Monday, January 16, 2012

Connecting the Dots- The Civil Rights, Native American & IrishMovements.

Aris-Arnelle Durocher
Article Dedicated to GW- Aho GW

One of my friends who is Native American had posted that he was saddened that a few people did not like the fact that he honored Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Thankfully those that didn't think they needed to honor MLK day was met with many who voiced their opinions on that thought. Out of fairness while many older people would know some history of the era and time of uprising of human rights, sadly some youths of all walks of life do not realize the importance of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr King. The Civil Rights Movement was a movement between 1954- 1962 and sparked other movements for equality and rights between the years of  1950-1980. The Civil Rights movement started in 1950, however its growth reached its peak to proceed in civil disobedience in 1954.

This same friend of Native American Ancestry participated in the Civil Rights Movement, which proves that sometimes folks need to step back because they don't know the person in entirety or their personal life experiences.

The fact is the Civil Rights Movement was a human rights fight. Most certainly Black Americans were more visible fighting for their civil rights and the right to vote, however, this fight was also for any people that were oppressed and suffered the same fate such as Native American Indians who also could not vote, Latinos who also could not vote, Asians who also did not have the right to vote. It was a fight for human principals, justice and equality for all peoples who by and large had their rights revoked by racist government legislation of discrimination. 

Native American Professor John Salter Civil rights activist sitting next to Black civil rights activists in 1963 being assaulted by racists: Salter describe one of the most publicized violent attacks as follows: A huge mob gathered, with open police support while the three of us sat there for three hours. I was attacked with fists, brass knuckles and the broken portions of glass sugar containers, and was burned with cigarettes. I’m covered with blood and we were all covered by salt, sugar, mustard, and various other things.
I also think that people may want to remember that this fight was fought by all peoples and that many Native Americans marched on Washington as well. Sure in a population sense, Native Americans or anyone else were not visible to the naked eye as African Americans, however, Native Ancestry did participate and some of them marched on Washington in the Civil Rights Movement, as did other cultures that were non African American.

It was in essence everyone's fight. ( Viola Luizzo)

Historically in the South and other places public water fountains could be found in some places in America, labeled, Colored, Indians and White. There was also three places of segregation in movie theaters for Colored, Indians and Whites in some states.

Once Civil Rights Legislation was successfully enacted, from that day forward the legislation protects African Americans and all peoples that would be at risk of suffering discrimination. And who suffered the same and similar fates of having their rights revoked, which included the protection of Native American Indians, and the Indigenous in general.

My friend who honors Dr King, wrote the following when I pointed out the above. 

This sign is a sign that was very similar in Canada and the USA. Pic from "Indigenous Nationhood" 
I have an old metal sign that was used in Oklahoma up until the 60's that says "no liquor served to Indians"...there is also a sign I saw in front of a bar on a road from Pine Ridge reservation to Rapid City that says "no dogs, women or Indians allowed"...I think that sign is still up and the bar owner is very proud of it! and some say racism no longer is a problem in "amerika (graywolf)

I responded with the following:

I am always happy to see sharing of all information on great leaders that really stood up, was counted for, gave of themselves and some that died for their belief.

These people taught us and inspired us. There are many great leaders of all walks of life, today it is the well earned day of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and if the few that don't like it or refuse to honor this leadership which is badly needed in the world today, so be it. However, they should know not to rain on somebody's else's parade who does want to honor the day.

My friend is a man of greatness because of his life experiences that he has  interconnected of similar/same  human struggles and he teaches in his own way, which causes jealousy of him, because  people pay attention to him and some others with their wonderful thoughts and guidance to younger generations.

"University of California, Berkeley, students who support the Third World Strike get into a scuffle with police. February 4, 1969. The Civil Rights Movement and demands by African, Asian, Latino, and Native Americans. The students issues were not being heard, in which  they demanded that colleges create Ethnic Studies Departments with minority teachers to conduct classes and research into minority issues."

I don't think people realize how many Indians also had joined the civil rights movement and marched on Washington, MLK's dream was many people of oppressions dream as well.

We are all connected and every example of great leadership serves as an everlasting guidance that maps out what we as a collective people need to do to make this a better world for all of us.

A further point is as follows:

One inspiration leads to another, one movement will spark another movement when peoples rights are revoked. I honestly don't care what great leader I honor, I don't care what skin color they have, because in essence all visible leaders have come from all walks of life and skin colors. Each inspiring the other.

The Longest Walk, 1978 Solidarity between African Americans and Native Americans grew with the Native American Movement & The  Black Power movement of the 1970s, whose goals were closer to the nationalism espoused by American Indian Movement activists.

Picture and description in this caption from African Native American Lives Website.Pictured here (left to right) are Muhammad Ali, Buffy St. Marie, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Harold Smith, Stevie Wonder, Marlon Brando, Max Gail, Dick Gregory, Richie Havens, and David Amram at a concert at the end of the Longest Walk, a 3,600-mile protest march from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., in the name of Native rights.

Then we have other great leaders that are more unknown such as my friend mentioned in this article. Trying to educate people, with informed well versed knowledge, is never a bad thing. The best knowledge always comes from the people that lived it, participated in it, was of the era.

Text books only give us basic information.  This march was also a legacy for all of us and the marchers future generations. They sacrificed for us, to give us rights, freedoms, equality. Even if a person didn't know someone that marched on Washington or participated in some way in the movement, it shouldn't matter, because on the merit of your Ancestry somebody of your ethnicity did indeed participate in the Civil Rights Movement.

People who are older then any one person  possess the knowledge that youth don't realize because they were of those generations. This is where wisdom comes with age!

Finally the Civil Rights Movement in Essence sparked other movements and uprisings of civil disobedience, protests and others fighting for their rights, worldwide.

Examples of this can be found with the " American Indian Movement", "The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement", "The French Quiet Revolution in Quebec in Canada" etc... etc.. The Civil Rights Movement paved the way for other movements and uprisings in that era and generation and the unrest we see today of civil disobedience and non violent protest.

Today's occupations that are worldwide prove one thing. Dr Kings and those that dared to dream with him, that marched on Washington has come true. In today's civil disobedience movements of occupations in North America, people are united from all walks of life. Nobody is afraid to protest with people of different origins, nationalities or ethnicity. Uprisings and protest also occur all over the world on behalf of others peoples human rights.

Remember this the next time a few of you want to not honor the Civil Rights Movement and Dr King.  He united people, he encouraged people to fight back, to stand up for their rights, and left a road map that people can follow so it will be a better world for all peoples as one.

 To dishonor Dr Martin Luther King Jr, is not just being disrespectful of him and his accomplishments and  African Americans who fought for this right in the movement, it is being disrespectful of all the peoples including Native Americans that supported the civil rights movement.

Those that bled for the civil rights movement, those that were under extreme violence and injury from the establishments of racism and some that died for the civil rights movement.

Remember all those that stood up with greatness and suffered like Native American John Salter in the Civil Rights Movement.  Please remember many Non African Americans aside from Native Americans also joined the movement and because of the unity of all walks of life, the message was clear to the establishment that human rights for all was imminent, that revoking peoples equal rights would no longer be tolerated by the people worldwide.

Lastly as you can see through the pictures I included we are all connected. Dr King and others leaders before him, after him in every walk of life had one thing in common in understanding and which helped them lead countries and the world, they understood human relationships and that human struggle was the same and similar from all walks of life of oppressed peoples.

All these notable leaders that we know off also fought for equality rights for everyone. GW understands the same thing in his teachings and life experiences.

The next time someone does not know or realize what the Civil Rights Movement really represented, they may want to think about their own Ancestors and peoples who also fought in the Civil Rights Movement itself believing in Dr Kings dream and other Movements that were sparked off of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Movement in essence gave " Human Rights" A Voice !  And made people free to stand up and fight for their rights. Those same rights that other generations enjoy today!

The dream lives on and is still growing strong people! Live the Dream!

1 comment:

All voices but the few ppl I detest are welcome, attacks are not!