SAN DIEGO: Jesse Owens, the black athlete that won the 1936 Olympics, knew it took more than one leg to win a race. Today, blacks know that it will take more than a knee on the ground to accomplish racial reform.
The washing of feet does not resemble anything close to an enlightened mindset. Actually, it paints more division, putting Black Americans on a throne, and White Americans declaring fealty and submission. Yet a Conservative News story is titled: White Cops, Civilians Wash Feet Of Black Organizers, Ask For Forgiveness. You can put the rest together.
I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe these types of ridiculous performances by white People lol https://t.co/tGUnc8c1EP
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) June 7, 2020
Here is a message: Racial reform contenders quit apologizing for a past you cannot change. If you do, in the future, we can all run a different race.
Who will jump off the starter blocks and go the distance?
People of all color line up. No cheating, no physical contact or shortcuts, no violence, lighting the track on fire, and no looting. The gold is an American renaissance in racial unity and equality never-before-seen.
Get your running shoes on and hit the track and don’t look back. Know what you are running for.
It requires more than donning a Kente cloth and taking a knee, as pandering Pelosi, et al. recently did.
Understanding what racism is.
Racism is defined as ‘a belief that one race is superior to another’. As a verb is it described as discrimination and antagonism directed on someone of a different race.
Racism is also seen as hatred of another person because of their skin color, culture, biological characteristics, religion, and language…basically anything that defines them as a human being. Racism has become a big dream catcher that encompasses everything – ‘Oh, you’re going to vote for Trump – you’re a racist’.
People are tagged as racists every day because they want an apple instead of an orange. We need to do the racist litmus test before calling someone that.
So what do we need for racial reform?
Love – the path of least resistance.
Much easier said than done because we all have beliefs born into our understandings about those not of our tribe. We grow up in diverse families. Outside influences pepper our thoughts. Historical events, racial tensions, crime, education, and personal run-ins build perspectives.
How do we change how we think overnight? Not happening. We need enlightened leaders to help retrain our thinking. We then need success stories to build our confidence. Not a bunch of conflict and violence.
Hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words,
King taught, “hate cannot drive out hate.”
Fortunately, we live in a country that allows us to innovate, create solutions. We can’t do that very well in a state of self-loathing for former mistakes.
Remember, the slogan for the 1868 Democratic Convention was, “This is a white man’s country – let a white man rule.”
Carol Swain, a black law professor and scholar of Democratic Party history at Vanderbilt University stated in [Dinesh] D’Souza’s film that ‘Democrats have used blacks for their political agenda’.
The terms racism, slavery, and segregation are call words and over the years, and according to Swain, Democrats have shifted the blame to the very people (Republicans) who fought against these grievances.
Systems and institutions not enough for overall change.
Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, recently released a statement alongside the leadership of the NAACP,
“Unitedly we declare that the answers to racism, prejudice, discrimination and hate will not come from government or law enforcement alone. Solutions will come as we open our hearts to those whose lives are different than our own, as we work to build bonds of genuine friendship, and as we see each other as the brothers and sisters we are — for we are all children of a loving God.”
No question we are a diverse mix at different stations in life and that alone can cause problems.
Yet, solutions are not an 8 minute -46 second chokehold on those fallen off the path. Or to stand by and watch a man go dark instead of pushing his captor away. Mr. Floyd did not deserve to die. He was a Black American taking a wrong turn.
A final race for Floyd over a $20 counterfeit purchase. A sad day that stains American justice.
In the ensuing cries to defund police – what are people thinking? Law and order is a necessary component for freedom. We need police. One bad policeman (in this case) does not represent the thousands that serve honorably and sacrifice their lives. Who is asking for what can we do to eliminate the factors that fuel crime? To build healthy communities across America?
Change perceptions to rule the day.
“Since the mid-20th century, the United States has seen an enormous shift in public attitudes toward black-white relations, segregation, and blatant prejudice. At the same time, racial tensions, obstacles, and stereotypes continue, and Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds hold divergent understandings of discrimination and the causes of racial disparities,” says Opportunity Agenda.
To truly combat racism – it has to start within the heart and mind. That becomes a collective and can lead to a magnitude force of change. And what we perceive we achieve on the racetrack of social evolution.
“Public opinion research suggests that positive and negative views toward black people may be grounded in multiple arenas. In other words, while one might assume that a particular experience or aspect of a person’s background would cause an individual to feel either positively or negatively toward a racial group, or to ascribe to one of two opposing views (black people are hardworking or lazy, etc.), research suggests that responses toward a racial group may have different antecedents and be multifaceted.” adds Opportunity Agenda.
Research says black male Americans are harder on themselves than those not of their race because they have so much social pressure to rise above the stereotypes and misconceptions. And for some, void of a means to succeed because of pre-set racial attitudes. Despair is a petri dish for crime and can fuel the fallout of racism.
Yet, there are countless Black Americans that don’t let the color of their skin or their backgrounds, or their opponents stop them from what they put their minds to.
They are the ones changing race perspectives every day.
Foil racists’ plans with success.
Excerpts from biography.com:
Jesse Owens, known as “The Buckeye Bullet”, was a Black American track and field athlete who won four gold medals and broke two world records at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of slaves. A frail child, he was often sick with chronic bronchial congestion and pneumonia. Still he was required to work at age 7, lifting 100 lbs. of cotton a day to provide for his family.
Owens hit the track and made a name for himself in high school and at Ohio State University. There was no stopping him as ran and ran to victory, ending up a contender in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Adolf Hitler expected the games to be a statement for Aryan supremacy – a German showcase.
For including black athletes on its Olympic roster – Hitler lambasted America. He stormed furiously out of the stadium when Owens won the 100-meter event.
Black athletes took home six of the United States’ 11 gold medals. Owens was the dominant athlete and set a world record for the broad jump that would last 25 years until being broken by Olympian Irvin Roberson in 1960.
Back home, Owens was met with no fanfare. Not even President Franklin D. Roosevelt greeted or congratulated him as was typical for Olympic champions. He still faced discrimination ‘sitting at the back of the bus’. In 1976 President Gerald Ford awarded Owens the Presidential Medal of Freedom, officially recognizing him for his great accomplishments.
Replace stereotypes with new trendsetters.
In 1920, Fritz Pollard and Bobby Marshall became the first African American players allowed to play in the National Football League. Marshall, who played tight-end, also went on to build an athletic career in track, boxing, baseball and ice hockey. Pollard, a running back, became a head coach in the NFL – another African American first.
In 1947 Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball. He used to get booed when came out to play. Yet, he kept running out on the field. Robinson rose to Rookie of the Year as one of the most talented and fiercest players in the game. Just two years into the Major Leagues, he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and played in six World Series, helping the Dodgers win in 1955.
Off the field, Robinson spoke out against racial discrimination and pushed baseball to use its economic influence to desegregate the South and recruit more people of color.
“It was the most eagerly anticipated debut in the annals of the national pastime,” sports authors Robert Lipsyte and Pete Levine wrote. “It represented both the dream and the fear of equal opportunity, and it would change forever the complexion of the game and the attitudes of Americans.”
Wilma Rudolph grew up to become the fastest woman in the world of her generation, despite being diagnosed with polio as a child. Rudolph sprinted her way into history by winning three gold medals In the 1956 Olympics in Australia. The first American woman to accomplish a triple gold win at a single Olympics.
Become a legend to follow.
For decades, Bill Russell was largely considered the top basketball player in NBA history, known for his defense, rebounds and shot-blocking. This placement held until the 1980s when Michael Jordan came onto the scene. Russell became the first black coach in the NBA and the first to win an NBA championship.
Gabby Douglas is a multiple gold medal-winning world champion and Olympian. She was dubbed “The Flying Squirrel” for her high leaps in competition. At the London Olympics in 2012, she became the first person of color to become the Individual All-Around Champion.
Today – black athletes are even more a force for change and can continue the racial reform legacy. We see White Americans and Black Americans decry on bended knee ‘foul’ or ‘we’re the problem’. Why not be the solution, like Martin Luther King Jr.? We can never forget what he has done. Time to build upon it.
Racist, extremists groups: stop setting up the target range.
Some people set themselves above their victims and have no set goals other than civil unrest or terror. What does Antifa hope to achieve with bullying and destruction? Looks like racism vs. racism on the surface.
Although there have yet to be any solid Antifa links to recent protest violence established,
“U.S. Attorney General William Barr has repeatedly blamed anti-fascist activists for the violence that has erupted during demonstrations over George Floyd’s death,” says NPR, June 09, 2020.
In an interview with Fox, “Barr repeated his assertion that an array of extremist groups has been instigating the violence, although he did — as he has repeatedly since the unrest over Floyd’s death began — single out antifa as the primary culprit.”
“There is clearly a high degree or organization involved in some of these events and coordinated tactics that we’re seeing, and we’re looking into that as well,” he said. “Some of it relates to antifa; some of it relates to groups that act very much like antifa. As I said, there’s a witches brew of extremist groups that are trying to exploit this situation on all sides.”
We have to take a stand to become evolved in our non-biased thinking. As well as attack the social issues that plague our nation today.
Form a racial coalition ‘think tank’.
Gather together the brightest and best representatives from the opposing groups. Leaders from the black community, leaders from police unions, and representatives from education, jobs, business, and housing sectors. Let’s include the Jewish, Latino, and gay communities.
Religious leaders, too.
With the idea that they unite to imagine programs, policies, and moral protocols that drive progress towards the advancement of racial reform. A give-and-take coming to the table and collective effort to improve the opportunities and afford fair treatment, ensure justice. This will go further than finger-pointing, fireworks, and destruction.
The formula – ‘You ask, we listen, and then set the conditions. And if anyone falls back on the racetrack – we pick each other up and keep running.
Featured Image: BERLIN, GERMANY, 1936. American athlete Jesse Owens, left, breaks the tape in a record time of 21.1 seconds in the elimination heats of the men's 200 metres Olympic Games race, Aug. 4, 1936. Canada's Lee Orr, centre, finished second. (Licensed AP Photo)