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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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23-foot python swallows woman whole, reports say

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 8:42 AM

Woman Swallowed Whole By Python

A 54-year-old Indonesian woman is dead after villagers say a 23-foot python swallowed her whole.

>> Severed rattlesnake head bites Texas man

According to The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, Wa Tiba of Muna Island disappeared Thursday after leaving her village, Persiapan Lawela, to tend to her garden. The next day, searchers discovered a "snake with a bloated belly" and some of Tiba's things near the garden, said the village's chief, known by the single name Faris, the AP reported.

Faris said villagers killed the python and cut it open, the AP reported. They then "found Tiba's body still intact with all her clothes," Faris said.

Graphic photos and videos posted online appeared to show the woman's body being extracted from the dead python.

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This isn't the first time a python has swallowed a person in Indonesia, where such snakes are common, AFP reported. A farmer died under similar circumstances in March 2017 on the island of Sulawesi, according to the news service.

Read more here or here.

Dangerous Snakes

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Sympathetic Texas man buys pizza for immigrants found in truck

Published: Friday, June 15, 2018 @ 3:02 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Investigators found 54 people being illegally smuggled inside a tractor-trailer Tuesday night.

While watching news coverage, Armando Colunga, wanted to do something to help.

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The tow truck driver drove across town to the scene where he noticed the men, women and children from Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, were given water but not food, Colunga told KSAT.

There was a Little Caesars nearby. He went there and spent $50 on seven pizzas not knowing if investigators would let him give them out.

“My main motivation was, ‘Who knows how long they’ve been in there?” he told CNN.

When he got back to the scene, two detectives helped him through the yellow tape, where another officer gave the pizzas to a firefighter, who then gave them to the group, according to CNN.

"They were happy they were eating something. I figured they hadn't ate in a while," Colunga told KSAT. "They're not here to commit crime, they're here for a better life, to work. They're harder working people than some of our people here that are citizens.”

Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested the illegal immigrants. The driver, who has not been identified, was also arrested and expected to be charged with human smuggling, according to officials.

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Five undocumented immigrants dead after chase with Border Patrol, officials say

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

In this image tweeted by David Caltabiano of KABB/WOAI, a heavily damaged SUV is seen on Texas Highway 85 in Big Wells, Texas, after crashing while carrying more than a dozen people fleeing from Border Patrol agents, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (David Caltabiano/KABB/WOAI via AP)
David Caltabiano/AP
In this image tweeted by David Caltabiano of KABB/WOAI, a heavily damaged SUV is seen on Texas Highway 85 in Big Wells, Texas, after crashing while carrying more than a dozen people fleeing from Border Patrol agents, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (David Caltabiano/KABB/WOAI via AP)(David Caltabiano/AP)

Five undocumented immigrants died in a chase with Border Patrol agents Sunday afternoon after the driver of the SUV they were traveling in lost control and crashed, investigators said.

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There were 14 people in the Suburban, 12 were undocumented immigrants who were ejected when the vehicle crashed and rolled over, according to WOAI

Four people died at the scene, another person later died at the hospital. Nine people were taken to hospitals. 

The driver, who is a U.S. citizen, was among those taken to the hospital, according to WOAI. The passenger, who also is a U.S. citizen, was arrested, according to WOAI

The chase, which reached speeds of 100 mph, started with Border Patrol agents and continued with Dimmit County sheriff’s deputies, according to KHOU

The driver, whose identity has not been released, is known by law enforcement as a human smuggler, according to ABC News

"The driver of this vehicle, we have handled before,” Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd said. “We dealt with him last week."

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Dead great white shark washes ashore on California beach

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 7:55 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A dead great white shark washed ashore Sunday morning on a California beach. 

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The adult male shark was found around 7 a.m. with multiple cuts on its face but nothing that appeared life-threatening, officials told KSBW

The carcass was removed from the beach and a necropsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

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