"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Divide and Conquer Tactic Exposed (and not working?)

Regarding Reverend William Owen's campaign against Obama's support of same sex marriage

Rev. William Owens, the pastor who has lambasted President Obama's gay marriage stance and warned that the president's endorsement could cost him black support, appears to have been lying about his involvement in the civil rights movement.

Owens, who runs a group called the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), has claimed that he participated in protests and sit-ins in Nashville in the late 1950s. “I didn’t march one inch, one foot, one yard, for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman,” he said during a news conference last week at the National Press Club.

. . . A librarian at the Nashville Public Library, which maintains an extensive library on the sit-ins and protests, could find no mention of Owens . . .

.....James Lawson, who helped devise and implement the nonviolent tactics that the many civil rights activists employed, criticized Owens for the apparent misrepresentations of his background. "If he was in Nashville during part of the time I was there, he was not paying attention to my teachings," Lawson said to Mother Jones. "My teachings were not about practicing social or cultural discrimination against anybody."

Owens has long held ties to conservative organizations, the African American liaison for the National Organization of Marriage (NOM), a conservative group that backs laws to block same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, some of NOM's internal documents were made public that described its attempts at "driving a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies.
Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.
....Earlier last month, Owens held a protest at the NAACP's national convention in Houston and criticized the civil rights groups' for its endorsement of same-sex marriage.

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