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A Troubled Mind
33 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
Trayvon Martin: Shot without Justice
I want us to take a moment to question implicit bias and how that affects our actionsIf you see a man passing you as you walk back home late at night, does the race of that man make any difference? If it was a white man or black man would it make a difference? What if the man was latino or asian?Would the attire and appearance of the man make a difference. If the man wore a hoodie and has tattoos visible on his arm or neck, would that make you more scared than if it was a man dressed in a T-shirt and pants?No matter how much we try, implicit bias and an innate sense to judge someone because of their race, religion, sex, sexuality and other identifications is not uncommon.Frankly, I think it’s part of being human. Humans have retained a lot of their mental and physical attributes from pre-historic times and anticipating danger was a very common issue during that time. Obviously as civilization hadn’t developed yet, safety was a constant concern.So, whenever ancient humans walked they had to keep their eyes, ears and nose scanning the environmentWhenever, one human saw a stranger passing by, he would assume a threat to be present And a lot of the time, humans would take pre-emptive action in order to stop the perceived threat from causing harm. Now is that just. What if the perceived threat is no threat at all. What if the stranger is just another uncommon friendly stranger just going about his business. What then?As we dive deeper into our story this week, please ask yourself these questions about what qualifies someone as a threat, and how implicit bias plays into your perception of someone as a threat. Sanford, Florida is a cozy sea-side town in Florida with nice views and a population of roughly 60,000In this town, there was a gated townhome community that was made up of 260 units.The townhome committee was named the Retreat Now, the racial profile of the residents at the Retreat was diverse to some extent. 49% of people were caucasian, 23% were hispanic, 20% were African American and 5% were Asian American. Unfortunately, the community was plagued with crime and safety issues. This was particularly pronounced from the start of 2011 through roughly February of 2012 During that time span, residents of the community had called the police about 402 times.The crimes that were reported as having occurred included 8 burglaries, 9 thefts and one shooting. Along with that, the residents of the community had mentioned multiple cases of break ins into particular units Ultimately, at one point, the community was forced to take action against the crimes and violence that had become almost the norm in their community. Things needed to change, The Retreat needed to become a safer space.v So in september 2011, the Retreat residents came together to discuss safety measures intended to make their community a safer place. Their final plan comprised of a neighborhood watch programBasically, certain elected members of the community would be trusted with serving voluntary shifts where they would keep a lookout for suspicious, criminal activity. George Zimmerman was elected by the community at The Retreat as the program coordinatorNow, purely judging by the books, Zimmerman seemed to be an aware vigilant member of the community. In the past he had made about 50 phone calls to the police to report various kinds of suspected disturbances and crimes in his neighborhood. Most of the times these were because of noisy parties or strangers trespassing private property Also Mr. Zimmerman had held a personal firearms license since november 2009.In February 2012, a couple new faces popped up at The RetreatTrayvon benjamin Martin was a seventeen year old high school student who lived with his mother, Sybrina Fulton, in Miami Gardens, FloridaHis mother, Ms.Fulton had separated from his father Tracy Martin, and so Trayvon would go back and forth between his two parents. He primarily lived with his mom, but often spent longer holidays with his dad After being caught at school with drug residue in his backpack, Trayvon Martin received a 10 day suspension from Krop Senior High School, which is where he went. Seeing that he didn’t have school for the next two weeks, Trayvon decided to head up to his dad’s place. Mr. Tracy Martin lived with his fiancee at the Retreat in Sanford, and so he took his son Trayvon with him there.However, this simple visit with his Dad would turn out to have deadly consequences for Trayvon.On the evening of February 26, 2012, Trayvon left the unit at the Retreat where his father lived with his fiancee to go to a nearby convenience store. It’s been reported that he purchases a pack of skittles and an Arizona fruit cocktail beverage at the convenience store. Afterwards Trayvon was returning back to his father’s residence. After Trayvon entered the gated community, he felt as if somebody was spying on him and having him followed. Soon, around 7:09 pm of that day, there was a ring at the desk of the Sanford police department. The dispatcher, just anticipating some kind of regular trouble going on, picked up It turned out that the person spying on Trayon was Mr. Zimmerman. Mr.Zimmerman at the time was off duty from his community’s neighborhood watch program, and he is reported to have been driving through the neighborhood for a personal errand. However, as he was pulling out of the neighborhood to go where he intended, he spotted Trayvon. Now according to Mr. Zimmerman and his legal counsel, there were a couple reasons why he suspected Trayvon posed criminal intent:The weather outside wasn’t really all that pleasant. It was a cloudy, damp, rainy day in Sanford, and so the weather conditions didn’t really suit walking Mr.Zimmerman described Trayvon as walking in a very relaxed manner, not looking like he was in a hurry to reach home. Several things in the phone call between Zimmeran and the police dispatcher stand out Zimmerman said, “he looks to be upto to no good,” when referring to TrayonHe also said, “These assholes they always get away Now could this have been racial stereotyping, maybe or maybe that’s something that will be hard to decipher. It appears that Mr. Zimmerman continued to tail Trayvon after finishing the phone call with the police dispatcher, even though the dispatcher warned him to maintain his distance from the alleged suspect. Unfortunately, from here on, the situation gets blurred. It’s hard to actually see what happened. There aren’t any hard facts or bias-free accounts to detail what happened in the next twenty minutes. Various different sources have stated various different thingsSo, Mr. Zimmerman’s description of what happened didn’t align completely with what neighbors in the vicinity saw.Nevertheless we are going to explore what different people reported. After Zimmerman ended his call with the dispatcher around 7:15 pm, things seemed to have gone pretty bad.Between 7:16pm to 7:19 pm, there were 8 separate 911 calls from community members living in surrounding housing complexes.There were a couple common aspects in each of the call’s description of events:Firstly, most of the called reported there to have been some sort of fight or trouble going on near themIt seemed like two people were struggling against each otherNext, many of the people calling in reported hearing calls for help in the distance Some of the callers heard gunshots and in one case a gunshot was recorded during the call itself There were a couple eyewitnesses present on the scene. The witness identified himself as John and he was walking through the neighborhood Apparently he saw Trayon Martin kneeling or seated on top of Mr.Zimmerman, punishing him in the face. The witness called John also stated that the percent yelling help was the person on the bottom, who was also wearing a red shirt A 13 year old boy also offered testimony which had stated that the man wearing a red shirt, in this case Zimmerman, was shouting out for help, but his statements were later retracted by his parents Also, Mary Cutcher and her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla, who lived at the Retreat, offered their testimony of the event they witnessed, although they didn’t have a clear view of what happened:According to them, there wasn’t a fight at all. There was no punching or anythingThey reported hearing the same yell for help and a sort of whining in the distance before the sound of a gunshot. After the gunshot, the cries for help stopped immediately according to the two Another witness, a woman who was classified as AC 360 in the investigation, reported seeing two men involved in a fight with both of them on the ground. SAccording to her, she first heard an argument between a younger and older voice. After that the fight broke out in the grass. The man who was on top walked away after the gunshot was fired according to her. However, she did not see any traces of blood on either man. Another eyewitness later came to the fore of the investigation, claiming to have witnessed the fight between the two individuals. He claimed to see a black male wearing a dark colored hoodie on top of a white or hispanic man who was yelling for help.The black man on top, according to the witness, was throwing MMA style punches. Moments later, he later heard a loud pop, and the black man later fell to the ground before being dragged across the grass. However, the most shocking account seemed to come not from a witness who was near the scene physically, but a witness who was actually talking to Trayvon Martin on the phone during the incident. According to the Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crumpy, Taryvon had been on the phone with his friend Rachel Jeantel just moments before he was shot dead. He was talking to Ms.Jeantel as he was returning from the convenience store .During interviews with the investigators and the ABC news, she testified to hearing Trayon say, “What are you following me for?” before the confrontations between Zimmermand and Trayvon unfolded. The man responded by asking, What are you doing around here.”Ms.Jeantel would also later add Trayvon referring to Zimmerman as a creepy ass cracker. However, moments later, she heard somebody shouting Get off, and the call was dropped soon .Now, there were many many more details that lawyers from both sides of the case eventually brought, and it would take hours to parse through every single piece of evidence, but the law enforcement authorities tended to go off of Zimmerman’s accounts of the events the most: In fact, Mr.Zimmerman shot a video reenactment of the events that transpired the day of the shooting. Although their are likely plenty of lies mixed into this account, this is unfortunately, the only coherent string of events that we have Here it isLZimmerman said he took note of Trayvon because he was near a home he had called the cops about previously. Also, to Zimmerman, it looked like something was off about Trayvon. Zimmerman was then in his truck. After a while, Trayvon rounded the corner of a street and disappeared from view. Zimmerman against orders of the dispatcher set off on foot to track Trayvon. When he turned to the street, he saw that Trayvon had disappeared, and so Zimmerman was mystified Zimmerman turned around and started walking back to his truck.Suddenly, out of the darkness so to say, and asking what the matter was. Zimmerman said nothing was wrong. After his response the altercation began as Trayvon punched Zimmerman to the ground =. Zimmerman was on his back and Trayvon was on top of him, laying down punches at him, and trying to hit Zimmerman’s head against the side of the curb. Zimmerman tried to wiggle his way out from under Trayvon, and it was at this moment that Trayvon first saw the gun that Zimmerman was carrying. According to Zimmerman, Trayvon uttered something along the lines of “You are going to die tonight.” Zimmerman yelled out for help rouhly 50 times and Trayvon supposedly covered his mouth to muffle the screams for help. Next Trayvon and Zimmerman both struggled for the firearm. However,Zimmerman got a hold of it first and fired a single shot at a distance of between 6 and 18 inches into Martin’s chest. By 7:20 Sanford police department Timothy Smith arrived at the scene of the shooting. Smith saw Trayvon lying face down on a bed of grass, senseless.Meanwhile, he observed that Zimmerman’s back was wet and covered with grass. According to officer Smith, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head. Offices Ricardo Ayala and Sft, Anthon y Raimondo arrived together minutes later. Ayala and Raimondo began CPR on Trayvon. Unfortunately, Paramedics from the Sanford Fire and Rescue department declared Trayvon dead at 7:30 p.m. Zimmerman was taken into custody by the police department. He was interrogated by Investigator D.Singleton and Chris Serino for roughly 5 hours before being released The Sanford city police justified the release of Zimmerman by claiming that Zimmerman had acted in self-defense:He cited that Mr.Zimmerman’s actions were perfectly legal under Florida’s Stand your ground statute, which basically allowed the use of lethal force when a citizen felt like he/she was under imminent threat. Trayvon’s body was taken to the morgue at first As he didn’t have any form of identification on him, his body was tagged as John Doe. His father called on February 28th to report a missing persons report. Police officers soon met him at his fiance's house at 9:20 am the next morning. According to toxicology reports forumated during the autopsy of Trayvon’s body, trace amounts of THC were found in Trayvon’s body. The reports found there to be 1.5 mg/ml of THC and 7.3 nanograms/ml of THC-11- oic acid, which is basically what the body breaks THC down into. According to analysts, Trayvon had likely consumed Marijuana days in advance, but it shouldn’t have impacted his behaviour and decisions during the altercation with Zimmerman. On March 12th, 2012, the Sanford City police chief transferred the investigation to the State Attorney's office for review. The police chief still maintained his stance that there wasn’t enough probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. The State Attorney, Norm Wilfinger, initially announced that the Seminole County Grand jury would be summoned on April 10h to investigate the death of Trayvon Martin. However, after a change of state attorneys, the new state attorney, Angela Corey, jumped straight into the csse and the investigation instead of going through a grand jury. Within the next week, the FBI, the Florida Department of Law enforcement and the DOJ opened parallel investigations into the shooting of Trayvon Martin. After 30 interviews were conducted by the FBI and analysed by the DOJ, they still didn’t show any probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. When a claim that Zimmerman had racially stereotyped Martin came up, the Sanford city police investigator Chris Serino reasoned that Mr.Zimmerman had acted on the attire of Trayvon Martin and not his race. However both the DOJ and the FBI discontinued their investigations in 2015, citing lack of evidence to charge Mr.Zimmerman.However, the Martin family would not be silenced by law enforcement and they refused to accept the police department’s accounts of what happened minutes before Zimmerman shot Trayvon to death:They teamed up with civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, attorney Natalie Natalie Jackson and publicist Ryan Julison.They settled a wrongful death on April 5th, 2013 claim for an undisclosed amount believed to be over a million dollars with the Twin lakes homeowner’s association. Throughout the trial and legal proceedings, they maintained their stance that Trayvon had acted in self defense and that Zimmerman was responsible for starting the altercation between the two. On April 11, 2012, amid widespread, intense, and in some cases misleading media coverage,
34 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
Murder at Moore's Ford
George W. Dorsey was an African American man who was returning home to his wife and family after serving in the second world war:Dorsey was a brave veteran of the bloodiest war in human history, having spent over four and a half years fighting on the Pacific front. After the war ended in September of 1945, Dorsey was excited to return home like any veteran. In late 1945, he got off a bus in Monroe, Georgia and walked down a dirt road to his house. He rejoined his wife and the rest of his family. Yet ten months later, Mr.Dorsey would find out that the very country he served and shed his blood, sweat and tears for, would never see him as equal to an average white man because of his dark skin. Now during WW2, many African Americans had enlisted and drafted themselves into the military to fight for their own country, and their efforts were crucial in winning many of the battles and the war as a whole.Yet, the 1940s and 1950s was a time when progressive ideals and racial equality were still struggling to become accepted by the general public. White supremacy, segregation and racism towards African Americans was still part of the Southern States and their society. Also, while supremacy groups such as the KKK had lost some of their influence in previous decades were gaining stronger footholds, especially in white-dominated southern states. As the veternas returned from the war, they obviously wanted some beenfits as theuy had practically volunteered to go on a suicide mission for their country. The US government answered their calls by developing and the enacting the GI bill,This bill was introduced in 1944 during the FDR administration, and it’s primary purpose was to help WW2 veterans re-adjust to regular civilian life. The GI bill provided educational, financial and employment benefits to veterans returning from the second world war. Veterans had access to subsidized and readily available college education. Banks and mortgage companies would favor them when lending them a home mortgage or other sorts of loans. In addition, the government would also provide them with well-paying jobs. Many African American veterans had hoped that the war and the passage of the GI bill would help equalize them and their race with that of the dominant white race in America. Yet, banks, lending companies, employers and educational institutions overlooked and downright neglected the contribution of African American veterans. Fewer than 100 African Americans in fact received home mortgages after the war and fewer than 100 institutions in the South accepted any African American veterans. More and more, African American veterans like Dorsey himself found their contributions and service to their country worthless. Their bravery, their courage meant nothing. And this led them to protest. Many African Americans were confined to the job of sharecroppers. They were underpaid and overworked.More African Americans began casting their votes, hoping for a political leader that would recognize their struggles and reward with them with the dignity and facilities they deserved. Unfortunately, this caused an intensification of white supremacist activity right after World War 2. In 1945 alone, there were 12 cases of African Americans being lynched in the deep south. Now let's get back to the story of Mr.Dorsey. Like the rest of African American veterans, Dorsey faced no option but to become part of the oppressive sharecropping system of the South:Dorsey had worked at a couple different farms as a farm hand who would help with the crops and harvest. In July of 1946, Mr.Dorsey and his wife, Mae Dorsey were hired by a local Georgian farmer from Walton Country named J.Loy harrison. In addition, Mr. Harrison would hire another african American couple by the name of Roger and Dorothy Malcolm. The two black couples were extremely friendly toward each other and lived in harmony together. The friendship between the two couples was further cemented by the fact that Roger Malcolm’s wife, Dorothy Malcolm, was the sister of Mr. Dorsey.Judging from a 1991 testimony from Clinton Adams, who was a ten year old boy in 1946, Mr.Dorsey was a man of upstanding character and morals. He was a kind hearted man who not only sacrificed on the battlefield but also in daily dailyClinton Adams reported how Mr.Dorsey would volunteer to chop wood for his family.In one instance, Mr.Dorsey ran over two miles to call an ambulance for Clinton’s Adam's father as well. In the least, we can say Mr. Dorsy was a kind,caring, righteous man who cared for everyone around him. Unfortunately Mr.harrison, the employer of the couples, had a rather evil, unwelcome past, to say the least:Harrison was a Klansmen, and according to some reports, he was very well connected with the Georgia faction of the KKK. In addition, Mr. Harrison was an avid supporter of the democratic governorship nominee Eugene Talmadge. Mr. Talmadge was a self-professed racist, white supremeacist and fascist. History remembers him as one of the most racist governors to have every served office in Georgia. After the US supreme court had ruled that white primaries (primary elections that only allied white voters to vote) were unconstitutional, Eugene Talmadge would take his governorship campaign to the next level. He ran on an exclusively racist platform that revolved around restricting African American political and voting power. During his campaign, he would openly show his ‘racist pride’ by boasting how he enjoyed flogging and assaulting black sharecroppers as a young man. One of his boasts that is particularly quirky and insane is the fact that he chased a black man with an ax for sitting next to a white woman. So, knowing that Loy Harrison would support an utterly monstrous politician like Eugene Talmadge gives us an idea of the kind of person he himself was. But in spite of Harrison’s disturbing past, everything at his farm seemed to be going well for the first few weeks. His farm spanned over thousand acres in Georgia, and he had finally hired the help he needed to make his venture successful, albeit with much exploitation:Yet Roger Malcolm got the sense that something was out of his place. Just as a reminder, Mr.Loy Harrison had also hired Roger Malcolm and his wife Dorothy Malcom as farm hands on his farm. Roger was suspicious of the intentions of another white named Barnette Chester who lived near Harrison’s farms. Based on Barnette Chester’s actions, he suspected him of forcefully sleeping with wife Dorsey. Sexual exploitation was something that African American’s were subject to since the beginning of slavery, and it’s appalling that this would continue 80 years after the passage of the Emancipation proclamation and the 13th amednment. Roger Malcolm, like any other husband, was furious and decided to take matters into his own hand. On July 14th, 1946, Malcolm fatally stabbed Barnette Chester in the chest. Fortunately for Chester, he was rushed to the hospital and managed to survive. However, Malcolm was arrested the same day by the county sheriffs and imprisoned. At a time when Jim Crow laws were still in place, Roger Malcolm had far crossed the line. Now, I’m not saying that I approve of the sexual exploitation of his wife, but assaulting, let alone attempting to murder a white man at that time were grounds to kill a black man in those days. An activist that had advocated for this case, named Bobby Howard, had told CNN that Everyone knew Roger was going to die . That was automatic.” I think that puts into perspective what an oppressive time that must have been for African Americans and people of color. After Roger Malcolm was imprisoned, several eyewitness accounts reported seeing Eugene Talmadge, the gubernatorial candidate, talking to George Hester, who was the brother of Barnette hesterEyewitness accounts reported hearing Talmadge tell Geroge Hester that he would “take care of the Negro” in exchange for George Hester using his family’s influence to win the county for Talmadge.This was a classic, dirty political deal, if the accounts happen to be valid. So with Roger Malcolm in prison, Mr. Harrison, his employer, was short of help and labor on his farm.On July 25th, Harrison took a rather surprising decision He drove Dorothy Malcolm, Roger’s wife, and both the Dorsey’s to the prison where Roger was imprisoned. At the prison, Harrison had Roger Malcolm released by personally paying the 600 dollar bail. Then around 4 pm the same day, Harrison started to drive his 4 employees back to his famrin Walton County from the county prison.Yet there were a couple different things that were wrong:Firstly, why were both Drosey’s and Roger Malcolm’s wife in the car with Harrison. Afterall, Harrison was going up to the jail to post Roger Malcolm’s bail and return him to the farmSecondly, on his way back, Harrison didn’t take the direct route back to the farm. Instead she took an obscure route back to the farm. Why would I do that, especially when it was getting late already. Thirdly, 600 dollars was an extremely high price tag. 600 dollars in 1946 is equivalent to roughly 7900 dollars right now in 2020. Why would Harrison pay that much money when he could have hired someone else? Afterall, African American farm hands at the time were extremely underpaid, and it would have been more cost-effective for him to just hire someone else. Lastly, remember that Harrison was a Klansmen and a supporter of Talmadge. At 5:30 pm, as Harrison was driving across the Moore’s Ford Bridge between Monroe and Watkinsville,Georgia, he was forced to stop his car by a group of 15-20 white men.According to Harrison, a tall man dressed in a double-breasted brown suit was leading the group and shouted the orders. The man in the brown suit pointed his finger at Roger Malcolm and told Harrison to hand him over to the group of white men. Harrison accepted and handed Roger over.Shockingly, the man in the brown suit said, “We want you too, Charlie,” as he pointed towards George Dorsey, who was not involved in the stabbing incident in any way or form The situation grew more tense, and everyone more or less knew what was going to happen that day. It was either Dorothy Malcolm or Mae Dorsey who identified one of the white men in the mob. Unfortunately, this ended poorly for both of them,Somebody from the group ordered to round up Dorothy Malcolm and Mae Dorsey as well.Soon, the two women and their husbands were tied to an oak tree and beaten. The mob fired 3 point blanks, and then dragged the couple to the shore of Apalachee River that ran beneath the Moore’s Ford bridge The mob left behind a massacre around the shore of the river. They continuously fired into the bodies of the four captured men and women. , even after they had died. Afterwards, one of the white men, further mutilated the body of Mae Dorsey. Please be advised that this graphic:According to reports, the man using a knife cut her fetus from her body.On July 28th, a formal funeral for the Dorseys and Dorothy Malcolm was held at the Mount Perry Baptist Church. Geroge Drosey’s coffin was draped with the American flag to honor him for his service in the second world war. After the speeches were made at the funeral ceremony, the crowd followed a bagpier to the cemetery, where the three were buried. The American flag on George Dorsey’s grave was folded by two sergeants from Fort Pcpherson and handed to his nephew, Columbus Dorsey Jr. However, nobody at the funeral procession or ceremony was allowed to speak about their killing. There were alleged rumours that any African American person who spoke about this vile, inhumane massacre would be killed by a lynch mob as well. The Chicago Defender, a newspaper, was able to get the statement of an anonymous black man though who stated: They’re exterminating us. They’re killing Negro veterans and we have nothing to fight with except our bare hands. However, this lynching, which is reported to be the last mass lynching in American history received massive national attention. It made headlines all over the country and generated outrage and an outpouring of racial justice among the African American community. There were large protests and marches in New York City and Washington DC. President Harry Truman of the time created the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, marking one of the first few signs of progress in the 350 battle for racial equality. The Truman administration also drafted and proposed a anti-lynching legislation in Congress. Unfortunately, due to a Southern Democratic voting bloc, the legislation was not passed. In protest, Demonstrators protested outside of the White House demanding the ending of lynchings and punishing the members of the lynch mob responsible for brutally murdering the Dorseys and the Malcolms. Georgia governor Ellis Arnal soon offered a 10,000 dollar reward for any information on the lynch mob. Yet this was in vain as no one spoke out. One thing that awed many that heard about the lynching was the sheer savagery and barbarity of the incidence.While killing people for the color of their skin is a heinous crime in itself, repeatedly shooting the bodies even after the soul has left the body is just psychopathic on another level.Ultimately, President Truman yielded to social pressures and authorized an FBI investigation into the matter. Throughout the 6 months, the FBI conducted over 3000 peopleUnfortunately, they hit a bunch o roadblocksYou would expect people to cooperate when such a violent crime was committed but the public in Walton County were committed to keeping their mouth shut. In addition, it is suspected that the farmers and people in Walton County were deeply affiliated with the Klan and very sensitive to outside criticism according to FBI agents on the field. FBI agents tried a different approach: maybe if they asked the black sharecroppers, they could unearth some evidenceHowever, they found most of them absolutely petrified, and the sharecroppers would not speak a wordIn fact one sharecropper had to be chased because he ran when the FBI came to interview him. He later confessed that the clan would lynch him if he provided any testimony against the lynch mob. Harrison also grew stone cold and told the investigators that he didn’t recognize any members of the lynch mobThis is likely completely falseBut nobody spoke out to accuse Harrison of perjury However, the FBI seemed to be getting close to getting a breakthrough in their case. As they repeatedly interrogated him, each time he appeared to tell them a slightly different story In one interrogation, he appeared to confess that some guy who he doesn’t remember the name of told him to take a different route on his way back to his farm. Major William Spence, an officer part of the case, commented: Harrison is either scared of being killed himself or he’s lying in his teeth or both.”Yet again the FBI hit another dead end. They couldn’t acquire adequate evidence to indict Loy harrison or anyone for that matterThe FBI soon turned to a rather radical proposition: That Eugene Talmade led the lynch or at least directed it to kill the 4 victims. After Talmadge had secured the governorship of Georgia and had won Blasingame that was the region that Hester brothers controlled. Yet there are speculations that even the FBI wasn’t trying hard enough to solve the case. The prosecution lawyer that was fighting the case, appointed by the NAACP, Walter White stated he had no faith in the FBI director who was leading the investigation. Nevertheless, the FBI subpoenaed 100 people to testify before a grand jury made up of 21 white individuals and two africian American individuals. The grand jury was presented the first group of testimonies on December 2, 1946Loy Harrison testified at the stand for 6 hours. Barnette hester, the man who had been stabbed also testifiedThe 100 people providing testimony included BH Hester, Barnette Hester’s father, Loy Jr, who was harrison’s son, Peter Dillard, Eugene evans, Emmerson farmer, Ridden farmer and FBI agent George Dillard, and many moreOne witness, Mrs. Jesse Warwicj had something interesting to say though:She saw two carloads of mean gather on a roadside locatoion in Monroe at some time between the arrest of Roger Malcom and the lynching at Moor’es ford. This was believed to have been a rehearsal for the lynching.In addition ,George Alvin Adcock was indicted for perjury while testifying on December 11th, 1946. The two counts for perjury included one or denying leaving his house the day of the murders
47 minutes | Jun 5, 2020
Interview with Professor Naomi Rogers: Polio and the Coronavirus
It’s unlikely that many of us will see something like the coronavirus ever again in our life time, and I certainly hope that we don’t. The coronavirus has infected over 5 million people worldwide and has caused hundreds of thousands to lose their lives. However, disease and epidemics have been a key part of human society in general. And in the US, epidemics have shaped a lot of healthcare reforms and a lot of social norms within the last century. In particular, the Spanish Flu, the Polio outbreaks and the HIV epidemic, have all been crucial determinants for American healthcare. In this interview, I had the amazing opportunity to talk to an expert in the history of disease in the US throughout the 20th century, Professor Naomi Rogers. Professor Naomi Rogers has been serving as a Professor of History in the Yale School of Medicine and at Yale’s department for History and science for over 20 years, and she brings a wealth of experience with her. She has concentrated the bulk of her studies in the polio outbreak in the US, and how this outbreak has shaped many of the larger, more significant movements in civil rights and healthcare in the US. I was and still am very grateful to have had the opportunity to discuss pressing questions of our time with her, and she has given me a new lens to see epidemics and politics through In our conversation, I learn about the current coronavirus crisis and how life has changed for her and for her community. I also look to get a better sense of the key epidemics that have shaped American healthcare. A few things during my conversation were shockers–that the Spanish Flu didn’t really have that massive of an impact on society. This particularly was fascinating as I had always thought that one of the greatest epidemics in modern times would have repercussion that would probably even be apparent today. Yet most of our conversation revolved around the deadly killer in the US throughout the early and mid 20th century–polio. Before speaking to her and reading some of her works, I never thought that polio above all would have been such a threatening disease to the US. Moreover, it was interesting to learn how polio was part of the larger struggle for racial justice for African Americans of the time. Many of the leading scientists of the time thought that African Americans had a higher resistance to polio because white people were simply ‘more delicate’ in their opinion. However, this was nonetheless flawed. But it is interesting to see how the polio outbreak would become one of the pivotal healthcare aspects of the civil rights movementFinally, Professor Rogers gives her verdict on the route of policies in the future and whether the US has been able to tackle the current coronavirus crisis. Her ingenuity and sheer knowledge is astounding, and anyone listening to her will certainly leave the room (or this podcast!) with a wealth of knowledge and information. Personally, a lot of the ideas that I had about infectious diseases the consequent government reforms that happened have changed. I have realized that stigma surrounds many of these epidemics and that stigma is in fact one of the leading deterrents to fighting these epidemics and saving lives. Tune in to this episode to be ‘enlightened’ at the very least by Professor Rogers–she will change how your think about epidemics.
41 minutes | May 27, 2020
Two Epidemics Like the Coronavirus
General overview of the Plague of Cyprian: The Roman Republic was a flourishing mediterranean empire at the start of the common era, and it looked to continue in that regard: The first two hundred years of the Roman empire after the start of the common era is recognized as Pax romanaIt was a period of relative peace and stability across the Roman Empire. In the century prior, Rome has faced a host of different civil and military headwindsThere were often civil rebellions in Roman territories. In many of the cases, the Romans would often use military force, further increasing the spirit of dissent3 servile wars from 135 BCE to 71 BCE plagued the empire as well and created massive instability in its economy and its workforce The punic wars between Rome and Carthage throughout the last two centuries of the before common era period also involved Rome in a lot of bloodshed that came with a very high military and economic expense. Now, Rome had finally taken care of a lot of its previous problems, and it was taking on a more receptive approach. War and conquest still remained the principal means by which the empire expanded its territories and wealth, but Rome was more or less secure on its home turf. It started with the reign of Augustus Caesar in 27 BCE . From then on, the successive emperors of Rome would prioritize law, order and prevention of internal civil strife while prioritizing further acquisition of territories throughout the medietteranean and Europe. By 200 CE, the Roman empire was at its most majestical state. Rome spanned more than 2.5 million square miles. Rome now rules over a territory that spanned across modern day northern Britain, Spain, Franch, all of southern and mediterranean Europe all the way to Arabia and the region of Mesopotamia.It was well defended, the borders were consolidated, and Rome had risen above the glory and sane aspirations of every possible kingdom of that era. Few empires dared to challenge Roman military might. The era of the five good emperors, where imperial succession was adoptive and hereditary, meaning that an emperor would choose his successor from his court (not limited to his son) brought further glory and affluence to Rome. Under the roman emperors Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, the Roman empire ascended to its pinnacle, its population an unprecedented 70 million people. Yet the 206 years of Pax romana with the death of the legendary Roman empire Marcus Aurelius in 180 CE. Marcus Aurelius was succeeded by his son Commodus, and this has been criticized by modern day historians and well as sources of the timeCassius Dio, a roman statesman and a close advisor to emperor offered his remarks on the transition of rule:Marcus did not meet with the good fortune that he deserved, for he was not strong in body and was involved in a multitude of troubles throughout practically his entire reign. But for my part, I admire him all the more for this very reason, that amid unusual and extraordinary difficulties he both survived himself and preserved the empire. Just one thing prevented him from being completely happy, namely, that after rearing and educating his son in the best possible way he was vastly disappointed in him. This matter must be our next topic; for our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust, as affairs did for the Romans of that day. What quickly followed would be known as the crisis of the third century. Commodus would rule in a very authoritarian manner, and he wasn’t a good diplomat. He was assassinated in 192 CE.Soon a mass civil war settled over the Roman Empire. By the end of it, Septimius Severus rose through the dust to become emperor of Rome. Yet the Severan Dynasty lasted the better part of 3 decades only. Soon, the Roman empire fell victim to the bloody period of military monarchy where as many as 20 military dictators controlled parts of the empire at any one time, holding power for just a few months. However, what threatened to erase this empire from the face of the earth was not the rapidly changing governance of the empire, or the internal warfare within the nation. In 250 CE, a menacing disease hit the Roman empire. Here is a description of the disease written from that period of time. Afterwards there broke out a dreadful plague, and excessive destruction of a hateful disease invaded every house in succession of the trembling populace, carrying off day by day with abrupt attacks on numberless people, everyone from his own house. All were shuddering, fleeing, shunning the contagion, impiously exposing their own friends, as if with the exclusion of the person who was sure to die of the plague, one could exclude death itself also. There lay about the meanwhile, over the whole city, no longer bodies, but the carcasses of many, and, by the contemplation of a lot which in their turn would be theirs, demanded the pity of the passers-by for themselves. No one regarded anything besides his cruel gains. No one trembled at the remembrance of a similar event. No one did to another what he himself wished to experience.This was written by St. Cyprian of Carthage, the bishop of Carthage from his essay called De Mortalite, translated to On Mortality in English Cyprian was one of the leading christian figures of the time, and he is one of the only primary sources on this subject. History would go on to credit St. Cyprian by naming this disease outbreak as the plague of Cyprian. Historians say that the plague first broke out in Ethiopia around Easter of 250 CE.Within one year, the plague had pervaded the very heart and crown jewel of the empire, Rome. Eventually, it would spread throughout what is modern day Italy, Greece, parts of Europe and modern day Syria.It’s pretty surprising to think that the plague could spread throughout the continent and breach the gates of rome within a year. The disease was able to spread rather quickly because warfare on the inside of Rome and on the borders of the roman empire was all but common. Military dictators in various parts of the empire were struggling to cement their power and grow their influence over the entire empire. What was left of the fractured Roman empire was fighting wars on separate frontiers constantly: they had to fend off attacks from expanding germanic tribes invading Roman territory in Gaul and Parthian attacks on Roman holdings in mesopotamia, which is like the western portion of the modern day middle east. In addition, to make matters worse, the Roman emperor Decius in 250 AD issued an edict that would begin the persecution of all those who refused to bow down to the pagan gods. This would inspire the roman military as well as the citizens of the ailing roman empire to oppress the Christians of the time. The migration and fleeting that came as a result of this further helped spread the disease. It would be the defining and ruling force for twenty years, having subsided after 270 CE. Although there aren’t any accurate historical records of the time that indicate the total death count, it is estimated from ancient records that 5,000 were dying everyday in only the city of Rome. Thus, it is not a far cry to suggest that millions of people had lost their lives by the time the plague subsided around 270 CE.Along with it, the plague of Cyprian would claim the lives of two Roman emperors of the time, further fomenting civil unrest and the terror of military dictatorship. Emperor Hostilian succumbed to the plague in 251 CE and his successor Claudius II Gothicus succumbed in 270 CE. Amidst this era of terror brought upon by this ravaging pestilence, one hero shined through. Honestly, I feel as though the name of the plague was attributed to the wrong person. And here’s why. St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage at the time, would call for unity to fight this terrifying plague. The bishop felt as though this plague signalled that the world was about to end. That some divine force had decided to destroy the universe. The kingdom of God, beloved brethren, is beginning to be at hand; the reward of life, and the rejoicing of eternal salvation, and the perpetual gladness and possession lately lost of paradise, are now coming, with the passing away of the worldInstead of directly opposing the persecution of Christianity, Cyprian told his Christian followers that this was a divine calling to help those in need.He encouraged them to tend to the physical needs of the very people, the pagan god worshipping Romans who had called for their persecution. He also urged the rich among society to dedicate themselves to philanthropy to support relief efforts.At the time most of the bodies of the dead would simply be abandoned on the streets as nobody was willing to take the risk and bury them or incinerate them. Christians of the time followed the words of Cyprian and carried out the burials and the cremations of the bodies. Cyprian would lead the the relief efforts provided by the Christians of the time for about five years between 250 CEHe reasoned that dying due to the disease while helping those in need was martyrdom and would grant one access to heaven. Cyprian claimed that this disease sought the love for god and moral righteousness of a person, as if it was a test of whether one was a member of the Christian faith. Under this ideology, many Christians still kept serving the diseased and affected. An archaeological excavation from 2014 uncovered one of the burial sites near Luxor, Egypt at the funerary complex of Harwa and Akhi Menu. Archaeologists traced the human remains back to the third century Ce due to the presence of pottery resembling earlier finds of the time. The remains were caked in layers of lime, which is a chemical compound known as Calcium oxide, that acts as a disinfectant. A kiln was found and archaeologists thought it was used to produce the limeMost surprising find was what resembled a giant bonfire with bodies scattered around it, suggesting that the people carrying out the burials cremated some of the bodies. In addition, the random scattering of the bodies was reasoned to be because the burial was hastily carried out. So none of the religious rites and rituals associated with regular funerals of the time period and culture were carried out. Thus, it appears that people were aware that the disease was contagious, and they were taking active precautions. This is remarkable for the time period as germ theory was 2 millenniums away. Cyprian’s accounts: Afterwards there broke out a dreadful plague, and excessive destruction of a hateful disease invaded every house in succession of the trembling populace, carrying off day by day with abrupt attack numberless people, everyone from his own house. All were shuddering, fleeing, shunning the contagion, impiously exposing their own friends, as if with the exclusion of the person who was sure to die of the plague, one could exclude death itself also. There lay about the meanwhile, over the whole city, no longer bodies, but the carcasses of many, and, by the contemplation of a lot which in their turn would be theirs, demanded the pity of the passers-by for themselves. No one regarded anything besides his cruel gains. No one trembled at the remembrance of a similar event. No one did to another what he himself wished to experience.Ultimately, the plague of Cyprian had disastrous effects for the roman empire of the time and would change history as a matter of fact:Entire farming villages were ravaged by the disease. Many farmers had deserted the great estates they managed and fled to the cities. This made the food supply system of Rome collapse. This led to the spread of poverty, hunger and disease, a triple killer that would reduce the Roman army by and large. Rome would never regain its majestic glory from the 2nd century CE.Only the Christianity movement gained strength as Christians were seen as helping the ones who were suffering.Few Things stand out:Most of the Roman emperors of the time were too interested in expanding their territory and control during this time instead of concentrating on identifying the cause of the plague. The very people that were helping the ones affected were the ones being persecuted. According to records, many people almost purposefully spread the disease around after they had it to infect their communities. This could suggest pure immortal vengeance or just a straight up negligence. Now, how could we discuss epidemics without mentioning the most infamous one in history: the Black DeathThe Black Death was a form of bubonic plague that spread across Asia and the entire length and breadth of Europe, ravaging most of the inhabitants it came across in its path of destruction. Most of the records that historians have used to track the spread of the black death and the deaths it caused have been sourced from Europe.Most of them are headcounts of each household that have been found in census reports from the time. While historians have been fortunate enough to find some census reports where both women and children were included, they have been unfortunate in many regions where the census reports only counted tax-paying male citizens. As a result, the estimates being thrown around by historians vary widely. If we cast a wide net, we can assume that anywhere between 75-200 million people lost their lives across the world at the time. Roughly 30-50 million of those people are in Europe. Europ at the time had a population of 80 million people. The world population at the time had just reached a milestone and was around 500 million, This is without a doubt the most devastating outbreak of disease in recorded history, eliminating roughly 60% of the people that lived in europe at the time .The height of the plague outbreak would be from 1346-1353. What was the plague and what were its symptoms:Scientists have identified the plague to be caused by the bacterium Yesinia pestis that is mainly present in wild rodents. There are generally two methods of transmission from rats:Exposure to rats through rat bites or even touching an infected rate can spread the bacteria to humans. The rat population begins to die off as a result of the bubonic plague. When this happens, infected fleas that were consuming the rat’s blood search for other hosts. They often resort to humans and infect a human population as a result. The bacteria in humans mainly affects the lymph nodes and it causes large swelling and inflammation in the areas of the groin and armpits. These later discharge bodily fluids that contain the bacteria as well.Ultimately, this would be accompanied by fever, diarrhea and a host of other illnesses that would then follow with deathIt would take on average 3-5 days for the bacteria to incubate and another 3-5 days before the victim would pass away.While it’s obvious that the doctors and the people of this area had no idea about the transmission of disease or different treatments for certain diseases, it is so startling how the disease spread throughout the entire continent of Europe in the matter of a coupl years. For years before the plague outbreak began in Europe, there were rumours spreading across Europe of a new sort of pestilence that had affected China, Syria, India and many other regions. There were stories of entire cities being wiped out, people lying dead on the streets of the cities.These assumptions were true in one sense. The black death did not begin in Europe.The disease actually originated east of Europe. Initially historians thought that the outbreak began in China, which was being ruled by the mongols at the time. It was thought that military campaigns and trade along the silkroad had aided in the spread of this deadly disease. Yet archaeological findings in recent times don’t suggest what historians previously thought. Now, many historians believe the black death originated in the spring of 1346 in the steppe region, in a region roughly between the northern shores of the Caspian and southern Russia. It is thought the bubonic plague was present within the mongol empire, especially between the mongolian army, which was constantly involved in warfare especially with bordering empires. The epidemic likely began when the Mongols launched an attack on italian merchants in an italian trading post located in Kaffa (today Feodosiya) in Crimea. The mongol soldiers were likely carrying this disease and spreading it to the fleeing Italian merchants returning to their home ports. The mongol soldiers are said to have besieged the city of Kaffa by catapulting infected bodies across the city walls, thus exposing the citizens and the merchants in the city to the deadly bubonic plague The italian merchants would first arrive in the bustling, heavily populated city of Constantinope in May of 1347The...
73 minutes | May 19, 2020
Discussion with Professor Marie Ostby: The evolution of Iran
Although I don’t like to generalize anything, I find that a common misconception exists among citizens of the western world, especially with most of my fellow Americans: Iran was always a fundamental Islamic nation that has pitted itself against the western world, looking to deter the influence and supremacy of the west in any way possible. While this is certainly true in the modern day, Iran, like all other nations, has been shaped into what it is today. While Iran was never a colony and had a relative amount of freedom compared to its other middle eastern counterparts during the age of European colonialism, the prevailing ideas that would govern the nation have undergone sweeping changes in the span of the 20th century. During the reign of the first shah, westernization was actually a concept that was embraced by the Iranian government, albeit with some backlash from the Islamic clerics that had always been present in the nation. In fact, the new shah’s rather radical goal of transforming Iron into a western powerhouse would have been rejected outright by the Qajar dynasty that had ruled Iran for hundreds of years prior to 1925. Yet westernization would truly appear front and center of Iranian policy during the white revolution, which was instituted during the reign of the second and last shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. The White Revolution would aim to change the core cultural values and ideals of Iran, which had more or less stuck to a strict code of Islamic norms since its founding. Yet this would all change in the 60 years after the white revolution, bringing us to the present state of Iran. In this discussion with Professor Marie Ostby, I try to get a better understanding of how this change in Iran throughout the last 60-70 years came about, and how the Iranian populace viewed it and reacted to it. Along the way, we discuss the literary, artistic and film movements that sought to capture both the government’s and the civilian’s voices throughout the different eras of Iran. How did these changes come about? What inspired the populace to voice their concerns or keep to themselves about sensitive matters? How did women engage in this patriarchal society, and has their influence shaped Iran today? How have these changes manifested themselves today? What about the future? These are questions that I wanted to explore throughout this interview. I am glad to say that Professor Ostby is an extremely talented academic who has offered me with a wealth of knowledge regarding this issue. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to talk to a person who is so passionate about such an issue. Along the way, we happened to discuss Professor Ostby’s own personal experience in the Middle East/Persia and how it has impacted her on a personal level. Tune in to this episode to hear the inspiring, myth-busting conversation I had with Professor Ostby. At the end of the day, my job is to get one step closer to breaking political correctness!
61 minutes | May 13, 2020
The Last Korean Empire
The divided koreas Important links: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/31/how-korea-was-divided-why-aftershocks-still-haunt-us-today/https://www.history.com/news/japan-colonization-koreahttp://afe.easia.columbia.edu/tps/1900_ko.htmhttps://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/History_of_Koreahttps://www.history.com/topics/korea/russo-japanese-warhttps://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2010/08/29/editorials/the-annexation-of-korea/#.XqZA91MzY1IThis is going to be a short series on the KoreasThe two koreas are so different: One is a communist regime and the other is a thriving capitalist nation.China and russia have heavily backed the North koreans, helping them smuggle equipment and materials needed to make nuclear ICBMSMeanwhile south korea is relying on the US for nuclear protection.Yet the two Koreas were united up until the early 20th century.A lot of national interests at play: russians, chinese, Americans, British,A modernizing world, the adoption of trans-ocean travel, and rapidly increasing world trade would force Korea to welcome visitors it would rather never see at its doorstep.This would end an empire that would rule the entire Korean peninsula from 1392.Over 500 years of history were overturned and changed in the span of roughly 35 years of contact.Prehistoric background:According to archaeological evidence, the Korean peninsula has been inhabited since the lower paleolithic times.According to legends, literary sources say that the first kingdom of Korea, Gosojeon, was founded in 2333 BC by a man named Dangun, who was said to have descended from heaven.After the decline of Gosojean, three kingdoms came to the fore, Goguryeo , Baekje and Silla.This was known as the three kingdom periodThe first written records in Chinese describe these empires.Goguryeo in the north, Baekje in the Southwest and Silla in the SoutheastThe three kingdoms ended in 668 AD when Silla conquered its rival empires and took control over the entire peninsula.Goryeo would later replace Silla as the most powerful dynasty in Korea in 918 and they would continue their rule for over the next 400 years.In 1392, the Goryeo dynasty sent Korean Genera to campaign against the Ming Dynasty that ruled over territory similar to modern day China.However, general Lee Seonggye became a renegade and turned on his own king.He overthrew the Goryeo king and established the Joseon Dynasty in 1392.This dynasty would rule for over 500 years, taking Korea all the way to the start of the modern era in the early 20th century.Early Modern EraThroughout much of the 19th century, the Joseon dynasty ruling Korea would adopt a series of isolationist measures that would make Korea garner the name “ The hermit Kingdom among many western powers of the time.They would not trade products with other empires. They wouldn’t ally themselves with other empiresThe joseon dynasty did this to protect themselves from western empires. They didn’t want western powers trying to take over Korea.However, Joseon Dynasty would face an uphill battle of maintaining their power and influence from the early 1800sIn 1800, Sunjo of Joseon, a ten-year old boy, rose to the throneHowever, true monarchical power remained within the hands of the young emperor’s regent, Kim Jo-sun, who had affiliations to one of the main aristocratic families of Korea at the timeUnder the advice of the regent, corruption became a major issue: land tax, military service and state owned granary systems.This angered the peasants in Korea at the time, who were suffering from the lack of support from the state and the higher taxes.Multiple governmental positions and jobs within the administration became victims of bribesPeople would pay tribes to become local administrators who could steal tax revenue and implement higher taxes on the peasant classMany of the peasants started to congregate and form groups together that would oppose the governmentFurther angering the peasants, was the existence of slavery. Although slavery was officially abolished in 1801, the empire maintained slaves until 1894.Many of the aristocratic families, the yangban, were losing their prestige.Religious and spiritual teachings of Choe Je-u would further increase the presence of nationalism within the nation and compel peasant guerillas evermore to fight corruption and oppression by the rich. /Although Choe Je-u was arrested in 1863 following the Jinju uprising and sentenced to death, some of the revolutionary nationalist spirit still remained.In 1863, one of the last major monarchs korea would rise to the throne:At the age of 11, King Gojong of Korea was crowned King of Korea.As a child, his father, Prince Gung, was his regent and so took charge of his rule.Prince Gung was one of the major proponents for isolationism, and he believed any Japanese, Chinese or Western influence to be harmful to Korea.Prince Gong tried to prosecute foreign and native catholics in Korea in order to prevent western values and ideologies from spreading in Korea.Yet these moves would only invite more retaliation and national interest in Korea.Ultimately, once King Gojong rose to direct royal rule in 1873, Korea would gradually welcome western forces and influences. The king and wife Queen Min, would both be quite receptive to foreign ideals, especially rapid western urbanization and industrialization.Ultimately, the fall of the great Joseon dynasty was largely due to other imperial powers intervening in Korea.Until the nineteenth century, Korea had closed its borders to all countries but China.During this time, Korea was a subordinate kingdom under the larger and more powerful ruling Chinese dynasty, but they had a lot of autonomy over their rule.However, after the First and Second Opium wars happened and after US military ships visited Korea, Western ideals started to bleed into Korea.In 1866, after the Joseon court cracked down on a new wave of Korean who had converted to Catholicism, massacring missionaries and worshippers.France invaded one of the kingdom’s Islands and attacked the Korean military. The korean military was crushed in the fight.Then again in 1866, Korea ran into issues with the US.The General Sherman, an American trading ship sailed into the city of Pyongyang, but was ordered to leave. Unfortunately, a fight broke out where the entire crew along with 4 four koreans were killedThe US retaliated in 1871, killing 243 Korean soldiers in Ganghwa island, which is off the western coast of North Korea.The Korean kingdom knew they had to integrate with the western world and pursue good diplomatic relationships to avoid more conflict.The Japanese government, which sought to emulate the empires of Europe in their tradition of enforcing so-called Unequal Treaties, responded by sending the Japanese gunboat Unyō towards Busan and another warship to the Bay of Yeongheung on the pretext of surveying sea routes, meaning to pressure Korea into opening its doors. The Unyō ventured into restricted waters off Ganghwa Island, provoking an attack from Korean shore batteries. The Unyō fled but the Japanese used the incident as a pretext to force a treaty on the Korean government. In 1876 six naval vessels and an imperial Japanese envoy were sent to Ganghwa Island to enforce this command.In 1876, Korea opened its ports to the Japanese and in 1882, it opened its ports to US trade ships.Japan would particularly set its eyes upon Korea, viewing it as a national resource open to exploitationJapan would force Korea to engage in trade with them through the use of gunboat diplomacy in the 1870s:This was a common tactic that was used by western countries to open up remote, foreing economies to trade.Japanese navy ships basically anchored in and around Korean ports and Korean waters, intimidating korea.Ultimately, this forced the Joseon dynasty to sign the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1876,which officially opened Korea to trade.Provisions included: Korea would allowJapanese trade ships to access three of its portsJapanese merchants would receive the same legal status as western traders of the time in Korea . This granted them extraterritoriality, meaning Japanese merchants could only be tried in Japanese courts. Essentially, this meant they could commit any sort of crimes they wanted in Korea.Japanese merchants were allowed to own and lease property in KoreaIn 1884, Japan would support progressive reform groups in Korea and incite protests against the conservative Joseon dynasty.The Japanese were all for progressive western development, and they knew that steering Korea that way would make it much easier for them gain control over koreaThey would have popular support on their sideTheir reforms would be seen as beneficial.And King Gojong and the Queen Min both appreciated the reforms in their nation.In fact, the King and queen commissioned several missions and studies to learn more about rapid westernization taking place in JapanIn a mission in 1881, the Korean royals were awed to find out the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka had become model western cities.There were bustling markets along the streets and in large squares. The central streets were wide and filled with carts and people going to workThe ports were filled with ships loading and unloading Cargo.After discussing their concerns with Korea to a Chinese ambassador, they were convinced that the way forward for Korea was to adopt western technology and establish trade relations with western powers.This would inspire the Korean monarchy to undertake a plan of rapid westernization and militarization:After 1881, 12 new bureaus of government were established to deal with foreign relations with the West, China and Japan.A military bureau was established to develop and acquire modern military technology to modernize Korea’s aging military.Civilian departments were also established to import and integrate western technologyHowever, the Queen consort and King of Korea would face their first major test against their progressive agenda:Some factions of the aristocratic yangban class of Korea were disappointed with the new reforms, and they wanted to remain isolated. But that didn’t create much rebellion or political instabilityRather it was the Korean people that were displaced by a new class of western, Japanese and Chinese merchants and technology who rebelled.In 1881, Korea started to purchase a large amount of arms from Japan and the US. In addition, many Japanese military advisors were training and modernizing Korea’s military.In particular, Korea invited Horimoto Reizo, a japanese officer, to take charge of training new Korean troops.Soon the 5 divisions of the military were divided into 3. A special skills force, a palace guards garrison and and a Capital guards garrison.The Capital and place guard garrisons resented the special skills force of the military as they received better equipment, payment and general treatment than them.In addition more than 1000 soldiers of the older armies were sacked without being paid wages for 13 months.When the king authorized 1 months worth of rice to be paid to the soldiers, the people in his finance cabinet profiteered from it by paying the soldiers in rotten rice and millet while selling the more expensive rice themselvesThe first riots broke out on july 23rd, 1882. Several thousand soldiers joined together in spite of some being sentenced to death for their actions and imprisoned. It started in one of the Korean courts in Seoul.The rioters then went to the residence of the man in the finance department who suspected he had cheated them of their wages. He was not there, so they vandalized his houseThen the rioters broke into an armory, armed themselves and invaded a prison, releasing lots of their own and political prisoner.sAs they continued, Korean peasants joined them as they too were infuriated by the rampant corruption and disregard of the government towards their struggles.Next the groups split. One of the groups wanted to the quarters of Horimoto reizo, killing him along with the rest of the Japanese men with himThe other group headed towards the Japanese legation, who was sort of an ambassador to Korea. Surprisingly, even though they were surrounded from all sides, the legation and other Japanese officials managed to distract the rioters by starting a fire and spacing on a small boat that took them to the Han River. Later, 6 of them were killed when being pursued by Korean naval soldiers participating in the riot.The next day on July 24th, 1882, the rioters breached the royal palace in seoul and killed numerous Korean high officials. THey even attempted to assassinate Queen Min, yet she managed to escape, slipping from the scene as a regularly dressed Korean peasant woman.In the aftermath, Prince Gung tried to regain his power after roughly a decade, but he was soon arrested and taken away to China by Chinese troops that had come to quell the rebellion.The Chinese would also gain the upper hand by coercing Korea to sign a trade agreement that would give Chinese merchants significant advantages over Japanese and western merchants.In addition, Chinese strengthened its influence over Korea due to the sheer amount of military forces on the ground and support during the riot.Later the Korean monarchs would also sign an agreement with the Japanese in august of 1882 to pay reparations for the Japanese lives and property that were lost.Japan was deeply upset with Chinese gaining the upper hand. They were the pre-eminent trading power in Korea and wanted to keep it that way. This would lead them to executing the Gapsin Coup in 1884. .In August of 1884, several thousand Chinese troops had to be withdrawn from Korea to deal with hostilities between French and China in Annam, a region in modern day vietnam.The Japanese legation took this as an opportunity for a coup. He partnered with the dissenting Korean yangbang group known as the Gateway, who wanted more praid westernization to take placeThey hosted a banquet through the Director of the Korean General Post administration, where King Gojong was expected to attendAt the banquet, the King was led away into a small palace after hearing rumours of a disturbance created by Chinese troops. He was stationed at Gyeongju Palace and was placed in the custody of guards of the japanese legation. Several high ranked officials and advisors of the king were killed.The next day, a new constitution was drawn up that would eliminate ruling-class privileges of the aristocratic yangbans in Korea, establish equal rights for all citizens, revise taxes and other financial reforms.Unfortunately, a secret garrison of 1500 chinese troops was still present in Seoul. Under the guidance of Queen min, the Queen consort, the soldiers overpowered the meager 140 soldiers that the rebels had and rescued the king .Through this the Chinese were still able to maintain the upper hand in Korea.As China and Japan were still vying for power, Ito Hirobumi PM and and Li Hongzhang, a chinese politician discussed and accepted the Tianjin Convention on april 18th ,1885both nations would pull their expeditionary forces out of Joseon within four months.Gojong of Joseon would be advised to hire military instructors from a third nation for the training of the Joseon army.Neither nation would send troops to Joseon without prior notification to the other.Yet Korea would still continue on its path of rapid industrial development and the adoption of western idealsThe queen consort would introduce English schools in Korea, where students would be instructed by American instructorsModern medicine would be introduced after 1885Catholics and protestants started to migrate and establish missionaries.Steam engines were imported and used
59 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
US-Iran Crisis:The 1979 Revolution
In 1953, a new western backed government came to rule Iran. Iran was at a crossroads, and its leader wanted to steer it firmly in one direction. Yet would the public agree and would the nation make it back out in one piece? Tune in to find out!
57 minutes | Apr 8, 2020
US-Iran Crisis:Operation TPAJAX
During the Cold War, the US portrayed itself as a bringer of democracy and peace. The US presented itself as a nation that didn't want to interrupt other countries affairs. However, that changed right after WW2. In 1953, MI6 and the CIA joined forces to do something that had never been done before. They would leave people wondering what actually happened for the next 60 years, revealing these secret operations around 2013. What happened and could it teach us something about the true reason Iran is so hostile towards the US? Subscribe to my podcast, leave a comment, follow @atroubledmindpodcast and email @ email@example.com
27 minutes | Mar 24, 2020
Trump and Xi Tackle Corona
A recap of the corona virus and how world leaders did an astoundingly bad job of addressing the initial outbreak.
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