Friday, June 30, 2017

Information in Friday.

Other information is important to know about the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was diverse. Some black Americans believed in nonviolence. Some followed the Black Power movement. Some believed that activism should go slower. Others believed that issues within the black community should be addressed. Some believed that law and order would bring about change. Rev. Joseph H. Jackson supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956, but he was a conservative and told his denomination to not be involved in civil rights activism involving civil disobedience by 1960. He allied with Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago and the Chicago Democratic machine against the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who wanted housing rights. He denounced Dr. King, SNCC, and the SCLC, because of them using social activism via the means of social resistance. He wanted civil rights to be done by “law and order.” The problem is that much of the laws then and now are without logic and promotes disorder against the lives of black people. An unjust law is no law at all. The law is never infallible therefore resistance to unjust laws is necessary in order for freedom to be reached. Jackson opposed the sit ins and the movement using civil disobedience (although, the early Americans centuries ago used civil disobedience and outright insurrection against the British Crown to form the American nation that he so loved). He rejected Black Power.

Ironically, Dr. King appealed to the Constitution and love of country in organizing his actions. Dr. King wanted the whole society to be changed radically instead of just focusing on patriotism. Rev. Jackson (who believed in a conservative black patriotism) was from an older generation who in many cases believed that self-help alone could make change. He believed in a patriotism that had faith in the system. So, Rev. Joseph H. Jackson focused on more individual means while Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. focused on more collective means in establishing justice for humanity. The movement wasn’t headed by one man. Sociologist Doug McAdam has stated that, "in King's case, it would be inaccurate to say that he was the leader of the modern civil rights movement...but more importantly, there was no singular civil rights movement. The movement was, in fact, a coalition of thousands of local efforts nationwide, spanning several decades, hundreds of discrete groups, and all manner of strategies and tactics—legal, illegal, institutional, non-institutional, violent, non-violent. Without discounting King's importance, it would be sheer fiction to call him the leader of what was fundamentally an amorphous, fluid, dispersed movement." Some black people were in favor of legal segregation (who wanted the white power structure to control their lives. Church ministers, businessmen and educators were among those who wished to keep segregation and segregationist ideals in order to retain the privileges they gained from patronage from whites, such as monetary gains), which is treason in my eyes. These proponents were different than the Black Nationalists. Black sellout defenders of segregation wanted the status quo while black nationalists disagreed with both NAACP-style integration and Jim Crow. Black nationalists wanted autonomous all-black institutions controlled solely by black people without Jim Crow oppression. They believed in self-determination in a nationalist fashion. The overall scope of the black freedom movement wanted freedom and justice for black people. The Civil Rights movement was slandered as heavily controlled by Communists by Hoover and the John Birch Society including other far right extremists. On December 17, 1951, the Communist Party–affiliated Civil Rights Congress delivered the petition We Charge Genocide: "The Crime of Government Against the Negro People", often shortened to We Charge Genocide, to the United Nations in 1951, arguing that the U.S. federal government, by its failure to act against lynching in the United States, was guilty of genocide under Article II of the UN Genocide Convention.  The petition was presented to the United Nations at two separate venues: Paul Robeson, concert singer and activist, to a UN official in New York City, while William L. Patterson, executive director of the CRC, delivered copies of the drafted petition to a UN delegation in Paris. William L. Patterson was a Communist. He helped the black freedom movement in defending the Scottsboro boys in Alabama in 1931. The Communist Party was very influential among many African Americans from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. The 1950’s was the time of McCarthyism and some Communists made the mistake of supporting the Stalin-Hitler agreement (which turned many people off of Communism along with the totalitarianism of Stalin).

As earlier Civil Rights figures such as Robeson, Du Bois and Patterson became more politically radical (and therefore targets of Cold War anti-Communism by the US. Government), they lost favor with both mainstream Black America and the NAACP. The NAACP was overtly anti-Communist, especially by the 1950's. Roy Wilkins and Thurgood Marshall were key anti-Communist pro-NAACP leaders. The mainstream of the Civil Rights Movement distanced themselves from Communists. According to Ella Baker, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference adopted "Christian" into its name to deter charges of Communism. J. Edgar Hoover used surveillance of the movement too. This action was challenged by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (or SNCC). SNCC embraced people who people who were Communists and non-Communists for a person’s political views should never be used as an excuse for political persecution. The NAACP disagreed with this move. The American Jewish community supported the Civil Rights Movement heavily. Many Jewish students and Jewish adults funded CORE, SCLC, and the SNCC. Many Jewish people were volunteers. Unfortunately, we live in a time now that many Hoteps and white racists are anti-Semitic and I condemn anti-Semitism as evil and wrong period. Jewish people were about half of the white northern volunteers involved in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer project and approximately half of the civil rights attorneys active in the South during the 1960’s. Jewish leaders were arrested while heeding a call from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in St. Augustine, Florida, in June 1964, where the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history took place at the Monson Motor Lodge—a nationally important civil rights landmark that was demolished in 2003 so that a Hilton Hotel could be built on the site. Abraham Joshua Heschel, a writer, rabbi, and professor of theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, was outspoken on the subject of civil rights. He marched arm-in-arm with Dr. King in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. In the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, the two white activists killed, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were both Jewish. Brandeis University, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college university in the world, created the Transitional Year Program (TYP) in 1968, in part response to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. The faculty created it to renew the university's commitment to social justice. Recognizing Brandeis as a university with a commitment to academic excellence, these faculty members created a chance to disadvantaged students to participate in an empowering educational experience. The American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, and the ADL promoted civil rights.

Jewish people were active in the civil rights movement in the South. Many Jewish individuals in the Southern states who supported civil rights for African-Americans tended to keep a low profile on "the race issue", in order to avoid attracting the attention of the anti-Black and anti-Semitic Ku Klux Klan. However, Klan groups exploited the issue of African-American integration and Jewish involvement in the struggle to launch acts of violent antisemitism. As an example of this hatred, in one year alone, from November 1957 to October 1958, temples and other Jewish communal gatherings were bombed and desecrated in Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Miami, and dynamite was found under synagogues in Birmingham, Charlotte, and Gastonia, North Carolina. Some rabbis received death threats, but there were no injuries following these outbursts of violence. African Americans and Jewish people in the South didn’t experience a massive strained relationship. The North is a different story. There was a more strained relationship among American Americans and Jewish people in the North. Many communities of the North had white flight, urban decay, police brutality, anti-black racism, and rebellions. Many Jewish Americans were often the last remaining whites in the communities.

Black Power grew by the late 1960’s. Many black people believed in justice for Palestinian people back then. This was not anti-Semitism. Palestinians deserve human liberation and independence just like anyone else. SNCC members did in many cases supported the Palestinian liberation movement as early as the 1960's. Other activists were outright anti-Semites. In New York City, most notably, there was a major socio-economic class difference in the perception of African Americans by Jews. Jewish people from better educated Upper Middle Class backgrounds were often very supportive of African American civil rights activities while the Jews in poorer urban communities that became increasingly minority were often less supportive largely in part due to more negative and violent interactions between the two groups. Black people suffered economic exploitation by many capitalists in urban communities of the North (these capitalists were both non-Jewish people and Jewish people). This exploitation is based on class oppression, discrimination, racism, and other issues. It has nothing to do with every single Jewish person on Earth. Black people are victims of the policies of the 1%. Black Power was taken to another level inside prison walls. In 1966, George Jackson formed the Black Guerrilla Family in the California San Quentin State Prison.  The prison rights movement did receive its origin from the 1960’s. Back then, black people were tortured, murdered, raped, abused, and disrespected in prisons. Many Freedom Rides in Mississippi’s prisons were heavily punished. Many black prisoners developed a militant consciousness while being in prison. The Cold War existed during the Civil Rights Movement. Many people criticized America’s hypocrisy of promoting democracy overseas while racial discrimination and violence existed among American citizens domestically. This reality influenced civil rights legislation to be passed. The Third World was struggling for liberation from colonialism and imperialism. Many in the Black Power Movement allied with anti-imperialist movements overseas. This is why the Black Power Movement included Black Panthers who opposed the Vietnam War and supported revolutionary movements overseas at the same time.

By Timothy

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