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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Criswell's "convening power"; Atwater's "Nigger" memo

     In March the Ethics and Religious and Liberty Council of the Southern Baptist Convention will hold a convocation on recent events in Ferguson and NYC Case of Eric Garner


    It will be a shallow discussion with in house folks cleared by the SBC hierarchy on the panel. Don't look for Isabel Wilkerson with roots in the Thankful Baptist Church of Rome Georgia, or Cynthia Tucker of Atticus Finch's Monroeville, Alabama to be on panel, nor be surprised if they conveniently do not discuss the Jason Zengerle cover story on Bama House Speaker Mike Hubbard of the Auburn football program and his "Bleaching" Strategies to lessen minority political power in the state.


   It might embarrass Bama Deacon Gov Bentley and Bama SBC Ex Dir Rick Lance and FBC Tuscalooosa and SBC doesn't want to do anything that could harm Lottie Moon.


     Here is some of the recent history who put the likes of Russ Moore and his mentor Al Mohler in power in the fundamentalist version of the Southern Baptist Convention of the last 30 years.


   It comes from Princeton's Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country. For excellent review of that book and how Birch Society fundamentalists shape Texas politics and are a template for the Tea Party across the South see the Oct 9 Print issue of New York Review of Books article by Thomas Powers. You can google the teaser at NYbooks.com


     Here is discussion of convening power on page 342, Quoting:  In 1980 Criswell's power became especially eident in what has been termed convening power. Evangelical pastors, Business Leaders and government officials influence is easily underestimated if only the extent of their wealth or even their frequency in the media is considered. Their behind the scenes influence is typically expressed in ability to convene meetings by calling in personal favors and cultivating networks to whom only a few have access. Opportunity hoarding is the less charitable term. Among this syndrome are resources that are renewable, subject to monopoly,  and enhanced by the network's modus operandi. Examples might include racially segregated country clubs with membership fees only the super wealthy can afford or high priced study retreats for the wealthiest board members of an Ivy League Institution.


     Convening power uses social capital to get the right people together and exclude others. Reagan's trip to Dallas in 1980 for the National Affairs Briefing included a private reception at the Hyatt Regency. Hosted by FBC Dallas major donor and influential member Mary Crowley, the group included Cullen Davis, Clint Murchison Eddie Chiles Paige Patterson and Billy Graham's Brother in law Clayton Bell of Dallas Highlands Presbyterian church. Another guest was Jouston Judge Paul Pressler. Criswell presented Reagan with a Bible he hoped Reagan would use when sworn in as President. END Quote


    This cabal of FBC members were like a whose who of the Dallas John Birch Society. Pressler's family went deep to 48 with the Texas Regulars and are rumored to have opposed Carlyle Marney when Marney left FBC Austin because he supported Brown V Board call for desegregation.


    Pressler's takeover cabal in the SBC was steeped in Birchers and closet racists including Jesse Helms and Curtis Caine of Mississippi, Ed McAteer of Adrian Rogers Bellevue in Memphis and Albert Lee  Smith; all inside people in the takeover to a person convinced in their day Martin Luther King was a Communist or a tool of the Communism.


      Folks who know the history of the negative campaign in the last half of 20th Century America know their Begats. Strom Thurmond begat Harry Dent, who begat Lee Atwater, who begat Karl Rove. See Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America if you need more street cred on that assertion.


    Here is the "Nigger" memo of Lee Atwater from page 372 of Wuthnow's book. Atwater was Bush 41's famous "nutcutter" that Barbara signed off on. Atwater in 1981, Quoting Wuthnow:


     ...Atwater said: "UYou start out in 1954 by by saying  Nigger, Nigger nigger. By 1968 you can't say nigger--that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced bussing, states rightrs and all that stuff." By the 80s that language also was becoming unacceptable. " and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things ofYou're getting so abstract now that you're talking about cutting taxes, and a by product of them is they hurt blacks worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it.  Atwater Acknoledges. " I'm not saying that but I am saying if it is getting that abstract and that coded that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other,. You follow me, because obviously sitting around saying We want to cut this is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than nIGGER, nIGGER!"  eND qUOTE OF  Lee Harvey Oswald.


   Atwater's daughter is a 2012 graduate of me and Marshall frady's Furman University Bleaching Mike Hubbard, the speaker of the House for the state of Bama and subject of the Jason Zengerle New Republic cover story, New Racism; Hubbard's son Clayte is a Freshman at Furman.


     
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