On This Day: The Murder Of Emmett Till

Throughout America’s sordid history, there have been many children murdered but the Murder in Money, Mississippi is the most infamous. It was this incident, the murder of a black child, fourteen year old Emmett Till that sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement. On August 28, 1955, Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago supposedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store.

The crime sounded clarion calls for a nation to wake up – just look at the photo. Till’s mutilated corpse circulated around the country mainly because of John Johnson, who published the gruesome photographs in Jet magazine, a predominately African American publication. The photo drew intense public reaction.

Till didn’t understand or knew that he had broken an unwritten law of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. That night the door to his grandfather’s house was thrown open, and Emmett was forced into a truck and driven away never again to be seen alive again. Till’s body was found swollen and disfigured in the Tallahatchie river three days after his abduction and only identified by his ring.

Till’s body was sent back to Chicago, where his mother insisted on leaving the casket open for the funeral and having people take photographs because she wanted people to see how badly Till’s body had been disfigured. This courageous mother was famously quoted as saying, “I wanted the world to see what they did to my baby” and over 50,000 people came to view the body.

On the day he was buried, two men — the husband of the woman who had been whistled at and his half brother — were indicted of his murder, but the all white male jury from Money (some of whom actually participated in Till’s torture and execution) took only an hour to return ‘not guilty’ verdict. The verdict would have been quicker, remarked the grinning foreman, if the jury hadn’t taken a break for a soft drink on the way to the deliberation room. To add insult to injury, knowing that they would not be retrial, the two accused men sold their stories to LOOK Magazine and gleefully admitted to everything.

Elsewhere in Mississippi at the time things weren’t going terribly well for blacks either. Just before Till was murdered, two activists Rev. George Lee and Lamar Smith were shot dead for trying to exercise their rights to vote, and in shocking testimony to the lack of law and order, no one came forward to testify although both murders were committed in broad daylight.

1aThe next year, a former army sergeant, Clyde Kennard, tried to enroll at Mississippi South College in Hattiesburg and was sent away, but came back to ask again. For this ‘audacity’, university officials — not students, or mere citizens, but university officials — planted stolen liquor and a bag of stolen chicken feed in his car and had him arrested. Kennard died halfway into his seven year sentence.

But times were slowly a-changing: Brown vs. Board of Education was decided in 1954. Three months after the Till murder Rosa Parks would refuse to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Sit-ins and marches would follow, and soon the civil rights movement itself would be in full-swing. It’s been over sixty-years since the events of that fateful night, and I simply cannot find the words to describe this heinous crime that has yet to receive justice.

I’ll end by sharing these words by Maya Angelou: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Still Looking For The Great White Hope

mayweather8They are at it again! Since Heavyweight Jack Johnson who was the best boxer in the world more than a hundred years ago; they have been and still searching for the GREAT WHITE HOPE! Last night’s sparring match was no different. The fight was far from professional and how did they give a man who has never had a professional boxing match a fight for some kind of championship?

After all the hype, all the talk, and all the profanity, it simply was unrealistic to believe McGregor, the UFC champion, could beat Mayweather in their pay-per-view showdown last night at the T-Mobile Arena. So no one should have been surprised when Mayweather methodically broke down McGregor before scoring a 10th-round technical knockout. Honestly, I don’t think Mayweather broke a sweat the entire fight!

So what did we learn from this exercise? Well, it was entertaining! The best boxer on the planet and the UFC superstar brought a lot of attention to their respective sports, and those who spent $100 on pay-per-view and thousands to witness the bout in person must not have remembered that there is a sucker born every day. Surely this was not the best boxing has to offer. I guess McGregor was just happy he was still standing at the end.

Mayweather, who scored his first knockout since 2011, looked a bit rusty early on after having not fought in two years. His boxing inexperience showed, especially late in the fight when he tried to clinch. By the end, his face was a sitting target. As a boxing fan, this was a disgrace to me. However, I am glad the black guy got a 100 million dollar payday! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Two Of A Kind

1024x1024Of all the things in the world – I never thought I would be quoting Don King but seeing today’s world he has a point – “Only in America”! I never thought I would see the racism and bigotry of my youth return but with the Trump era – it has returned. If I were to compare the two, ironically, 45 and con-man Don are the same probably why Don endorsed him. There is no doubt that both men have a dubious history at best (according to public accounts). However, they ascribe to the same moniker “Only in America”.

I won’t go so far as to say either Don see everything as racial or black and white. I will say they see everything as green. A con-artist sees capitalism as the way no matter who gets stepped on or in their way. It is all about cash and cash only! They will go anywhere and do anything for a buck.

The history books tell us about their despicable past and so do the boxers and people in the fight game. Don has robbed and taken advantage of every fighter he has been associated with – just think – he robbed Ali! He and the president have been sued by more people, probably, than anyone in history. So where else in the world could this happen but in America?

Not only did Don ripped off Ali but Tyson, Witherspoon and countless others and he made us think he was the greatest promoter on earth and 45 did the same to America. Corruption seemed to be the root of both of their business practices. Fact is to be involved in real estate and boxing one has to have mob affiliations but it is never spoken.

To both their credits, they can sell dreams like any good con-artist. They can pick your pockets, sell you a dream and make you thank them for it while picking your pockets! So I say only in America. They both should be called “the King of lies and naturally when things don’t work out; they both cry foul and become the victim! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The American Disgrace

1-It took me a while to comment on the disaster that is this presidency because there is new drama every day. Although hope springs eternal that the removal from President Trump’s inner circle of a singularly nefarious force who fed many of his worst instincts will result in an administration that’s more competent, less chaotic and less divisive – is a far-fetched dream! Getting rid of these clowns does nothing for the bigotry in the White House or America for that matter. It is purely cosmetic!

The guy who claims to know more than the generals now professed away to solve the Afghan war, which is nothing more than the same strategy used for the last 17 years. Mind you, this is after entertaining a plan to privatize the war for billions! We have a man/child in office that says anything and the amazing this is that white folk believe and support this nonsense. They seem not to understand we’ve seen all this before!

This guy professes to be the greatest and can fix every problem America has, but what has he done? Well – the answer to that is nothing! We are witnessing the greatest money grab in history and everybody can see it. So it comes down to that old adage “White is right”!

I am going to make this short because this guy is such a disaster I would be writing all day. Now, I will close with this – he claims to have a plan and a solution but he can’t tell anyone. That is a statement that makes one think he is a special kind of stupid! God help us! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


R.I.P. Honorable Dick Gregory

5Today, seemed like the saddest day of my life hearing that my hero passed away! I want to applaud the great Dick Gregory for the gift of his commitment, wisdom, and his genius! Dick Gregory, whose government name is Mr. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement from the beginning. He came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, anti-drug issues, conspiracy theories, and others. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes.

There are few people, who dare to speak truth to power. Brother Gregory is a fearless champion of the African American people, and dare I say the world. He has been at the forefront of Civil Rights before it was known as such. His is a comedian, writer, entrepreneur, social activist and critic.

Dick Gregory began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, he returned to the university but did not receive a degree. With a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago. He said of his early career, “Blacks could sing and dance in the white night clubs but weren’t allowed to stand flat-footed and talk to white folks, which is what a comic does.”

Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Based on that performance, Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for the white comedian Professor Irwin Corey. Shortly after that Gregory’s first TV appearance was on the late night The Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar, which positioned him to begin appearing nationally and on television.

Gregory currently stands at number 82 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-up comics of all time and has his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. There is a grassroots effort afoot to get him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spearheaded by Radio One host Joe Madison.

Mr. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement from the beginning. He came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, anti-drug issues, conspiracy theories, and others. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes.

Gregory began his political career by running against Richard J. Daley for the mayoralty of Chicago in 1967. Though he did not emerge victorious; this would not prove to be the end of his dalliances in electoral politics. He also unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States in 1968 as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party.

He wrote the book “Write Me In” about his presidential campaign. One interesting anecdote therein relates the story of a publicity stunt that came out of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago where the campaign had printed dollar bills with Gregory’s image on them, some of which made it into circulation, causing considerable problems, but priceless publicity. The majority of these bills were quickly seized by the federal government.

He was an early outspoken critic of the Warren Commission findings that President JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. On March 6, 1975, Gregory and assassination researcher Robert Groden appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s late night ABC talk show Goodnight America. An important historical event happened that night when the famous Zapruder film of JFK’s assassination was shown to the public on TV for the first time in history. The public’s response and outrage to that showing led to the forming of the Hart-Schweiker investigation, which contributed to the Church Committee Investigation on Intelligence Activities by the United States, which resulted in the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation.

In 1998 Gregory spoke at the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with President Bill Clinton in attendance. Not long after, the President told Gregory’s long-time friend and P.R. Consultant, Steve Jaffe, “I love Dick Gregory; he is one of the funniest people on the planet.” They spoke of how Gregory had made a comment on Dr. King’s birthday that broke everyone into laughter when he noted that the President made Speaker Newt Gingrich ride “in the back of the plane,” on an Air Force One trip overseas.

At a Civil Rights rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Gregory criticized the United States, calling it “the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet. As we talk now, America is 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes 96 percent of the world’s hard drugs”.

Gregory announced a hunger strike on September 10, 2010, saying in a commentary published by the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal that he doubted the official U.S. report about the attacks on September 11, 2001. “One thing I know is that the official government story of those events, as well as what took place that day at the Pentagon, is just that, a story. This story is not the truth, but far from it. I was born on October 12, 1932. I am announcing today that I will be consuming only liquids beginning Sunday until my eightieth birthday in 2012 and until the real truth of what truly happened on that day emerges and is publicly known.”

His most lasting impression resulted from his 1984 founding of the Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. With this company, Gregory made efforts to improve the life expectancy of African Americans, which he believes is being hindered by poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. In 1985 Gregory introduced the “Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet,” a powdered diet mix. He launched the weight-loss powder at the Whole Life Expo in Boston under the slogan “It’s cool to be healthy.” The diet mix, drunk three times a day, was said to provide rapid weight loss. Gregory received a multimillion-dollar distribution contract to retail the diet.

As we celebrate this his born day, I want to pay homage to the Honorable Dick Gregory for his commitment and dedication to speak truth to power and for the knowledge to empower all of us. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Books

  • Nigger: An Autobiography, with Robert LipsyteE.P. Dutton, September 1964. (one account says 1963) (reprinted, Pocket Books, 1965-present)
  • Write me in!, Bantam, 1968.
  • From the Back of the Bus
  • What’s Happening?
  • The Shadow that Scares Me
  • Dick Gregory’s Bible Tales, with Commentary, a book of Bible-based humor. ISBN 0-8128-6194-9
  • Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ With Mother Nature! ISBN 0-06-080315-0
  • (with Shelia P. Moses), Callus on My Soul: A Memoir ISBN 0-7582-0202-4
  • Up from Nigger
  • No More Lies; The Myth and the Reality of American History
  • Dick Gregory’s political primer
  • (with Mark Lane), Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King
  • (with Mel Watkins), African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (Library of Black America)
  • Robert Lee Green, Dick Gregory, daring Black leader
  • African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (editor) ISBN 1-55652-430-7

This Guy Must Go

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Impeach and Remove 45!


The Lie White Folk Can’t Get Over

462_160I am troubled by the white folks who cannot admit or realize that racism no longer exists. What kind of fools do they think we are? They think when they murdered Dr. King, they made up all these lies and therefore they say racism is dead! It vexes me that they don’t think we don’t know we know better or don’t think we know this is not the case! They have said all these glowing remarks about Charlottesville; I have been there and it is not!

I was watching an interview on CNN with this guy who was in a white band and a white wife. He made me think he was in heaven. This makes white folk think that all black people believe this nonsense, which could not be further from the truth. This is the problem; these black folk who give them the comfort of believing this mess feel comfortable. Also, I have heard white folk say we need a conversation; about what – really? American, i.e. white folk, has claimed to be talking for four-hundred year!
Please stop saying this is a teachable moment – it is insulting! You know what the problem is and do nothing about it. Now you have raised a new crop of degenerates just like your forefathers. You voted 45 into office and have to claim, and suffer the consciences! It is he and most of you know it’s in your DNA!

These folk will not admit that slavery was happened and real, which is why they sanitize the history books. They refuse to say Jim Crow was wrong or that segregation existed done by them is despicable! I will say it is a special kind of stupid to bring up Dr. King thinking it pacifies us – you should thank your lucky stars that there is not a Nate Turner! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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