Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sally Hemings, 1773-2018: Hemingses' Lives Matter

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:00 PM

  • Monticello, Courtesy of wikipedia
A major error in the historical narrative of this country's founders has been partly corrected at Monticello in Virginia.
The newly opened space at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s palatial mountaintop plantation, is presented as the living quarters of Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman who bore the founding father’s children.
The life of Sally Hemings, a slave owned by Thomas Jefferson, is an essential part of an honest recounting of the history of slavery and its importance in the early history of the United States. The two hundred year denial of her sexual relationship with Jefferson and her bearing of six children with him is historical witness to the unwillingness of the white majority to face up to the truth concerning this country's original sin. The reconstruction of Hemings's separate and unequal living quarters on the grounds and its inclusion in the tours of Monticello are a partial, far-too-late correction of the historical record.

I've spent a considerable amount of time in the years since I retired from teaching trying to correct the weaknesses in my own education. For instance, I finally read James Joyce's Ulysses a few years ago. I own that omission. The book was there all along, I knew its place in the literary canon since I was in high school, but I simply never bothered to pick it up. But I take less personal responsibility for the alarming gaps in my knowledge of the history of minorities in this country. The primary responsibility for my ignorance is the gap in the historical record created by historians who put on blinders when they wrote their many thousands of books on American history, which should be shelved in libraries in a section named, "History As Told By the Winners." The historical record has begun to be corrected over the past few decades. I'm trying to catch up as fast as I can.

A few years ago I read The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed. It is a history of Sally Hemings and her family before, during and after they were owned by Thomas Jefferson. The book shifts the usual focus of narratives about our country's founders, putting the Hemings family front and center and making Jefferson a secondary character who is discussed as he relates to the slave family.

Here's the short version of Sally Hemings's story: When Hemings was 16, in Paris with Jefferson to take care of his children, Jefferson impregnated her with the first of the six children they would have together. Jefferson denied his parentage and kept Sally and their children slaves at Monticello, only granting the children their freedom when they became adults.

For the longer version, I'm going to employ an unusual approach, starting from last Saturday and working backwards to Sally Hemings's birth.

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District 3 Democratic Candidates Focus on Housing, Education and Equal Representation

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 1:12 PM

LD-3 Democratic candidates speak with audience members after a public forum on May 30, 2018. - KATHLEEN B. KUNZ
  • Kathleen B. Kunz
  • LD-3 Democratic candidates speak with audience members after a public forum on May 30, 2018.

Andrés Cano was seven years old when environmental activists fought for his grandmother. She was poisoned by beryllium inhalation from a manufacturing plant in South Tucson during the early 1990s.

Betty Villegas was just out of high school when she and her friends drove people without transportation to the local polling place to cast their votes.

Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford was settled into her third career in the tourism industry when she was exposed to the legislative issues of the time, which inspired her to change her career once again.

These events were the seeds that rooted a passion for public service in the three of the Democratic candidates for Arizona’s 3rd Legislative District, who spoke at a community forum hosted by UNITE HERE Local 11, CASE Action, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), Progress Now Arizona, Our Voice Our Vote (OVOV), Mi Familia Vota and Arizona Wins.

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New Ballot Initiative Promises Cheaper Electricity Bills and Cleaner Air

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 12:49 PM

How does $5 off your monthly electricity bill sound? Most would say good, but relatively insignificant. How about $4 billion in savings statewide and half your electricity comes from renewable energy sources? That’s a future the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona ballot initiative is promising all residents and businesses by 2040.

With a growing population in Arizona — 3.2 million new residents are expected to come in the next 30 years — plans are beginning to form regarding how Arizona will provide electricity to such a large number of people.

The Natural Resources Defense Council funded a study that compares two possible futures: one where Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power build new gas-fired power plants, and one where almost every utility provider, except the Salt River Project, sources 50 percent of their energy from clean renewable mediums like solar and wind farms by the year 2030.

An energy firm called ICF conducted this study using their Integrated Planning Model and a few variables established by the NRDC. According to Dylan Sullivan, an senior scientist at the NRDC, the IPM is a big deal.

“IPM is a detailed model of the electric power system that is routinely used by the electricity industry and regulators, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to assess the effects of environmental regulations and policy,” Sullivan wrote in his analysis of the study.

He explained that this model is designed to consider almost every possible factor of the electricity system and the effects of its operations. Capacity of power plants, technology performance and maintenance, public demand, government policies, prices of resources, the weather — you name it. From there, it finds the most cost-effective way to meet the needs of Arizona’s growing customer base.

According to the study released in early June, when the 50 percent renewables plan is in effect, the IPM predicts the following:
  • The average electricity bill would be $3 lower each month in 2030, and $5 lower each month in 2040. Combining these savings from across the state would total to more than $4 billion. That’s $4 billion going back into our economy.
  • Arizona would meet future electricity needs with solar projects that are built and run in-state rather than using gas plants that rely on imports from other states. This will create jobs for Arizona residents.
  • The investment in renewable energy and storage can reduce the carbon footprint. It would lower annual carbon dioxide emissions in 2030 by 4.6 million tons, which is the same as the annual emissions from 900,000 cars.
  • Dylan Sullivan, Natural Resources Defense Council

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Claytoon of the Day: The Chump Foundation

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 10:40 AM

Find more Caytoonz here.

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One Great Thing to Do in Tucson Today: Tuesday, June 19

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 1:00 AM

  • University of Arizona Museum of Art

The UA Art Museum: The UA’s art museum has several exhibitions up right now, including one on the evolution of women printmakers, one filled with art created by local high schoolers, an exploration of light and photography by multidisciplinary artist Richard Slechta and The Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo, one of the most important works to come out of 15th-century Spain. Check them all out, but do try to see the exhibit "X, Y, Z: Art in Three Dimensions" which features art that’s been formed, molded, carved, cast or otherwise arranged. As you take in the art, you can reflect on what it means to take up space, cast a shadow and have texture. "X, Y, Z" is on display through Sunday, June 24. Museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday. UA Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. $8 GA, $6.50 seniors and groups of 10 or more. Free for members, students with ID, faculty, staff, military personnel, AAM members, visitors with a SNAP card or tribal ID and children. Details here.

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, Dylan Reynolds, BS Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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The Loft to host free screening of 'Edward II'

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 12:30 AM

Immerse yourself in Elizabethan drama with The Loft Cinema’s free screening of Edward II, a twist on the Christopher Marlowe play “The Troublesome Reign of Edward II.” The 1991 film, newly digitally restored, is regarded as a New Queer Cinema classic. It follows the story of King Edward II (played by Steven Waddington), who rejects his wife (played by Tilda Swinton) and takes his friend Piers Gaveston (played by Andrew Tiernan) as a lover. The resulting shock and chaos offer social commentary on homophobia in England.

The Derek Jarman-directed film will play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19 at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Admission is free but there is a $5 suggested donation. For more details, please visit The Loft's website.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Border Edition

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM

On November 15, 2016, I wrote my first post after the presidential election. The headline was Trump Human Rights Erosion And Termination Watch (THREAT Watch). I was afraid of what this nation would become under a Trump administration. At the same time I hoped my fears would prove to be unfounded. I wanted to find, a year or so later, that I had been an alarmist.

Based on what is going on right now at the U.S./Mexico border, the Trump administration has gone beyond the threat of eroding and ending human rights in the country. It has moved into action. We are staring directly into the abyss.

Anyone who condones or rationalizes what the administration is doing at the border to infants, toddlers, boys and girls up to the age of 18, and to parents whose children are being torn away from them, is aiding and abetting the destruction of this country as we know it. I'm sorry, but if you claim that you can retain your sense of decency and not condemn what is being done to children and families in our name, you have already lost part of what makes you a decent human being. You share the guilt with the monsters who put this zero tolerance immigration policy into motion and the border guards who are implementing it.

I have to be honest and admit, as a citizen of this country, I share the guilt and shame as well, even though I condemn what is going on with every fiber of my being.

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#RedforEd Initiative Would Hike Taxes on Rich to Pay for Schools

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 4:30 PM

Tucson High School teachers Marea Janness (left) and Aida Castillo-Flores (right) sign up volunteers for petitioning sites at an INVESTinED gathering on June 6. - TORI TOM
  • Tori Tom
  • Tucson High School teachers Marea Janness (left) and Aida Castillo-Flores (right) sign up volunteers for petitioning sites at an INVESTinED gathering on June 6.

Marea Jenness, a Tucson High School biology teacher, keeps a megaphone in the trunk of her Mercury Mariner. With the Red for Ed movement becoming a staple these days, she stays ready in the event of more protests.

Jenness is one of thousands of Southern Arizonans who support a citizen-led ballot initiative that increases tax rates on high-income earners to address underfunding in public schools.

Proponents estimate the increase would raise $690 million annually. The proposal would increase taxes on individuals who earn more than $250,000 a year and couples who earn more than $500,000.

The coalition needs 150,642 valid signatures by July 5 to place the Invest in Education Act on the November ballot, but they’re shooting for at least 200,000. David Lujan, director of The Arizona Center for Economic Progress, said the group is on track to getting the signatures they need by the deadline.

Invest in Education organizers hadn’t released a statewide count, as of this week, of how many signatures they had gathered so far. But if they can get enough signatures to put it before voters in November, they stand a decent chance of winning at the ballot box, according to a recent poll discussed at a June 6 INVESTinED news conference in Phoenix with the Children’s Action Alliance and other education advocates.

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Staff Pick

Summer Safari Nights

Summer Safari Friday Nights 2018 Date: Every Friday until August 3, 2018 6:00 pm — 8:00 pm… More

@ Reid Park Zoo Fri., May 18, 6-8 p.m., Fri., May 25, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 1, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 8, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 15, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 22, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 29, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 6, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 13, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 20, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 27, 6-8 p.m. and Fri., Aug. 3, 6-8 p.m. 3400 E Zoo Court

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Popular Content

  1. New Ballot Initiative Promises Cheaper Electricity Bills and Cleaner Air (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Border Edition (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. One Great Thing to Do in Tucson Today: Tuesday, June 19 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Claytoon of the Day: The Chump Foundation (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Sally Hemings, 1773-2018: Hemingses' Lives Matter (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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