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Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday News in early July 2015

Congratulations to Sister Serena Williams. She is the best ever without question. Her Sister and her parents love her. She showed great talent, great strength, and a great humbleness when she performed in the tennis court. She is incredible, she is beautiful, and she shows the world about the greatness of black women. Black women are inspirational and we send a great deal of appreciation for the great Sister Serena Williams. Bless Her. I'm glad that Zoe Kravitz now rejects the lie that black culture is very monolithic. Black culture is very diverse. There are Afro-Germans with amazing culture. There are black Africans who are great artists. There are excellent Afro-Brazilians activists who are fighting for racial justice. One point that she made that's great is about how the mainstream media readily presents a negative, a narrow minded image of especially black Americans. That's wrong. That image spreads globally and many people get the wrong impression of black people. Zoe Kravitz is very introspective and her story is not uncommon. There are so many stories from biracial and multiracial people that tell the exact same story that Zoe has presented. We, as black people, will set the record straight about our history, about our culture, and about our human aspirations. At the end of the day, we can grow and see that opening our eyes and witnessing the beauty of real black culture can build up the human soul. Nykhor kept it all the way real in her words. She told the truth about the unprofessionalism & the discrimination that many black models unfortunately have experienced. She spoke about the need for the respect of black women and for real change to come. As many have mentioned, I have no problem with black models setting up more of their own institutions, so they can express themselves in dignity and in respect.

These kids (in a video documentary about race. They are in middle school) are from New York City. New York City has a large amount of cultural and ethnic diversity. There are more than 2 million black people in NYC. The children in the video certainly have shown more honesty and accurate information (about racism, stereotypes, and how they deal with race on an everyday basis) than many adults who talk about race. That’s clear from the words in the video. White privilege, discrimination, racism, and negative plus false stereotypes (these evils must be fought against) exist in NYC and throughout the Earth. We can talk about these things and we desire action taken to solve our problems. We want the system of white supremacy to end. Also, we have to honor the people of the Black African Diaspora. Many kids in that video are members of the Diaspora.
African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-French, Africans, Afro-British, etc. must express more unity among ourselves. We are one black people at the end of the day. Also, we have to make social, economic, and political policies to address economic inequality and racism in our society. Individually and collectively, the promotion of the Golden Rule is superior to the agenda of hate and bigotry. We have to not only believe in equality. We have to live it every day. Structures of oppression must come down, so human beings (irrespective of their background) can be treated as human beings. We want to experience a society where oppression is defeated and where social justice & economic justice (as advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who died in the midst of fighting for the labor rights of Memphis Sanitation workers) are made real. This event (of the Confederate flag coming down the SC State Capitol) was emotional for many people. Many people cheered for joy and others cried for jubilation. This is a historic day. People have used boycotts, protests, and many people have died for the cause of freedom. That evil Confederate flag (which represents hate, racism, and oppression) should have come down a long time ago, but I'm glad that it did came down. A domestic terrorist murdered nine innocent human beings. Those in the South Carolina legislature who voted to keep that evil flag up should be ashamed of themselves. We know that we have a long way to go. South Carolina still has massive poverty, housing issues, racism, etc. that must be addressed. There ought to be revolutionary changes not only in South Carolina, but throughout America. Defeating the system of white supremacy is our goal. The spirit of black people will never be broken. We are going to continue to speak truth to power and act courageously in our lives.

1939 was the year when World War II came about in Europe. That year represented a new era of human world history.  On January 30, 1939, Hitler threatened Jewish people during his Reichstag speech. Hitler’s empire grows. On March 15, Czechoslovakia surrenders after Hitler annexes the country into the Third Reich. The Czechs at first warmly welcome the Germans when they entered the Sudetenland (which has a strong German speaking population) months earlier, but they stood silently in despair when the Nazis entered Prague. On March 28, 1939, the Spanish war ended with the fascists winning. On August 23, 1939, the Nazis and the Soviet sign the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, which wanted both nations to not attack each other in the case of war. Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov and German Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop signed the agreement. Joseph Stalin looks on. Many people criticize the agreement as giving Nazi Germany carte banche power to invade Europe. Britain and Poland sign a Mutual Assistance Treaty on August 25, 1939. That means that if one or both nations are attack, when both nations will come to their aide. The British fleet mobilizes and civilian evacuations begin in London. On August 31, 1939, Hitler signs the order for an assault on Poland. The Germans staged a phony raid on a Gleiwitz radio station. They blame the Polish people for the “unprovoked attack” when he Nazis were responsible for the attack. Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. The Nazis use the Luftwaffe to attack various targets in Poland. The Luftwaffe use air attacks in Krakow, Lodz, and Warsaw. The Germany military of Wehrmacht attack near the Polish town of Mokra  The UK and the French give an ultimatum to Germany to stop invading Polish territory or Germany will face war. The British pass the National Service Armed Forces Act of 1939, which conscripts all males between 18 and 41. Immediately, Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare on Nazi Germany by September 3, 1939. Many nations remain neutral like Switzerland, the United States of America, etc. Soon, the Nazis conquer Poland. Canada declares war on Germany by September 10, 1939. The Soviet Union invaded Poland on September 17. Warsaw quickly surrenders to the Nazis. The Polish government forces fled to Romania. Reinhard Heydrich became the leader of the new Reich Main Security Office or the RSHA. The British strike the Germans first of the Allied forces when they launched a raid via the Royal Air Force on the German fleet in the Heligoland Bight. Japan was at first neutral too. The French attacked German territory too in September 7. Once Poland surrendered in September 27, both Germany and Russia partition Poland. Russia wants more resources, so Russia invaded the Baltic States. The Nazis started euthanasia on the sick and the disabled in Germany on October. The Germans experience a blockade by the British and the Nazis strike UK cruisers South Hampton and Edinburgh and the destroyer Mohawk on October 16, 1939. The British government in October released a report on the concentration camps being built by the Nazis to be used against Jewish people and anti-Nazis. The Japanese continue to fight the Chinese. The Japanese captured Nanning in Southern China by November 1939. The Soviets annexes the eastern parts of Poland. The League of Nations expels the Soviet Union for its aggression against Finland on November 14. When negotiations fail between the Soviets and the Finns, the Soviet Union invaded Finland on November 30, 1939, which was called the Winter War. The Finnish forces have great successes during the beginning of this war with capturing men and vehicles. The Finns sue for an armistice and have to cede the northern shores of Lake Lagoda and the small Finnish coastline on the Arctic Sea to the Soviet Union by March 12, 1940. By the end of 1939, Canadian troops come to Europe, Indian troops arrive in France.

From 1848 to the early 20th century, Los Angeles experienced massive changes. The American government controlled Los Angeles and the city’s streets were extended. The real estate business grew. Many of the streets were changed from Spanish to English. There was an Anglo and Mexican tension which grew over lands, resources, and culture. Under this new system, the Chinese, the Italians, the French, and the Mexicans lived near the Plaza while the power elite were in the outskirts of the city. Gold was discovered in 1848 in Coloma. The gold rush would spread from Mexico to Alaska. Los Angeles was used as depot of farmland to feed the miners in the northern part of California who wanted to find more gold. During the Civil War, California was part of the Union. John Gately Downey, the seventh Governor of California was sworn into office on January 14, 1860, thereby becoming the first Governor from Southern California. Governor Downey was born and raised in Castlesampson, County Roscommon, Ireland, and came to Los Angeles in 1850. He was responsible for keeping California in the Union during the Civil War. Native Americans suffered oppression, discrimination, and murder by racists in Los Angeles. It would be decades after 1850 when Native Americans would have any protection under the law. Anglos readily killed Native Americans and steal their lands all of the time. During the 1870’s, Los Angles had only 5,000 people. The industrial expansion grew resources in the city. The Angeles was the first incorporated bank in Los Angeles, founded in 1871 by John G. Downey and Isaias W. Hellman. Wealthy easterners who came as tourists recognized the growth opportunities and invested heavily in the region. Back then, much of LA County was farmland. There were cattle grown, dairy products, citrus fruits, and fruits. After 1945, most of the farmland was transformed into housing tracts. Railroads grew like the Lost Angeles and San Pedro Railroad came about in October of 1869. Oil was discovered by Edward L. Doheny in 1892 near the present Dodger Stadium. Many fields were created like the Los Angeles City Oil Field. Oil production was a central part of LA economy by the early 20th century. Also, political activists like labor rights activists, socialists, and other revolutionaries wanted justice in Los Angeles. The police broke up meetings of socialists in the Plaza. The labor rights movement grew and the city political elites placed a ban on free speech from public streets and private property except for the Plaza. Locals had claimed that it had been an Open Forum forever. The area was of particular concern to the owners of the L.A. Times, Harrison Grey Otis and his son-in-law Harry Chandler. The police readily suppressed the efforts of the Industrial Workers of the World. On Christmas Day, 1913, police attempted to break up an IWW rally of 500 taking place in the Plaza. Encountering resistance, the police waded into the crowd attacking them with their clubs. One citizen was killed. In the aftermath, the authorities attempted to impose martial law in the wake of growing protests. Seventy-three people were arrested in connection with the riots. The City Council introduced new measures to control public speaking.  The Klan, the American Legion, and others would raid IWW Halls and attack men, women, and even children meeting there. The garment industry grew. The Los Angeles River relied heavily from the aquifer under the San Fernando Valley. Government policies have tried to send the water from the San Gabriel Mountains into the sea. The Army Corps of Engineers created dams and basins in the canyons along the San Gabriel Mountains to reduce the debris flows. The Los Angeles Aqueduct was created to help supply water supplies to the people of LA.

Memphis from the 1940’s to the 1960’s grew massively in population. Yet, Jim Crow apartheid was in the city. Black workers were restricted heavily from joining skilled labor. Sanitation workers had very low pay. Black workers were immediately fired for the most minor of reasons. The Mayor of Memphis Henry Loeb was a reactionary and he worked in public works projects. He wanted to maintain the status quo of having black sanitation workers to receive low wages, getting cheap equipment, and a refusal for the establishment of a public union to represent the black sanitation workers. Loeb ran for mayor as early as 1959. Back then, he was an open segregationist. By the early 1960’s, desegregation did exist in many areas of Memphis, the right for economic rights remained. Black people in Memphis struggle to have decent jobs with living wages and great working conditions. Black women also were discriminated by sex and gender. Many sanitation workers back then had to collect garbage with their hands. Many white supervisors would call black sanitation workers names and racial slurs.  According to Professor Honey, black sanitation workers were just paid between 94 cents and $1.14 per hour (and during the following years, hourly wages were never more than 5 center per hour above the minimum wage for laborers). In 1960, Thomas Oliver or T.O. Jones tried to organize a local union. He worked with O.Z. Evers, who was a neighborhood civic activist. Evers signed up sanitation workers as members of Teamsters Local 984. In Memphis, TN during the 1960’s, the sanitation workers were in involved in two strikes. The commissioner of Public Workers rejected Evers’ and Jones’ request. In fact, the Public Works Department fired Jones and 32 other workers since they organized the request.  In 1965, William Ingram was the new mayor of Memphis. He relieved heavily on the African American vote. Yet, Ingram was more moderate and was not standing up against the white racists who wanted the status quo. Sisson or the Public Works Commissioner fired union officers including T. O. Jones because of their fight for economic justice. Ingram reinstated token concessions like pay scales, heaters in some of the old trucks, etc. Yet, Sisson refused to recognize a public employee union. The first strike proposal was in August 1966 when Jones and other union organizers threatened to strike. The government threatened Jones with an injunction and Jones ended his plans for his strike. That would change in 1968. On January 1, 1967, Henry Loeb was sworn in as mayor of Memphis once again. On Sunday, January 31, ran come about in the city. On the day of February 1, 1968, 2 African American sanitation workers were killed by an incident in a city truck. Both black men wanted to find shelter from the rain. They were in the truck, the machine malfunction, and they were killed by the truck. Their names are Echol Cole and Robert Walker. Enough was Enough. Sanitation workers and public employees would strike on February 12, 1968 (as a meeting in the Memphis Labor Temple). Leaders of this movement include T.O. Jones, Maxine Smith, P. J. Ciampa, James Lawson, Bill Lucy (who was an AFSCME organizer), etc. Loeb would try to replace the workers and he wouldn’t budge during the vast majority of the strike. During the marches of strikes, many of the protesters would met in a church, plan strategies, and march through the city’s downtown area constantly. The strike lasted for over 2 months.

 By Timothy

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