Updated: What Was All of That Fuss Back in the 1960’s?

by lewwaters

Civil Rights 2I was born and raised a Southerner, coming of age during the Civil Rights era of the 1960’s when cities were still segregated, Whites on one side of the railroad tracks, and Blacks on the other side in much less maintained neighborhoods.

Much of my formative years was less than three blocks from those tracks with a highly prejudiced Dad frequently ranting about how the Black people needed to “just stay in their place,” while I looked around our own roach-infested shack that was no better than we could see when looking across the tracks.

I can’t say that he hated Black people as did others, he was more stuck in what he was raised believing on somehow, Whites were supposedly better and “it’s just the way things are.”

Couldn’t prove it to me in how he supported us.

Be that as it may, being raised in South Florida, we were somewhat insulated from much of the unrest and race riots seen as Black people in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and some other Southern States, even in Northern areas such as Chicago fought for the rights that should have been theirs all along.

Younger people today likely have only seen archival footage of newscasts from the era where dogs and fire hoses were turned loose on people marching for their rights.

Not that Black people had it any better in South Florida back then, but we were somehow spared of the bloody, gruesome confrontations and like others, saw it all unfolding on television news of the time.

But changes were made and the walls of legal segregation and denying people their vote due to their skin color was done away with. It was a hard struggle and a fight that never should have had to take place, but they prevailed and as I learned when I served in the Army and Vietnam, we Whites and Blacks really aren’t that much different, if at all.

We learned quickly that race had no place in watching each other’s backs or supporting each other. We all ate the same, lived the same, looked the same and bled the same. We were brothers looking out for each other to help each other survive and go home.

Along with the Civil Rights unrest seen back then was college campus unrest, largely fueled by anti-war sentiment against the Vietnam War. I missed out on that as I was one of those soldiers they protested and spat upon, some physically upon our return, others figuratively.

That too died down while I was overseas and our involvement in Vietnam ended and the country fell to Communism, protesters and radicals of the time boasting how they felt they had accomplished something great with their actions.

Yes, the 1960’s were a turbulent decade that no sane person would ever want to see repeated.

But it appears they are to be repeated as today, we once again see college campuses boiling in unrest, demands of “safe spaces” for minorities, pro-Black protests by Whites being protested by Blacks, demands of staff be fired over a poor choice of wording with no consideration given to the effort or intent of that staff person in correcting what ‘students’ want changed.

Even collegiate football is under threat now as players feel they have right to hold a college hostage to their demands by not playing until their demands are met.

Most egregious to me is seeing how groups are once again segregating themselves along the same racial lines the Civil Rights marchers of the 1960’s fought so hard to crush.

Back in the 1960’s, Blacks and Whites linked arms to march for an end to the injustices against Black people. Now, we see this ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement deliberately exclude White people’s support.

Do we really want to march backwards in separating our peoples?

Were all of the Civil Rights marches, protests and bloodshed in the 1960’s for naught?

I recall the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from his 28 August 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech when he said,

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

And

“…one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Also notable from that same speech, Dr. King said;

“We cannot walk alone.”

“And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.”

“We cannot turn back.”

But today, it appears some young people desire to do just that, turn back and re-segregate people along racial lines that can only result in reestablishing the very things that brought about the discord and a resurgence of race wars and riots that neither race could ever win.

In the end, we’re all on this earth together and no one can change what was done long ago, we can only look ahead and work together to make this a better world for all.

I don’t know just who is filling these young people’s heads full of the notion that re-segregating and excluding supportive people is the way to go, but from where I sit, they are dead wrong and there can be no good come from it.

People bled and died to tear down the walls of separation.

Why dishonor their sacrifices by rebuilding those walls?

Update, Nov 13, 2015 @ 10:40 PM

How pathetic to see these same students reaction to the horrific terrorist attacks on this day in Paris, France that took at least 158 innocent lives as they complain the media took the focus off of their plight.

Sorry children, there are some things in life more upsetting then hearing what you believe to be offensive words. Grow up!

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One Comment to “Updated: What Was All of That Fuss Back in the 1960’s?”

  1. So many confuse equal opportunity with an equal right. So many today think of a right as an inheritance and not as having been earned at some point by someone. Because humans are human, we must always look out for our rights and our best interests because it is only in that way that people can help others and only in that way that others will benefit. Giving someone something without their earning it always in every case turns out badly. Look at any lottery winner.

    It appears to me that in the rush to make up for past human behavior, too much has been given without the expectation that it be earned. In all too many cases, the bell has been rung, without requiring ladder rungs be ascended. Because equal rights only means the opportunity to try, and not a guarantee of success.

    RESPECT. Dr kings words seem hollow because they imply respect of others. We do not any longer teach people about respect. Respect is earned not given for no apparent reason. There is a ladder to climbed, and a lot of work to be done to prove worth and merit respect. It is just how it is.

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