Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Occupy Wall Street Type Protests Being Held Across The Nation—Dissent A Part Of Our Nation Since Earliest Colonial Times.

(Update– 10/06/11–Here is my post on the Occupy Houston event today.) 

Above is the art for the Occupy Providence event that will be held later today.

This art includes the great religious dissenter and the founder of Rhode Island—Roger Williams.

I’m glad to say I’m a descendant of Roger Williams and that I lived in Rhode Island for 12 years.

Here is the Occupy Providence page on Facebook. 

I’m also very glad for my 13 years so far in Houston.

Here is the Occupy Houston page on Facebook.

Here are details about the Occupy Houston event to be held this upcoming Thursday, October 6. 

This event and march begins at Market Square Park in Downtown Houston at 8:30 AM. I will be there. I hope you will be there as well.

The concern that many Americans have about the corporate takeover of our nation, and about the fact that hard work often does not pay off in our nation anymore, is shared by people all over America.

People just want a fair deal for an honest day’s work.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website. 

Here is an Associated Press story where the Occupy Wall Street folks say they are in it for the long haul.

Here is the link to the Roger Williams National Memorial Park. 

A book I own but have not yet read is Liberty of Conscience—Roger Williams in America by Edwin Gaustand.

Below is a photo I took of the Roger Williams Memorial Park earlier this year. People lived in crude shacks.

Rhode Island was founded in the 1630’s by people seeking religious liberty.

The spirit of dissent and of liberty is part of the American fabric from the earliest colonial days right up to the present day.

Let’s follow the Occupy protests and let’s be a part of this movement.

The Occupy protests may or may not lead to something bigger.

We can be hopeful. We can be informed. We can be involved.

The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us.

October 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Surprise That 17th Century Book That Respected Native Americans Also Respected Women—Roger Williams Of Rhode Island

I’ve been reading A New Literary History of the United States.

Here is some information about this very good book.

I read an essay in A New Literary History today about a book written  in 1643 by Roger Williams.

(Above–A 1681 painting by an unkown artist of a Narragansett Indian Chief named Ninigret. It is the only reliable image of a Southern New England Indian of the time. This painting is owned by the Rhode Island School of Design.)

Roger Williams was the founder of my native state of Rhode Island. Here is a blog post I wrote about Williams. I’ve been told I’m related in some way to Williams. I hope this is the case. 

The name of the book Williams wrote was A Key To The Language Of America

Here is a picture of the cover of this book from 1643.

Key was about the langauge and customs of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Indians.

Here is information about the Narragansett Indians.

A New Literary History says that Williams saw these Rhode Island natives as equal to the New England Puritan colonists.

This angered the leaders of Massachusetts because it set a precedent of treating the natives in a way that might encourage them to be more assertive in their dealings with the colonists.

In A Key To The Language Of America Williams also acknowledged the role of Narragansett Indian women. This was unusual for the times.

Williams wrote that Narragansett women worked at least as hard as did the men and that they never complained no matter how difficult life became.

It is no surprise that a book that was ahead of its time in regard to Native Americans was also respectful of women in a time that women were not treated so well ( Just like today.)

Respect for all people is connected. Regard for one only has meaning when it is regard for all. Roger Williams of Rhode Island had this insight in the 17th century. It is that many people lack in the 21st century.

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Type Of Exile Should We Choose?

What type of exile should we choose? What types of exile are chosen for us? 

In Colonial America, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson chose banishment from Massachusetts rather than renounce their views on how best to communicate with God. They went to the wilderness of Rhode Island.

When I was young, I hung out often at a punk rock club called The Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. This was a kind of “soft exile.” I wanted to be with people more like myself if just for a few hours. 

In the 19th Century, the black American actor Ira Aldridge went to Europe because he could not find roles in the United States.

In Ancient Rome, exile from Rome was a punishment one could receive.

Many of us withdraw to an extent just to get through the day.

Can exile serve as a creative force beyond simply serving as a device for sanity?

I’d say yes.

Artists often have what are termed as “retreats.” 

Martin Luther King wrote his Letter From A Birmingham Jail while in a type of forced exile.

I don’t think I could fully trust anyone who, for whatever reasons, does not seek some level of exile from this world.

Ideally, exile serves ultimately as a path to finding a way to be more strongly engaged with the world.  

September 14, 2007 Posted by | Art, Best Posts July-Dec. 2007, Colonial America, History, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments