Category Archives: Historical Context

As a history major, I like to give things a little bit of perspective, this is where those topics will go.

Happy Belated Birthday Dr King & Happy MLK Day Everyone Else

Better Late Than Never: A Birth Worth Celebrating.

Pensive Dr King
The Birthday Boy: The late great Dr King Speaking of Late, Here I am waiting t ill his Holiday only to its kinda crazy that really happened

Hey, better late than never right?

On the 15th of January of 1929 MLK jr was born into this world.  He would grow up to become one of the most influential people ever born.  His lifetime left a fingerprint on the very fabric of society makeup and composition of this nation in a major and compelling way.  The fingerprint of his lifetime will be felt and seen, and may even pop up in the extremely rare instance that it’s needed. world, into this world ., easily one of the most influential figures in my own personal growth and development journey and that of so many others was born.

Who knows where this nation would be, were he still here if he were with us still today; would the protests and the #BlackLivesMatter or #BlackBrunch  #EricGarner and #Ferguson campaigns would still be going on?.

 

Tragedy Strikes @ The Lorraine Motel Memphis, TN-April 4, 1968

A Great Leader Is Taken From Us Far Too Soon.

Dr. King’s life, his wisdom, and his leadership were stripped from us that fateful day, April 1968, robbing us of what surely would have been a calming voice of reason, drowning out the angry din of the turbulent times that lie behind us, and those that lay ahead.  His moral judgement serving as a nautical star, always guiding us towards that promised land, the one he dreamed of; where all men are created equal and judged only by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

It Is His Day After All

In honor of his birthday,  his name day and his me-mo-ray(that’s memory for the illiterates amongst you), I shared some of his stuff below, beginning with speech about that dream his name came to become synonymous with.

Obviously Dr. King can’t take all the credit for the entire civil rights movement, much as the media among other people would like to just give it to him.  There were people and organizations fighting for the rights of African-Americans long before Dr. King ever got sent to Montgomery, or got the spotlight from the boycotts, but his pre-eminent role as the representative and face of the larger movement as a whole can’t be denied either,

He was merely upholding a tradition kept alive by all those who have fought for equality from the inside like A Philip Randolph who threatened to march on washington if African-Americans weren’t included to begin with.  No more of this playing  game and shit with your crappy ass little weaves or whatever the fuck you put in there. within their tribe or their own mind that we really don’t need to have any one there for it, because it’s just been one like

These Times, They Are A Changin:

From the time the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in 1955 until the his death in 1968 and even beyond; Dr King and the rest of the movement took the battle to the power structure and not vice versa, continuously applying pressure. in well thought out places   In attacking racism and discrimination where it existed and was most vehement; the lunch counters, the bus stops, and the polling place, of the deep south, they not only placed the entire practice of Jim Crow on display,  they put it on trial in the court of public opinion, a battle Jim Crow eventually lost.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Delivering Speech
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering one of his last speeches prior to his being assassinated at the hands of some backwoods simpleton who couldn’t plan his way out of a paper bag.

 

The Civil Rights Movement’s creative use of non violent direct action to frame and challenge the Jim Crow laws of the South met  with violence and repression at the hands of small town police,  members of the KKK, or just your garden variety, small-minded, red neck prick; most of which viewed by Americans across the nation were able to witness ignorance first hand at least once in their life.   Meeting non-violence with extreme violence backfired, leading to increased support for the demonstrators and eventually leading to Jim Crow’s demise with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

A Job Well Done?  More Like It’s Just Begun, Time For Phase Two:

Let us not forget this little tidbit either,  just before his murder, Dr King had been in the process of expanding his consciousness and understanding and taking riskier opinions than he had previously or at least in public.s .  Rather than basking in the major accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement, especially for African-Americans of  the South, he sought to do even more before he died, and  his last efforts weren’t limited  to the black community either welcoming all people regardless of religion and regardless of creed.  He also came out against the Vietnam War publicly in one of his speeches, something the old Dr King would never have done for fear of rocking the boat.  The Poor Peoples Campaign was open to all people regardless of race or anything like that, but it is probably my favorite speech of his .

Status Report: Where We Stand At Now

 

The Poor People’s campaign The plan was for a large multicultural group of poverty activists to march on the washington memorial plaza whatever and camp out there as a reminder of poverty that Congress wouldn’t be able to ignore it anymore.  Sadly, Dr. King would not see this one through to completion James Earl Ray’s 30.-.06 cut his life short, and for no apparent  reason other than who he is.  At the time of the shooting, Dr. King and his entourage were in the middle of doing something with a document, it looked interesting

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/3816635″>Martin Luther King, Jr: “Mountaintop” speech full length</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user907438″>Filip Goc</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I think it’s pretty safe to assume everyone else feels the same as me when it comes to whether we feel as though we have to really put in very much effort .get up for anyone  about our sloppy levels of play lately not being acceptable anymore.  Everything has been all out-of-place I’m confident in saying I still don’t recognize the idyllic locale of his dream; guess we’re all still waiting on those two tickets to paradise as it sits now and you better believe this guy desperately is in need of a tan.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Luckily, I’m not the only one whose life the great Dr. King has touched.  We can rest assured that his memory will live on, the light he used to combat darkness will continue to illuminate the way for each of us committed to making this world a better place, a righteous one filled with love.

Only question is, who will join me?

 

Sources Consulted:

Wikipedia: Poor People Campaign

 

Related Goodies

The Passing of Rodney King 

Are We Guilty of Bigotry

What’s Wrong With The World; In A Nutshell

What Is Wrong With The World?

Are we ok? Is it ok (the world)? Is there anything wrong with us, with it?  If so, what is it; any thoughts?  Do you ever take a moment to yourself to stop and ask these very important and meaningful questions?   If not; you’re in luck!

Someone Else Beat You To It:

Don’t beat yourself up over it if you’ve never been lost deep in thought about the meaning of life, or struggled  to find or identify the source for some of those problems.

You’ve been beaten to it by  Bertrand Russell  (1879-1970), a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, social critic and political activist.[56][57] (Lets just say he wore many hats and leave it at that).

Bertrand Said It Best, But What Next?

I whole heartedly, 100% agree with his observation; I’m just not the type of guy to be ok with leaving it as such; just an observation, or some witty & catchy phrase oft spoken of but never acted on.

There’s a happy medium between knowing you don’t have all the answers and thinking you know none of them, we just have to find it.  There exists a constant give and take to everything.

Sharing our own thoughts and ideas is an importanat aspect of gaining knowledge or wisdom.  It enriches the lives of those around you, offering them a glimpse into your thought process, a glimpse behind the curtains at what it is that makes you tick, that makes you human.

Being open to listening to other people’s thoughts and opinions and striving for  understanding is equally important.  It  helps to make the world a wiser, and more understanding, tolerant and empathetic place.  Sharing your thoughts with others is enriching; to them, to those around them, and don’t forget yourself)

Heres a prime opportunity to empower yourself, and those around you.  Tell us, what you think? w What are your thoughts? others ourselves and each other by making use of that oft neglected moment for reflection to think I mentioned earlier and using it to actually put ourselves out there.

U.S., Japan offer new talks with North Korea amid nuclear and missile programs standoff

 

 

United (States) Parcel Service.
United (States) Parcel Service. (Photo credit: matt.hintsa)

 

 

 

One of these days we AREN’T going to be able to talk our way out of as situation like this. In the consistent antagonism the United States and South Korea show towards the North, through ongoing “military exercises” we engage in well within reach from them was due to eventually boil over.

 

I don’t know what it is that doesn’t allow us from accepting the wisdom of our parents or ourselves when talking to our children. If you can’t play nicely together, then don’t play at all; or don’t focus on what their doing over there, we have enough things to focus on here in our own country.
The United States would have a much easier time at ensuring the cooperation of these “rogue” nations, if our words didn’t have a hollow ring to them on issues of human rights, state repression or nuclear proliferation.

 

In light of our having just gotten out of Iraq, and soon Afghanistan as well It’s my hope more moderate heads take over this discussion; never allowing the “Hawks” within our government the opportunity to lead us into yet another situation no one really want’s to be in, but only time will tell.

 

 

 

National Post | News

TOKYO — The United States and Japan on Sunday offered new talks with North Korea to resolve the increasingly dangerous standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but said the reclusive communist government first must lower tensions and honor previous agreements.

North Korea has a clear course of action available to it, and will find “ready partners” in the United States if it follows through, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters.

Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, who appeared with Kerry at a news conference, was more explicit, saying that North Korea must honor its commitment to earlier deals regarding its nuclear and missile programs and on returning kidnapped foreigners.

The officials agreed on the need to work toward a nuclear-free North Korea and opened the door to direct talks if certain conditions are met.

Their comments highlight the difficulty in resolving the North Korean nuclear situation in a…

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Why FBI Request to Increase Cybersecurity To Combat “Subversives” Is A Bad Idea: They’re Obviously Compensating For Something

FBI & Free Speech
This book finally sheds a little more light on the FBI’s illegal surveillance program and its effect on the Free Speech Movement and California electoral politics.

This book “subversives” has a great story behind it.  The author had to fight the FBI for 30 years, for them to release the documents he uses as primary sources, costing the bureau over one million dollars in the process.  I recommend this as a read for anyone  (as soon as it’s not $40), I know I will, and no I’m not getting anything for it.

I know this book would tickle my fancy, especially since much of it focuses on the Free Speech Movement, which happened right in my backyard & Alma Mater, UC Berkeley.  It also documents the effort put forth by the FBI in undermining members of its leadership like Mario Savio and other leaders of activist organizations.  By using these struggles, the conservative movement was able to rise to power through Ronald Reagan; first as Governor of California (running on an anti UCB platform), and then as President of the United States.

If you would like a more detailed review, Matt Taibbi wrote a great review of “Subversives” in the New York Times Sunday Book Review I highly recommend you check out.

CISPA Internet Security for the Government
Cyber-Security up in tha motha fuckin hizzouse!!!! Guess who’s back! CISPA has returned to secure your privates

Forget the Soundbite, Its Time For A Reality Check

I think this book holds even more relevance than it normally would because of the recent push by Congress for us to surrender our online privacy rights via CISPA.  Through what I know and have learned, I feel that allowing CISPA to happen is a terrible idea and must be avoided at all costs.  The only thing this “cyber-security” measure allows the government to bypass the process of showing a judge enough probable cause for theme to get a warrant for our information; which they’ll then use to prosecute us with.

Without needing a judge to sign off on the legal reasoning of for their investigation, the FBI will be given free rein to decide as they will the merits of their case……yeah cause that worked out GREAT during the 1960s especially with COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal surveillance program they used against political dissidents.

Eventually, we must draw that line in the sand somewhere or another,  so where will it be?  Regardless of our personal political beliefs, if we’re skeptical of Obama or not, or what our general feeling about our government in general is.; it doesn’t matter.  When it comes to increased governmental  powers at the expense of our eroding ones; we must ask ourselves, “when is enough, enough? and “where do we draw the line at?”

History Repeats Itself

The one thing sure to stay the same, regardless of party, or administration is the natural inclination for power to seek more power.  Look at investment bankers, elected officials, and police officers; for the most part, each profession is plagued by scandal, irrespective of their location.

For those law-abiding citizens inclined to believe this isn’t their problem because they aren’t doing anything illegal or wrong; guess what, you’re wrong!

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...
Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: Martin Luther King Português: Martin Luther King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look at the way the FBI investigated Martin Luther King Jr., easily one of the most respected people from the Civil Rights Movement, and in general.  Almost from the moment he stepped on the national stage, gaining the limelight during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, he faced constant, heavy surveillance from the FBI…

Countless hours of audio recordings and stacks of papers detailing all aspects of his private life, even the most private and intimate, all for his POLITICAL views.  What then, did these tax payer dollars uncover, for surely there must have been a good cause

And that criminal activity was;
…drumroll……drumroll…..drumroll……

[Maury Povich voice]

He had an affair

[GASP] oh the horror, I feel much safer now….. It turns out he WAS human! (i knew it).

Now I know I didn’t get shafted on that whole rapture business and miss that second coming of Jesus I keep hearing religious people talk about, YAY! I’m still in the running….. WHEW….crisis averted….I guess? [shrug]

(Or maybe it was part of the Federal Holiday vetting process, which must be something similar to sainthood….right?)

I wish I had asked for a receipt and could get OUR money back for THAT dumb purchase, or at the very least could have them validate my parking, cuz I feel kinda cheated; lightweight hardcore…..so should you…..

The saddest part of it all;  they actually took it easy on him.  The level of harassment and surveillance he faced was nothing compared to those the FBI viewed as being more “radical” oriented. Our government didn’t knowingly falsify or misconstrue evidence against him, as they did with Leonard Peltier of AIM; who still sits behind bars.

FBI Gets Down And Dirty; Real Dirty, Like A Criminal Would

FBI agents and provocateurs never infiltrated the SCLC, taking actions known to be likely at resulting in violent conflict leading to his death (or did they) as evidence would suggest was the case with Malcolm X, and members of the American Indian Project, or the Black Panther Party (yet again).

The only thing all of these people held in common was making too much damn common sense.  Our government IS imperfect and SHOULD and COULD do better by its citizens and the rest of the world; apparently they were just outspoken about it and received lots of media attention for it. an outspoken view that our government not only could, but should, do better by its people.

Apparently our freedom of speech isn’t actually free; just ask Bradley Manning (held for over 1,000 days without trial or charge), or Julian Assange (now holed up in a Central American embassy, to avoid US extradition efforts), it’s only free when it’s positive.  Negative commentators get taxed, and taxed hard by the government for holding that stance; a modern-day cookie jar the profit from curse words goes in.

Somehow, FBI agents and the government at large, find ways to avoid, bend or outright break those very same laws they have a hard-on to convict someone else for. I’d imagine this to be some legal wheeling and dealing and moral stretching exercise something akin to tying Stretch Armstrong to a tree and the back of the car; or like Andre the Giant somehow squeezing into a tiny tin box;  a contortionists!
……OOOOOO…….AAAAAAA……

only to find out afterwards Andre and the box never existed; it was an optical illusion……GOTCHA SUCKA!!!!!

…..the government and its  agents/representatives in the FBI and prosecution just didn’t agree with them not agreeing with its politics I guess….

Which is precisely why I don’t want them fumbling through my digital detritus; free to make whatever subjective interpretations they may, pursuing their case to the end regardless of how much bullshit it is…..just look at how petty they were in the case of Aaron Swartz.

Come With Me If You Want To Live

If you’re like me and oppose the increased presence of the government, all up in our kool-aid, then please show your support by signing the petition, or looking at what campaign’s the Electronic Frontier Foundation has going on, or the Internet Defense League, both of currently have online campaigns going on.

Or if you have other ideas to combat CISPA leave me a comment and we can work together on it!

If you feel that CISPA is a GRAND idea, or can’t even be troubled to think about it at all, suit yourself; you’re probably smokin rocks. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you’re having a train run on you by some guy named “bubba” and his buddies when you’re at Leavenworth Federal Prison for something stupid.

I think this is my stop, I’m getting off

All aboard;

Choo! Choo!





			

Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ghana Nkruma King Meeting
Kwame Nkruma and MLK Jr. Both of whom are legends in their own right.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.  Both men played a significant role in the burgeoning Black Nationalist movement that would develop by the mid 60’s not just within the United States, but across the world as well.

At the same time African-Americans were struggling to gain their rights and their citizenship here at home, colonial countries began to seek their independence from their former colonial masters from Europe.  Eventually, many of the more radical civil rights organizations or personalities came to see their struggle and the struggle of the African-American man in America to be connected in a sense (pan-africanism).  Malcolm X and the Black Panthers were especially quick to make the connection between the conditions of the revolutionary third world and their own (each in their own time).  King was much later in making that connection and being concerned with the situation in Africa.

Kwame Nkrumah was a trend setter and a trail blazer.  Rising up to lead his people during that first wave of newly independent nations; with nobody’s lead for him to follow other than his own.  Nkrumah was one of the more internationally respected leaders; especially considering the fact many leaders erroneously turn towards dictatorship to right the wrongs of colonialism.

AT LEAST APARTHEID’S OVER!!!

Here’s some chilling statistics for you;
I must warn though, it is NOT for the faint of heart.
According to the prison policy intiiative,

CRIME AND INCARCERATION AROUND THE WORLD:

U.S. vs. South Africa

This page is an excerpt from The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry (2003) by Peter Wagner, published by the Western Prison Project and the Prison Policy Initiative..

Do We Really Still Think There Is Not A Problem With The Way We Approach Law Enforcement?

Please contribute, I would like to hear your thoughts, arguments, agreements, or disagreements.  I would just like to hear

YOU!

REMEMBER! SILENCE IS THE SAME AS GUILT!

THE PASSING OF RODNEY KING & What it Made Me Think:

Screenshot of footage of King beaten by LAPD o...
Screenshot of footage of King beaten by LAPD officers on March 3, 1991 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 THE PASSING OF RODNEY KING

Heres What it Made Me Think:

With the passing of Rodney King, and the death of Trayvon Martin both happening the same year as the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots, I took time to pause and think, are we really willing to continue obliviously repeating history?  Has our country truly made significant gains in racial equality?  Or is it possible that the real problem lies somewhere underneath it all, in implicitly racist ideologies, both in practice and in preach?  These incidents of racial tensions, and public outcry are not mere outliers, they’re statistical probabilities.  America remains separate and unequal, where wage and race increasingly determine your ability to successfully compete, for that shrinking piece of the pie.

fact15
Income inequality at it’s finest
Income & Wealth by Race
This graph details the income and wealth distribution factoring in race as well.

For those of you not already acquainted, Mr. King was pulled over for a DUI by LAPD, and after a tussle, left brutalized by police. Rodney King’s beating was so severe it required hospitalization for the injuries sustained.  A spectator captured much of the encounter on video camera, eventually leading to the indictment of all officers (they were acquitted), and later settlement for Mr. King.  I am not going to even touch on that event too much, or attempt to argue one way or the other,- just giving a very brief, brief. –

Rodney Kings face following his beating at the hands of LAPD.

The important part is the rioting caused by the acquittal, was the result of years of racial tension left untreated, a plain another case of history repeats…  There is something truly wrong when citizens feel they have no recourse other than violence to turn to in order to gain some sense of relief to their feelings oppression.  Following the acquittal of the officers, at the hands of a mostly white jury in Simi Valley, outside Los Angeles County, these tensions finally came to a head, the City of Los Angeles burned for days afterwards, as citizens turned to violence for relief.

-AS the city was being burned and looted, rioters battling with police; Mr. King offered the famous quote, “Can’t we all just get along”, despite his beating from police.

The question we all still need to ask ourselves, is;

yeah, Can We?

Despite what our high school history courses may have taught us (or not taught), nothing was  completely overcome at the end of Ken Burns documentary.  When the teacher turned back on the lights, inequality still exists.  This nation is still grossly separate and unequal, and yes the word racism still applies.  We sweep this stain under the carpet, away from prying eyes, where it seeps and it bleeds deep into the hearts of those for whom it is the cold hard truth of reality.

Why the history lesson you might ask?

I lead with a small history lesson, because the tension surrounding Trayvon Martin’s case is rooted firmly in the past.  Racism and its existence, the United States personal boogeyman, is an unexplainable, indefensible and inexcusable blemish on a career supposedly built upon such lofty beliefs.

Freedom and Equality, Democracy for all.

The nation at large has hoodwinked itself into the greatly mistaken belief that civil rights was an issue of the past, when it gets brought up they act as if someone decided to be dealer of imaginary cards.

They must just be playing that almighty  RACE CARD, as if it were an Ace upon their sleeve.

African-American and Latino youth are daily witnesses that all men are NOT created equal in the eyes of the law, as they suffer humiliation through racial profiling by a largely white police force which doesn’t share the hardships of their lives.  Young men especially, live in constant reminder of the fact, regardless of crime, they are already criminalized in the eyes of many, law enforcement most of all.

Impirsonment Rates factoring in Race
This is a graph showing imprisonment rates per 100,000 residents

Without fanfare, or much media attention, the United States has created a prison population more than double that of China’s, a nation more than thrice our size.   Those who populate this new form of slavery just so happen to be predominantly Black and Hispanic, most for non-violent crimes.

-Oh Surprise, Surprise!-

According to the same Stanford study the upper right hand graph is from,

This graph shows staggering incarceration rates within the United States.

The incarceration rate in the United States has grown so dramatically since the 1970s that the U.S. now has one of the highest rates in the world. The rise in incarceration has been especially prominent among young Black males and high school dropouts. As shown in this graph, a full 37% of those who are both young black men and high school dropouts are now in prison or jail, a rate that’s more than three times higher than what prevailed in 1980.

Percent of 20-34 year old men in prison or jail, by race, ethnicity, and educational attainment, 1980 and 2008

Source: Western, Bruce & Becky Pettit (2010). Incarceration and Social Inequality. Daedalus, 139(3), 8-19

We have fallen back into a trap, losing touch and losing focus of a pure and simple fact.  The people who founded our nation upon those hallowed principles, did it upon Black and Latino backs.

Without thanks, and without praise, the system repays them by still trying to hold their progress back.  We all need to ask ourselves why we can’t be more like the late Mr. Rodney King?  Instead of violence he turned to peace for relief.

Not only that;

Do we wish to go forward; or do we wish to go back?

Do we wish to see what form the next incarnation will take?

Who the next  Rodney King, or Trayvon Martin will inevitably be; suffering death or bodily injury at the hands of needless harassment?

Most importantly, if we do, will the next time be as peaceful and as bloodless as the last (except the blood of Trayvon Martin, whose breaths that night proved to be his last.)?

POSTSCRIPT:

Unfortunately there is a wealth of information out there to give credit to what I have said.  I have provided some links below if you would like to learn more or would in some way like to get involved in reversing the blatantly racist justice system’s current path. Here is a contact list by state as well.  Stanford University has also provided a list of proposals which are looked upon as pragmatic means of combatting the gross inequality existent today.

For those of you interested in rehashing the 1992 LA Riots;

Also, here is a really great article by Peter Wagner, complete with visual aid’s, debunking theStand your Ground as being anything other than targeted at minorities.    http://www.prisonpolicy.org/articles/trayvon.html

More from me on the Trayvon Martin tragedy;

Please Comment if you know about any other initiatives or going on as well!

Shady Business when the CIA is involved. End of point. No exception

Big Surprise! CIA Responsible for Che Guevara’s death

English: Che Guevara smoking a pipe at his gue...
English: Che Guevara smoking a pipe at his guerrilla base in Caballete de Casas, Cuba (in the Escambray Mountains) during the final months of the Cuban Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In what isn’t really a surprise at all, it turns out that the CIA was instrumental in bringing down the Cuban revolutionary figure Che Guevara during his failed attempt to bring revolution to Bolivia.

Yet another figure who had the shine of their life cut much too short by a scared and cowardly government that doesn’t fight to uphold the rhetoric of its words.

Are We Guilty of Cultural Bigotry?

I think It’s High Time We Told Congress To Wake the Eff Up