Monday, December 12, 2016

Advice and Truth

The Birmingham Campaign changed everything in America and throughout the world. During the aftermath, desegregation existed slowly after the demonstrations. Some people criticized Dr. King and the SCLC for ending the campaign too soon, for making the vague promises, and for settling less than even moderate demands. In fact, Sydney Smyer, president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, re-interpreted the terms of the agreement. Shuttlesworth and King had announced that desegregation would take place 90 days from May 15. Smyer then said that a single black clerk hired 90 days from when the new city government took office would be sufficient. In July of 1963, most of the city’s segregation ordinances had been overturned. Some of the lunch counters in department stores complied with the new rules. City parks and golf courses were opened again to black and white citizens. Mayor Boutwell appointed a biracial committee to discuss further changes. Yet, no hiring of black clerks, police officers, and firefighters had yet been completed and the Birmingham Bar Association rejected membership by black attorneys. The whole campaign caused national and international attention to the racist violence in Birmingham. There was a meeting among Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and other Black leaders to talk about racial issues. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s reputation increased massive after the protests in Birmingham. Many people lauded him as a hero. During the summer of 1963, Dr. King and many men and women led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He gave his historic speech entitled, “I Have a Dream.” Dr. King became Time’s Man of the Year for 1963 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. John F. Kennedy acted too. The Birmingham Campaign, George Wallace’s refusal to admit black students to the University of Alabama caused President Kennedy to address the nation in his own historic speech on civil rights on June 11, 1963. In his speech, JFK addressed the inequalities between black and white Americans. He said the words of, “The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them.”

Despite the apparent lack of immediate local success after the Birmingham campaign, Fred Shuttlesworth and Wyatt Tee Walker pointed to its influence on national affairs as its true impact. President Kennedy's administration drew up the Civil Rights Act bill. After being filibustered for 75 days by "diehard southerners" in Congress, it was passed into law in 1964 and signed by President Lyndon Johnson. The Civil Rights Act applied to the entire nation, prohibiting racial discrimination in employment and in access to public places. Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, however, disagreed that the Birmingham campaign was the primary force behind the Civil Rights Act. Wilkins gave credit to other movements, such as the Freedom Rides, the integration of the University of Mississippi, and campaigns to end public school segregation. Medgar Evers was murdered in June 12, 1963 outside of his home. He was organizing demonstrations, which were similar to Birmingham, to pressure Jackson, Mississippi’s local city government.  In September 1963, Birmingham’s public schools were integrated. Governor Wallace sent National Guard troops to keep black students out but President Kennedy reversed Wallace by ordering the troops to stand down. Violence continued to plague the city, however. Someone threw a tear gas canister into Loveman's department store when it complied with the desegregation agreement; twenty people in the store required hospital treatment. Four months after the Birmingham campaign settlement, someone bombed the house of NAACP attorney Arthur Shores, injuring his wife in the attack.  On September 15, 1963, Birmingham again earned international attention when Ku Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church on a Sunday morning and killed four innocent young black girls. Their names are Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair. The Birmingham campaign inspired and grew the Civil Rights Movement in many parts of the South plus nationwide.  In 1965, Shuttlesworth assisted Bevel, Dr. King, and the SCLC to lead the Selma to Montgomery marches, intended to increase voter registration among black human beings.

The 2016 film Doctor Strange is filled with action, mystery, and creativity. It is based on the science fiction stories of Doctor Strange from Marvel Comics. The film was produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It talks about Eastern mysticism, time travel, and other issues. Its special effects are innovative and it is very popular in America and throughout the world. The film was directed by Scott Derrickson and he wrote the film along with Jon Spailhts and C. Robert Cargill. It has many actors and actresses starring in the film like Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. In Doctor Strange, surgeon Stephen Strange learns the mystic arts from the Ancient One after a career-ending car accident. Many people wanted to create a film about Doctor Strange was for decades. The movie was released in Hong Kong in October 13, 2016 and it was released in America by November 4, 2016. It was sold more than $641 million so far. The film starts in Kathmandu, Nepal. There is the sorcerer Kaecilius and his zealots who enter the secret compound called Kamar-Taj and murder its librarian, keeper of ancient and mystical text. They steal a ritual from a book belonging to the Ancient One (She is a sorcerer who had lived for an unknown time and taught all at Kamar-Taj including Kaecilius, in the ways of the mystic arts). The Ancient Ones pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius escapes with the pages and some of his followers. Stephen Strange was an acclaimed neurosurgeon. He was in a car accident and loses the use of his hands. His fellow surgeon and former lover Christine Palmer tries to help him move on, but Strange believes that he can regain the use of his hands. He uses experimental surgeries. They don’t work. So, he learned about Jonathan Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously was able to walk again. Strange visited Kamar-Taj. Mordo helps Strange. Mordo works under the Ancient One.  The Ancient One shows Strange her power, revealing the astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension. Amazed, Strange begs her to teach him, and she eventually agrees despite his arrogance, which reminds her of Kaecilius. Master Wong handles the library. Strange is taught the secrets under the Ancient One and Mordo. Strange goes throughout the Earth in adventures. He uses his power to fight battles. Strange is told by Mordo and Wong to not break the laws of nature. Kaecilius and his followers are the protagonists and they summon Dormmanu of the Dark Dimension (where time doesn’t exist and all can live forever). The London Sanctum is destroyed. Kaecilius kills the Ancient One and goes into Hong Kong. Strange saves Wong in a time travel event after Wong once died.  Strange can’t be destroyed by Dormamanu and he leaves Earth. Mordo leaves since he disagrees with Strange’s defying nature. Strange returns the Eye to Kamar-Taj. He lives in New York Sanctum to study more. Strange wants to help Thor, who has brought his brother Loki to Earth to search for their father Odin. In a post-credits scene, Mordo confronts Pangborn and steals the energy he uses to walk, stating that Earth has "too many sorcerers.” There are themes of the apotheosis of Doctor Strange. It’s a film with occult themes in it. In the film there also is the symbol of the Tetragrammaton, It can also be seen as the sacred triangle or the magical triangle of Solomon, the key of three and the triune symbolism found in the Tetragrammaton, Primeumaton, and Anaphaxeton.  It is claimed that Solomon used a six pointed star to control demons in the creation of his temple. Similarly, Manly P. Hall’s “An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Quabbalist and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy” shows us a demon being evoked within a pentagram as the practitioner utilizes sigils of protection around him.  Doctor Strange shows us the secret powers of eastern mysticism, psychedelic trips into alternate realities.

Also, it is important to remember unsung heroes who are changing the world positively too. There are many human beings who are enriching society without fanfare and they deserve our honor and respect too. We are in solidarity with the residents of Flint, Michigan who are suffering polluted water. We also praise charities and other legitimate organizations feeding the homeless, the poor, and others in need of food. During this time of the year, it is perfectly acceptable to give time, economic resources, and just plain love to help our neighbors. In the final analysis, we are exceptional, we are human, and we don't need to be arrogant. We should be humble, strong, and true to the truth. Our ancestors sacrificed such much for us and we continue to live our lives in an audacious fashion. It is always important to invest in education, to develop affordable, quality housing for human beings, to protect the environment, to respect our civil liberties, and to honor our civil rights that people before us sacrificed for. Discrimination has no place anywhere. The black couple (who was discriminated against in Barney's) has the right to sue. They are citizens. Barney has been caught discriminating against black people before too. Therefore, we should patronize those who respect us (not those who disrespect us) and it is important to do social activism too. Many Hoteps & far right extremists believe in the myth that if we disengage from society, then things will change in society. It doesn't work like that. Real change comes by struggle against injustice as has been said and done by Frederick Douglas, Dr. King, Malcolm X, Ella Baker, and other heroes. Therefore, we must use self determination, lawsuits, boycotts, self-defense if necessary, nonviolent resistance, education, and a wide spectrum of actions to fight for justice. I wish more blessings for the couple. Racism isn't just shown by a racist in the Deep South. It is everywhere. The couple has the right to defend their human rights. The couple's spending habits are irrelevant to the crime of discrimination. How they spend their money is their own business. They are black Americans entitled to equality and fair treatment just like anyone else.

To promote racial justice, we must always love our Blackness unconditionally. I never trust a man who finds beauty in every race except for his own. Therefore, we honor black beauty in a respectful way. Black beauty is not just about physical image. Black beauty is found in art, creativity, dance, intellectual development (as there is great beauty in a very intelligent black woman), rhythm, and other aspects of human creativity found among people of black African descent. We all came from a black woman literally, so we are required by birthright to respect black people period. Part of this respect is promoting economic justice, going out to mentor the youth, investing in the black community, and fighting against any injustice. ALSO, it is important to grow consciousness. Consciousness relates to not only understanding about our culture and our history. Consciousness is about righteous actions, patience, integrity, and great character. In other words, you can’t be a freedom fighter or pro-black if you lack integrity in your life. So, we have to hold onto real standards in our lives. What’s real is about taking care of your family, accepting the view that justice must exist in the world, respecting women, respecting black people in general, and living in accordance to resiliency and strength. White racism is our enemy. White racists want to subjugate all people under them, which I deplore. We want black liberation and the elimination of white racism from the Earth. What is also real is the rejection of unnecessary gossip. Too many people are gossiping about unimportant things and even expressing slander against innocent people. That should end. Strength has nothing to do with brutality or arrogance. Strength relates to defending innocent people, speaking truth to power, and building in our communities in a constructive way.

By Timothy

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