On Racial Protests

On this anniversary of the civil rights protest march on Selma, Alabama, it seems a little offensive to me to see Barrack Hussein Obama suddenly decide to act “black.” Here is a man, who claims to be a native born Hawaiian with a white mother, who has done more to increase tension between races in America than anyone since Robert E. Lee. Now, as the nation’s media is focused on Selma, Obama suddenly decides to bet his race card will divert some attention away from his record of failures; his record of forcing blacks into lower paying jobs, his record of increasing black unemployment, his record of increasing the income gap between blacks and whites, and his record of encouraging blacks to voluntarily segregate themselves from mainstream America and become even more dependent on the government for all their food, health care and shelter.

The man’s phony concern for “the poor” makes me sick to my stomach.

The photo above can be purchased through the Yellow Springs News (ysnews.com)

The photo above was published on the online edition of the Yellow Springs News. It shows protesters sitting in the street in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Look closer, do you see any black people? Look on the left side of the photo, behind the cars, on the sidewalk. See them watching as the protesters sat down and locked arms to shut down US route 68 in the middle of this tiny college town. The majority of those protesters in the street were students from Antioch College.

The incident pictured took place in March of 1964. That’s right, a year before the the Selma marches. I lived down the road from where that photo was taken. I can identify some of the people in the picture – in fact I am related to some of them. I witnessed first hand this and subsequent protest in the summer of ’64. This was very possibly the opening shot for the years of civil rights riots that followed.

One thing is certain, Yellow Springs forever changed that day. Antioch College, heavily funded by folks like the Rockefellers, began a transition to extremism which eventually included refusing all government research money, which of course led to a decline in diversity and quality of both student and staff. The school finally went officially out of business some 40 years later – just weeks before graduation – leaving seniors scrambling and begging for help from nearby universities. I was there then too.

Although Antioch had very few black students in 1964, or ever for that matter, nearby Wilberforce ‘Academy’ was one of the leading mostly all black secondary schools in the country. Shortly after the Yellow Springs incident, bus loads of blacks from Wilberforce marched around the county courthouse in Greene County to protest the handling of those who had been arrested in Yellow Springs. I remember being amazed at the number of black men who formed a line so long it was virtually continuous all the way around the courthouse block. And there was silence. I don’t remember a single word, not one word, no chants, no songs; nothing but the sound of their footsteps on the sidewalk.

There was no effort to interfere with the marchers that day. The police station is still across the street from the courthouse, as it was that day. The police watched from inside. The marchers got back on their buses and returned to Wilberforce. They had not spoken a word, but their message was heard loud and clear in town. Unlike Antioch, instead of holding a “pity party” and declining into obscurity, Wilberforce grew and today has merged into the highly respected NCAA Division II, Central State University.

It was 25 years later when I next saw rioting first hand. But in the 1989 riots in Miami, the issue and the atmosphere was totally different. These rioters were clearly there to bust things and loot. They had no message or cause. Most of the those rioting were using the violence as nothing more than an excuse to steal from the neighborhood businesses and burn cars just to watch them burn. Does this sound familiar to recent protests around the country? There is no doubt in my mind that those college men (I don’t remember a single women) who marched to support those arrested in Yellow Springs in 1964, would never have marched in support of those arrested in Miami in 1989.

I wonder today if those same men would march with, or in protest of, Obama in Selma.

Craig Masters

This entry was posted in Editorial and Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *