JUNETEENTH 2020: SPORTS AND GRACE

By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter

Returning the consequence of race abuse to the lap of the race abuser is the beginning of the end. The motivation to learn about racism becomes profound. The personal investment to avoid racism reaps a richer bounty. The urgency to end racism comes into sharp relief. It’s like that old Negro spiritual: when your skin is in the game, the ENTIRE GAME CHANGES.

— Mansi Goel, University of California-Berkeley-Grad.

OAKLAND — The African Americans today want to thank the brothers and sisters in the military that have fought for our freedoms from the American Revolution to Desert Storm I and II.

We also thank the sports giants of our times, Muhammad Ali (boxing), Curt Flood (baseball), Colin Kaepernick and Jim Brown (football), LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball), Tony McKegney (hockey), John Carlos and Tommie Smith (track and field), Lewis Hamilton (auto racing), The Williams Sisters and the Seoul Sisters (tennis), for continuing the fight for freedom and justice in the United States.

The Humanity of America is once again being questioned; The Humanity of America is being tested. Black and white Americans are looking in the mirror and not liking what they see.  Now riots in the streets, police not playing by the rules, statues being pulled down, left wing (Antifa) and right wing (Boogaloo) fanatics are trying to hijack the peaceful movement.

Colleges and universities are changing their names and logos with negative images and food companies doing likewise. Are we witnessing another historical moment as we come to the African American Holiday Juneteenth weekend?

TRAUMA

It was very sad to see a young African American man, eight years old playing basketball with himself in his front yard then all of a sudden stop to hide behind the family car when a police cruiser goes by, in the middle of the day.

The young man’s father asked him why he did that.

The young man answered I don’t want to end up like George Floyd. This is the message being sent by the government of the United States, sent by the police forces throughout our land.

The trauma brought on African Americans throughout this nation is building with each passing day. This is where we are with the divider and chief in the White House.

Meanwhile, three black men were found hanging from trees in Southern California, another African American male shot in the back while running away from police officers in Atlanta, Georgia. Young Black men in America are in fear for their lives when they walk out of their front door, this should not be happening.

The authorities are claiming all three hangings were suicides, REALLY? If you believe that I’ll sell you my house for five dollars. Violent terror has come full circle in the United States.

Seven nooses were found in trees around Lake Merritt-Oakland, California. Now remember the Oakland flat lands are predominantly African American residents.

Then the conservative media dehumanize or demonize Black people shot and killed with reports of his/her criminal record when he/she was a teenager. (Thought these records were sealed and nobody could see them. Guess I was wrong.) Thank you, Candace Owens, Thank You, Laura Ingraham, and of course we cannot forget Tucker Carlson.

Fox Newscasters continue to attack intelligent political Black sports stars by informing Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant to shut up and dribble.

These same broadcasters let white quarterback Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints say anything he wants too. The racial double standard is still flying high in 2020. Caucasians refuse to own up to their racism and blame others for the problem.

colin kaepernick 2

Former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick can’t take a knee before the game for freedom and justice because the President of the United States stated that number seven is against the flag and the Anthem.

Did Kaepernick say that? This is what our president has creating nasty venom for the National Football League and the majority African American players. Again here is the hypocrisy: Tim Tebow can kneel down for Jesus before and after the game and nobody says a word.

COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES

STATE FLAG MISS.

Mississippi’s State Flag

Colleges and Universities are now getting into the act changing their logos, names, and mascots while brand name products are following suit.

The University of Virginia Cavaliers, will end the logo and mascot this year.  The University of Nevada at Los Vegas will also abandon their Running Rebel name and Mascot. All eyes are now focused on the University of Mississippi. The Rebel Nation has fought tooth and nail against change.

The Ole Miss administration informed the student body could no longer bring the Confederate Battle Flag-The Stars and Bars to football games 20 years ago. So what did the student body do? They brought the Mississippi State flag to games. This flag has the Rebel Battle Flag in the upper left corner.

This is the arrogance African Americans are fighting each day.

PRODUCTS and HISTORY

RESIZED MW-II752_aunt_j_ZG_20200617125004

Uncle Ben’s rice, Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix, Ms. Butterworth’s syrup bottle and Land-O-Lakes butter all are removing their minority photos on the front of their products.

These companies finally got a conscious after the George Floyd death in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Rayshard Brooks shooting in Atlanta, Georgia followed by nationwide marching.

LAND O LAKES BUTTER

Question what did it cost these companies to change their labels? Answer, Nothing. In fact, these companies will make more money. With the new labels and new faces conservatives will buy their products. Racism runs deep in the soul of the United States. This is why Donald J. Trump sits in the White House; it was the Southern States answer to Barack Obama.

The Wendy's restaurant, where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police in the parking lot, burns in Atlanta, June 13, 2020.  (Joshua Rashaad McFadden/The New York Times)

It took another Black man’s death on television to make these changes it took 18 days of marching in the streets to make these changes. It took a Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Atlanta to burn to the ground in the middle of the night to make these changes.

African Americans and other minorities had little or no political power years ago these companies got away with putting stereotypical photos of minorities on their products. Degrading, disrespectful images were o.k. because people of color could not legally fight against big corporate giants. The tide might be slowly changing.

Here is the rub Caucasian Americans are now saying Black people should rejoice in the change. No, these companies knew this was wrong in the beginning, and they did it anyway because they could. They did not care what it would do mentally to minority residents.

The Birmingham Bus Company learned the hard way not letting Rosa Parks sit where ever she wanted too in 1955. This set off the Birmingham Bus Boycott. African Americans did not ride the bus for a complete year. The Birmingham Bus Company almost went broke.

The Coca-Cola Beverage Company learned the hard way too in 1976 when African Americans did not buy their product for four months, driving their stock prices to near zero.

This was after the soda company refused to hire an African American in any executive position. Philadelphia 76ers legendary forward Julius Irving became their first Black executive of the Coca-Cola Company in the Southern District of Virginia.

This was and still is the invisible power African Americans have. It is time to start using this power again to change America.

The white backlash has already started with Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter rallies. Question, where they there before Black Lives Matter. We all know that answer. America just can’t give African-Americans and other minorities that respect.

Washington Football Club beware you are next.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor News Radio Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email: Butter worthglcgray@gmail.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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