S. military stronger, but it is already, and it's made up of Christians of all denominations, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs (40 with beards and turbans), Buddhists, Atheists, Hindus. Its made of brown, Asian, White, and Black soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen.
Trump thinks America will turn on its athletic teams because he says they are "unpatriotic" if they kneel. He's a bigot, it's plane to see. He is forcing Americans to reconcile and heal our sins and disease of racism and hate.
The flag, to a true patriot, represents the U.S. Constitution, We the People. In most countries where there is a Monarch or Dictator, the flag represents that personality. The flag has always been a symbol of sovereignty and whatever politics that nation stands for. Our National Anthem (made so by Congress during the Great Depression, 1931) and used in sports since 1918 at the World Series between the Red Sox and Cubs, under the guise of Patriotism, is sometimes used to make Americans feel guilty.
We must continue the current dialog knowing that we are One Nation under the Divine who guides all people, all humans, and our Constitution, to be more PERFECT! --
Sat Nam. Here, you will see the many versions of the U.S. Flags from 1775 until the present. The Confederate flag below, was used for only four years. When the Civil War ended in Appomattox, VA, and Durham, NC, all battle flags of the Southern Confederation* were folded and surrendered. BTW: These flags were all made of wool.
The real American history is that the South lost, but they still are Americans, forever. The South never gained steam. Their Confederacy lasted for 4 years and that is only because English traders supplied the South with British Enfields. They took over Federal arsenals in Virginia and fired on Federal forts. They didn't withdraw from the Union peacefully.
They have corrupted American history. They rewrote the history after 1865. They called it the "lost cause"! They have gotten away with this because "racist bigotry" exist across the nation. It's a disease like cancer. I call it 'Racist Zombie Virus'!
It won't die unless we treat it with an antidotal cure. Anyone can be infected. It's time to rid the disease from the nation's flags, streets, avenues, unless they are museums or living museums like Gettysburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Appomattox, and so forth. Then the real history, including the flags, should be told.
The Federal Colors until after WW II were made of a blend of linen and wool or silk. After the Civil War no one much saw the red, stars and bars, rebel battle flag above, until it started appearing in the South in 1948, in 1954 (after Brown vs. Board of Education), again in 1962 (after the integration of Ole Miss), and again in 1967 (after Loving vs. Virginia). Flying the rebel battle flag has only one purpose. Everybody knows what that is.
People say, slavery, and the slave trade was born on ships flying the Stars and Stripes. This is true, as America inherited the legacy of Great Britain. However, the U.S. Flag has evolved through the ending of slavery, the civil rights of women, and African Americans gaining suffrage. It continued to evolve from the two World Wars, through racist acts towards Japanese Americans, the integration of the military, the birth of professional and collegiate athletics, the Civil Rights movement, and Equal Rights for LGBT. And it will continue to evolve.
The Rebel Flag still has 13 secessionist stars and still stands for only one thing.
*NOTE: The Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy, was the government created by the 11 Southern States of the United States after they seceded from the Union. The Union refused to recognize the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia served as president and vice president, respectively, of the Confederacy. Four other slave States—Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri—remained in the Union. The latter two were actually represented on the Confederate flag, which, like the Stars and Stripes, featured a star for every State.
Confederate Southern Cross Flag
Whereas the U.S. flag has evolved. Under it good and terrible atrocities have been done towards Native People, African slaves, women, gays and lesbians. Most of the atrocities committed were under a "red, white, and blue" banner (the Union Jack).
Union Jack Flag
The difference is the U.S. flag keeps evolving. It represents the struggle for the Nation to be a more perfect union. Yes, under this U.S. flag, racism has flourished and the Confederate battle flag and the Nazi flag have been allowed to fly and people who hate have their 1st Amendment Rights.
Grand Union Flag
35 Star Flag
But under this evolution of the U.S. flag, Grand Union Flag, Independence was won, Blacks were given freedom and equality (13th Amendment, 1865). Under another U.S. flag, women fought to gain Suffrage. Under another flag (48 stars) the U.S. helped Europe and the world defeat Fascism.
48 Star Flag
Under a (50 star) flag, a man walked on the Moon. Under the (50 star) flag, an African American was elected two terms to live in a House built by Slaves.
50 Star Flag
America is always about "Change" and "Hope", whereas the 'Rebel Battle flag' is about oppression, White Supremacy, the heritage of a tribe, not the American people. This heritage is cloaked in white linen and suits, it's a secret society and secret board meetings. It represents the past and its past is nothing but ugly. -- SatHanuman Singh Khalsa
The Confederate Declaration
Sat Nam. Below is the Declaration of Secession by the 2nd State to separate from the Union in 1861 - Mississippi. The State which today, 154 years ago is the only Southern State with obvious reference to its "southern heritage". That Southern Pride/Heritage created the Ku Klux Klan (founded in Palaski, Tenn, December, 1865) and evolved into to the Council of Conservative Citizens (founded in Atlanta, GA 1988). Now relocated to St. Louis, Missouri.
The State of Florida has its remnants more subtlety embedded in the State flag Georgia took out the "rebel flag" and replaced it with Confederate National pattern (the Stars and Bars).
Florida State Flag
The Alabama State flag similarly reflects the (Scottish Cross of St. Andrew) Southern Cross.
Alabama State Flag
Tennessee's flag has a rebel reference as well but even more subtle.
Tennessee State Flag
How ironic, a nation, which is 239 years old this past 7/4/15, and 150 years since the end of the Civil War could not even discus these issues over the past 4 years and yet, the year is 1/2 over and the ugly stain of bigotry still infects the American psyche.
Might the Divine be directly engaging each of us to confront our insecurities, our fears, phobias and illusions?
We are an insecure not independent nation. We say we are the "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave"!
I see a nation afraid to confront its past, minds enslaved by greed, by pride. We fear outside attacks from evil Muslim terror groups but cannot confront domestic terror which is threatening to tear us apart.
This is lead today, not by the Churches of the Deep South, but by Fox News and its pretty sultry women which allure White men to fantasize like sailors at sea drawn to their death by the seductive voices of Sirens. They are seduced by Maya and her rhetoric which pollutes the weak mind.
The saddest part is these insecure White males are fathering daughters and married to insecure White females. They both hide behind religious freedom like the 2nd Amendment which makes them feel power.
We must press forward and shine the Light where darkness lingers. It's the last throws of the Piscean Age. (See Signs of Kali Yuga.)
The Mississippi Statement of Secession of January 9, 1861
"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery -- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the Earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the Black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin." -- SatHanuman Singh Khalsa
July 21, 2015
To: Siri Singh Sahib Corporation,
Sat Nam, Sangat Ji!
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa! Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
I wish to address the situation in Boulder, Colorado, as I have witnessed it. I write this commentary as Mukhia Jethedar, appointed in the spring of 1998 by Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa.
In my capacity as Jethedar, I have taken upon the Seva, Protocol, and Protection of the Shabd Guru. I served from 1998 in New England until October 2005 when I relocated to Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. While living in New England, I worked to unite the New England Sangats as one Sangat. After 9/11, I organized community events in Millis, MA, and represented the Sikh Community in Boston to honor the passengers and crews of United Flight 93 and American Airlines Flight 587 in 2001. I brought the Christian and Jewish Communities together with the Sikh communities, and thanks to the work of Siri Singh Sahib Ji, I got strong support from U.S. Congressman Barney Frank and even the World War II veterans in Millis, whom I served for two years as Chaplain.
This is what I request of Sikh Dharma of Colorado, New Mexico, and their various boards. As I see it, the issue is NOT one man who has lived in Guru Amardas Niwas, or the Sevadars who care for the Guru Sahib. The issue is the Guru.
I have observed a sort of Sikhi illiteracy in some communities. I am referring to the overlapping and intermingling of Kundalini Yoga, Teacher Training and other 3HO activities in the same space as the Guru Sahib. This is not proper respect for the "Living Guru" of the Khalsa.
When a building or buildings are owned by Sikh Dharma, as Sikhs (the Khalsa Panth) we need to respectfully care first for Guru, the Living Shabd Guru Sahib.
I have heard that Drasan Singh, the man who has lived at Guru Amardas Niwas for several years has been a challenge for some folks to deal with. Okay, this may be so. He is a very strong personality. But culturally and as I understand, spiritually, he is an Amritdhari Sikh. HE could have even once eaten meat, cut his Kesh, drank alcohol, but he knows that the Guru is his Guru.
The Shabd Guru belongs to all Sikhs, no matter their gender, their national origin, culture, or skin color. When I was told that Sikh Dharma was legally evicting him, my first response was what are you doing with the Siri Guru Granth Sahib? How are you treating the Guru Sahib? As it turned out, I never heard of anyone except Drasan Singh, Himmat Kaur, Akal Kaur taking care of the Guru first, in the proper manner. No one from Espanola, or Colorado, or Millis, for that matter seemed to know how to treat their Guru Sahib.
It is apparent that some folks, not all, are somewhat illiterate about Guru Sahib protocol and Seva. Some folks have the awareness, but it doesn't seem to be with leaders, except for the Bhai Sahiba, and I've not heard from her.
These are my observations of the Siri Singh Sahib Ji. The first Gurdwara created by him was at 1620 Pruess Road in Los Angeles. The second is in Espanola, where Mukhia Jethedar Singh Sahib Amrit Singh Khalsa serves as Chief Sevadar. Notice that in both cases the original names were Guru Ram Das Ashram. Yes, at first, like other Ashrams, e.g., Ahimsa Ashram in Washington, DC, the space was cramped and confined, but we did the best we could. We put up screens (Los Angeles) to separate the Guru and protect the sacred space around the Guru. We bulit or created Darbars and Gurdwaras that were separated from the Sadhana area, yoga classes, meditation courses and bhangara class activities. Ahimsa Ashram Sangat did the same, as did the Sangat in Sterling, VA.
I suggest that today we separate activities as is now done at Ram Das Puri, in Espanola, New Mexico, where Siri Singh Sahib Ji showed the way.
Those who've been to Amritsar know you cannot carry your shoes or sandals across the Parkarma at Darbar Sahib. We remove our shoes and cover our heads, if not wearing a Daastar, when we enter the court of the Guru. We keep our heads covered even in the Guru's Langar. For those of us who've been blessed to see where Guru Amar Das Ji drew water from the well at Goindwal and carried it 10 miles for Guru Angad Dev Ji to bathe. We've also seen whenever Guru is retired, all over the Punjab and at historic Darbars, Guru is carried to Gowindwal to be cremated. Our Guru is living! Guru is not just a book or scripture like the Koran, the Vedas, the Torah or the Christian Bible.
Whenever legal action is taken and the Guru Sahib is involved, we send a Panj to say Ardas, hear the Hukumnama, and eat Langar. WE then put Guru Sahib in Sukhasan, and carry it respectfully with Chori Sahib and Sevadars to a specific vehicle for transport to a Gurdwara where Guru Sahib is laid to rest in a bed made for a KING. We don't evict the inhabitants and send the Guru to a warehouse. This is the practice of true Sikhs of the Guru.
I am asking you to please consider these comments and avoid any unconscious behavior in the house of Guru Sahib in the future.
The Boulder property is now Sikh Dharma's, and Sikh Dharma of Colorado has the full responsibility to care for it, repair it, and/or sell it so a Kundalini Yoga Center (Teaching Training Center) can be acquired. I pray the Shabd Guru in Boulder is always placed first, and that the Sevadars attend and protect the Guru, and thereby fully represent the Legacy of the Siri Singh Sahib Ji while continuing to serve the Guru Sahib with devotion, love and respect.
Humbly and respectfully submitted,
July 26, 2015
To My White Friends Who See Tragedy in the Black
For the past few weeks, I've tried to avoid social media. I've heard many people say the same. Sometimes, it's just too exhausting. When I've had a long day, the last thing I want to do is scroll through my Facebook page and engage in intellectual debates about the systematic and social oppression of Black people in the United States. Generally, I have to start from the very beginning, with something along the lines of, "Here is why slavery is offensive." Sometimes I am perplexed by the number of people who will argue with that statement.
I've heard several people say, "Just ignore them! It's just one person. Everyone has an opinion." But what happens when that opinion manifests itself systematically in school systems and jail sentencing? What happens when people use those opinions to justify acts of hate? What happens when people who hold those opinions walk into a Black church and shoot down the very people who embraced them? (See Racism.)
Here's the thing. To walk past a Confederate flag and feel nothing, to cheer for the Redskins and not feel inferior, to watch how the media discusses Muslims as a monolithic group of violent people and not think twice, is a privilege. If you're tired of people talking about these issues, let's get rid of all the passive-aggressive institutional reminders of inferiority. It's unfair to say "stop talking about being Black," when I drive down roads named after Confederate soldiers who fought to keep me as a slave. The ability to ignore is a privilege. Closing my eyes to these issues is to deny the core of who I am.
The truth is, I love White people. I love all people - people of every color, shape, size, and sexual orientation. I went to all White elementary schools. I've gone to predominately White churches all my life. For the most part, I've always been embraced and accepted. When something terrible happens in a "White" community, I am compassionate. When something terrible happens in a "White" community, I sympathize. It breaks my heart. But for some reason, when tragedy strikes in a Black community, many of my White friends are silent. Your silence speaks volumes. It makes me feel sick. To those of you who are not silent, thank you. To those of you who care, I appreciate you.
To those of you on social media criticizing the movement to take down the Confederate flag, you have to understand why I can no longer call you my friend. It's not just "some overly sensitive Black people" who are offended by the Confederate flag. I am offended by the Confederate flag. Yes, I know that many people are just celebrating the fallen soldiers (who fought to keep me as a slave). No, I'm not "pro-Black" and "anti-White." I love you all, equally. No, I don't just like to complain. In fact, sometimes I think about how great it would be not to have been born Black in this country, and not have to carry the burden that comes along with being socially conscious. No, I don't hate you for your opinions. In fact, I pray for you when I go to sleep at night.
When you think of all the "Black people who are so offended and just like to complain," picture my face. Picture the face of your Black friends. Think of the hurt in my heart and the tears I cry when I feel like I can do everything right but still be seen as "inferior" because of my skin color. I have a legal degree from one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, but I was reminded when Martese Johnson yelled out, "I go to UVA," before the White officers smashed his bloody face into the concrete, that my education is not protection. Think about how I start shaking when I see people wave the Confederate flag, then proceed to tell me I am acceptable, "because I am a different type of Black person, the exception." Why should I have to prove I am "different" to be accepted?
I am the same girl you sat next to in chorus class. I am the same girl who drove you home when you had no ride. I am the same girl you prayed with in youth group. I am the friendly Black girl you work with, the Black babysitter who cared for your children, and the same Black neighbor who waves hello every morning. What if I was shot in the church that day? What if it was my dead body on your television screen? The next time you think about these issues, don't think about them in the abstract. Don't think about them in a political framework. Make it personal. --
*NOTE: Kiara Imani Williams, J.D., is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in 2011 with a major in political science, specifically focusing on politics in the media.
Let's do the math
July 27, 2015
There were an estimated 25 people of African descent, about 50-75 Latinos, 40-50 Japanese, Chinese, and other Asians, along with a small number of Indian Sikhs out of a reported total of 2,040 attendees.
Twenty-five darker toned people out of 2,040 attendees is a .012 percent ratio. Yoga is big internationally now, so there should be more diversity, including African-Americans, at every event, not less.
The concerns should be how many African-American attendees become Kundalini Yoga Teachers, sharing the 3HO technology with other African-Americans? And, whether the Solstice experience (which used to happen at Guru Ram Das Puri) is qualitatively touching their souls.
Asian attendees are not a great indicator of diversity. That's more or less a White on White comparison. If you compare a Community College "Comparative Religion" course vs. a "World Religion" course, the former is for show, the latter gives you a true learning experience of the Oneness and Unity of humankind's spiritual practices.
A better comparison would be the Hispanic (Latinos) attendees from Mexico or South America, but again 'class' and financial security remains an issue.
Please keep me posted, and Keep Up!
"Tribalism: Loyalty to a tribe, social group or gang
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Pages And Points To Ponder
See SensitivitySummit.com. See Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.