October 21, 2005, - 11:28 am

Your Tax $s Fund Olympic Black Power Statue

By Debbie Schlussel
Remember this picture from the 1968 Olympics?

olympicblackpowersalute.jpg

I wasn’t born yet, but like most Americans, I’ve been exposed WAY TOO MUCH to this photo of U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting “American oppression” of Blacks while on foreign soil in Mexico.
What they did was wrong. It was incorrect. It was an outrage.
But instead of being remembered that way, Smith’s and Carlos’ black-gloved Black Power protest salute is now celebrated . . . WITH YOUR TAX MONEY.
Monday, San Jose State University unveiled a 23-foot-tall statue glorifying the moment. And $300,000 of your tax money footed the bill of this expensive outrage. Media reports say the “Associated Students” of the university footed the bill, but guess where their money came from? You.
New York Times sports columnist William C. Rhoden thinks this is a good thing. But Smith’s and Carlos’ protest was a shame, not something to be proud of. At the same games, Czechoslavakian gymnast Vera Caslavska used the Olympics to protest the Communist Soviet Union’s invasion and commencement of tyranny in her country.
Oppression is what the Communists did to the people of Eastern Europe in 1968 and beyond, NOT what Americans did to Blacks in 1968 and beyond. Too bad they didn’t know the difference. Too bad the administration at San Jose State in 2005 still doesn’t know the difference.
After their behavior, U.S. officials sent the two Olympians home from Mexico City. They–the Olympic officials–had the right idea. Today’s uppity sports columnists and University money-wasters do not.
***UPDATE: As my friend, author John Barnes, said so well: “Debbie: In re the John Carlos/Tommy Smith thing: I’ve always wanted to tell George Foreman (if I ever met him) that the bravest thing he ever did was walk around the ring waving an American flag after winning the gold at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. That took more guts at that time and in that atmosphere than any opponent he ever faced in the ring.”
Amen.

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11 Responses

Jesus, Oy Vey, Aye Caramba, etc., these two morons 37 years later said that they woud not have done what they did back then, today.

KOAJaps on October 21, 2005 at 12:07 pm

Since i WAS born then…a ten-year-old chile at the time…having Jim Crowed it down south as i was called nigger when i visited relatives in Jersey, THIS was a heroic moment in history!!!
Dreamer Martin Luther King was recently terminated, and living in NYC, police brutatilty and corruption was at an all time high. IF there had been gold medalist winners taking a stance at Hitler’s Olympics they too would have been worthy of a statue…ANYONE who stands up to the POGROMS is a hero in my book.
Read a history book…or look at some news footage from the times. Kids were getting hosed down in the streets as the Dixiecrat police sicced dogs on them, and while you may object to the First Amendment’s guarantee for peaceful protests, cops were busting heads in Chicago.
While i’m one of the Blacks that can at times “pass” because of my light-coloured skin, i have ALWAYS admired most Jews who could have done so too, but stuck to their beliefs. Most of the “uppitiness” of American Blacks was gleaned by a stiff-necked people WE read of in the ‘old’ testament, and whilst i respect most of your opinions even if i don’t agree with them…please don’t fall into that klanish trap that all the limbaughnistas seem to embrace—the unwritten code that the Black man is the devil!!!

EminemsRevenge on October 21, 2005 at 1:53 pm

Debbie,
You know I love ya! I’m about as conservative as they come and even as a black male in America, I would not have done what they did. But that’s because of what the raised black gloved fist represented: a militant rejection of ALL things American, and that’s not what I’m about.
I would, however, have to take a bit of exception to your statement that
Oppression is what the Communists did to the people of Eastern Europe in 1968 and beyond, NOT what Americans did to Blacks in 1968 and beyond.
Again, while I’m bitterly opposed to the race hustlers like Farrakhan and Jesse “Shake down” Jackson, I think your comment unfairly minimizes the real and demonstrable oppression that black people did experience in the ’60s. It had only been 4 years since the passing of the Civil Rights legislation (which our “friends” on the Left bitterly opposed) and even in the experience my own family, the era of discrimination was hardly over.
My father was a honorable serviceman of two wars, Korea and Vietnam, and yet at that very time, there were a few places in the South that refused to receive his patronage because he was black. He was also called racial epithets by a senior white officer with impunity, because that’s how the system worked then.
I think an argument can easily be made that while what the Olympic medalist did was wrong, it wasn’t about “1968 and BEYOND” for him, it was about 1968 and BEFORE. And to be fair, I have to say that the history of 1968 and before WAS in fact an era of oppression of black people in some parts of America.
The upside is that it has gotten better and I see no reason for the ridiculous talk such as that at the “Millions More” march. And I do think “progress” for black people is in jeopardy of regressing if black people as a whole do not reject the essentially RACIST position of the Sharptons of the world and the RACIST rhetoric of the Black Caucus and their ilk.
That said, your comment makes it seem like you are dismissing the real injustices that black people, like members of my own family, endured in the years prior to your birth.

Steve on October 21, 2005 at 4:56 pm

What those ho’s did was nuthin’ compared to what
Jesse Owens did at the ’36 games-in front of muhfuh’ Hitler-during a worse time for brothas…Also,dis Jew muhfuh has been in a Blind
Pig in Detroit,hangin’ out wit’ some bro’s an’ I can understand bein’ pissed at The Man for the stupid Blind Pig bust that set off the ’67 Detroit riot,for example.But the ho’s who funded
dis jive statue conveniently fo’got(Y’all Musta Fo’got by Roy Jones)Jewish dudes like my uncle who risked his tuchis in Mississippi when Chaney,Goodman and Schwerner(two nice Jewish boys)
were executed;so you come up with the 300 large
fo’ them and we be coo’.It’s all good…

jaywilton on October 21, 2005 at 5:13 pm

Steve put it well;it wasn’t about “1968 and Beyond” it was about “1968 and Before”.

danny on October 21, 2005 at 9:58 pm

I don’t think Deb’s against U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting “American oppression” of Blacks while on foreign soil in Mexico. What she’s against is using tax-payer money to memorialize them. Japanese Americans during WW2 fought against the Nazis and liberating Dauchau, but no tax money was spent on creating a statue of them. There is a monument in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles Ca., http://www.publicartinla.com/Downtown/Little_Tokyo/goforbroke1.html but the money received were from private donation. Deb is not a racist by any means but it’s unfair that my people did not receive a statue courtesy of the taxpayer to erect this momentous event. What Smith and Carlos did was open the eyes of the people of the racism, but does that mean that they deserve a statue courtesy of our money? If so, then pay back http://www.goforbroke.org for putting up the statue in Little Tokyo. Make a statute of the Chinese who labored and toiled in America during the 19th and early 20th century. See my point? I hope so

KOAJaps on October 21, 2005 at 11:48 pm

If I ever have an opportunity (and so far, I haven’t), I’ve always wanted to thank George Foreman for walking around the ring waving an American flag after he won the heavyweight gold medal in Mexico City in 1968.
At that time, and in that place and in that atmosphere, Foreman’s show of patriotism took more courage than any fight he ever climbed into the ring for. Naturally, George Foreman gets no bronze statues.
From a seven-year old kid who was watching at home and never forgot: thanks, George.

barnej on October 22, 2005 at 10:56 pm

Blacks were so oppressed in America that these two scum were actually allowed to compete. If America was so oppressive they would’ve been prevented from competing, and, instead, would’ve tended cotton in a slaveowner’s field somewhere.
On another point, all anti-American propaganda is praised by the NY Times. They’ve been nothing but apologists for America’s enemies for decades (they hate religion, but they’re absolutely in love with Islam), so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they see this (the statutue) as positive. However, the alumni of San Jose State University should withhold any future donations to that “school” until this piece of anti-American propaganda is torn down, a la, the way Lenin’s and Stalin’s statutues were torn down after the collapse of the Soviet Union (a day still lamented at the NY Times).

Thee_Bruno on October 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm

Debbie you blind stupid ignorant person. I bet your a white conservative just wanting money and power! these people stood up for what they believed in, they were oppressed and had to stand up for not just themselves but a nation made up of black people who were also oppressed. i salute these men and for all they stand. i hope one day everyone is equal, but i do not believe this will ever happen because of the blind and ignorance of people like you.thankyou

Revolution on November 4, 2006 at 9:25 pm

i cant believe how patriotic you americans are.blind to everything around you. i’m hoping that barnej comments are a joke and he doesnt actually believe them cause they are so stupid it makes me laugh hard lol!

Revolution on November 4, 2006 at 9:28 pm

I read the article and agree with your opening statement, you weren’t born yet.
The world knew the USA’s civil rights violations, but the USA desperately needed our African-Americans to win gold and look strong during the Cold War.
In 1968, African-Americans played sports, fought wars, worked hard and if they kept their mouths shut and “behaved properly” we called them Americans, but one wrong move and the title “American” is stripped and other names were used.
America pretended everything was cool, but it wasn’t cool and our athletes showed them how uncool.
1968 was a horrible year for America and African-Americans, the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, the Democratic Convention in Chicago.
1968 was not the worst year for African-Americans, their slavery began around 1600 and despite the words of The Declaration of Independence, America’s actions declared that all men were not created equal.
Our government labeled African-Americans “second-class citizens.”
Ms. Schlussel, you and I were born into an America without these abuses(although in some parts of our country, we still have trouble).
Consider yourself lucky, I know I do.
In East Texas, I stand up for what’s right and have been slapped down for it too, but if I witness an abuse today, I will stand again.
If you don’t respect those athletes, I don’t understand how you respect yourself.

clayriggs on August 21, 2008 at 3:09 am

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