Let’s Talk About Race Relations – “The Well”

The Well is a 1951 movie nominated for two Academy Awards; one for best screenplay and one for best editing.  Shot on location in Marysville and Yuba City, California, this film holds up today as a socially conscious film.  In my opinion, every Sociology class across America should see and discuss this film.  Let us take the opportunity to do so here.

The Well 1

The Well is a story of how a community becomes racially divided and how truth overwhelmingly brings it back together.  It is balanced, showing human tendencies regardless of race.

The director tells us the truth from the beginning of the film.  The film’s characters do not know that truth and as the movie continues, we see the townspeople become lost in anger and hatred, forgetting what started it all.

This film is about 81 minutes.  If you have that time, please try to watch it in one setting, and please click the box on the bottom right of the Youtube frame for full-screen.

Since posting this, the Youtube channel where the film was located has been deleted by the owner.  We’re including a film clip found on Youtube instead.

There is so much in this movie that can be discussed.  In one scene, we are shown a young woman who uses the situation as an opportunity for her personal agenda to get attention.  This is the scene that actually inflames the racial divide, starting a chain reaction.

The rescue scene at the end is filled with symbolism; from gathering to shine light in a dark place, to seeing equipment pounding on the ground, symbolic of softening the hardened; using persistent patience to reach a goal, even when discovering that there is more work to do before the goal is reached.

You might recognize the name or face of Henry Morgan if you are old The Well 3enough to remember the television series Dragnet.

Let’s open discussion on race relations as depicted in The Well, and how it applies today.

A huge thank you to Blushedbrown for her research finding the film.


Posted on 11/03/2013, in movies, Potpourri, Videos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 100 Comments.

  1. I am going to click and watch it now, Xena!

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  2. Two sides to a story

    Thanks for the heads up – will watch it soon!

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  3. Am watching now. Henry Morgan is so young..

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    • @mindyme62. HEY!!

      Yes, Henry Morgan was young in 1951. He later changed his first name to “Harry.”

      Just a little trivia …
      Richard Rober, who played Sheriff Kellog, died in a car accident in 1952, the year after “The Well” was released.

      Maidie Norman, who played the mom, Martha Crawford, held a Master’s degree from Columbia University. She found that the only roles she was offered after “The Well” were that of maids. She played the maid to two of Bette Davis’ characters. Not leaving acting totally, Maidie became a lecturer, director, and acting teacher at UCLA. Maidie died in 1998 at the age of 85.

      Ernest Anderson, who played the dad, Ralph Crawford, appeared in numerous movies and TV shows where he was on the “uncredited list.” One was in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” in which Maidie Norman also appeared. He died in 2011 at the age of 95.

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  4. Thanks Xena for this! I never watch old black&white movies bc i always think they’re prolly boring since you know, they’re old fashion so they must be boring! LOL

    another reason i’m excited is bc this will be my 1st time actually paying attention to
    “symbolism” in a movie since that film history in college! which i hated bc i never understood the purpose of watching a movie like that! i remember during a particularly extra boring silent movie my professor asked me what the characters dancing meant! i was like whaa?? they’re happy?? i still don’t know! but i’ve matured soooo much since then so i know i can do it now!
    omg i’m so excited to do this!!
    gonna call a friend to watch it with too:)

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    • @Shannon. HEY!!

      another reason i’m excited is bc this will be my 1st time actually paying attention to “symbolism” in a movie since that film history in college!

      You too!! LOL!! I had a class in college titled “Film: Content and Style.” My term paper was “The History of Black Films.” The professor gave me a triple A. I took that and proposed teaching the subject to community groups. The State hired me for that during the summer and that is how I discovered “The Well.” Those were the days of 18mm films. It took me 35 yrs before I found it on DVD. 🙂

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  5. I just “surfaced”, Xena.

    This movie symbolically took me down into my depths to examine what is sludge and what is important treasure.

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    • This movie represents the need for all of us, Black and White, and all colors, to come together and examine the dark “wells” in our society and to throw out the sludge that divides us and hold on tightly to the humanity and to rescue the humanity within each of us that can forever unite us.

      If we as a society are willing to do this, we can all unite together in the light and be a family.

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      • @Yahtzee.

        If we as a society are willing to do this, we can all unite together in the light and be a family.

        So true. Using the film as a foundation, we see that in the midst of concern for safety and life, there came diversion. It was the diversion that lead to churning up racial hatred. While the Sheriff and a deputy were this close to finding Carolyn, the activity caused by the diversion took them away from their work of finding Carolyn.

        The same is true today. I think back to when Zimmerman sat like a “potted palm” while Shellie misrepresented her knowledge of the money donated to them. An article about Zimmerman’s bond being revoked was published on Yahoo news. A comment was posted with deliberate intent to divert from the truth of what Zimmerman did. It said, “How did that shoeshine boy get in the White House.” Suddenly, the comments were no longer about Zimmerman’s bond being revoked and his hiding of his assets. It was on race, with each side throwing racial slurs.

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        • Xena,

          Along those lines, you recently wrote

          2008 was a wake-up call for me. Many people I had known for years suddenly transformed from being human into being monsters.

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          • Today, there is the politics of fear being pushed by the racist conservatives on their fellow Whites.

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            • So frightening to think of the damage done by lies and rumors.

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            • @Yahtzee. I think what the writers did was use what by that time, was known as a lie that started lynchings and race riots. The lynchings and burnings in Rosewell in Florida, and Black Wallstreet in Oklahoma City, both started with a White woman alleging that a Black man flirted with or attacked her. Fast forward to Emmett Till. Then fast forward to Zimmerman who claimed that he promised his wife he would protect her against (Black) burgulars.

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        • You are correct that diversion caused by the welling up of hate and racial strife kept the Sheriff from ALMOST discovering Carolyn.

          How often do we see hate, fear, and racism divert us from from DISCOVERING our common humanity.

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          • And, how often have purposeful discussion been derailed by diversion techniques of the Zidiots?

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          • How often do we see hate, fear, and racism divert us from from DISCOVERING our common humanity.

            GOP tried that in 2008 with hate emails — Muslim, not American, associates with domestic terrorists, etc. They failed to support McCain and choose to attack Obama instead. It didn’t work for them.

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    • @Yahtzee. Yep. This movie will do that.

      It shows what started the violence (a lie from the young White girl who wanted a guy’s attention), and then how that violence led to more violence with the thought that the man accused of kidnapping Carolyn was going to get off.

      And, all the time we know the truth of what happened to Carolyn.

      While the townspeople were involved in hating and destroying, it took a child and his dog to make the discovery. And a little child shall lead them …..

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      • Yes, that is beautiful symbolism that you noted harking back to Biblical teachings, Xena:

        And a little child shall lead them …..

        One is reminded of the Gospel story of a child offering his bread and fish, which being blessed by Jesus, fed the multitude.

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        • YES!!
          The little boy didn’t stop to think what was happening in town and how finding Carolyn might effect it, positively or negatively. All he knew was that his friend had fallen down an abandoned well. In the scene when he is running, I shouted out loud, “Run baby. Run. Let them know! Hallelujah!”

          At that time, only Carolyn’s dad and some of his friends were still looking for her. Everyone else was distracted by the fights and threats of more to come.

          And a little child led them ….

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  6. The movie also requires me as a White individual to examine all the trappings of our White structured society as portrayed in the various scenes and dialogue.

    Some of the lines that we can examine together are:

    “It was hard enough to get a job in this town, and I don’t want to lose it.”

    Uncle Gaines: “Maybe you haven’t found him because he is a white man, Sheriff.”

    Black man loading crate up to man in truck: “I’ve got two bucks says they let him go.”
    Man receiving boxes being loaded on truck:”Aw, give him a break, maybe he didn’t do it.”
    One of the Black men handing a crate up to man in truck: “Tell him what kind of break would they give if it was one of us?”
    (*note who is doing the lugging of crates*)

    Man on truck: “Aw you guys, come on, give me, give me, give me.”

    Woman storekeeper: “It’s frightening it could happen in this town
    Shopper: “Man who would murder must be a manic”

    Black young men in library: “The authorities are bound to be biased. It’s only natural that they are influenced by race prejudice.
    Other one:I don’t think in this case, in this town, race prejudice will influence this case.”
    First: But, this is an unique situation. A white man is accused of a crime against a negro child. This time the shoe’s on the other foot.”

    Sam Packard: “I’ll crush this whole thing. They are not going to make a fuss over this n….r kid…………I’ve lived in this town for 25 years, and I won’t be dragged through this scandal. I won’t let you disgrace me”

    Soda shop– Black youth says: “It proves my point. You can get away with murder as long as you are the right color.”

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    • “Has any of you ever seen a race riot? I have. I have seen my own father’s body tied to a car and dragged through the streets. And the driver of that car was a man my father had known for 20 years. I saw a white child beaten to death by my own people..It happens fast just like this is happening and then suddenly, it turns into mob violence……decent people go suddenly insane. There is no reasoning, no feeling of guilt just hysteria….then fear…..terror of helpless victims….something you can never forget as long as you live”—-

      (* This also reminds us of the Black exodus from the South and other places that practiced depraved, racist, heinous acts of violence.)

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    • All good lines for discussion and all very pertinent.

      The Packard line;
      He didn’t care if his nephew was guilty or innocent. His thoughts were about himself and his business and that meant that he had to make the child unimportant, less than human, like a lost dog.

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  7. If all of us allow our inner light of goodness to shine, we can come together as a community and rescue our society from the racism, hate and other negative problems lurking in the dark well of our history past and present.

    This is symbolized by the townspeople bringing their cars around the work on the well and turning their headlights on to the rescue area.

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    • I love your beautiful insight, Xena, when you write:

      The rescue scene at the end is filled with symbolism; from gathering to shine light in a dark place, to seeing equipment pounding on the ground, symbolic of softening the hardened; using persistent patience to reach a goal, even when discovering that there is more work to do before the goal is reached.

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    • from movie:

      We’ve got to have more light. We need all of you to turn on your lights.

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  8. We have to dig deep to save our souls.

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  9. In this period, as in the past, regarding State’s rights, this line spoken by a town official in the movie is significant:

    Marshall law would mean suspension of local authority.

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  10. the more things change… Sweet movie and so indicative of all times.

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    • @mindyme62. Amazing, isn’t it. We can change the costumes, film it in color, and it would still sound and look like 2013.

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  11. The racism was always there in White peoples hearts and the awareness of the potential for this to surface was always known by the Black members of the town.

    Look at what was said by a White member of the town about Blacks:

    “You got to know how to handle them. You got to keep them in line.”

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    • @Yahtzee. Yes! Very observant.

      The racism was always there in White peoples hearts and the awareness of the potential for this to surface was always known by the Black members of the town.

      And so, the racial bigotry of some leads to the distrust of others. Now, that distrust is postured by White Supremacists as “reverse racism.” The question now is, is this something that can only be overcome on an individual basis, unbiasedly judging by content of character? IMHO, that is the only way it will be overcome because when shining the light, we understand there are basic characteristics, good and bad, common to all men, regardless of race.

      Look at what was said by a White member of the town about Blacks:

      “You got to know how to handle them. You got to keep them in line.”

      Another way of saying it, “We will let them work at jobs we want them to perform. We will let them attend our schools. But if they dare to think they are equal to us, we’ll have to put them in their place.”

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      • The question now is, is this something that can only be overcome on an individual basis, unbiasedly judging by content of character?

        IMHO, that is the only way it will be overcome because when shining the light, we understand there are basic characteristics, good and bad, common to all men, regardless of race.

        Beautifully worded, Xena…..so true……I agree with you.

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    • Added thought:

      The racism was always there in White peoples hearts and the awareness of the potential for this to surface was always known by the Black members of the town.

      Like the dark well, it was always present……just camouflaged.

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  12. And, how often have purposeful discussion been derailed by diversion techniques of the Zidiots?

    Uh — too often. Wherever they are allowed to verbal vandalize. Wherever their words are posted. Wherever something positive is being shared. Whenever they open their mouths via their keyboards.

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  13. Xena,

    When you wrote this to me:

    Another way of saying it, “We will let them work at jobs we want them to perform. We will let them attend our schools. But if they dare to think they are equal to us, we’ll have to put them in their place.”

    I thought I should bring this part what I wrote about “The Gospel of Miss Roj” when I was analyzing some of the vignettes of a George C. Wolfe play:

    Here is what I wrote:

    Before I address the second half of the “Miss Roj” episode, I would like to address a symbolic element that struck me deeply…..her clothing.

    ……don’t you just love my patio pants? Annette Funicello immortalized them in “Beach Blanket Bingo,” and I have continued the legacy. And, my go-go? I realize white after Labor Day is very gauche, but as the saying goes, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it…if you don’t, front it, and snap to death any bastard who dares to defy you. (Laughing) Oh ho. My demons are showing. Yes, my demons live at the bottom of my Bacardi and Coke.

    For me, as a white individual, these lines represent a loaded indictment.

    Miss Roj’s WHITE shoes remind me that Blacks have been forced to walk in a certain prescribed way in a world of inequality in a white-power structured system where whites only have the advantages, benefits and privilege.

    It is a society which historically has allowed discrimination and racism to place limits on the presence of Blacks and on the upward mobility of Blacks. Many brilliant, capable Blacks have had their work possibilities limited to such jobs as maid, factory worker, postman, Pullman porter, field worker, etc. over the years. Blacks have been excluded from many opportunities and rights…..education (especially higher education), credit, loans, associations, etc.

    To succeed, Blacks have had to put on the “WHITE” shoes to fit into a world that has demanded them to leave who they “really are” at home, that has demanded them to act in a way to soothe racist fears so that they will not appear threatening, that has demanded them to accept the white status quo, that has demanded them to speak White, etc. if Blacks want to get along, earn a living, and succeed.

    Instead of just wearing ordinary white shoes, Miss Roj is wearing white boots which Miss Roj labels as her “Go-Go’s”. Again, I was struck by the symbolism of this label. Miss Roj slams me with the truth when she combines this “Go-Go” label with the line:

    I realize white after Labor Day is very gauche.

    Historically, Blacks have been considered by Whites to be just fine when Blacks have provided labor for them. But, after Whites have “gotten their LABOR” out of Blacks, they dismiss Blacks from their presence in a “out of sight, out of mind” manner. “Go! Go!” They have not wanted Blacks in their neighborhood, their clubs, their pools. “Go-Go! Begone!” Even though Black maids and butlers have worked right in the homes of Whites, they (as illustrated in the movie “The Butler”) are expected to be invisible “Go! Go! Don’t act like you are really here.”

    When Blacks today want their experience of inequality, of being profiled and stereotyped, and of facing the effects of racism to be HEARD, UNDERSTOOD, and ACCEPTED as a valid assessment of what is being dealt to them in our White-powered, White-structured society, their story/testimonial is dismissed by whites. “GO! GO! We don’t want to hear about it,” or “We refuse to believe you,” and even “So What!”

    After “Labor Day” ….after all the work done……after “properly behaving in their ‘white’ shoes”, Blacks return to their own neighborhoods and their own homes and families, forgotten by the White employers and return to their real selves behaving in a way that Whites would consider improper or “gauche”. Their employers want no more to do with them than former slave holders did…..no friendships and no mixing. Wearing Annette Funicello’s capri fashion would not gain Miss Roj an invitation by Whites to their pools or beaches as illustrated by Miss Roj’s tale of her beach visit.

    This is the world that Miss Roj lives in.

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    • @Yahtzee. ((((Applause))))
      Excellent comment! Excellent analysis of symbolism!!

      One thing you wrote …

      But, after Whites have “gotten their LABOR” out of Blacks, they dismiss Blacks from their presence in a “out of sight, out of mind” manner. “Go! Go!”

      Like Maddy, Juror B29?

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  14. The racial discrimination is very evident in “The Well.”

    It is the White members of the town that make up the Sheriff’s department, that run the business in town, that fill the jobs like mayor, etc. It reflects the White power structure of America which gives the benefits, advantages, and privilege to the White citizens.

    In fact, it is difficult for Blacks to find work in the town. Carolyn’s father speaks to this sad reality:

    “It was hard enough to get a job in this town, and I don’t want to lose it.”

    Even within the pecking order of the menial jobs, the Whites have the advantage. When crates are loaded, the White worker takes the easy job of standing in the truck while the Black workers do the real work of hoisting the heavy crates up to him. When the crates are unloaded, the White worker just sits in the truck while the Black workers do the unloading.

    This was a complaint of the garbage collectors in Danville, VA in 1963 where Black workers were expected to dump the trash into the truck while the White workers simply drove the garbage trucks.

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    • The White worker on the truck says it all (in the following quotation)about how Whites whether slave masters, users in the convict-lease system, housekeeper employers, etc. of Black laborers want free or cheap labor:

      “Aw you guys, come on, give me, give me, give me.”

      = Keep up the pace, lift those heavy crates quickly = I am lazy and want to use you unfairly, unjustly, inhumanely so that I don’t have to do any real work.

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    • This was a complaint of the garbage collectors in Danville, VA in 1963 where Black workers were expected to dump the trash into the truck while the White workers simply drove the garbage trucks.

      Yep — and the supervisors probably called it “training.”

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  15. I remember a couple of years ago blogging on a forum with some women from back east. They are white upper middle class, mid aged women that swing to the right, upset with their choice of who was running for president. They don’t consider themselves racist, and did speak well of other black politicians. They knew my husband is black, and when his daughter passed away, we recieved a big backet from them. Being a small forum we grew to know each other more and more personally, although I have never met them in person, some have met each other.

    Some of their beliefs I did not agree with, so you know I had to give them the big speacharoo.
    They didn’t feal that their hard earned money they had worked all their lives, their taxes should go to blacks who were always wanting a hand out. You know the get a job, and education, get over it thing, slavery was over generations ago, there is EEOC now, blah, blah, blah, it’s you own fault. They believed that if they were not well off like they were, there was no exuse. I kindly explained to them slavery was not over in 1865, and in all reality only a few generations had passed. Most of the white weath is inherited weath, and lets be honest it was not an equal field to begin with. Think of it this way, at a track race, your three fourths around the track already when a black person is coming up on the the quarter.

    And then I told them this is not what it’s all about, the, EEOC crap, it goes much deeper. Let me put it this way, if you saw a black person fall getting off the bus, would you keep on walking, or would you offer her your hand and wipe away her tears. Thats what is missing, they want what we want, compassion, love, friendship, all of what comes within. There is always going to the not so good in any race, and my husband will call it as he sees it regardless of what the race is. I told them if they would stop judging by color, and look a little deeper, perhaps they would come away with a clearer understanding. That concluded my talk on race releations.

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    • Great job with those women “back east,” dreamer. It is so important for Whites to attempt to educate other Whites to dispel their views that history does not support.

      I kindly explained to them slavery was not over in 1865, and in all reality only a few generations had passed.

      There is a book that speaks to this by Douglas A. Blackmon entitled “Slavery by Another Name: The Reenslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.”
      http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/the-book/

      Most of the white weath is inherited weath, and lets be honest it was not an equal field to begin with. Think of it this way, at a track race, your three fourths around the track already when a black person is coming up on the the quarter.

      Good analogy! Here is a talk on white priviledge by Tim Wise that addresses this point that you have made:

      You really delivered excellent points to those women, dreamer. Our society needs more people like you to speak up.

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    • @dreamer. Good for you!!!

      Most people who think that EEO is the miracle that corrects institutionalized racism must live on another planet. Having worked for some attorneys that practice in the area of civil rights, I can tell LOTS of factual situations of how companies circumvent equal opportunity and set-asides at the state and federal levels. What many people do not know either, is that many companies fulfill their EEO requirements by hiring and promoting White women.

      One of the biggest slaps in the face is when a company hires a Black person in a management position, but delegates remedial work to that employee. I remember a company that hired an accountant, but delegated proofing data entry print-outs to her. When she spoke to her supervisor about it, she was told that she should be happy to have a job without reducing her salary to the skill level of the work delegated to her.

      She began looking for another job and found that when potential employers called for references, they were told that her job title was “data entry clerk.” They wanted her to explain why she forsook all of her accounting experience for a data entry position.

      The company that did this to her was a contracting company with numerous contracts with the City of Chicago, who submitted their compliance forms with listing that employee as a minority and “accountant.”

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      • Xena,

        Thank you for writing this example of institutional racism.

        I have just printed it out for my notebook.

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        • Yahtzee, there are many, many more true stories. Maybe I should share them with you and you can write a book. 🙂

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  16. The scene where the Sheriff asks his deputy to explain the reason that he brought in a Black youth who was severely beaten speaks to the racial bias of many LE officers in our country who stereotype and profile innocent African Americans.

    I think it is important to provide a transcript of this exchange between the Sheriff and his deputy:

    Sheriff: What’s this?
    Deputy: I picked him up on Sampson Street. A street fight.
    Sheriff: Well, he certainly wasn’t fighting all by himself. Where are the others?
    Deputy: The others were just kids. White kids about 18 or 19 years old. This guy jumped them.
    Sheriff: How many of them were there?
    Deputy: 5 or 6.
    Sheriff: From the looks of him, they must have put up some battle. How old are you, son?
    Black Youth: 18.
    [The Sheriff now looks at his deputy judgmentally.]
    Sheriff: Take him over to the hospital. [But then the Sheriff reconsiders his order.] Wait a minute.[and to another deputy]: You take him over. [Back to the first deputy]: You take over the desk.
    Deputy: But Ben, you got me all wrong.

    How often in our country have Blacks been falsely accused/suspected of a crime?

    How often have White youth of the age 18 or 19 been described as “just kids” while an innocent 18-year-old Black youth has been considered “the BIG, threatening Black man”?

    How often in our history have African American men been released from jail into the hands of a threatening White mob or have received violent treatment at the hands of the deputy taking out the released Black arrestee?

    This scene reminds us of the abhorrent treatment of so many of our fellow Black citizens by racist law enforcement officers.

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    • @Yahtzee.

      I think it is important to provide a transcript of this exchange between the Sheriff and his deputy:

      Yes, and thanks for transcribing that part. Did we not see a similar judgment against Trayvon Martin? A man physically stronger, with MMA and boxing training, who previously worked as a bouncer and carried a loaded gun with hollow point bullets, was passive? Although he intentionally followed Trayvon first in his truck, then on foot while referring to him in the plural calling him names? Passive? Not.

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  17. Alphonse Karr has been credited for many sayings that we often hear but fail to actually hear with our hearts. Here are two of my favorites…

    “The more things change, the more they are the same.”

    “Every man has three characters – that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.”

    Oh how fitting that these word of a long dead man have toward our alleged modern times! How many times have we thought that things have changed for the better, only later to realize that we only moved the problem from one spot to another, sort of like the old, out of sight, out of mind syndrome…..

    Xena, I had seen that movie many years ago, back in the dark ages, and as soon as I figure out where I put the software to down load it from U-Tube, I will watch it again… Oh the thrills of having a hybrid, homebrew, some times amusing connection to the internet…..

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    • Crazy1946,

      It is so important for you to remind us that our work is far from complete with your well-worded observation:

      How many times have we thought that things have changed for the better, only later to realize that we only moved the problem from one spot to another, sort of like the old, out of sight, out of mind syndrome…..

      Thank you for pointing out today’s reality.

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      • We will SOMEDAY bring about PERMANENT change.

        I do believe that SOMEDAY a Higher Power will change ALL the hearts that still harbor hate and racism.

        I have to keep hoping and keep singing my belief

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    • @crazy1946. If you are using Firefox, it has an add-on for downloading videos. Youtube also has an add-on but I only used it once because it didn’t ask where to download it. It ended up on my desktop. Or maybe I didn’t configure it properly. I gave up using Real Player because it works when it wants to.

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      • Xena, No, I use Internet Explorer, and will not put Firefox back on my lap top. I do have, however somewhere in my library of soft ware, a program that I have used in the past that will download from U-Tube direct to DVD, and that is what I was going to dig out until I found a copy of the movie for sale… Thanks for the suggestion however…

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        • a program that I have used in the past that will download from U-Tube direct to DVD, …

          That sounds cool!!!

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          • Xena, Some people think my name on here is well deserved! Perhaps in some (if not many) ways it is. Would it be crazy to still keep and preserve even hand written code dating back to my days of playing with an Atari computer, thru the many flavors of Mac, to the Tandy, to the IBM clones, and Windows 3.2 on floppy, Windows 95 both on floppy and CD, and copies of all home based Windows operating systems since then? I have three file cabinets full of programming in climate controlled storage, and some people simply do not understand why I keep them… Ok, I must admit that some days I don’t either… Now, the truth about how difficult that it some times is to find the program that I am looking for will never be disclosed….

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            • LOL@crazy1946. You brought back a memory. In 1999, I had an IBM compatible 286. A guy offered to buy it from me to use as a boat anchor. 🙂

              I didn’t get rid of my Windows 98 until 2007.

              Just last year, I threw away the floppies for Word Perfect. 🙂

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            • Xena, I’ll bet you had the huge 50 MB hard drive in it….. Do you ever miss the sound of your computer as it read and wrote to a floppy disc? Wow, how things have changed, mostly for the good, but still some things were so simple back then, that I still miss them… My kids still think I was on God’s construction crew when he built the earth…

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            • @crazy1946.

              Do you ever miss the sound of your computer as it read and wrote to a floppy disc?

              LOL!! Wow! Don’t I remember that sound.

              Many things were simpler then, but also, we didn’t use computers then for things we use them for now. I remember in 1995 that the “world wide web” was considered separate from the “internet,” which consisted of whatever the internet service provider had because it was only dial-up.

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            • Xena,

              “Many things were simpler then,”

              You win the award for the understatement of the year! The bulk of work performed by most computers at that time was word processing and gaming (simple games). Do you remember the modems that we started with that actually fastened to the hand set of the telephone? The sound that they made is still used today in movies to mimic the sounds of a computer at work… So many changes in computer technology thru the years, yet very few changes in how we use our internal computers (the one found between our ears). Too bad man has not progressed as quickly as the inventions that he has developed… Some days when the news has been heard and digested, I question if we are actually as civilized as we would like to think.

              As a side note: I started reading and watching the link provided about Lyndon LaRouche and the Koch Bros., but because of the political clout of these people and the way they use it to control the masses, I am not sure that I will be able to watch much more due to the risk of killing my lap top…. These people are proof that Money is the evil of all roots, note, I said that the way I meant to say it….

              Ok, time for me to get off here, before I mess around and say something that makes a little sense, would not want to destroy the image of being “crazy” that I have worked so hard to establish! May peace, happiness and tranquility in your life, continue forever…

              Like

            • @crazy1946.

              Do you remember the modems that we started with that actually fastened to the hand set of the telephone?

              Ahem. I used dial-up until 2008. LOL!!!

              I question if we are actually as civilized as we would like to think.

              Well, IMHO, text messaging is dummying down the younger generation.

              As a side note: I started reading and watching the link provided about Lyndon LaRouche and the Koch Bros., These people are proof that Money is the evil of all roots, note, I said that the way I meant to say it….

              HA! You are so right!

              May peace, happiness and tranquility in your life, continue forever…

              Thank you, and may you have double all that you wish for me.

              Like

            • And may you always be blessed, crazy1946.

              Thank you for all that you do in the name of justice, and thank you for inspiring me to think things through and to consider ideas I may not have thought to consider.

              You are a wonderful discussion participant!!

              Like

            • Ooops. Xena, you can erase this and my response to crazy1946, because I have now posted it in the correct location.

              Like

  18. Xena, A little film clip from U-Tube that is a little off topic, but is it really off topic? I wonder how many people who could watch this that would never understand the underlying message, and how appropriate it is in our treatment of our fellow man in today’s society….

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    • Thank you for posting this, crazy1946.

      Like

    • @crazy1946. Good afternoon!!

      That video has a profound message! Thanks for sharing it.

      Years ago when I was a section leader in a Compuserve Christian forum, there was a man discussing the teachings of Christ, but he was practical so that it applied to anyone and everyone, regardless of religious belief or no belief. I remember him saying that child abusers generally grow up to be child abusers because they learned that abuse controlled them.

      Yes. Children see. Children do.

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  19. Yahtzee, that is one of the items I found recently when I was looking for a possible link to the genetic make up of an individual to Racist tendency’s.. While I realize that some think that my questions were way out in left field, I have heard little to dissuade me from thinking that the question is not only valid, but the possibility of the existence of a link needs to be looked at much more diligently… The current thought that mankind is a product of their environment has been looked at very carefully and is widely accepted and for good reason, much as that film clip exhibited.. but the problem as I mentioned from personal knowledge causes me to question if there are not other underlying causes for this problem… I suppose this will be seen by some as just a little more nonsense from a “crazy” old man, perhaps it is, but are you (not you literally) sure?….

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    • crazy1946,

      I have never studied genetic science. I will guess, however, that there is NO racist gene in our makeup.

      I do believe that character traits and psychological illnesses do influence how individuals navigate through life and interrelate with individuals and groups.

      Consider such opposite conditions as being open-minded or closed-minded;
      being uptight or easy going; being stubborn or docile; being rigid or flexible; being egocentric or altruistic; being proud or humble; being bold or shy; being devoted or disloyal; being controlling or submissive; being organized or cluttered; being powerful or helpless; being outgoing and enjoying socializing or being reclusive; being a rote learner or a critical-thinking learner, being a leader or follower, being needy to belong or being socially adept; having low self-esteem or healthy self-esteem, being logical or irrational, etc

      Then consider how these traits can influence an individual’s views and behavior as the individual interacts in his/her world. Consider which traits might be more susceptible to negative influences and beliefs in our society.

      Also, consider which traits allow a person more easily to be taught by and easily digest racist influences of family, friends, peers, teachers, TV shows, media hype, political hype, a single negative occurrence, etc.

      Like

      • Yahtzee,

        “I do believe that character traits and psychological illnesses do influence how individuals navigate through life and interrelate with individuals and groups.”

        Are not these conditions that you describe found in the genetic make up of some (if not all) individuals? I would hope that no one would state that all psychological illnesses are created after the individual is born and are a learned condition?
        I must however disagree with your opinion that there is not a racist gene to be found in some individuals DNA. I would suggest however that perhaps there has not been enough study to determine if there is or not. IMO most scientists who have looked into the DNA structure of mankind have admitted that they have barely scratched the surface of this subject, so the dismissal of the idea or concept of any unknown element contained within our DNA is not based on knowledge, but on as you stated “a guess”….. I only bring this question forth with limited knowledge of the subject, making no claim to being an expert in this field, and admittedly based on a singular experience, so by no means could my comment be claimed to be 100% based on scientific fact, but only on a personal non verified theory…

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        • I must however disagree with your opinion that there is not a racist gene to be found in some individuals DNA.[comment by crazy1946]

          I guess we will have to agree to disagree, crazy1946.

          Eugenics and genetic science can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands:

          http://truth11.com/2012/08/30/eugenicists-use-dna-and-genetic-research-to-push-depopulation-agenda/

          Excerpt:

          Studies into DNA with regard to reproduction and children harken back to proponents of eugenics that discouraged the procreation of those deemed “unfit” by the upper Elite of society.

          The President’s Council on Bioethics, who supports the screening of newborn blood in America, has stated that:

          Advocates of a broadened notion of ‘benefit’ often extol the utility of newborn screening for helping parents make future reproductive decisions…But this notion of ‘benefit to the family’ is not unproblematic…Suppose that expanded screening of an infant reveals not a fatal and incurable disease but instead a host of genetic variants, each of which merely confers elevated risk for some condition or other. Who is to say at what point an uncovered defect becomes serious enough to warrant preventing the birth of other children who might carry it? At what point have we crossed the line from legitimate family planning to capricious and morally dubious eugenics?

          The US government, in conjunction with hospital participation, has been warehousing newborn DNA with the intention to conduct full genome scans on every American citizen.

          In June of this year, researchers at the University of Washington announced that they had successfully sequenced the genome of a fetus through a blood sample of the mother and a saliva sample of the father.

          The fascination of population control purveyed by eugenicists like Margaret Sanger, founder of the Planned Parenthood in the US also wanted to further the advancement of genetic knowledge to prevent the unfit from breeding. Those of African-American decent, who were born with mental or physical handicaps, or had a family history that was not favored by the eugenicists, were forced to undergo sterilization through the mandate of Eugenics Courts – that now have morphed into the Family Court system in our modern times.

          This philosophy, which was popular in the 1920s where racial hygiene was expected throughout society, has gone underground and transformed into scientific advancements into genetics. This science has touted that once a screen for genetic defects is created for fetuses, it can eliminate the need for unnecessary pregnancies.

          Keeping abortion legal is integral to this ideology; while coercing the public into choosing abortion over other options is the job of Planned Parenthood. In this way, the standards set forth by early eugenicists lives on.

          The National Institutes of Health (NIH) withdrew funding for a conference on genetic factors in crime after protests from the Association of Black Psychologists protested the research as “a blatant form of stereotyping and racism.”

          Like

          • Yahtzee, I had gone for a walk in the rain with my four legged child earlier and was prepared to sit and write a long response to your post related to the site you used as a reference. As I sat and pondered on how to word my response, something I heard brought me thoughts back to the confines of my cave, there was a cricket making a terrible racket! It caused me to realize that no matter what either on of us could say about the genetic makeup of humans, it would have absolutely no effect on the destiny of mankind. So I think that instead of a long post attempting to debate a topic that I am not qualified to truly discuss in depth, I will instead, simply say thank you. You and Xena, along with some others are able to inspire so many people to strive to change our nation with such confidence that only a few possess and yet fewer are able to do it with such wisdom…
            Now, it is time to deal with the wonderful aroma of a wet four legged child, I must be careful not to call him a D** or he will pout the rest of the night… Nothing worse than having to deal with a wet 110 lb long haired German Shepard when his feeling are hurt…

            Like

            • May you always be blessed, crazy1946.

              Thank you for all that you do in the name of justice, and thank you for inspiring me to think things through and to consider ideas I may not have thought to consider.

              You are a wonderful discussion participant!!

              Like

            • Yahtzee, Now that you have me blushing and unable to write, I humbly say thank you for simply being you! It is time for me to put my four legged childs blanket on the bed so he can turn in for the night, he needs his beauty sleep… Have a wonderful evening…

              Like

  20. Wow, problem solved! I wanted to add this to my library anyway…

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000KGH05M/ref=dp_olp_used/191-3742699-7382647?ie=UTF8&condition=used

    Xena, Thank you (4X++++) for bringing this important film back into light of todays dark and eerie world! You never cease to amaze me at what you come up with… You seem to multi task so well, while many (if not most) of us have difficulty uni tasking…

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  21. @crazy1946.

    Xena, Thank you (4X++++) for bringing this important film back into light of todays dark and eerie world!

    You are welcomed, and thank you for watching it and taking part in this discussion.

    You seem to multi task so well, while many (if not most) of us have difficulty uni tasking…

    Only because I’m retired. LOL!!

    Like

  22. A comment by Carolyn’s uncle reflects the the historical experience of so many Black citizens seeking justice in our country. When the sheriff is at first unable to track down the man last seen with Carolyn before she vanished, Uncle Gaines remarks

    “Maybe you haven’t found him because he is a White man, Sheriff.”

    When Blacks (or White supporters or spouses of Blacks) have been beatened, murdered, lynched, bombed, burned out, raped, or kidnapped, their loved ones have witnessed the White criminals go free; they have witnessed LE enforcement make no effort to track down the White criminals; they have witness trials with racist jury members handing down “not guilty” verdicts when all the evidence pointed to the defendant’s guilt.

    Like

    • @Yahtzee. Right. Add to that; when the cops are called but never show up.

      IIRC, it was Elijah Muhammad who said that cities like segregated communities because that way the cops knew what neighborhoods to NOT show up in when called.

      In The Well, the Sheriff’s first impression was that Carolyn had just wandered off. He did not take serious attention until the kids at school told him that they saw a man with Carolyn. The town was so small that he anticipated that the residents would recognize a visitor.

      The movie takes us through emotional hills and valleys because the truth is, even if the Sheriff had not picked up the accused, Carolyn still would have been subsequently found in that well. That is when we then see where the accused had knowledge to help save her. It can almost be said that his innocence set him and Carolyn free.

      To say it another way, his innocence had been proven, but he was not truly free until he freed the little girl. BECAUSE, there is something else we are told about him in the movie that gets buried at the end — he had compassion for a little girl who loved flowers. He bought her violets.

      There’s something that I don’t have a finger on. Can’t really explain it. This was a man who worked in dirt, far underneath the ground. When he saw Carolyn, he saw a little girl who appreciated the beauty of that which grows above ground. He went beneath the ground to gather minerals as a miner. Carolyn gathered what grew above ground.

      It is almost opposites, yet having something in common. One could not be free without the other.

      Like

      • Yours are beautiful and insightful observations, Xena.

        Let’s try to put your ideas together with some things that I have just thought of:

        Biblically (or in the Apostle’s Creed) we have the imagery of descent before resurrection.

        We can take this to “descent before redemption.”

        Yes, even though, as you say, the accused was cleared, he was not “truly free until he freed the little girl.”

        Also, until we descend into our inner being and bring out the good within us, we cannot bloom like a flower (or violet) to bring goodness and beauty to the world.
        That flower of ours is rooted down in the treasures (goodness, kindness, empathy,etc.) that we hold in the depths of our being.

        The flowers growing above ground that Carolyn appreciated so much grew from roots beneath the ground in the area that the miner knew so well. (Somehow, I would like to tie this into your comment that “one could not be free without the other.”)

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        • …..there is something else we are told about him in the movie that gets buried at the end — he had compassion for a little girl who loved flowers. He bought her violets.

          and was willing to risk his life in order to save her

          rebirth

          Like

          • Unlike the townspeople he was able to experience personal descent into the dark, emotional pit of bitterness, anger, resentment, and retaliation for being falsely accused and choose not to allow that to become his permanent dwelling place nor to act out violently on those feelings as the townspeople had.

            He broke free of that darkess through his compassion for Carolyn.

            Like

        • @Yahtzee. WOW! I so appreciate your offerings on the symbolism.

          The flowers growing above ground that Carolyn appreciated so much grew from roots beneath the ground in the area that the miner knew so well. (Somehow, I would like to tie this into your comment that “one could not be free without the other.”

          I think you did. IIRC, it was the Black doctor who said it would be best for Carolyn to go into a coma or sleep. That is the inability to face the unknown. Isn’t that true in race relations? Some prefer to close their eyes and suggest that it’s best for those in certain situations to do the same.

          The miner demonstrated a person experienced and brave enough to go into that darkness. That darkness was because of a hole in the ground that once provided water. Man dug that well, but man also did not cap it after it no longer provided his water needs or he found another way of providing it.

          Let’s consider that the well represents slavery. Emancipating slaves and giving them all rights of citizenship on paper is one thing. As you have pointed out in other comments, we hear from the characters that there is no equal opportunity in employment.

          Slavery was abandoned in a sense, but it left a hole for people to fall into. Carolyn symbolically represented those appreciating the beauty of what comes naturally with freedom. She fell into the abandoned well that was camouflaged by wildflowers. It was her disappearance into that dark place that caused the racial divide in the town.

          Remember the part where they thought throwing Carolyn a rope would pull her out? Like you so eloquently stated, “Also, until we descend into our inner being and bring out the good within us, we cannot bloom like a flower (or violet) to bring goodness and beauty to the world.”

          That takes a route other than the well/hole that slavery is rooted in. That hole is based on the ideology that some people are superior and others inferior. Labor pains do not discriminate. Neither does death. And so in “The Well,” we have the mother symbolizing the love that comes from birth, and the townspeople symbolizing the sadness of not wanting to see death. They were all equal, and none could be truly free until Carolyn was freed from that well.

          Like

          • Xena, you are DEEPLY insightful. I had to capitalize that 🙂

            Beautiful commentary…..I love your analysis of the symbolism!

            That is the inability to face the unknown.

            Ah, yes. So many people prefer to run and avoid rather than to take a risk that could lead to a pleasant discovery. The fear of the unknown, hmm. And to think of all the increase of the politics of fear that we have seen since 2001. The political gimmick that creates the divide.

            Slavery was abandoned in a sense, but it left a hole for people to fall into.

            What a great analogy, Xena.

            And, think how many ways people were purposely pushed back into the hole through Jim Crow, voter suppression, job and housing discrimination, the convict lease system which used false and trumped-up charges, inequality, etc. The racists and White Supremacists NEVER intended to cap that dark well of slavery and inequality.

            Carolyn symbolically represented those appreciating the beauty of what comes naturally with freedom. She fell into the abandoned well that was camouflaged by wildflowers.

            Fantastic, Xena. Love that comment.

            And, yes, it WAS her disappearance into that dark place that caused the racial divide…..it WAS the disappearance of Blacks’ newfound freedom and the disappearances of the rights that accompanied their newly granted citizenship that caused the racial divide.

            Facinating…..NO one was free until Carolyn was free.

            Beautiful story of the meaning of and means to true freedom!

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            • Also, until parents today CAP their individual “wells” of hatred, racism, bigotry, etc., their children are very likely to fall down into the same darkness modeled by their parents.

              Like

            • This deserves repeating;

              Also, until parents today CAP their individual “wells” of hatred, racism, bigotry, etc., their children are very likely to fall down into the same darkness modeled by their parents.

              (((((Applauding Yahtzee)))))

              Like

            • Yahtzee.

              You are correct. And while they sit back complaining how longs it been, and the blacks still can’t uplift themselfs out of poverty, perhaps they should reflect on how long they’ve been carrying around all hate, racism, and bigotry, and why they can’t seem to uplift themselves from the hell they’ve created within and carry around everyday. It must be awful to carry around such hate everyday trying to shift the blame with the belief that the whites have now for several decades have extended equal opportunity to all races, that you owe them nothing. Nothing justifies such hatred, and only ignorance for believing what they think many have contributed for several decades will ever repay what was taken for generations.

              It’s sad that there are people who cannot say they are sorry for the past, but it is even sadder that in todays world that there are people who still think that it is okay to kill because someone was frustrated, and has learned a lesson. I hope when it is their time to depart, that that they realize there are only two directions, and they don’t get to choose. How ironic is it, that it will not be the “light’ that awaites for them, but the “dark.”

              Like

            • Bless you, dreamer.

              I am so glad you shared your thoughts above.

              I needed to hear them in the beautifully powerful way you delivered them.

              I wish they had been give prime time on television!

              Like

            • @Yahtzee. Thank you for seeing and adding to the great symbolism found in “The Well.” You answered what I couldn’t put my finger on.

              Like

            • dreamer,

              BRAVO!

              You “tell it like it is” with superb clarity!!

              You write SO well!

              trying to shift the blame

              Do they ever! Whites are ALWAYS trying to shift the blame.

              Just one example:

              I get so upset when Whites try to minimize the responsibility for the horror of slavery from themselves to the slaves’ fellow Africans who sold them to the European slave traders!

              Well, those African sellers did NOT brutalize the people they sold.

              The White Europeans DID and the American slave owners DID. Once in European and American hands, the slaves were shipped worse than chattel in nightmarish ship conditions that caused millions to die and be thrown overboard. Once in America, their dignity was stripped on the auction block. In the hands of the slave owners they were raped, whipped, beaten and driven to work under horrible, harsh conditions. Families were broken apart and destroyed as members of families were sold off down river.

              Whites blame, blame, blame but never apologize. So many Whites point out that their families never owned slaves and also say “That was in the past, this is now.”

              Well, in my family history, none of my family members ever owned slaves. So what!
              I AM reaping all of the resulting benefits of the ghastly, HARD free LABOR of the slaves and all Blacks who have been so discriminated against in job employment and unfair low pay. I am White and I, personally, need to apologize.

              I AM VERY SORRY.

              I need to do ALL I can to do to repair the damage that we as Whites have done.

              Here is something that I wrote almost two months ago:

              Time to pay up. Time to care.Time to empathize. Time to rectify.

              Time to pray for a heart of flesh because Whites have had a heart of stone for too long. Time to listen.

              Time to do the time and the sentence.

              Time to embrace and come together with an open heart and become one.

              Like

            • @Yahtzee,

              Thank you. I struggle many times to find the words that reflect how I am fealing. Sometimes I sit here for hours with so many thoughts, before my fingers hit the keyboard. I love that you take the time to listen to what is being written. We can write till our heart is content, but the real reward is when someone not only reads what you have written, but listens to what is said.

              Yahtzee, I love what you wrote two months ago, as well as all you comments. Your writing relects what a wonderful, compassionate person your are.

              Like

            • dreamer, I replied but my reply landed just above here and under your comment.

              Like

  23. Xena, While I was looking for a possible connection to the death of Kendrick Johnson to white supremacy groups in or around Lowndes County, Ga., I came across an interesting site that you might wish to take a moment to look at. One of the key points that you might notice is the racial diversity of the two high schools in the county. Especially look at the enrollment of the school that Kendrick attended, after doing that, just for kicks and grins, look at the racial break down of Valdosta, and then the racial breakdown of the rural portion of the county where Kendrick’s school drew it’s students from… Hmmm, do we see a pattern of segregation at play here? Could this have had a bearing in the murder and or cover up of the murder?

    http://www.johntheucanman.com/files/67337692.pdf

    Like

  24. What a fantastic movie! I enjoyed reading the discussion also. Yahtzee should use her comments and write a book on the symbolism. Schools are in need of good social studies books and material. I think they’re still teaching social studies using Lord of the Flies.

    Like

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