Some thoughts on now and 1967
In a recent letter, Mr. Onzie Glenn questioned whether there might be some hidden diabolical plot on the part of the College Board of Mississippi to cause our black colleges and universities to remain crippled and weak. That’s a pretty proactive theory and it led me to question why do we still have black colleges?
That question led me to that terrible summer exactly 50 years ago, 1967, when I walked the streets in the inner-inner city of St. Louis with the son of a president of a black college in Texas named Prairie View A&M University.
John Windom was the “pepper” part of our team while I was the “salt”. We talked as we walked the streets that summer, trying to tamp down the hot spots in the neighborhoods. All across the country cities were burning, people were dying; Boston, Milwaukee, New York, Detroit were the worst.
Somehow we, and a great deal of people, succeeded. St. Louis was one of the only few that saw no riots and no burning. H Rap Brown showed up screaming his message of hate from the top of a car. The people didn’t take to kindly to his talk, so he left town.
As John and I walked, we talked. Night after night through that long summer there were no boundaries to our talks. We spoke about everything-man-to-man, friend-to-friend, and as brother-to-brother.
One night I said, “John where do you think we’ll ne 50 years from now speaking of race relations, poverty, advances, etc?” John said, “Oh this will all be behind us. It will be a good time.”
As write this, I need to speak again with John Windom. In fact, we all need to talk about why we still have “black” colleges and whether someone or something is trying to sabotage them.
What do you think?
Mississippi NAACP calls for Representative Karl Oliver’s Resignation
The recent comments made by Mississippi Representative Karl Oliver are extremely disturbing and demonstrate a deeply rooted hatred incompatible with his office. Therefore, we are calling for the immediate resignation of Karl Oliver as a Legislative Representative of this state.
“While Oliver is entitled to his opinions as a citizen, he is not entitled to use the power of his office to force those opinions on others,” states Mississippi State Conference NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “As a state representative, Mr. Oliver influences public policy that affects all Mississippians and hate-filled statements like these have no place at the state capitol.”
Karl Oliver’s intentionally inflammatory comments over the removal of pro-slavery monuments and his calling for the lynching of the Louisiana legislators who approved the removal is both irresponsible and shameful.
Across the South, memorials, statues, streets, and schools bear the likeness or names of those men who fought and lead military forces against the government of the United States with the goal of keeping African Americans in a state of slavery. During the 19th century, Mississippi lynched more African Americans than any other Southern state.
“The history Karl Oliver wishes to preserve is distasteful and deeply insulting to those Mississippians, his constituents, whose ancestors suffered under the oppressive yolk of slavery at the hands of the Confederate leaders he reveres,” Johnson continues.
“Anyone who champions a fond remembrance of such a violent, racist history is unworthy of elected office. Karl Oliver must step down as he cannot in good faith represent all of the citizens of Mississippi.”
MS NAACP State President.
A Must Read
With the situation on the Korean peninsula heating up on an almost daily bases and tensions between North and South Korea and their allies rising, I thought now would be a good time to read a book written by Shelia Miyoshi Jager entitled Brothers at War The Unending Conflict in Korea. I saw the author featured on a TV program a few years ago I believe on C-Span as she was bringing out fascinating and mind boggling information about the war and its history, I decided right away the her book would be a good and necessary read and I was right!
The Korean War is after all called the forgotten war and with good reason only a hand full of scholarly Americans, if that many, know anything about the conflict. As to facts about the war; some of the basics ones the conflict began in 1950 and ended in 1953 in an Armistice instead of a Peace Treaty. America, for our part, lost some 50,000 soldiers. Once again believe it or not the simplest facts about the war are known and understood by only a hand full of Americans. What’s troubling about this situation is that we as a nation find ourselves being drawn deeper into once again a conflict we know little or nothing about. If we are not careful we will find ourselves blindly and many ethically supporting the decisions of our leaders whatever they may be on how to deal with this conflict. At this point any action be it deliberate, a mistake, or simply a bad accident on either side that plunges the region into-all-out war that will produce consequences too horrific and catastrophic for humanity to contemplate. Given the military capabilities of both sides of the Koreas’ and their allies a major confrontation would produce in a matter of hours causing more death, devastation, and destruction than was produced during the entire three-year conflict in the 1950s. With the exception of China alone, which is according to the books, author, lost nearly half a million men. I will return to this fact at my close. Here I’m quoting in full from page 4, 2nd paragraph of the introduction of MS Jager’s book. “ The main issues over which the war was fought had their origins immediately after Korea’s liberation from Japan in 1945. The division of the Peninsula at the 38th parallel by the United States and the Soviet Union gave rise to the fractured polity whose fault lines were exacerbated further by regional, religious (Christian versus Communists), and class divisions. Open fighting among these groups eventually claimed one hundred thousand lives, all before the ostensible Korean War began.” When I first took this book in hand: Brother at War the Unending Conflict in Korea, I had in mind reading the entire book and writing an opinion piece on it afterwards. However, just the seven-and-a-half-page introduction to this book provided more than enough fascinating information for the piece. At this point as I Eluded to earlier I return my focus to China’s losses during the conflict, which has been put at nearly half a million men. Let us remember going forward that Nations conduct themselves on the world stage pretty much the way individual human beings do. Nations take strongly into consideration how their actions as well as inactions will be perceived on the World Stage. With this thought in mind we cannot expect China to walk away from the situation in Korea as though they alone have been the only bad actors throughout this conflict and indeed the complex history of the Korean Peninsula. Therefore, Let’s make this about untangling and not about winners and losers.