Monday, April 30, 2018

Monday Information in Late April of 2018.

Tons of people in the world love the great sport of tennis. It incorporates skill, teamwork at many junctures, perseverance, and a sense of athletic excellence. Adults and the youth have inspired the world with their tennis accomplishments, their philanthropic work, and their other contributions outside of the court too. Rackets, umpires, and legendary players outline a large part of the atmosphere. Fans go into stadiums in the thousands to witness the fast play, the close games, and the victors achieving monumental accolades. Tennis-like games have existed or centuries and modern day tennis has existed since the nineteenth century. France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America had a large role in the fundamental development of the sport of tennis. When you see the longevity, the greatness, and the skill of Serena Williams, you witness the greatness of tennis. When you see Roger Federer’s determination, you also witness how tennis a transcendent sport. For a long time, more human beings are honoring the contributions of tennis players of black African descent. Althea Gibson’s historic wins in Wimbledon and the U.S. Open galvanized the growth of tennis in enumerable ways. Arthur Ashe advanced black excellence along with the iconic sisters of Venus Williams & Serena Williams. In our generation, more black tennis players are making their own marks in history. Black people and people of color in general have every right to perform tennis via a magnificent fashion (just like anyone else regardless of background). We are always inspired and motivated to fight for our dreams. Consequently, we adhere to the principle of social justice. After all of these years, we still believe in the Dream. During the future, tennis will continue to invoke wonder, excitement, and the constant truism of human greatness being achieved via resolve prodigiously.

The Native American civil rights movement was inspired by indigenous peoples being tired of oppression and discrimination. Many Native Americans back then and today experience racism, police brutality, discrimination, drug addiction, suicide, poverty, and unemployment. This movement was inspired by the African American Civil Rights Movement too. Since 1961, the National Indian Youth Council or the NYIC wanted to preserve native fishing rights in the Northwest. This group changed to be a broad organization to promote civil and human rights for Native Americans. One singer of the 1960’s who addressed issues of Native American was the Canadian Cree singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. She used folk music constantly. She went into college and released many bestselling albums during the 1960’s. She said that she wanted people, “to come and hear triumphant music that underscores the joy, beauty, and dignity of being Indian.” By 1968, Chippewa activists Dennis Banks and George Mitchell created the American Indian Movement or the AIM. The AIM helped Native Americans at first in urban communities in Minneapolis. They would monitor police and report any police brutality against Native Americans. Later, they addressed all civil rights issues. They wanted land, legal rights, and self-government among Native Americans which should exist. By November of 1969, Native Americans occupied Alcatraz, which was prison on an island that ended its federal prison usage since 1963. The Sioux Native Americans said that the island belonged to them based upon treaty. About 100 Native Americans made up of 50 tribes were on the island in San Francisco. The Coast Guard and federal authorities tried to evict them, but they remained in Alcatraz until mid-1971. By the 1970’s, more activism came about by the indigenous peoples Dennis Banks and Russell Means led a march in 1972 from San Francisco into Washington, D.C. This was called “Trial of Broken Treaties.” When they came into D.C., they controlled the Bureau of Indian Affairs temporarily. They renamed it Native American Embassy for a time. The reason that they did this was because they felt that Native Americans were treated as foreigners instead of indigenous human beings. The Indian Self-Determination Act of 1975 gave tribes more control over resources and education on reservations. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed in 1978. Ronald Reagan back in 1981 did the disgraceful action of cutting funds for Native American social programs by 40 percent. Many Native Americans during the 1970’s and the 1980’s won victories involving land and fishing rights. During this time, there are old and new debates. Today, we see casinos that brought billions of dollars of revenues to Native Americans. Also, we have offensive mascots (like the mascot of the Cleveland Indians), and symbols found in professional and non-professional sports teams. I am totally opposed to those offensive mascots, nicknames, and symbols. Still, many Native Americans suffer disproportionate high rates of unemployment and other social ills. That is why many Native Americans are still in the fight for legitimate liberation for their people. The first peoples of the Americas certainly deserve dignity and respect.

One of the greatest heroes of black America is Dr. Olivia Hooker. She is 103 years old today. She was one survivor of the racist 1921 Tulsa attack. She and other members of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission have fought for justice as it relates to the events of 1921. By February 20, 2018, the Oklahoma state legislators created an online public school curriculum related to the 1921 racist attacks on black Americans. Before this time, this history hasn’t been taught in Oklahoma’s public school system. Dr. Olivia Hooker is a teacher and a social activist. Back during that time, black people created autonomous communities that prospered in the midst of Jim Crow apartheid (which was a system that was evil and deprived black people of basic human rights). Back then, the law overtly promoted white supremacy and privilege. Even today, America has racism and imperialism. The community of Greenwood in Tulsa by the early 20th century had many businesses and much wealth. It had the nickname of “Black Wall Street.” Residents had banks, churches, restaurants, homes, theaters, hospitals, hotels, and stores including schools. Many of the black residents were highly educated. Jealous, white racists were jealous of the Greenwood community. Later, mob violence by racists exploded. Many of them used rifle shots from planes and fire bombs were dropped on innocent black men, women, and children. Rioters looted black homes and businesses before burning them down. They or the racists destroyed more than 1,000 homes. More than 10,000 black people were homeless. They murdered about 300 people and injured about 800. Many people died by murder and by being trapped in the fires. The police shot residents. The whole community in 35 blocks was destroyed. Martial law existed. The National Guard didn’t arrest the racists. They rounded up and detained thousands of black Americans for days. Men and boys were placed in internment camps. Even black people with weapons for self-defense had their weapons confiscated and given to whites. Dr. Hooker and her family were attacked. Dr. Hooker was six when the Tulsa attacks came. Racists stole her belongings and grabbed her father and brother. Dr. Hooker and her family moved into Columbus, Ohio (her father and brother survived). By 1937, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio State University. She was the first African American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard. She has a master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1961. It would take until 2001 when the city of Tulsa formally apologized for destroying Greenwood. Reparations have been fought by Dr. Hooker to this very day. To this day, no one has received reparations which is a shame. No victims or their descendants received just compensation. Dr. Hooker is a hero who is an advocate for freedom and a courageous humanitarian. 

During this era of 1968, massive changes existed in America plus the world. The unjust murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 changed our country. Many people were saddened at the cruelty of such an act. People mourned worldwide. His death in Memphis, Tennessee represented the end of the old school Civil Rights Movement era and the beginning of the post-civil rights era. Immediately, over 100 American cities had rebellions which lasted for several days. Buildings were destroyed, people mourned, and society had to reckon with the point that racial injustice has no place in the planet. On this same day of April 4, the Apollo Program allowed Apollo 6 to be launched. This was the second and last unmanned test flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle. Robert F. Kennedy gave his “The Evil Menace of Violence” speech at the Cleveland City Club on April 5, 1968. It was a very eloquent speech. The speech outlined the vicious nature of violence and how constructive avenues are key measures in establishing a society where justice is made real for all, regardless of someone’s race or color. By April 6, 1968, the Black Panthers and Oakland police had a shootout. Many people were arrested and died. One person who died was 16 year old Black Panther Bobby Hutton. This was personal to the Panthers since Bobby Hutton was one of the original members of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. He carried guns as a means to promote self-defense. Witnesses say that Hutton was unjustly murdered by the police.

There was a double explosion in downtown Richmond, Indiana that killed 41 and injured 150 people on April 6, 1968. President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 on April 11, 1968. This came after pressure from civil rights leaders and other Americans following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After 1966, this law was difficult to pass since Republicans dominated the Congress by 1966. This law banned housing discrimination in all of its forms. Vice President Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy for President in the Democratic side on April 27, 1968. He was one of the greatest progressives on domestic issues of the 20th century (he was right to promote racial equality as far back as the 1940’s), but his weakness was that he was too tied to LBJ’s agenda (he supported LBJ's Vietnam war policies in public while having questions about it in private. Humphrey would split with LBJ in public on Vietnam completely late in the 1968 Presidential campaign by September). New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller ran for President on the Republican side on April 30, 1968. From April 23-30, 1968, the Columbia University protests of 1968 existed. The students protested racial discrimination and the Vietnam War. It lasted from April 23-30, 1968. Students took over administration buildings and shut down the university. The musical Hair opened on Broadway officially on April 29, 1968. It was a play that was ahead of its time that dealt with racism, the counterculture, religion, astrology, sex, sexuality, the Vietnam War, the counterculture, and other issues. The musical promoted the Age of Aquarius (which is a New age teaching of massive change in the world from the Age of Pisces) and hippie living being against the Vietnam War. The play resolves around characters deciding about the draft and how to live in a changing world.

The United States and North Vietnam start to agree on peace talks in Paris by May 3, 1968. On May 14, 1968, the Beatles announced the creation of Apple Records in a New York press conference. Many thunderstorms created tornadoes that made huge damage plus casualties in Charles City, Iowa, Oelwein, Iowa, and Jonesboro, Arkansas. Robert Kennedy won the Nebraska primary on May 14, 1968 too. It was Kennedy’s first majority victory. He beat both McCarthy and LBJ. Nixon won the Republican primary in Nebraska over Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller. Back then, Rockefeller was a liberal Republican, Reagan was in the conservative wing, and Nixon was in the middle. On May 17, 1968, the Catonsville Nine enter the Selective Service offices in Catonsville, Maryland, take dozens of selective service draft records, and burn them with napalm as a protest against the Vietnam War. The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard, 400 miles southwest of the Azores. This happened on May 22, 1968. McCarthy won the Oregon primary on May 28, 1968 because Oregon was much more conservative back then (and RFK’s pro-gun control stance turned many Oregon voters off). Nixon easily won the Oregon primary. Robert Kennedy campaigned in California during this time. McCarthy stumped California’s many colleges and universities, where he was treated as a hero for being the first presidential candidate to oppose the war. Robert Kennedy campaigned in the ghettos and barrios of California’s larger cities, where he was mobbed by enthusiastic supporters. Kennedy and McCarthy engaged in a television debate a few days before the primary; it was generally considered a draw. On June 4, 1968, Robert Kennedy narrowly defeated McCarthy in California, 46%–42%. However, McCarthy refused to withdraw from the race and made it clear that he would contest Kennedy in the upcoming New York primary, where McCarthy had much support from anti-war activists in New York City. Robert Kennedy ultimately gathered support among African Americans, white progressives, Latino Americans, Native Americans, women, and others to win the California primary. On June 5, 1968, U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy died from his injuries the next day on June 6, 1968. With the assassination of Robert Francis Kennedy, another tragedy existed where human beings (especially the youth) were sadden plus confused on where to go next in the movement for social justice. Yet, RFK’s unfortunate, unjust death never ended the Dream. The Dream continues.

By Timothy

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