Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Marching Again

A lot have been going on since the death of George Floyd and I want to insert my input. I have witnessed and felt racism all my life, including the present time. So, people have said on television that this have been going on for four hundred years. Yes, in the United States that is true, but this have been going on for thousands of years. Black people, all over the world, have been harassed and killed by White people as far back as written history will show.
Moving to more recent times, I find a correlation between Civil Rights marches and the most recent ones. However, the difference between the two is huge. Foremost are the marches/demonstrations being peaceful and well organized in the era of Civil Rights. I took part in the fight for our Civil Rights and can attest to that fact. In my area of marching we did not walk in a mass, unorganized group, we marched single file on the sidewalk and talking was not allowed. Yet, we were met by police with night sticks, snarling dogs, electric cow prodders and the fire department with fire hoses. We walked from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, obeying all pedestrian laws and we were beaten, bitten, shocked, tear gassed and hosed down from high pressure hoses. I still have the memories and marks to prove it.
Another huge factor that is evident, is that most of the marchers, then and now, are young people that are leading the way. It is not that older/senior people are simply standing by, hoping this will go away, but most can not endure the walking and survive the outcome they may meet. The older generation can not withstand the gas or beatings.
There is a big difference between yesterday and today. Today, there are factions that want to conjure a sense of unrest. These groups want peaceful demonstrations to look bad for them to say Blacks are wrong and should be beaten and killed every chance that is afforded them. They have their own hateful agenda which is shouted from the White House and is echoed through whichever separatist group will listen and act. These groups jump in and out of the marching crowds causing damage and, at the same time, trying to stay hidden. Those Black people that are looting are taking advantage of this simply because they are at the bottom of the social ladder and is in want. Yes, they are wrong, however, they did not start it either.
There have always been Black and White and, as I have said in my blogs, history repeats itself and always will. It is better today than it was yesterday, it is just the circumstances that have changed. No matter how peaceful Black people are, there will always be White people that stir the pot and cause unrest. Black people try to work with White people although there is that under the table group that is resisting. In case you have forgotten, we had a Black President and an untold number of people vowed to resist everything he was trying to do, no matter if it was good or bad. Even today, the things he accomplished are being dismantled, including nationwide medical care. On many issues, he never had a chance. Oil trying to work with water. I pray for the USA.

Black History Programs

With February being Black History Month I was a little busy. Actually, the way I feel about it, there should be some way Black History is incorporated into each and every month. There is too much history, up front and much, much more hidden (think about the movie Hidden Figures), that is relevant and should be remembered. I have thought about the direction I wanted to go while writing this particular blog but there are many directions and my mind was mixing them all. I think I have a grasp of it for now.

I did not want to write anything that I have read or heard about. I want to give you personal experiences, experiences that are in line with what I am writing. My mind seem to drift off the main subject and I could write much more than I post. I’ll try to make it short and to the point although it is difficult when writing history or about historical figures. For instance, when I wrote about The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman, I only wrote about the time before he went into the military up to his graduating as a Tuskegee Airman. If I had written his entire story (I have him telling it to me on an over an hour long digital audio recording).

I was a part of one program where I was portrayed as Sen. Obama and then as President Obama. I read his speech when he was running for president and his farewell speech (I used my radio voice from my radio days). That was a nice program and I was told I did well. The audience was very small and I only counted three Black people in the place. Imperial Plaza have enough Black residents to fill the auditorium yet they come to very few programs and this was about them and for them. Yet, they complain there aren’t any programs for them, etc.

The second program was at the Virginia War Memorial. I was on the stage panel for a discussion plus a question and answer period. There were six of us and among us were Tuskegee Airmen, a woman (Army Retired) whose story would make you think of one of the women in the movie Hidden Figures), Viet Nam and the Iraq era. I can’t tell you who was more interesting, the Tuskegee Airmen or her. My input into the program did not hold a candle to theirs and I could have been listening all day to their stories.

The crowd was small and , here again, there should have been many more. After the panel stories, question and answer period, we went outside for a wreath laying. Franklin Military Academy presented The Colors and I assisted in the wreath laying ceremony. We pledged allegiance to The Flag, a female Franklin Academy Cadet sang the National Anthem and a cadet blew “Taps” on his trumpet. The weather co-operated. PBS was there and it aired the next morning and the papers were there but I did not see the article. All of it was beautiful. I could do this all year, not only during February.

The thing I am sad about is for the young people. Most are not interested in history, especially Black history. They know about some of the famous Black people but they do not know about the small things that were accomplished. Most do not want to know who did what or why. They seldom understand what the conditions and hold backs were. I have even found they have a lot of misconceptions about ancient history, like the Pyramids or the oldest operating library in the world. Things like this are important to me, personally, and it helped shape my mind and all my actions through life. The few that soak up history seem to be better because of it.

All of us on that stage at the Virginia War Memorial was a tiny sample of the history that is sort by historians. It was sad only three of four kids were there to hear about the tiny portion of history from the people that produced it. Yes, I am a part of it although I rarely talk about it. It started with Civil Rights and ended at my retirement from the military.

To those before me and/or accomplished more than I have, thank you. To those that are learning about past history, keep digging. There is a treasure trove to find. And, as I have said before, you will never know who you may be talking to because most will not say unless asked. That person may have a background that would shock you. Keep digging…