A Kansas mom who took her singing kids to entertain the armed militants at the occupied wildlife refuge in Oregon once had a son taken from her after he ran away because he was “unhappy” with the “wholesome and pure path” she had planned for him.
According to the Kansas City Star, Odalis Sharp, of Auburn, Kan., performed on Saturday at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, currently held by armed occupiers led by Ammon Bundy.
The Kansas mom also took her singing brood to the Nevada Bundy Ranch in 2014, when many of the same militants were engaged in an armed uprising against the federal government.
“We’re here to sing for the Lord,” Sharp told the appreciative Oregon militants. “This is a very worthwhile cause, and we just hope to make a difference and we hope to just be able to bless the hearts of the people through the songs.”
According to the Star, the single mother of 10 had one of her sons taken from her over neglect charges after he ran away from home. At a hearing she stated that he was unhappy with “the right, wholesome and pure path in which I was leading him — in which God was leading us.”
The son was placed in foster care, with his mother saying the system corrupted him — adding that he then ended up “in all kinds of trouble.”
Ranging in age from 6 to 20, the family drove all the way to Burns, Oregon — more than 1,500 miles away from their home.
Introduced by occupier and radio host Pete Santilli, the family regaled the armed militants with a combination of religious and patriotic songs including, “Amazing Grace,” “Mary Did You Know?” and the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
For an encore they performed an upbeat version of ““This Land is Your Land,” written by anti-capitalist Woody Guthrie.
On the video taken of the performance, Sharp said she was contacted almost a month ago to see if she and the family would be interested in performing during the occupation.
Critics of the visit were dismayed at the idea of taking children into an armed occupation.
“You have these impressionable youth that are interacting with these extremists, and they look up to them as some sort of folk heroes when in reality they’re criminals,” said Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst with Homeland Security. “What type of example is that setting? It’s raising the next generation of extremists.”
Watch video of the family at Malheur below via KOIN:
Watch a video of the family singing at Bundy Ranch in 2014:
Big turnout for protest in Texas town known as a ‘haven’ for the Ku Klux Klan
Protesters gathered in Vidor, Texas on Saturday for a rally against racism and police violence.
The East Texas town has long had a reputation for racism.
Vidor is a small city of about 11,000 people near the Texas Gulf Coast, not too far from the Louisiana border. Despite the fact that Beaumont, a much bigger city just 10 minutes away, is quite integrated, Vidor is not. There are very few blacks there; it's mostly white. That is in large part because of a history of racism in Vidor, a past that continues to haunt the present," Keith Oppenheim reported for CNN in 2006.
WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse
According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.
MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.
According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."
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On Saturday's edition of MSNBC's "AM Joy," Graham's fellow South Carolina lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, laid into Graham for his comments. "He is from Seneca, South Carolina," said Clyburn. "I know the history of Seneca, South Carolina. Where has he been?"
"You know, I've been really interested, we had some foolishness the other day," said Clyburn. "Drew Brees has gotten himself in some difficulty with his teammates, how his grandfather and father thought about anybody kneeling would be disrespecting the flag as if these, his teammates, did not have parents and grandparents who fought for this country and came back to this country with all kinds of indignities. One of which has just been written about in a great book from South Carolina. Isaac Woodard was in his uniform, coming home from the war, when he was stopped by a sheriff, a law enforcement officer who beat him, punched his eyes out with a night stick. That's the thing that led Harry Truman to sign the executive order to integrate the armed services, because of the in indignities charged to a black man by a law enforcement officer, and that black man was in his uniform coming home from a war we had just won."