Monday, March 14, 2016

History of the Movement

There was another organization that was involved in the black freedom movement in Detroit as well. It was called Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement or DRUM. DRUM was an unique organization. It wanted black workers to organize and promote workers’ rights for black people in the Detroit area as a catalyst to ultimately create black liberation worldwide. Its membership came heavily from black industrial workers. The May 1968 wildcat strike of Detroit’s automobile factories inspired the creation of DRUM too. A black worker named George Baker was kicked out of the Dodge Main automobile plant. Therefore, George Baker, Marxist attorney Ken Cockrel, theorist Mike Hamlin, John Watson, and John Williams invented DRUM. During this time, it was near the end of the post-war economic boom. Many New Deal and Great Society programs expanded economic opportunity and decreased the poverty rate. Yet, racism and economic exploitation still existed massively in America. Workers wanted to end corporate exploitation and the growth of economic justice. DRUM quickly expanded its membership from the factories, to the streets in many communities. People in the assembly line wanted their just treatment. Although, we love the labor movement.  Although, we have to be clear that many people (not all) involved in the union bureaucracy were racists. DRUM wanted to root out racism that was found in various factories. DRUM had explicit demands in promoting equal pay, ending racial discrimination, and other grievances. On July 8, 1968 DRUM led a wildcat strike against conditions in the Hamtramck plant. The strike was observed by some 4,000 workers, lasted 2.5 days and prevented the production of 3,000 cars. In the subsequent Local 3 election, DRUM ran as an alternative slate. Although it did not win, the new organization drew notice for its militancy and willingness to challenge the UAW hierarchy. DRUM would continue to use strikes and protests. Within one year, more black revolutionary labor organizations would develop like FRUM (Ford Revolutionary Union Movement), The Black Panther Caucus of Fremont, California, GRUM (General Motors Revolutionary Union Movement), etc. In 1969, these groups merged into one organization called the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (which was established by Hamlin, Cockrel, and Baker). SNCC leader James Forman worked in this movement as well. The UAW had to take this movement seriously, so they tried to demonize the movement as divisive and tried to divide its membership based on age or other things. UAW treasury secretary Emil Mazey attacked DRUM. As it grew, DRUM faced a crisis of expectations. Auto workers had created an independent organization, but opinions differed about DRUM's future mission. Debates concerned whether DRUM should continue as a reform movement within the UAW or a dual-union which would seek to replace the UAW. The League of Revolutionary Black Workers eventually split between those who wanted to remain focused on the auto industry and those who wished to expand the League into a national political organization. The nationally oriented movement, led by General Baker, retained the organizational name the League and DRUM and was associated with the New Communist Movement. By 1975, however, the plant-level organization was largely defunct. Many members had been fired, and those who stayed often joined other currents in the union reform movement, such as the United National Caucus. DRUM believed that black workers were the vanguard of the working class. In 1971, DRUM divided into one group that was more nationalist and wanted to focus in Detroit. The other faction was more socialistic and wanted to expand their reach nationwide. Ultimately, the lesson of DRUM is that labor organizing is important and there is no human liberation without black liberation.

The political assassinations of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark resulted in total outrage by the black community and other progressive organizations (even moderate civil rights organization). People felt that if the cops killed 2 black men unjustly, then they could be next in the actions of police repression. Many Chicago aldermen, the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League (which has a long history in Chicago), the Illinois division of the ACLU, and other groups wanted an independent investigation. Early on, evidence has proven that the police shoot at the Panthers in an excessive, evil way. Bobby Rush and Fred Hampton’s mother and father supported an independent autopsy which happened. The autopsy found that he was shot in his head by bullets. Mainstream civil rights organizations like the NAACP, CORE, the ACLU, the American Jewish Committee, the UAW, and other groups called for an independent investigation too. This tragedy caused many groups to come together and stand behind the Panthers. On December 8, 1969, the Chicago Defender (the largest black newspaper in America back then) condemned the government’s repression of the Black Panthers. The Panthers, the SCLC, etc. held a memorial service of Fred Hampton in Maywood. Ralph Abernathy (or the head of the SCLC) gave the eulogy of Fred Hampton. Jesse Jackson would speak out against the murder of Fred Hampton too. Reverend C. T. Vivian and Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell spoke out against police repression too. John Conyers, Shirley Chisholm, and other progressive black political leaders toured the home of where Fred Hampton was murdered at. Fred Hampton was a revolutionary. He was young and organized movements for change in a rapid fashion. He was against the status quo as he wanted socialism to exist in the world. His passing further inspires us to fight to justice.

The structure of Stewart Memorial Fountain as found in Glasgow, Scotland is filled with symbolism from Freemasonry, etc. The structure is located in Kelvingrove Park. The memorial fountain is found in Glasgow’s West End. Many of their symbols are blatantly Freemasonic. The east of the Stewart Memorial Fountain had many Masonic symbols. It was completed in 1872. The architect was James Sellars and the sculpture was designed by Freemason John Mossman. He was called the father of Glasgow Sculpture. It tried to commemorate Robert Stewart of Murdostoun (1811-1866). Stewart was involved in Glasgow’s water supply. First, the shield of the fountain has the disguised Masonic square and compass. Overtly, Masonry says that it represents truth, morality, and brotherly love (which are promoted by Masons as virtue). The truth is that the highest levels of Freemasonry view of the square and compass as representing something else. J.S. Ward wrote that the compass represents the spiritual side of man while the square represents the material world. The other shield has the 3 columns which refer to the 3 pillars of Freemasonry. These pillars represent Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. These columns outline the part of the Masonic tracing board. Above the shield, there are 2 hands holding one another in a Masonic handshake of the real grip of a Fellow Craft (called Jachin. Jachin refers to the Jachin and Boaz pillar imagery found in Freemasonic literature too). Such handshakes have been done by many famous people like Pope Benedict and Tony Blair, including Russian premier Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan. The Lady of the Lake statue is found in the top of the Fountain. The Lady of the Lake depicted  Ellen Douglas, from Freemason Walter Scott's poem entitled the Lady of the Lake, who is straining to hear the call of her lover, James Fitz-James. The statue of the Lady of the Lake holds the swoard of Excalibur in her right hand. Excalibur is sometimes attributed with magical powers in mythology and is associated with the sovereignty of Great Britain.  One interpretation of this statue is that the Stewart Memorial Fountain is proclaiming (for those who understand the imagery) that the Freemasons are the (secret) rulers of Great Britain. The other images include lions and unicorns, the zodiac, owls, pelican, hawks, and symbols of Government, the symbol of Freemasonry, and the circular moat guarded by cherubs. These images relate to Freemasonry and other secret orders. The lion statue in the monument refers to Great Britain. As the lion is a symbol of England. The uniform represents Scotland. Yet, with symbols, there are multiple levels of meaning.

It is very vital that a person's right to be celibate must be respected. The couple Ciara and Russell Wilson have shown a down to Earth vibe and their sexual choices are their own business. Khloe is absolutely wrong in her statements. She demanded Ciara to have sex. She must realize that Sister Ciara is a grown black woman (with talent, strength, and respect for music) and Ciara has the right to be celibate. Jealousy and hating characterize Khloe's commentaries. Ciara and Russell Wilson have been upfront and honest about their celibacy. That is their own business. Shaming celibate people is wrong. Ciara and Russell Wilson have real love and bless their relationship. This is certainly joyful news (about a recent movie coming out to show African American women involvement in NASA and the space campaign). Far too often, the accomplishments of black women are ignored by evil people. Yet, we know that black women since the dawn of human history have been doctors, lawyers, scientists, and social activists. This incredible story should be told as it presents to the world about how black women not only calculated flight patterns. They represent great examples of how powerful and great STEM fields are. The space program have a huge influence in our lives from satellites to various international communications. Black people have always been involved in the fields of space, computing, etc. for a long time. I wish much success for the future movie. I will watch the movie. I do see similar stories where black people buy from only black business for a period of time. It is important to develop our economic infrastructure as black community. Likewise, we have to promote a consciousness that respects black people, that develops a class analysis, and fights for social justice too.

The culture of Detroit is expansion and large. There can be no mention of the culture of Detroit without the mention of Detroit’s African American population. Detroit has 81.2% of its residents being black people. Before World War I, Detroit had about 4,000 black people. That was 1 percent of its population. That would change. Black population growth grew massively via the Great Migration. In the Downtown Detroit District, there is the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This is the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. It wants to celebrate African American history and culture. It shows all people a wide spectrum of artifacts, archival material, and other exhibits which outlines the richness of black culture. It has the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, and other collections.  “And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture” is the museum's 22,000 square foot, interactive core exhibit. “Ring of Genealogy” is a 37-foot terrazzo tile creation by artist Hubert Massey surrounded by bronze nameplates of prominent African Americans in history. Dr. Charles Wright was an obstetrician and gynecologist. He wanted an institution to preserve Black History after he visited a memorial to the Danish World War II heroes In Denmark. So, in 1965, he created Detroit’s first International African American museum. Later, it was moved in a land between John R and Brush Streets by 1978. In April of 1997, a 125,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility opened, making it the largest African American historical museum in the world. By 1998, it was renamed to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. It has catering services and it celebrates the labor rights movement and cultures from around the world as well. There is lot of places in Detroit with great culture. Detroit’s Music Hall for the Performing Arts has shown great activism, music, and fun. Many music fans have given their resources to help this music hall (Chaka Khan and other great artists have performed there).

By Timothy

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