In this shocking video, University of Alabama students are seen climbing over a parked train so that they can get to class on time.
Now the question is, what will the city of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama going to do about it?
To watch the full size version, click here: https://www.facebook.com/RiseAlabamaNews/videos/1091033767669443/
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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What The Election Of Florida’s Racist, Conspiracy Believing Governor In 1916 Should Teach Us About 2016By Contributor
By Patricia Ray
A successful businessman with no political experience decides to run for office and finds success while taping into populist sentiment.
Sound like a modern political tale, huh?
As the old saying goes, nothing is ever truly new under the sun.
The 1916 Florida gubernatorial election was not an ordinary election and Sidney Johnston Catts was not an ordinary candidate.
He was a political outsider to say the least – an ordained Baptist minister in Alabama who later moved to Florida and became an insurance salesman.
Only a few years after moving to Florida, he decided to run for governor as a Democrat, despite having no prior political experience.
In addition to his lack of experience, Catts also was known for having outlandish beliefs.
He was staunchly anti-Catholic and anti-African American, and he believed that monks from St. Leo’s Abbey and the African American population of Florida would take over the state for Kaiser Wilhelm II, and if Germany won the war, Pope Benedict XV would move the Holy See to San Antonio, Florida.
Yep. He seriously believed that.
He even carried a gun in fear that the Pope has sent an assassin to kill him.
Catts advocated for radical ideas such as women’s suffrage, taxation of church property, and a state income tax, much to the chagrin of the conservative, Democratic-controlled Florida legislature.
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At the same time, his racism went so far as to claim African Americans were “an inferior race” in response to lynchings in Florida.
Catts supported prohibition and did not attend his own inaugural ball because he opposed dancing.
Catts’ slogan was “Florida Crackers have only three friends in this world: God Almighty, Sears Roebuck, and Sidney Johnston Catts,” and he became known as the “Cracker Messiah.”
“People did not take him seriously [as a candidate], and when they finally did, it was too late,” Dr. Gary Mormino, a Florida historian and the Professor Emeritus at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg said in an interview with RISE NEWS.
As eccentric as Catts’ beliefs were, many of them resonated with the public.
Due to the anxiety of World War I, anti-German sentiments were high, and Catts’ fear mongering heightened anxieties.
Florida was a primarily Protestant state, with Catholics comprising less than 5% of the population at the time.
In the years before 1916, millions of Irish, Slavic, and Italian Catholics immigrated to the United States, and many people felt uneasy about these immigrants. The Protestant population largely was also in favor of prohibition, and Florida was already in the midst of becoming a dry state.
Catts played into the zeitgeist of the prohibition movement.
These views went hand in hand, and Catts claimed, “There is no question and rum and Romanism go together.”
Dr. Mormino describes Catts as a “larger than life figure” and attributes some of Catts’ success to his charisma and strength as a speaker.
People liked his message and viewed him as “one of them”.
In past elections, whoever won the Democratic nomination for Florida governor typically won, as the Republicans were a minority party in much of the American South.
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But in 1916, the Democrats were spilt in Florida.
Catts originally won the Democratic nomination by a margin of 544 votes but then lost it to William Knott by a mere 23 votes after a recount.
The underhanded dealings surrounding the nomination and the recount garnered support for Catts and painted him as a martyr the party establishment had robbed of the nomination.
In wake of this support, he ran for the Prohibitionist party nomination and won, going on to win the election with 43% of the vote and becoming the first Florida governor to win as a third-party candidate.
During his term as Governor, Catts reformed the convict lease system. He also made labor and tax reforms, furthered his prohibitionist agenda, improved transportation systems, and passed legislation relating to the care of the mentally ill.
He supported women’s rights and even appointed a woman to his staff. Despite opposition from the legislature, Catts was able to pass several legislative measures.
As you’ve probably guessed, there are many parallels between the 1916 Florida gubernatorial election and the 2016 presidential election.
Sidney Johnston Catts was a political outsider like Donald Trump whereas Hillary Clinton is seen as more of an establishment candidate, much like William Knott.
Many people also did not take Trump’s campaign very seriously until he won the Republican nomination.
In 1916, the fear of war fueled anti-immigrant sentiments towards Italians, Poles, and Slovaks, and Catts was able to play into the public’s fears, making his crazy ideas seem more palatable.
Today, fears stemming from 9/11 and other recent events has allowed anti-Muslim ideas and policies to gain alarming traction.
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For example, Trump has called for a blanket ban of Muslims from entering the country.
In 1916, the conditions were just right for Sidney Johnston Catts to win the seat of governor of Florida.
After leaving office, he ran for governor twice more and once for the U.S. Senate but was unsuccessful each time.
As strange as Catts’ gubernatorial election seems, some aspects of it are paralleled today, and perhaps this oddity of the past should be considered as we look to the future.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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A Conservative Case For Fighting Big Sugar In FloridaBy James Kardys
A few weeks ago, I went to visit my grandfather at his home as he recovers from surgery.
While visiting, he showed me a newspaper article about Governor Rick Scott’s reluctance to address the sugar industry’s practice of dumping produce runoff into various bodies of water along Treasure Coast, notably the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.
This runoff has, according to the Miami Herald produced a toxic, blue-green algae that has closed beaches, killed fish and oysters, and produced hazards for civilians who rely on the water for drinking and recreation.
To quote Brian Mast, a candidate for the Republican primary in Florida’s 18th Congressional District who uploaded video footage of the green algae on his Facebook account:
“This is the water that we fish in. This is the water that our children play in, that we wade in. This is the water that touches our beaches. This is the water that we go boating in. This is our way of life here, and it’s literally…it’s being destroyed.”
That last sentence in Mast’s statement may perhaps be the most important of all, as there is more than one accurate context to state it in.
Of course, the locals’ way of life has been affected.
They can no longer be guaranteed access to safe drinking water, as Lake Okeechobee, the source of the runoff (its water is used to irrigate the sugar cane crops), provides drinking water to West Palm Beach, Fort Meyers, and the entire Lower East Coast metropolitan areas.
The Caloosahatchee River is also a source of drinking water for Fort Meyers.
With fish dying, it has become more difficult for fishermen to work their trade.
With the beaches closed, one of the defining features of the Treasure Coast will be altered.
However, another context must be taken into account when discussing how someone’s way of life could be changed: jobs.
On a local scale, businesses that either distribute water from the now-polluted sources or rely on fishing in order to function will be forced to either find an alternate source of water and fish or shut down, causing many people to lose their jobs.
This, in turn, will result in reduced tourism (which will already be facing reductions due to the closure of beaches) due the reduced number of businesses, which will only lead to further business closures and job losses.
On a state, national, and international scale, large corporations that rely on the Treasure Coast for part of their business will be forced to increase prices due to reduced supply.
This, in turn, will result in reduced incentives to purchase their products by consumers, and perhaps further job losses.
The cycle continues from there.
In addition, for Florida in particular, reduced tourism will result in reduced outside investment, further hindering economic growth.
Think about that for a moment.
When you hear reports about pollution and the environment, you probably have a reflex to associate it with liberalism and the Democratic Party.
But that is not always true, and in this case, it’s not.
Conservatives and Republicans do indeed have a legitimate reason to consider this case a problem from an ideological standpoint.
Because private enterprise of all sizes, be it a one-person lemonade stand that relies on the water to make its lemonade to a multi-national fishing corporation, is being negatively affected.
If the conservatives of the Republican Party truly cared about their own platform, they ought to demand that Governor Scott take action in order to prevent the actions of one local industry from damaging other industries not just across the state, but across the country and perhaps across the world.
The Republican Party is supposedly the party of businesses, and perhaps it is time it acted like it.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Kathleen Conklin/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 856
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“We… Will Rise Again”: Florida Politician Gives Incredible Speech After Orlando MassacreBy Staff Report
North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin has been featured on our site before.
But this time, it is for something really amazing.
On Tuesday, Galvin gave a spellbinding speech about the resiliency of the LGBT community after the devastating massacre in Orlando that claimed 49 lives.
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RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.Post Views: 794
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