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During a 1966 speech in Berkeley, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) said: 

“Several people have been upset because we’ve said that integration was irrelevant when initiated by blacks, and that in fact it was an insidious subterfuge for the maintenance of white supremacy. In the past six years or so, this country has been feeding us a “thalidomide drug of integration,” and some negroes have been walking down a dream street talking about sitting next to white people. That does not begin to solve the problem. We didn’t go to Mississippi to sit next to Ross Barnett (former governor of Mississippi), we did not go to sit next to Jim Clark (sheriff of Selma, Alabama), we went to get them out of our way. People ought to understand that; we were never fighting for the right to integrate, we were fighting against white supremacy.”

That’s not what I was taught in school. I was taught that when the 1964 Civil Rights Bill passed, all was well with the world. I, as a black man, now had the right to sit at an integrated lunch counter and continue to enrich others who might very well believe me to be less than human. Kwame Ture marched during the Civil Rights Movement, was jailed and suffered immensely for his life of activism. Therefore, he is qualified to speak on the motivations of those who were there and he did not believe the purpose was to achieve integration. Yet somehow the narrative has been hijacked and in the process, many people, including blacks, have come to believe “mission accomplished.”

This dangerous, subtle hijacking of history has produced very damaging consequences. Chief among them, the decline and/or neglect of black institutions. Very simply, during segregation black people had to support and ensure the strength of black institutions. What was the alternative? Until the 1960’s HBCU’s were essentially the only option for black students. Interestingly enough, blacks from HBCU’s during the 70’s earned higher wages than blacks who matriculated from traditionally white universities. The reverse is true today. As it pertains to black businesses there is an equally disturbing narrative. Decades removed from integration (at least on paper), still, in his book “The History of Black Business in America,” Juliet E.K. Walker describes the “Golden age of Black Business” as being between 1900 and 1930- well before integration.

The Auburn Avenue neighborhood in Atlanta (where Dr. King originated) at one time was among the most cultured, vibrant and affluent black neighborhoods in the country. Today, it’s a shell of its old self. The fact that an interstate bisected the neighborhood was a factor in its decline but ultimately the fact that everyone who had means to move out after integration did (perhaps because of the interstate). The neighborhood is in itself a perfect illustration. No, I do not mean to suggest that segregation was a fairy tale- it certainly was not. What I am suggesting is that it required strong black institutions. As a friend once told me, you may not like segregation but it gave you a Thurgood Marshall (who wanted to attend the University of Maryland but was barred and had to attend Howard).

6 comments

T.D. III

I have held for quite some time that integration was a two-sided coin that has arguably done as much, if not more harm than good. It was no doubt an amazing feat that Blacks stood up for their rights the way that they did and it cannot be argued that they accomplished much for our people. Unfortunately, it seems blacks have lost the motivation and fire that carried us through the Civil Rights Movement. We have become satisfied with a false sense of equality. Hundreds of years of oppression could not be equaled by simply being allowed to eat at the counter with a white person. There is still much more that needs to be done in the way of equality, but it seems Blacks have become complacent and accepting of their current status in this country. Integration was just a beginning, be we have seen it as an end.

Duane Terrell

Perhaps now you understand my Christian Conservative republican leanings. I felt for a long time the civil rights legislation while well intended was a complete disaster for African Americans. Like the person you quoted said above, the goal should never have been about eating at white establishments. The goal was so that we could be left the hell alone so we could build our own establshments without having the fear of the white man come in and tear them down.

I will also suggest further that civil rights legislations guareentee's our second class status as citizens. DOGS AND CATS need special legislation to have rights. I am created in the image of God and my rights are eternal and so are the rights of my posterity. Just like the white man said to King George. Give me freedom or give me death… none of the inbetween $#!t.

But I understand, people want stuff in writing. They believe if its writin then each party is beholding. I guess that forgot about "We hold these truth's to be SELF-EVIDENT that all men are CREATE EQUAL and they are ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR with cerain inalienable rights…."

I am a man. My rights come from God and civil rights legilsation in certain context highly offends me.

T.D. III

Duane – Been a while huh? Sorry I left for so long, LOL. Seriously though I gotta say I'm with you on much of your stance. Especially the fact that the rights of a human come from God, not any other man or legislation. The people who write the rules can always write loopholes and addendums at their whimsy. I think my greatest disappointment with Civil Rights legislation is not so much in the writing or documenting of it, I'm more disappointed in our people for being satisfied with just having it in writing. The Civil Rights movement should have been something to build upon; instead we let it pacify us. We believe the fight is over. We only see a need to solidify when A Trayvon Martin or Chavis Carter incident pops up. There is so much more that is detrimental to us on a daily basis. I'm disappointed in US.

One thing I’m interested in though…how exactly does this inform your Christian Conservative leanings???

Duane Terrell

Christian:

Everything I believe must line up perfectly with Chrisanity. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…." roots this nation in to the soil of the God of Abraham, Iassac, and Jacob. Therefore, in order for me to understand my rights, I have to understand this God.

I have a right to free speech, not because government (or the Constiution) gives it to me. I have the right of free speech because God gave me the command to share the good news of Jesus Christ and without that right whenver a government tells me to shut up I would have to obey. But since I have this right from God I can speak freely, not only about the Good News of Christ, but for many other things. I can completly and freely enjoy myself in conversation with my fellow man.

Chrisanity is the foundation of this nation. Many would like to forget that, ignore that, say it ain't so, but it is. Its always been a struggle to maintain it even before the ink was dry on those words and we've been fighting a culture war (Freedom, Slavery, Sexism, Racism, Oppression, Abortion, Sins of Self Gratification) ever since those words were written to makes things truly right.

My right to my property comes from God. No man has the authority to morally TAKE more of my property than someone elses for the same reason. No man has the authority to take my property unless their has been a personal or societal agrrement that does not discrminate either in my favor or against me.

Duane Terrell

Conservative:

In the US and in this current time, the current poltical message of Consevatism is Limited Government. This does not mean we believe Government should go away. This simply means that the Government should interject itself in to the affairs of its population as little as possible. Considering we have 4 tiers of govenrment: US, State, County, City, typically when this word (Conservatism) is used it refers to the US. As you get to the lower tiers many conservatives do not mind minor expansions of govenrment here and there and the term becomes less solidified.

Why? History has shown us over and over again that government will always use coercion to acheive its goals. These goals may or may not be well intended but in the long run there is always an associated disaster from which some nations do not recover. There is also a very clear picture even today of the effects of rampent government interference.

Such AS:

North vs South Korea, Japan vs China, Vietname pre war and after war, Russia vs US, Poland pre Occupation (By Russia) and After, Hong Kong vs India, and last but certainly not least and I believe the best example: "East and West BerlinGermany".

This is not to say that "Conservatives" by our defintion are running those countries but by comparrision to places like Russia they have far fewer government regulations.

A modern example in the US is the current housing crash. This crash was created by government coercion, not wall street, not the banks.

Short Version: Government believe that more poeople should own homes. The politicians then loosend the co-signing constraints on fannie-mae&mack. Banks, under old and new laws, were required to make the lones fannie co-signed on. The new laws flooded the housing market with new borrowing which in turn created increase housing demand which in turn in creased the amount of borrowing which in turn caused the fed to increase the prime rate which in turn caused those mortgages to increase and couple that with the natural down turn in the market during an presidential election year and whala!!

Things to Note:
Bush, Clinton, Bush, Regan, Jimmy, Johnson, Isenhower, all ended their presidential carrers during a reccession.

Wall Street places bets on the market and these bets do not affect the outcome of the market any more than bets on the future of a baseball team (investment) or a bet on the outcome of a game affect the outcome of baseball.

Banks have been loaning money for hundreads and hundreas of years. They know who and who not to loan money just like you know not to loan money to your cousin "charles".

Conservatives believe that at the end of the day if we trust and depend on each other and we take responsibility for ourselves we will live a much better life.

Government loves division because it makes people weak. This strengths the potion of Government because it will less likely be over throwned and when people don't trust each other and don't take responsiblity for themselves then they rely on Government. Conservatives believe this is a faulty road.

African-Americans need to move away from Government solutions. Rely and trust each other, unite with our white, hispanics, etc brothers and sisters in Christ and we will live a much better propserous life.

Duane Terrell

Republican:

It really doesn't matter the name. It could be the chicken party for all I care. Long story short, this party has the best chance of implementing the values stated above. I believe the democrat party is too far gone and no other political party has shown any promise.

I do not really call myself a Republican because it has no value. It just a party that tries to get people with an R next to their name elected regardless of what they really believe. But for political associatons, this is my party.

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