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People called this woman racist for her lawn statue, until she shared history lesson

Published: Friday, March 25, 2016 @ 11:14 AM
Updated: Friday, March 25, 2016 @ 11:14 AM

            Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Sitting on Sandra Dee McNair’s lawn is a ceramic statue of a black man holding a lantern, dressed in a jockey outfit, that everyone seems to misunderstand.

McNair explains, on Facebook, why her lawn ornament is actually a part of the fight against racism: it was once a tool used by the Underground Railroad.

She wrote:

I often get asked about my lantern footman sitting in my front yard. I’ve had black people say you shouldn’t have that out that way “it makes people think you are a racist” I laugh, or “its offensive to white people” again I laugh and then explain what the significance of the lantern footman really is.

I'm really amazed at how a lot of people don’t know the real meaning behind these statues, so they vandalize them, (expletive) about them being racist, etc. When the image of a black ‘footman’ with a lantern signified the home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. These are largely a northern thing, and weren’t commonly found in the South until after WWII when northerners moved there and brought this custom with them. The clothing of the statue was also coded.

A striped jockey’s shirt meant that this was a place to swap horses, while a footman in a tailed coat meant overnight lodgings/food, and a blue sailor’s waistcoat meant the homeowner could take you to a port and get you on a ship to Canada. I always laugh when I hear black folks talk about how racist these are, because honestly, the cats who had them were likely the LEAST racist. Later, these came back into popularity after WWII, and they were again coded to show the white homeowners supported early civil rights efforts, weren’t Klan, etc.

The symbol of the jockey goes back even further to the Revolutionary War and Jocko Graves, the Independent Journal reports.

As the story goes, Graves was serving with General George Washington, who thought him too young to bring along across the Delaware River for an attack on the British.

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Instead, Washington left Graves in Pennsylvania to care for the horses and keep a lantern on at the river bank to help guide their return.

The young man froze to death still gripping the lantern. Washington was so moved that he asked for a sculpture to be made of Graves, which he named “The Faithful Groomsmen” and kept at his Mount Vernon estate.

Whether these stories are true or legend has yet to be proven.

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Portman: Firing Mueller would be ‘big mistake’

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 7:33 PM

            Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said today that it “would be a big mistake” for President Donald Trump to fire Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian officials trying to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign had any ties to those officials.

“I’ve said all along it would be a mistake to do so,” Portman told reporters on a conference call. “I think you have to let Mueller do his work. The American people deserve an answer.”

RELATED: Portman calls on pension panel to shed partisanship

Portman’s comments follow those of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was quoted Tuesday as saying firing Mueller would “probably” be an impeachable offense. Graham had earlier said a Mueller firing would be “the beginning of the end” of the Trump presidency.

Portman said the intelligence community “has determined there was meddling in our election and we need to know more about it.”

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Mom accused of putting toddler sons in oven enters not guilty plea

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 7:04 AM

Georgia Mother Kills Two Youngest Sons By Placing Them In The Oven

A Georgia woman accused of killing her two young sons and putting them in an oven entered a not guilty plea during her arraignment Monday. 

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Lamora Williams was silent while prosecutors read the 14 charges against her. Prosecutors believe she may have burned 2-year-old Ke’Younte Penn and 1-year-old Ja’Karter Williams to make it difficult to determine how she killed them. The boys were found dead in October inside their southwest Atlanta apartment. 

>> 911 call: Mom accused in sons' oven deaths says, 'I don't want to get locked up'

Family members previously said Williams, a single mother of four, suffered from mental health disorders. Williams initially claimed she had left her children with a caregiver. 

In February, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Williams on charges that included murder, aggravated assault and concealing a death. Through her attorney, she pleaded “not guilty” to four of those charges Monday. The remainder of the charges will be addressed at her next hearing, scheduled for March 30. 

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Williams remained late Monday in the Fulton jail, where she has been held without bond since her arrest. 

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YARR! Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean reopens with new twist

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 10:34 AM

Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.(Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk)

Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean reopened Monday at the Magic Kingdom park, with a new twist to a red-headed figure.

Guests might remember a key part of the ride where a red-headed woman was on the auction block.

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Now, the pirate auctioneer oversees a sale of the townspeople’s most prized possessions and goods, and not the women. Some of the women have also been swapped out with men from the plundered town.

 The well-known red-headed figure has “switched sides” and has become a pirate named Redd, who pillages the town’s rum supply, according to the Disney Parks Blog.

 “Just as Walt Disney embraced and encouraged Disney Parks to ‘keep moving forward’ since the opening of Disneyland Park in 1955, Walt Disney Imagineering has introduced many new characters at Pirates of the Caribbean attraction over the years,” according to the Disney Parks Blog.

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United suspends pet cargo service in wake of mix-ups, dog death

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

United Airlines has suspended its PetSafe pet cargo program following multiple incidents involving pets. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
United Airlines has suspended its PetSafe pet cargo program following multiple incidents involving pets. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

United Airlines is suspending its PetSafe pet cargo program while it reviews the program. 

The suspension comes after a series of pet-related incidents, including one death, on the airline.

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The Chicago Tribune reported that United will honor reservations that have already been confirmed for the service, which books pets in the cargo section of the plane.

“We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the airline will stop taking reservations for the program until May 1.

Related: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

Spokesman Charlie Hobart told Bloomberg that part of the review of the program includes the airline considering which pets to accept. Bloomberg reported that United had previously been willing to transport dogs with an increased likelihood of in-flight death or injury, such as brachycephalic, of snub-nosed dogs.

On March 12, a French bulldog puppy died on a flight from Houston to New York when its owners said a United flight attendant insisted the pet be stored in an overhead bin. United issued a statement saying it took “full responsibility” for the death.

“This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” United said in a statement March 13. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Related: ‘She took him out and he was dead:’ Owners of dog that died in United overhead bin speak out

On Tuesday, a German shepherd named Irgo was mistakenly flown to Japan in place of a Great Dane. Irgo was supposed to go to Kansas, where his family was moving from Oregon. The dog was reunited with his family Thursday.

Related: Dog mistakenly sent on United plane to Japan reunites with family in Kansas

On Friday, the airline mistakenly had a pet boarded on a flight from Newark, New Jersey, to St. Louis. Flight 3996 was diverted to Akron, Ohio, when the error was realized, according to airline spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin. The animal was “safely delivered to its owner.” Compensation aas given to passengers on the diverted flight.

According to data from the Department of Transportation, United Airlines had the highest rate of airline reports on incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation in 2017.

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