Tag Archives: Bloody Sunday

Remembering The Terrorist Attack Of Bloody Sunday

007_1000They asked us not to forget the 911 attacks! I would ask them not to forget Tulsa, Oklahoma or the brutal terrorist acts on peaceful black people marching for the promised right to vote and the simple right to exist. One such attack was the Bloody Sunday rampage, and the atrocity at the hands of white bigots might be more appropriate. I’ll add that this act of terror and brutality was under orders of the government issued to the police. If it sounds familiar, we saw the same thing in Ferguson, MO. and Baltimore. So we have not moved very much in terms of racism, particularly when you read the DOJ report and see other racial events around the nation. White Supremacy is still evident, and racism is not dead.

What is lost in the Selma story is that, in large part, it all began as a result of the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson. Another significant fact is that the bridge is named Edmund Pettus, an enthusiastic champion of the Confederate cause and slavery. Pettus was a delegate to the secession convention in Mississippi and a Grand Wizard of the KKK. Ironic that a staunchly racist and bigoted so-called patriots name is connected with being the spark to give unheard of civil rights to the people he hated.

This was in no way the most horrific crime by the wretched system of racism in America. There was Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma where planes were used to bomb a black community. There were also, by most accounts, nearly five-thousand lynching’s during the first half of the last century with many for the entertainment for the white community. There was also the horrific murder of children like Emmitt Till and the bombing that killed four innocent little girls in a Birmingham church. Appalling and despicable acts of terror perpetrated by America’s homegrown terrorist like the KKK and others the so-called law.

Back to the March, between 1961 and 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) led voting registration campaigns in Selma, Alabama, a small town with a record of consistent resistance to black voting. When SNCC’s efforts were frustrated by stiff resistance from the county’s law enforcement officials and political leadership, meaning the Klan. Dr. Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were persuaded by local activists to make Selma’s intransigence to black voting a national concern.

SCLC also hoped to use the momentum of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to win federal protection for a voting rights statute. During January and February 1965, King and SCLC led a series of demonstrations to the Dallas County Courthouse. On February 17, protester Jimmy Lee Jackson was fatally shot by an Alabama state trooper. In response, a protest march from Selma to Montgomery was scheduled for March 7. Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, led by John Lewis and other SNCC and SCLC activists crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route to Montgomery.

Just short of the bridge, they found their way blocked by Alabama State Troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around. When the protesters refused, the officers shot tear gas and waded into the crowd on foot and horseback beating the nonviolent protesters with billy-clubs and ultimately hospitalizing over fifty people. What was significant about this was that all of the television networks interrupted programming to televise this horrific terror attack that became known as “Bloody Sunday”. The images were of this day of terror were beamed around the world.

Martin Luther King called for civil rights supporters to come to Selma for a second march. When members of Congress pressured him to restrain the march until a court could rule on whether the protesters deserved federal protection. King found himself torn between their requests for patience and demands of the movement activists pouring into Selma. King, still conflicted, led the second protest on March 9, but turned it around at the same bridge. King’s actions exacerbated the tension between SCLC and the more militant SNCC, who were pushing for more radical tactics that would move from nonviolent protest to win reforms to active opposition to racist institutions.

On March 21, the successful final march began with federal protection, and on August 6, 1965, the federal Voting Rights Act was passed, completing the process that King had wanted. Bloody Sunday was about more than winning a federal act. It highlighted the political pressures King was negotiating at the time, between movement radicalism and federal calls for restraint, as well as the tensions between SCLC and SNCC. In that sense, it was a successful strategy!

In closing, let me bring you back to the present, 50 years later, with this point having seen racism rear its ugly head since the election of the first black president. We’ve seen brutal acts of aggression on black people though laws and its agents, the police. To include stripping the voting rights act and in Ferguson, which is the Selma of today. We see the same issues today as they marched for then. The Republicans are no different than the Citizens Council of Selma’s day.

I get a lot of disparaging racist comment concerning what I write and post about black history. To those people, and I use that loosely; you want me to believe and love the Constitution that says I am 3/5th human and not to forget the holocaust or 911. I say, I will never forget what your ancestors did to my ancestors or believe the whitewashed version of what was done, which continue today. Truth be told, the sins of your fathers are acts of terror that I will never forget! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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 FERGUSON 2015


A Day For A King

king_postcardToday is the day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and a dream that all inhabitants of the United States would be judged by their personal qualities and not by the color of their skin. This great man was the young person to receive the Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racism.

Adhering to Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence Dr, King fought racism until his death in 1968 at the hands of what many believe was a conspiracy of US shadow government operatives.

In 1955 he began his struggle to persuade the US Government to declare the policy of racial discrimination in the southern states unlawful. The racists responded with violence to the black people’s nonviolent initiatives. In 1963, 250,000 demonstrators marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, where King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. The following year, President Johnson got a law passed prohibiting all racial discrimination.

I would be remised if I did not list King’s powerful opponents, which was basic the US government. The head of the FBI, John Edgar Hoover, had him placed under surveillance as a communist, and when King opposed the administration’s policy in Vietnam he fell into disfavor with the President. It has been proven that King’s murder was part of a conspiracy. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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Selma Revisited

th (1)I had the opportunity to see the movie Selma a few days ago, which was OUTSTANDING! I can remember the time from my youth. As a point of reference, I grew up and lived in the north but witnessed the same bigotry and racism. What struck me was it was jarringly similar to what I see today. We are often told how far black people have come. Maybe the question should be – why is it necessary to say because as so-called American’s; we should be equal.

Even if the film does take some dramatic license with historical facts, it is a film, after all, not a documentary. I will speak as a witness and history proves me right that it was not far off with regard to the wretchedness of the racial climate of the time. Let me remind you of what Brother Malcolm said, and I agree, “Anywhere south of Canada is the South”. What the movie shows is the secret soul of America that continues to live in the hearts of many today. I say secret because white America fails to acknowledge the shameful behavior of their people, then or now.

We relive the same hatred and witness the same racism in the twenty-first century. One thing that can’t be disputed is the powerful way Selma depicts the civil rights activists both well-known and unsung who fought for justice. In my heart of hearts I ask where are the same kind of  men and women with such conviction for civil rights today. The despicable acts of Selma or the atrocities that occurred all over America during that era are ever present today; we have seen the Zimmerman types and Ferguson. So the gene that produces hate has been passed down through the years.

7Just as in the epic film about Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggle for voting rights in the Deep South. We are still fighting that fight today. White America cannot fathom the indignities of their Apartheid like system of justice imposed upon black people they created and called Jim Crow . Seeing the movie will make you better understand the whitewashing of history, because they can’t allow their kids, little Billy and Jane, know how wretched their forefathers and grandparents where to other human beings. I suppose it’s like the Santa Clause story – they honorable people!

I can’t change the hearts of a race of people in a few words because no one has been able to do so in centuries. However, when you see the movie understand that the events of Bloody Sunday was not the worst that was done to black people during that era. I want to add an important insight to the story, which was the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

It was named after or dedicated to an Alabama native who served as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. After his side lost, he led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and was later elected to the U.S. Senate. Given the Klan’s terroristic history against black people, it’s only fitting that a bridge named after one of its leaders is now forever known as a national historic landmark in tribute to the civil rights movement.

A few more important facts you should know. The day the Voting Rights Act was signed wasn’t an arbitrary date. When King and other Selma activists joined Johnson at the White House for the signing of the Voting Rights Act on Aug. 6, 1965, the day’s historical significance may have been lost to some. But on that day in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Confiscation Act, the first of two, which freed all slaves who were being used by the Confederacy. The acts were a precursor to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all the slaves in rebel states.

In addition, it was the Selma movement that helped give birth to the Black Panther Party. At the end of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., 23-year-old SNCC activist Stokely Carmichael decided to head to Lowndes County, Ala. where 80 percent of the population was black but where there were zero black registered voters to build a new political party.

He formed the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, which used the Black Panther as its symbol. In October 1966 Carmichael, who was now head of SNCC and a leading voice of the black power movement, was a keynote speaker at a conference in Berkeley, Calif. In attendance were Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, who would adopt the black-panther logo of the LCFO for a new organization they were forming in Oakland, California, called the Black Panthers.

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This movie proves that black people can do movies about black people more realistic than others can, i.e., their version of “Moses”! I strongly suggest that you see the movie and take you children! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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