Sunday, March 31, 2013

Society of White Male Engineers at Vanderbilt in 1985

In researching the history of Confederate Memorial Hall at Vanderbilt University I had my researchers go through the Commodore year books for relevant material.

In the 1985 Commodore Year Book there are group photos of various groups. One group that was surprising to see was the Society of White Male Engineers on page 296. It isn't listed in the section for societies, such as the Society of Black Engineers or the Society of Women Engineers, but under the heading Bogus.

Younger people in engineering don't know that there was a time when women were a rarity in engineering and engineering schools were nearly all white and Asian. Or when universities weren't integrated. The environment wasn't always friendly. It was openly questioned whether women were capable of being engineers and their femininity was also openly questioned.

I remember some male engineers calling women engineers dogs in an assertion that women who wanted to be engineers weren't attractive. This was somewhat amusing in one limited sense since often the people who said such things weren't very attractive themselves. In fact, I don't think the people who ever said such things were attractive. Often it was some slob.

Science, engineering and mathematics is supposed to be a universal calling. It is open to anyone who is interested and wishes to advance knowledge, learning, understanding in the field whether by discovery, teaching, writing, or other endeavor. The adoption of Latin and Greek terminology in science was to transcend national boundaries in Europe.

The great endeavors of science, mathematics, and engineering have drawn on many cultures. Algebra and Arabic numerals come the Arabic speaking peoples. Zero, a very important item, comes from Hindu India.

It has been a concern for over 40 years by the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) professions that under represented minorities be better represented.

It is also a concern that ability is not denied due to some artificial barrier. So a society for Black engineers or women engineers, if it provides moral support and paves the way to more people from more segments of society to participate in engineering is a great thing.

I do remember that the Society of Black Engineers provided a ready made study group for African American engineers so they wouldn't be left out of a support network. A lot of study in engineering is asking friends for help. I used to tutor half the dorm in mathematics and still help out students with math to this day. An isolated student would be in a very adverse situation.

However, some white male engineers decided to make a "joke" about this and posed for the Society of White Male Engineers photo in the yearbook. There are plenty of general engineering societies. There are even engineering fraternities which I don't approve of and I am proud to say I turned down flat when I was in school. It isn't as if white male engineering students were excluded.

So to put this "joke" in the public record I am listing the members of the group.

Front Row: James White, Charles Hailey, Ken Allison, Bob Black,
Second Row: Randy Norton, Pat Nash, Jeff Fuller, Stephen Menke, Scott Dublin, Blakely Snyder
Back Row: Carl Anderson, Pete Neubauer, President Dan Pitts, Fred Richards, Paul Smith, Temple Estopinal, Nicky Hobbs, Russ Weigel, Ashish Vazirani, Mick Lippert, Rob Ottenjohn, Rick Huffstetler.

Ha ha ha guys. Don't forget to share your joke with your co-workers.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reading "Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War" by David C. Keehn. Read it for Cinco de Mayo

My copy of "Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War," by David C. Keehn came in the mail today and I have been browsing through it. It claims to be the first in depth history of the organization and is published by LSU Press.

Keehn claims that the KGC was much more influential than understood by previous historians of the 19th century. He has done some very intensive research to resurrect the history of this secret society. Secret societies, since they are secret, often don't leave much in the historical record, and are a challenge for historians to write about.

It seems to be interesting book. I really didn't know much about the KGC so I purchased the book. One of their programs was to seize parts of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for new slave states. Hence their history is relevant to the history of Latinos in the Americas.

The supporters of the Confederacy were anti-Hispanic and as I have blogged before, Cinco de Mayo is an anti-Confederate holiday. So to celebrate Cinco de Mayo read this new book. And if you haven't read David Hayes-Bautista's book on Cinco de Mayo purchase it and read it also.

This is my blog on the Cinco de Mayo & Civil War exhibit in Los Angeles. Click on the pictures and videos to see them in their entirety.

The following is my blog on finishing reading "Cinco de Mayo:

Both of the above blogs give information how Cinco de Mayo is an anti-Confederate holiday.

So celebrate Cinco de Mayo, it is an anti-Confederate holiday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dr. Joe Feagin of Texas A&M praises proposal to question jurors about their thoughts about the Confederacy

Dr. Joe Feagin, professor at Texas A&M was kind enough to contact me about my essay in Black Commentator. He said:

"... your essay seems well argued and makes much sense to me. And more questioning of jurors is certainly in order as you suggest, and your Confederacy questions thus also make sense to me."

The essay can be read free at this link:

I am working on informing people interested in the issue of racial bias in juries about our essay in Black Commentator.

The first stage is to get a lot of people thinking about the essay and then later get a group together to implement its proposal.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"South still lies about the Civil War" by Tracy Thompson

"" has just posted this article: 

It is an excerpt from Tracy Thompson's book, "The New Mind of the South," published by Simon & Schuster. 

I am still reading it, and it seems very interesting. She does seem to know her Lost Cause history.

With Simon & Schuster and the media coverage her book should become well known. 

One interesting thing is that Thompson tells the history of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) purging professors from universities. Remember that when some neo-Confederate is complaining about something being "politically correct." 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tom Rowley on uncritical reporting on the Vermont secessionists, also the mythology of the 1st Vermont Republic

Tom Rowley has a blog,, in which he tracks the Vermont secessionists and does some investigative reporting on them.

In the Green Mountain Daily he has an article on a recent article in Seven Days in which the reporter was reporting on the Vermont secessionists and her understating or omitting the unsavory aspects of their movement, in short white washing them.

The article is here:

What is interesting is that Rowley has taken the time to research the history of Vermont statehood. The whole myth of the first Vermont Republic turns out to be just that, a myth. The people in Vermont were wanting to join the United States from the very beginning, and from the beginning requested admission, and what delayed admission was claims by New York that Vermont was a part of New York. When these claims were resolved, Vermont was admitted.

Like the neo-Confederates, it seems the Second Vermont Republic movement is based on delusional historical fantasies.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A national organization of radical lawyers is interested in using historical memory to screen out racially biased jurors

I am not going to mention names or give links since I don't want these people harassed or bothered by neo-Confederates.

However, I am in the process of contacting groups about the Black Commentator article about screening jurors for racial bias using their historical views of the Confederacy. I put the link for the article at the bottom of this blog.

Besides Friends of Justice I am in the progress of contacting other groups. I got a very positive reply from an officer in a national organization of radical lawyers.
"This is an excellent strategy for weeding out racially biased jurors during voir dire, and I will be sure to pass this on to the members of the [organization name removed]."
Further I was asked for permission, which I gave, to have the article distributed at their upcoming conference.

So far I have been letting people know by means of email and the Internet. I have announced the article on a couple academic listserves. I am next going to start writing organizations.

Additionally, already, people are letting other people know about the Black Commentator article on jury selection and the concept behind it which will lead to yet other people letting more people know. I don't have to reach out to everyone, the basic idea is spreading on its own.

I have already volunteered to supply documentation to support this effort free of charge. I am looking forward to the first case where this method will be used.

Articles so far:

Friday, March 08, 2013

Friends of Justice reports on Black Commentator article on excluding jurors with a pro-Confederate mentality

Alan Bean, head of Friends of Justice had this article about racial bias by persons who are unaware of their bias. In it he brought up the Black Commentator article.

In the article has a quote from and a reference to the article published at Black Commentator which can be read using this free quest link:

Off to a good start changing jury selection in the South.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Black Commentator publishes article on jury selection and historical memory of the Confederacy has published an article on examing the historical memory of the Confederacy of potential jurors to screen out racially biased jurors. The article is written by Euan Hague and myself. The free guest link is here.

I am now contacting persons and groups who would be interested in having juries free of racial bias as to how this proposed method of pre-screening jurors could be implemented.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Neo-Confederate in Hollywood

I was doing some information gathering and documentation which I do on an ongoing basis, I have archived web page printouts going back to 1996 on the neo-Confederates, and I stumbled on a note that R. Michael Givens, Commander-in-Chief (C-i-C) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) "is a noted filmmaker."

So I did a little internet searching and came up with this web page.

Looking at the page it does seem to be the same Michael Givens. I wonder how many people in the world of film know that he is the head of an organization that has a hysterically extremist ideology?

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