Lesson Day 10/67, Plus: Snow Riots, and Heroes Escaping Gatekeepers…

     This week we revisit an updated Lesson Plan 10 of 67 in our GED/HiSET series, and then, we see how the very first race riot in the USA took place, right in the District of Columbia, and how that relates to gatekeepers, but before that, a quick word about Isaias: 

   We have finally met the hero of Who By Fire: whobyfireiwilltmpcover   I Will, Isaias, an escaped slave, now a fugitive from the law, in 1838.  But, how did he escape?  Well, we can’t let the cat out of the bag entirely, can we?  A hint: it has to do with these riots we mentioned a second ago.

    In reflecting on my time as a tour creator in DC, and wondering how slavery still influences us, today.   I loved giving the first tour of my Underground Railroad and Black History series Singing Community Cooperation tours back in DC, and then writing about them.

Interesting points that I tried to make during my tours, from a fascinating book about DC´s 1st race riot, by Moreley, in his book, Snow-storm in August : Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the forgotten race riot of 1835, not only puts together a sound context for the Snow Riots, but also draws together strands which began then, and still define, he claims, our politics today.  I found most striking his juxtaposing of property rights and individual vs. community as well as freedom of speech, and whether free speech is applied best for owners (elites) vs. the people (the 99%).

Snow, the almost unrelated star of the event, was in the habit of  placing very attention-getting, and mouth-watering ads to beverly_snow_dni_washington_dc_oct15_1833_p2._-_2  attract customers, and was a manumitted former slave who’d established a very successful Epicurean Eatery in DC, featured in this post’s image above, and described in Morley’s excellent book, which I got from the DC Public Library.


With my DC Black-Jewish Walking Tours, I started by melding the Black and Jewish DC histories, which was way too big, and looked at how other groups give their walking tours to try to cut down my tours while keeping the essential, and then shared that information (yes, I was severely criticized by one person, acting as gatekeeper for me, I suppose, without my approval, for not keeping my sources secret, but that goes against my principles), hoping to attract allies and build a cooperative.  

Tying the past to the present:  Do gatekeepers enslave human potential?

In Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation 1838-1839, Frances Ann Kemble points to the reactions of slave owners and overseers in the capacity of gatekeepers, preventing the voices of slaves from being heard.

More generally and in the same vein, Voices of Dissent’s C. Heifetz and Sarah Ariste (magazine article from abt. 2006 now unfindable…), ask in “Voices Without Authority” whether our gatekeepers are preventing us from living up to our values as a society.

I further that question:
Are our gatekeepers, and particularly, those who choose the gatekeepers, preventing humanity from reaching its full potential? For, if we fail to live up to the values we profess as a society, such as freedom for all, or equality before the law, then are we not also limiting the potential contributions of some, and thus failing to achieve all that we could, as a whole?

I realize the need, in certain situations, for gatekeepers. However, when the gatekeepers act on the basis of privilege or perception, rather than on the actual needs of the given situation, they can be counter-productive. They can artificially prevent access, resulting in uneven or misleading outcomes, or in simple outright injustice. This reduces our effectiveness as a society in providing each person the opportunity to contribute fully to the creativity and productivity of the human race, and that, is a shame for all of us.

Gregorian Date:           Thursday, September, 2020AD 

Holocene Calendar:  Thursday, September, 12020 HE

Action Items:

1.)   Think of how you, personally, have been affected by gatekeepers?  How did you feel about that process?

2.)  Do you know of others who went through similar experiences, and how did that seem, to you?  Did you get to see the process from the other person’s point of view?

3.)  What do you know of other gatekeepers?

4.)  What do you think is the use of gatekeepers, and why? 

originally posted in:

September, 12020 HE


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28 thoughts on “Lesson Day 10/67, Plus: Snow Riots, and Heroes Escaping Gatekeepers…

  1. I closed my Twiitter account since you-know-who bought it. Have zero trust in the guy. I’m very suspicious of algorhythms, subliminal messaging, his self-glorification. Indeed his self-annointing as a gatekeeper of free speech etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know you had one!
      I only use my account there to repeat posts and Health Care for All information, so not much can be done with my tweets, I hope.


        1. I considered closing my account, but I think that some level of raising awareness is better than none, and every tool is needed, however imperfect. My tweets won’t be very useful to hang averts on, since they are all about Healthcare or Housing or Ranked choice Voting!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Damn, I hate this Reader: lost my reply just clicking Like on Violet’s comment!
              Yes, easy to get lost, and I think we need a format that encourages fuller participation, with a reminder of the salient points under discussion that brings conversations back to the initial agenda. Most comment and Tweet threads seem to devolve into shouting matches or useless drivel after a while.


            2. Left Twitter? You spent that much time there?
              Cool -we still need a logo, if you feel interested and up to it?

              Just joking!
              Well, ok, not really, but no pressure, if you don’t feel called to it.

              Safe Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            3. No need to blush: you were trying to make a difference with the few tools available to do so. That is why Project Do Better bangs on so much about tools -reviving old tools, and updating and creating new tools. Our world sorely needs them.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. I was trying to be helpful indeed. No way to be sure I managed. I realised what a powerful tool Twitter is, which is another reason I left. It now being in the hands of a megalomaniac makes it a dangerous place and tool. He can bend it to his will.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Yes, he can, to a certain extent. But not entirely, since it’s made up of users not all under his sway. Unless he simply banns all mention of health care, housing, or voting…

              Liked by 1 person

            6. I also like to hope, in the event that he does bend it to his will, that the very presence of dissidents there will have at least borne witness to the lack of … well… everything, if that makes sense?


            7. Yes, but with tools under the control of actors of bad faith, only so much can be done with those tools until we develop tools of our own that can less easily be subverted.
              Very true that we all do need to be more proactive.

              Liked by 2 people

            8. I got diverted last night to a terrific Whattsapp group chat, indeed trying to maintain and instilling responsibility in what we say and do. A “rumour” was posted about this town being invaded and land grabs planned. It’s a divided community and verg volatile. Staying quiet and hoping for the best isn’t an option.

              Liked by 1 person

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