Tag Archives: Selma

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


Remember: Jimmie Lee Jackson 

3Voltaire said history is a pack of lies played on the dead. This statement has never been more true when it comes to the many civil rights activists who bravely died for the cause of black people. This is the case when it comes to Jimmie Lee Jackson. He was a civil rights activist in Marion, Alabama, and a deacon at the Baptist church. On February 18, 1965, while participating in a peaceful voting rights march in his city, he was beaten by troopers and shot by Alabama State Trooper James Fowler. Jackson was unarmed and died eight days later in the hospital.

Here is a little-known fact, although this is rarely mentioned, but it was his death that was the inspiration for the Selma to Montgomery march in March 1965. This was a major event in the Civil Rights Movement that helped gain Congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This march was made famous by the state government’s terrorist assault that came to be known as Bloody Sunday. History tells us that the march that lead to the police assault was about voting rights – it was not. It was about the police murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson.

The bill was waiting to be signed, and the shameful disgrace of the police tactics on Bloody Sunday mere sped up the signing as an act to lend a positive effect to the shameful act of terror by the police. It is true that the signing of the voting rights act did open the door to millions of black people being able to vote again in Alabama and across the South. In essence regaining participation as citizens in the political system for the first time since the turn of the 20th century, when they were disenfranchised by state constitutions and discriminatory practices.

Now, this shows the disgraceful actions of what they call justice, in 2007, some 42 years after Jackson’s murder, former Trooper Fowler was indicted in Jackson’s death, and in 2010 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced to six months in prison.

Jackson was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who had come with other Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) staff to Selma, Alabama, to help local activists in their voter registration campaign. Jimmie Lee Jackson was a deacon of the St. James Baptist Church in Marion, Alabama, ordained in the summer of 1964. Jackson had tried to register to vote for four years, without success under the discriminatory system maintained by Alabama officials. His desire to vote led to his death at the hands of an Alabama State Trooper.

Now, most think it was Dr. King and his group the organized the march, but that is not true. It was the organized by The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the most important organizations of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, at the helm leading the march. Dr. King was called in to assist after the fact to lend his national stature to the SNCC efforts, which thanks to SCLC’s James Bevel to initiate and organize the dramatic Selma to Montgomery marches that that directly contributed to President Johnson calling for, and Congress passing, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Here is the back story: On the night of February 18, 1965, about 500 people organized by the SCLC activists left Zion United Methodist Church in Marion and attempted a peaceful walk to the Perry County jail, about a half a block away; where young civil-rights worker James Orange was being held. The marchers planned to sing hymns and return to the church. Police later said that they believed the crowd was planning a jailbreak.

They were met at the post office by a line of Marion police officers, sheriff’s deputies and Alabama state troopers. During the standoff, streetlights were abruptly turned off, rather they were shot out by the police, and the police began to beat the protesters. Among those beaten were two United Press International photographers, whose cameras were smashed, and beaten, who was beaten so badly that they were hospitalized. The marchers turned and scattered back toward the church.

Jackson, his mother Viola Jackson, and his 82-year-old grandfather Cager Lee, ran into Mack’s Café behind the church, pursued by state troopers. Police clubbed Lee to the floor in the kitchen; when Viola attempted to pull the police off, she was also beaten. When Jackson tried to protect his mother, one trooper threw him against a cigarette machine. A second trooper shot Jackson twice in the abdomen. State Trooper Fowler later admitted to pulling the trigger, saying he thought Jackson was going for his gun. The wounded Jackson fled the café, suffering additional blows by the police, and collapsed in front of the bus station.

In the presence of FBI officials, Jackson told a lawyer that he was “clubbed down” by state troopers after he was shot and had run away from the café. Jackson died of his wounds at Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma eight days later, on February 26, 1965. Sister Michael Anne, an administrator at Good Samaritan, later said there were powder burns on Jackson’s abdomen, indicating that he was shot at very close range.

As the truth of this story shows, they have been murdering black folk forever and not just today in modern times, but for as long as people were black and the police have been a racist arm of the Klan. Just remember, the police came to be as slave catchers. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


Trump Supporters Call For A Revolt: Here’s The Truth About Race Riots

007_1000I wrote this article some time ago after there were several situations of unrest on the streets of America. With Trump’s latest message to his supporter to create unrests let me remind you that a “riots is the language of the unheard”. This harkens back to the lawless lynchings of black people. Let’s be clear that the most deadly riots were done by white folk and most were done when they claimed the rules of white supremacy were, in their minds, violated. Black folk have had every reason to riot because when white folk riot it is legal!

Over the centuries what they would call riots were merely unrests because of the killing of an unarmed black person at the hands of the police. Now the truth is black people have only had what would be called only a few riots.

For example, most of the black riots took place in California with the worse being the Watt’s Riots of 1965; a horrible event but like any of the few riots black people started was predicated on some kind of white provocation. So let me remind you that the culture of race relations in America is one sided, and history tells us that most, if not all, race riots were not perpetrated by black people. The culture of violence by the so-called real Americans upon what they call “others” have been at the hands of white people in America.

You often hear how savage black people are when an incident occurs, and blacks take to the streets. They will tell you that these black destroy their own communities. For the record, that is the biggest lie since they portrayed Jesus as a white man. The worst riots and, in fact, most riots were done by white racists. Today it sounds like Trump is suggest a white uprising!

First, the people living in the inner city or urban areas do not own that which is burned or damaged. Rather, they are owned by those who profit or prey upon them. Before the 1960s, rioting or race riots as they were called consisted of whites burning down and destroying black communities simply because they didn’t want them there. Let’s go back further, the Native America people were nearly eliminated at the hands of such violence as their lands were stolen by germ warfare and whole tribes slaughtered. Later to be glamorized in “Cowboy and Indian” epics.

To be clear, the brutal and often deadly attacks upon black people was not a Southern phenomenon. These violent acts occurred mostly in major northern, western and Midwestern cities, where the population of black citizens grew tremendously due to the great migration. Blacks fled from the abusive and harsh Jim Crow south to seek refuge from the rigid Jim Crow era laws to find jobs and homes. The competition was fierce, thousands and thousands of blacks flooded the cities resulting in what became known as “white flight”. White people were angry that blacks were taking jobs they felt should have been theirs and building their own communities. Notice how this sounds like Trump’s code language!

Not only was housing discrimination prevalent but they passed laws and created sundown towns, which meant “Nigger” don’t be caught in white communities after dark or you will be lynched. Even white soldiers that have been stationed away from home were furious when they came back to this “change”. An often overlooked hazard, black soldiers who thought they were fighting for freedom would return home to situations worse than that they face on the combat fields.

So for those who don’t know this is how race riots started. Whites were not too happy about desegregation in the cities. Any incident, regardless of how mundane or minor, whites would assert what they viewed as their God-given right to take the law into their own hands. Using vigilante justice to attack destroyed and burned down black populated areas through mob violence and acts of terror that often resulted in countless deaths. It is important to clearly understand that a sense of entitlement was the motivation.

When the Jim Crow laws and subliminal attempts to keep their cities and communities segregated failed, riots often occurred. Here are ONLY just a few examples of the major race riots that took place in America:

1921: May 30 – June 1. Tulsa, OK. Black Wall Street Massacre
1922: May 6, June 9 Kirven, Texas
1923: January 1. Rosewood, FL Rosewood Massacre
1930: October 12-15 Sainte Genevieve, MO
1931: March Scottsboro, AL
1935: March 19 Harlem, NY Harlem Riot of 1935
1943: May Mobile, AL
1943: June Los Angeles, CA Zoot Suit Riot
1943: June 15-16 Beaumont, TX Beaumont Race Riot of 1943
1943: June 20 Detroit, MI Detroit Race Riot
1943:August 1 Harlem,NY Harlem Riot of 1943
1949: August-September Peekskill, NY
1951: July 11-12 Cicero County, IL Cicero Race Riot
1958: Maxton, NC Battle of Hayes Pond
1959: February Pearl River County, MS
1960: April Biloxi Beach, MS
1962: October Oxford, MS Uni of Mississippi
1963: September 30. Oxford, MS Ole Miss Riot
1963: July 11 Cambridge, MD Cambridge riot of 1963
1963: May 13 Birmingham, AL Bombings
1964: July Brooklyn, NY
1964: July 18 Harlem, NY Harlem Riot of 1964
1964: July 24-26 Rochester, NY Rochester riot
1964: August Jersey City, NJ
1964: August Paterson, NJ
1964: August Elizabeth, NJ
1964: August Chicago, IL
1964: August 28 Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia 1964 race riot
1965: March 7 Selma, AL Bloody Sunday
1965: July Springfield, MA
1965: August 11-17 Los Angeles, CA Watts Riot

I would argue that there were only two riots that can be credited to black people. When they killed Dr. King and the Rodney King riots in LA or those during what has been called the long hot summers of the 1960s. So let’s correct the narrative, almost all of the so-called race riots, including the Civil War, were initiated and perpetrated by the so-called Real Americans – white people! Anytime you hear someone criticizing black people for rioting, share this info with them.

Finally, the whole history of America is one of brutal aggression and oppression. Therefore, with the rise of police killings at the hands of the state is just a continuation of the brutal nature of a people who without a conscience. Frankly, white folk should thank their lucky stars that black America’s have not taken more brutal action concerning the brutal oppression they have been subjected to for 400 years!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

JUST A SEASON


Here You Have It: The Face Of The New Black

007_1000Common was a rapper that I thought was one of the more sensible and socially conscience guys in the game. Different from the rest but we now know from his recent comments during an appearance on the Daily Show that this may not be the case. Frankly, his remarks left me and most of the black community “flabbergasted”. He had the bravado to say, with a smile, that African Americans need to “extend a hand of love” toward white folks in order to end racism.

This is the most asinine statement I think I have ever heard, and there have been a lot of these “chicken pickin’” so-called leaders and public figures to have said some dumb-$h!#! Let me begin by saying off the top, I don’t normally waste my time commenting on issues or things said by today’s entertainers because I know they are bought and paid for by the industry.

It is very clear the Oscar Award’s are for white people and regardless of how much we support movies; they turn their backs on black actors and actresses. It is clear that Hollywood is clearly a racially biased industry. The problem with the statement Common made, as I see it, even if he himself has been brainwashed to the point of believing this – has he seen the news lately. Maybe I’ll be more direct; is he even living on this planet?

Frankly, this is why his statement was ridiculous. Black folk have and do love white people more than they love themselves. They worship a white Jesus and gave their lives in every war. With that said, they have had the hand of love out to white people since being brought to America’s shores, and that’s been about four-hundred years – see how that worked out right!

Let me be clear, I applaud anyone who accomplishes something, and I am glad Common received one of the gold tokens. I also think it’s odd that almost immediately after receiving it, they sent him out on a mission. There was a time when any highly regarded actor could say anything, and black folk followed, you know stepped-n- fetched with them. This new creation for today’s sell-outs they call the “new black” is a shameful because at the end of the day – they are still black. All that term means is when given some measure of success is granted and if they want to keep what Massa gave them; they have to do as they are told – when they are told to do it. Just like almost every male black comedian has to wear a dress to remain relevant.

On the other hand, last summer a string of high-profile cases involving police killing innocent black citizens. The hit song “Happy” filled the airwaves; I suppose to promote a “new” mindset for black people to adopt an attitude of good ol’ positive thinking. This is what Pharrell said, “The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality, and it’s either going to work for you or its going to work against you.”

Stereo Williams said it best, Common’s “words were laughably empty and insulting to the current climate, the history of black ambition in the face of tremendous cultural oppression, and the reality of institutional racism; but they also represented a vocal cadre of black celebritydom that is calling for the black community to basically “get over it.” With the racial conversation in the national spotlight, stars like Williams, Kanye West, and others aren’t addressing racism in as much as they are deflecting the conversation.”

“We all know there’s been some bad history in our country. We know that racism exists,” the star conceded, before adding, “I’m…extending a hand. And I think a lot of generations and different cultures are saying ‘Hey, we want to get past this. We’ve been bullied, and we’ve been beat-down, but we don’t want it anymore. We’re not extending a fist and saying, ‘Hey, you did us wrong.’ It’s more like ‘Hey, I’m extending my hand in love. Let’s forget about the past as much as we can, and let’s move from where we are now… Me as a black man, I’m not sitting there like, ‘White people—y’all did us wrong,’” Common continued. “I mean we know that that existed. I don’t even have to keep bringing that up.” He went on to say “Let’s get past this”! Common

Hold up – wait a minute, Common was not the only one this week, actress Raven-Symone found herself in the midst of another controversy after she defended the racist remarks Univision host Rodner Figueroa made about Michelle Obama. “I don’t want to be labeled gay, I want to be labeled a human who loves humans,” Symone told Oprah last fall. “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American. I’m an American.

“It centers the comfort of white people, absolving white supremacy and indicting black rage as “the problem.” Celebrities like West, Common and Raven-Symone are but ambassadors of the growing New Black culture that Pharrell became the unwitting poster child for in his now-infamous Oprah interview. “Upward mobility,” sayeth the New Black, “that is the promise of America and because I have achieved – you can, too.” They conveniently romanticize their climb to wherever they are in their lives and careers, telling themselves that they got there via personal drive and ambition that is unique to them.” Stereo Williams.

I would like to offer some sage advice from that which I have witnessed. The New Black you proclaim is nothing more than that old black pathology. Black folk have always achieved greatness in a country that doesn’t see value in blackness beyond a commodity. I can list many greats who rose to the top of their game maintained dignity in a land that has consistently dehumanized and stigmatized them and not one survived unscathed. Jessie Owens, Joe Lewis, Sammy Davis, and even the good Dr. King himself.

Maybe because of his part in Selma Common thought he was channeling Dr. King. I can’t say, but we know from history the kind of love he got in the end by holding hands and singing “We shall overcome”. When you think about it, there isn’t much “new” about New Black thing at all. White supremacy often insists that black people prove themselves exceptional just to share a table with white mediocrity. It is not for black people to extend a hand; it is for the privileged and the powerful to remove their boot from the community’s collective neck. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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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