In an interview with Mike Wallace in 1966, Dr. King continued to stress the path of non-violence, despite a summer of violence. Race riots were taking place across the country, and rifts in the civil rights movement were widening.
Militant leaders – like Stokely Carmichael and his call for “black power” — demanded that the movement part from Dr. King’s gospel.
“The mood of the Negro community now is one of urgency, one of saying that we aren’t going to wait. That we’ve got to have our freedom. We’ve waited too long.
“So that I would say that every summer we’re going to have this kind of vigorous protest. My hope is that it will be non-violent.”
Then, unsurprisingly, the great bluesman Riley B. King, known as MB.B. King, died this week. From NPR: “He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ’87. He was so beloved that he received honorary degrees from the Berklee College of Music as well as Yale and Brown universities, among others.” Here’s an episode of Sanford and Son, featuring B.B. King.
There’s a Facebook graphic noting that, in the American way of writing dates, all of the days in this 10-day period are palindromes, e.g. 5/17/15, 5/18/15. It was also true in April 2014, March 2013, February 2012, January 2011. It was similarly true in 2001-2009, if you use the leading zero in the day field: 1/01/01. 2/01/02, et al.
It’ll be true next June: 6/10/16 et al., then starting 7/10/17, 8/10/18, 9/10/19, 1/20/21, 2/20/22, 3/20/23, 4/20/24, 5/20/25, 6/20/26, 7/20/27, 8/20/28, and 9/20/29. Then not again until 2101, so prepare your memes now.
In the “good old days”, there were often no consequences, and in these days, laws such as Stand Your Ground can justify the same result.
Jelani Cobb has covered the Zimmerman trial for the New Yorker. Her stories are all worth reading. George Zimmerman, Not Guilty: Blood on the Leaves has some quotable pieces. “The most damning element here is not that George Zimmerman was found not guilty: it’s the bitter knowledge that Trayvon Martin was found guilty.” “Yet the problem is not that this case marks a low point in this country’s racial history—it’s that, after two centuries of common history, we’re still obligated to chart high points and low ones. To be black at times like this is to see current events on a real-time ticker, a Dow Jones average measuring the quality of one’s citizenship… That [Trayvon’s shooting] occurred in a country that elected and reëlected a black President doesn’t diminish the despair this verdict inspires, it intensifies it.” *”Perhaps history does not repeat itself exactly, but it is certainly prone to extended paraphrases. Long before the jury announced its decision, many people had seen what the outcome would be, had known that it would be a strange echo of the words Zimmerman uttered that rainy night in central Florida: they always get away.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, the review of the newly-released movie Fruitvale Station,- the true story of Oscar Julius Grant III, a young black man unjustly killed in California in 2009, notes how that story echoes the Martin case. “The film’s portrayal of a young black man as a complex human being– [not that] you’re either a thug or a saint, good or bad, black or white (sometimes literally), with no shades of grey between…. [T]he eagerness with which the pro-Zimmerman faction of the populace and media leapt breathlessly upon any scrap of negative information about his 17-year-old victim–he smoked pot! He talked like a thug on Twitter! He flipped off the camera in pictures! He may have stolen jewelry!… But even if every vile posthumous rumor that attached itself to Martin was true, even if he was a pot-dealing, thugged-out thief, what then? Is tweeting like Tupac a death-penalty offense?” Supporters of Trayvon have suggested he was a good son, someone who did well in school, who went to church, who did community service; assuming that’s true, that’s fine, but it’s just the “saint” side of the portrayal, and, for me, doesn’t materially affect the tragedy of the situation.
Meanwhile, I came across this bizarre story from May 2013: Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots. “Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.” One is left wondering if she had instead killed her husband, she would be walking the streets, or whether her race (she’s black) or gender would have played into the case. *** Related: this week is the 150th anniversary of the New York City Draft Riots. “With the ludicrous Newt Gingrich (who claims to be a historian) insisting the peaceful Trayvon Martin protesters were ‘prepared to be a lynch mob,’ it’s worth remembering that devastating eruption of white mob violence 150 years earlier when at least 11 black men were actually lynched.”
The solution designed by UALBANY was to have its mid-semester break, not during Presidents Day week and/or around the Christian Holy Week, but rather this past week.
Apparently, for years, there had been these “kegs and eggs” parties, although I had been blissfully unaware of them until 2011. I gather the “point” of the activity was to drink beer all night, have some eggs for breakfast, then continue to “party” through that day’s St. Patrick’s day parades and other celebrations.
Except that, in the “student ghetto” a half dozen blocks from my house, the morning marauding after breakfast turned into a riot; check out some pictures here.
Interestingly, some students objected to the term “riot” for their behavior. Let’s look at the dictionary: 1) a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons…, 2) Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes. 3) violent or wild disorder or confusion. Yup, it was a riot all right. I think some rejected the term because it’s something that someone ELSE does.
In any case, the solution designed by UALBANY was to have its mid-semester break, not during Presidents Day week and/or around the Christian Holy Week, but rather this past week. Unfortunately, St. Paddy’s Day is on Saturday this year, and I have to wonder if a bit of partying stupidly by students will still be taking place tonight. Or last night, for that matter, with students crashing at the houses of townie friends. ***
Almost everyone in America deigns to be Irish on this day, whether they actually are or not. As it turns out, Barack Obama, back in 2007 during his initial campaign for the Presidency, found out about his Irish ancestry. “Last year, he traveled with the First Lady to pay a visit to Moneygall, the town of 300 people where his great-great-great-grandfather was born, and jokingly told a crowd there: ‘My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obamas, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way.'”
Naturally, his reelection campaign has seized on the opportunity to sell T-shirts. $30? You’d think it was a rock concert. Or maybe campaigns ARE rock concerts.
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