DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY

IT WAS ABOUT THE 12TH OR 13TH of AUGUST, 1965 AND THE SMOKE WAS VISIBLE FROM MY OUR HOME IN BELL CALIFORNIA. ALL THE AMUNITION FROM EVERY WESTERN AUTO STORE AND ANY OTHER STORE THAT SOLD WEAPONS WAS SOLD OUT. IT WAS THE SECOND DAY OF THE WATTS, CALIFORNIA RIOTS. OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR WAS A MAN NAMED ALFONSO FERNANDEZ. HE WAS A CUBAN IMIGRANT AND A US VETERAN THAT WAS WOUNDED IN KOREA. HE HAD A WIFE AND 2 KIDS AND DROVE A PANEL TRUCK DELIVERING ARCHWAY COOKIES TO GROCERY STORES. I SPENT ALOT OF TIME WITH AL AND HIS FAMILY. MY DAD WAS OUT OF THE PICTURE. MY MOTHER WAS A SINGLE MOM WITH 3 KIDS. HER PARENTS BOUGHT A HOME WITH A DINKY GUEST HOUSE SO THAT WE COULD GET OUT OF THE APARTMENT WE WERE IN. MY BROTHER AND I SHARED 1/2 OF THE GARAGE FOR A BEDROOM. I WAS 11 YEARS OLD. I CAN REMEMBER THAT AL GOT A PHONE CALL TO DELIVER HIS TRUCK FULL OF COOKIES TO THE MARKETS IN WATTS.  I REMEMBER THAT HE THOUGHT THE RIOTING WAS OVER. I GOT PERMISSION FROM MY GRANDMOTHER TO GO WITH AL. IT SEEMED VERY EXCITING. WE GOT DOWN TO WATTS AND THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE JUST STANDING ON CORNERS. THEY WERE LOOKING AT US AND NOBODY WAS MOVING. IT WAS VERY STRANGE. BELL, CALIFORNIA WAS MOSTLY  WHITE AS I REMEMBER. I WENT TO WOODLAWN AVENUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ON GAGE AVENUE. MY CLASS WAS MIXED WITH WHITE, LATINOS AND A MIX OF OTHER FOREIGN KIDS. I DO NOT REMEMBER ONE BLACK KID BEING IN OUR SCHOOL. I HAD ONLY SEEN A FEW BLACK PEOPLE BEFORE AND IT WAS ALWAYS A SUPRISE WHEN I DID. I WAS LOOKING AT HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE LOOKING BACK AT ME. ANGRY PEOPLE. I WAS OK UNTIL AL LOOKED SCARED AND DID A U-TURN AND WE GOT OUT OF THERE. AL GOT PRESSURE AGAIN THE NEXT DAY TO MAKE HIS DELIVERY. HE WAS A TOUGH GUY AND  BEEN THROUGH ALOT. HE DROVE BACK TO WATTS THE NEXT DAY AND STOPPED AT A STOPLIGHT RIGHT NEXT TO A HAMMS BEER DELIVERY TRUCK. THE CROWD STARTED MOVING TOWARDS THE TRUCKS. THE BEER TRUCK DRIVER STALLED HIS TRUCK.  AL OPENED THE PASSENGER SLIDING DOOR AND YELLED TO THE DRIVER THAT THEY WANTED THE BEER MORE THAN THE COOKIES. THE BEER TRUCK DRIVER JUMPED INTO THE TRUCK AND TOOK OFF THROUGH THE CROWD. HE GOT 2 BRICKS IN THE WINDSHIELD AND A GASOLINE COCKTAIL IN A BOTTLE WITH A RAG FUSE THAT BURNED  ABOUT 1/2  THE ROOF OF THE TRUCK. I SAW THE TRUCK WHEN HE GOT IT HOME. HIS WIFE HEARD THE HELICOPTER REPORTER LIVE TALKING ABOUT A ARCHWAY COOKIE TRUCK AND A HAMMS BEER TRUCK BEING ATTACKED. THAT WAS MY FIRST EXPOSURE TO BLACK PEOPLE. IT GOT ALOT BETTER OVER THE YEARS! EVER SINCE THAT TIME, I HAVE FELT A LITTLE INTIMIDATED BY AFRICAN AMERICANS. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A TELEVISION PERSON AND WHEN EVER THE CHORES WERE DONE I WAS EITHER RUNNING WILD AND CRAZY OR WATCHING TV.  ALOT! I GREW UP WATCHING THE CIVIL RIGHTS  MOVEMENT UNFOLD. I HAVE VIVID MEMORIES OF THAT TIME. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAS A BIG PART OF THAT HISTORIC TIME. I REMEMBER WHAT MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SAID ABOUT THE RIOTING AND LOOTING.  HE SAID, and I quote only from memory, ” I DO NOT SAY BURN BABY BURN!  I SAY LEARN BABY LEARN AND EARN BABY EARN!”

I BELIEVE THAT DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAS SENT BY GOD TO DELIVER A MESSAGE OF NONVIOLENCE TO A COUNTRY THAT STILL TO THIS DAY HAS NOT HEALED ALL THE WOUNDS OF THE CIVIL WAR. I WAS AMAZED WHEN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA REVEALED THAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS HIS FAVORITE PRESIDENT. I WAS SHOCKED ! BUT THEN, I FINALLY GOT IT ! I WAS SHOCKED BECAUSE ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A RACIST. FREDERICK DOUGLAS WAS A GREAT BLACK ABOLITIONIST. HE MET WITH PRESDENT LINCOLN AND THEY WROTE LETTERS BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE TWO MEN. THE MEN BECAME FRIENDS. FREDERICK DOUGLAS BEGGED PRESIDENT LINCOLN NOT TO MAKE THE LETTERS PUBLIC RECORD. HOWEVER PRESIDENT LINCOLN DID MAKE THEM PUBLIC RECORD. THEY STILL EXIST. IN THOSE LETTERS, PRESIDENT LINCOLN SAID THINGS LIKE and I quote from memory, ” I  DO NOT KNOW OF TWO PEOPLES MORE DIFFERENT IN THE WORLD  THAN YOURS AND MINE. IF IT WAS WITHIN MY POWER, I WOULD REPATRIATE YOUR PEOPLE BACK TO AFRICA.” I think that is a racist statement? AND HE SAID ALOT MORE. And they became friends. I FINALLY FIGURED OUT WHY PRESIDENT OBAMA LIKES ABRAHAM LINCOLN SO MUCH! I BELIEVE IT IS BECAUSE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN BOTH WENT THROUGH A TRANSFORMATION. THEY WERE BOTH MEN OF DESTINY AND NO DOUBT…THEY BOTH HEARD THEIR TRAINS A COMING ! ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS CONFLICTED AND A MAN OF SORROW OVER THE WAR.  DR. KING KNEW HE WOULD NOT BE THERE WITH HIS PEOPLE WHEN THEY REACH THE PROMISED LAND BECAUSE  HE HAD ALREADY BEEN TO THE MOUNTAIN TOP ! HE KNEW HE WOULD DIE.  YET HIS FAITH PUSHED HIM FORWARD. THE SORROW IN HIS WORDS ARE PROPHETIC.                                        PRESIDENT LINCOLN DID NOT SIGN UP FOR A CIVIL WAR. THE ISSUE OF THE TIME WAS STATES RIGHTS VS. FEDERAL LAW. SLAVERY WAS JUST ONE OF THE ISSUES. OVER THE DURATION OF THE WAR I BELIEVE PRESIDENT LINCOLN REALIZED THE WAR WAS OUR DEVINE PUNISHMENT  FOR OUR SINS AGAINST OUR FELLOW MAN. THE SOUTH FOR THE LASH AND THE NORTH FOR  COMPLACENCY.             THE WAR WAS THRUST UPON PRESIDENT LINCOLN AND THE ETERNAL STRUGGEL BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL RAGED AGAIN.

 THE BATTLE WAS THRUST UPON HIM. HE DID HAVE A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING. HE STATED IN HIS 2ND INAGURAL SPEECH, ” EVERY DROP OF BLOOD DRAWN BY THE LASH SHALL BE PAID BY ANOTHER BY THE SWORD.”   ABRAHAM LINCOLN ALSO KNEW HE WOULD DIE AS A VICTIM OF THE WAR. JFK ONCE SAID THAT , from memory.  ” We lose the very BEST of our men in time war.” In this war it was brother against brother. All were Americans. I believe President Lincoln finally realized that the Civil War was punishment for the sins of SLAVERY. I fear that if we do not eliminate slavery in our world today, and we are again complacent, we shall be punished AGAIN!

THE GREATEST CIVIL RIGHTS MOVIE DOCUMENTARY IN MY OPINION IS A TRUE STORY   AND THE NAME OF THE MOVIE IS :

                                           GLORY

 WITH : MORGAN FREEMAN,  DENZEL WASHINGTON, ETC ETC ETC.   A MUST SEE !! WHY IS IT SO GREAT? BECAUSE AFTER FREDERICK DOUGLAS AND ABRAHAM LINCOLN BECAME FRIENDS, FREDERIC DOUGLAS SUPPORTED AND INCOURAGED BLACKS TO VOLUNTEER AND FIGHT FOR THE UNION ARMY. THEY DID. GLORY IS THE TRUE STORY OF MEN VOLUNTEERING TO FIGHT FOR A CAUSE EVEN THOUGH THE COUNTRY ITSELF TREATED THEM LIKE DIRT. THEY BOUGHT THEIR WAY INTO THE COUNTRY WITH THE ONLY  THING THEY OWNED. THEIR BLOOD. THAT WAS NOT THE END OF THE STRUGGLE. IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF BLACK MEN SACRAFICING THEIR LIVES FOR THE HOPE OF EQUALITY. FOR HOPE ONLY AND NO GUARANTEES !  WE STILL HAVE ALOT TO LEARN. I HAVE LEARNED ALOT. I HAVE MUCH MORE TO LEARN. THE TEACHINGS OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR HAVE HELPED ME OVERCOME MY FEARS. HIS FEARLESSNESS AND FAITH IN GOD IS AN INSPIRATION TO ME.   THE MEMORY OF DR. KING INSPIRES ME TO BE A BETTER HUMAN BEING.  WE SHOULD ALL HAVE HOPE. WE CAN ALL START BY BEING A LITTLE NICER TO EACH OTHER, BY BEING MORE CIVIL TO EACH OTHER.  THAT BEHAVIOR HONORS THE MEMORY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

OK,  SO…. PRESIDENT OBAMA,  I GET IT.

 

marc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s