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  • Students Want "Black Power" Statue

    a great moment in olympic, black and American history.

    San Jose State Students Want "Black Power" Statue

    Associated Press ^ | May 15, 2003 | Juliana Barbassa

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - Thirty-five years after Tommie Smith and John Carlos bowed their heads and raised their fists on the Olympic podium in a black power salute, students at their alma mater want to commemorate the controversial gesture with a statue.

    The image of the sprinters raising black-gloved fists in the air as the U.S. flag was hoisted and "The Star-Spangled Banner" played is reflective of 1968 — a turbulent year of protest demonstrations and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

    But decades later, awareness of the demonstration at the Mexico City Games has faded at San Jose State University.

    Most students don't know who Smith and Carlos are, or the significance of what they did, said Erik Grotz, a senior who only discovered last year that the Olympians attended his university. That's why Grotz has organized a campaign to commemorate the athletes' activism.

    "I couldn't understand why the campus didn't acknowledge their efforts as student activists," said Grotz, who thinks such a protest could resonate with students today. "It would be an inspiration to other students. It would prove to them they can make an impact now."

    This is an opportunity for the university and the community to give the athletes the welcome they didn't get decades ago, said Alfonso de Alba, executive director of Associated Students, the university's student government body.

    "Thirty-five years ago they were chastised and shunned by the community," Alba said. "Years later, we want to say welcome back. This is the way it should have been."

    Smith and Carlos had been influenced by their activist friend, Harry Edwards, a fellow student-athlete at San Jose State. Edwards later became a teacher at the university, and was a leader of the movement to boycott the Olympics to protest racism.

    The boycott never happened. Smith won the gold medal in the 200 meters, breaking the world record, and Carlos took the bronze. They used their moment in the spotlight to stage a silent protest against the injustices blacks faced.

    Their act cost them dearly, and they were sent home.

    "I was vilified overnight," said Carlos, now a track coach and counselor at Palm Springs High School. "Friends walked away, job opportunities were not there, I couldn't pay my bills. My first wife took her life in part because of what happened."

    Both Smith and Carlos got hate mail.

    "What they did changed the way we look at sports and its relation to society," said Edwards, now head of Oakland's Parks and Recreation Department. "The statue will generate dialogue, and show others that things move ahead because good people are willing to sacrifice for change."

    The Associated Students have begun fund-raising efforts for the statue, and the university — which supports the commemoration — is offering its expertise to help organize such an effort.

    Students will hold a reception Oct. 16, the 35th anniversary of the salute, to choose the sculptor who will design the statue.
    I'll post, You argue.

  • #2
    I think the statues a good idea because i'ts a bunch of bull**** that they pulled their gold medals because of a symbol. I'ts a part of history
    just my 2 cents

    PPB
    HERE"S MY 10 CENTS CAUSE MY 2 CENTS IS FREE." EMINEM

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, if Nick is rolling his eyes at this, it must be a "bad thing" ... but after reading the article, I can't figure out what the "bad thing" is ... the closest I can figure is that it's a "bad thing" that two black men used their winning of the gold and bronze medals to "make a statement" about the civil rights movement. Maybe someone can explain it to me if there's something I'm missing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh, I thought it was Black Powder. Oh well, if the students want to pay for a statue, I'm cool with that. At least they don't expect taxpayers to pay for it. A giant can of Goex would have been neat though.
        Bill R

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        • #5
          Who cares if they build it,as long as they pay for it?
          Retired

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't have a problem with it. My only hang up is agreeing with the "old coot".

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmmm...I wonder if two whites would have "protested" if they would have a statue honoring that action....

              They were stripped of their medals because they were being racist.They used a rascist gesture.Its as simple as that.

              Why could'nt they just participate as Americans instead of participating as blacks ?
              "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

              Norman Thomas

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              • #8
                Well golly gee, Watchman, you want a history lesson?

                Read up on the Civil Rights movement. It came about because non-whites got tired of being treated like second-class citizens. They wanted to be treated like Americans. Since their nation treated them like second-class citizens, it seems appropriate to make an international protest, don't you think?

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by CrazyinaJeep:
                  Well golly gee, Watchman, you want a history lesson?

                  Read up on the Civil Rights movement. It came about because non-whites got tired of being treated like second-class citizens. ?

                  This is not true.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hmmm...I wonder if two whites would have "protested" if they would have a statue honoring that action....

                    They were stripped of their medals because they were being racist.They used a rascist gesture.Its as simple as that.

                    Why could'nt they just participate as Americans instead of participating as blacks ?


                    Because a good portion of Americans didn't treat them as Americans should be treated?

                    This is not true.

                    Oh, really? So what did bring about the civil rights movement, Professor Mike?
                    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
                    -Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well golly gee, Watchman, you want a history lesson?

                      Sure Crazy. I want the facts, not the liberal bleeding heart, socialist, hate-america revisonist history that you and your lover n567 tend to puke out. Give me the REAL facts, not the made up ones.

                      Because a good portion of Americans didn't treat them as Americans should be treated?

                      The good portion of Americans were proud for them because they won medals. It was only when they gave the "black power" salute on national tv made popular by the Black Panthers that people started treating them for the racists that they were. FWIW,they did that of their own free will, nobody forced them to do it and to tell you the truth, it was pretty selfish of them to do it,although I dont expect either of you to understand that.
                      "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                      Norman Thomas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I see. When blacks stand up for the rights that are supposed to be inherently theirs as Americans, they're "racists." Washington and Jefferson knew that their freedom couldn't be taken from the British without violence, and not everyone thinks the non-violent protest as advocated by Ghandi and King is the answer. I can't say I don't sympathize with oppressed peoples who use violence to attempt to right the wrongs of society.

                        quote:
                        that people started treating them for the racists that they were.
                        I see. So when people are treated as second-class citizens by their nation (which is supposed to be the "home of the free"), and they give a symbol of a group whose goal is to attempt to correct that inequality, THEY'RE the racists? Uh, no, Watchman.

                        [ 05-16-2003, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: CrazyinaJeep ]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Read up on the Civil Rights movement. It came about because non-whites got tired of being treated like second-class citizens. ?
                          quote:
                          This is not true.
                          Please tell me this is not true Mike. Being told you can not go there or here, drink from a certain water fountain, sit on a ceration bench, and getting a meal to eat anywhere is not being treated like second class citizens?
                          I did not see anything wrong for what those two did. I would have done the same due to the frustration that people felt during those times.

                          TGY
                          Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            While I don't care if the students pay for and erect a statue, I don't agre with the actions of the two. The Olympic games was not a venue to demonstrate your disatisfaction with your country. Their country thought enough of the two to have them represent America at the Olympics. If they had a disagreement, then do it at home in a productive way, not divisive.
                            Retired

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              While I don't care if the students pay for and erect a statue, I don't agre with the actions of the two. The Olympic games was not a venue to demonstrate your disatisfaction with your country. Their country thought enough of the two to have them represent America at the Olympics. If they had a disagreement, then do it at home in a productive way, not divisive.

                              There ya have it.

                              My feelings exactly. [Eek!]
                              "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                              Norman Thomas

                              Comment

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