Citizens of the United States will always be able to take pride in their country for its place as first true democracy in world history. Every citizen (a term which has carried with it countless shifting definitions) has always had the right to vote and determine his or her own course in the pursuit of happiness. Technically every single one of us, no matter what place in the social ladder at birth, can theoretically make it if we try hard enough and are smart enough and lucky enough. In this light it's really an odd thing that our under classes are still made up of pretty much the same people: generations of poor whites from impoverished rural communities, the latest wave of blue collar immigrants (be it Italian, Asian, or Latino), and, most visibly and desperately, blacks in inner city ghettos.
[...] Carmichael, on the other hand, hopes it isn't necessary but leaves the option open is not for us to tell black communities whether they can or cannot use any particular form of action”), and he reiterates that whites and blacks are two peoples at odds whites everywhere are becoming more hostile,” “responsibility for the use of violence by black men . lies with the white community”). Carmichael's revolution does not rule out violence and as such, when considering the incredibly high stakes (economic equality, white power-holders actually “giving away their buildings” as he said to Mike Wallace), violence, or the threat of violence, is likely to be the concluding chapter in his movement. [...]
[...] While the schools were closed most white students began attending eight private Virginia academies, known collectively as the Prince Edward Academy that enjoyed full accreditation from the Virginia State Department of Education, while black students attended community-run centers initially staffed by experienced teachers who had worked in the public schools. Most of these teachers left in the second year of school closures to find better jobs, and for the next three years housewives and teenagers became the centers' primary caretakers, who primary focus now was to keep young kids off the streets. [...]
[...] Neither Carmichael nor MLK looked on rioting positively Carmichael implies that the riots, aptly labeled “temper tantrums” by MLK, resulted partly in the citizens' frustration with the Civil Right Movement's disempowering policy of demonstrating from position of weakness.” These unpredictable outbursts of collective anger caused much property damage, injury and loss of life (primarily in black communities), and they were purposeless, not geared in any way toward social change. The sort of violence that would be attached to the Panthers' revolution and Carmichael's movement toward economic equality had not come about yet. [...]
[...] Writes Orissa Arend in her detailed collection of first hand accounts of the Black Panther experience in New Orleans, Showdown in Desire: The Story of the Black Panthers in New Orleans how the Desire community embraced the Panthers and understood what they were trying to do. The Panthers made an effort to address the needs of the people, doing “breakfast programs, pest control, child care, tutoring (mixed with a little political ideology), escorting seniors to get groceries or cash their checks, cleaning people's houses,” (Arend, 11) and Desire residents appreciated it. [...]
[...] Says Malik Rahim, a former Black Panther-turned city politician, “5000 came out of the Desire projects and stood between the police and our office and refused to move” (Arend, 23). It seemed that a confrontation was inevitable. During the tense standoff Police Chief Giarrusso and Mayor Landrieu (who were also present) negotiated with the Panthers through Desire Henry Faggen and the priests. The potentially explosive reality of the situation became increasingly clear. Don Hubbard, Desire resident and community organizer, describes being approached by a young man who said they put that tank on these kids, we got something for after which he opened a paper bag he was carrying, displaying half a dozen hand grenades (Arend, 50). [...]
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