Good morning, y’all. It’s been so refreshing being able to get out and do my little walk around the loop here at TackyToo. I can fight the masses, pun intended, to use the treadmill over at the Rec room, but it’s almost as bad a signup situation as it is for the computer. Being able to walk my laps around the park in the sunshine is the way to go for me. Brain cells get oxygen that haven’t been activated since “back in the day”.
Speaking of “back in the day”, we all have memories of our teens and early twenties that are enhanced by the passage of time. Maybe enhanced isn’t the right word, maybe numbed is more apropos, but you catch my drift. Our successes and strengths are exaggerated, and our failures and weaknesses are diminished. We fashion a memory that is something we are comfortable with. I feel certain that is true of all of us. We all recall “the good old days”, right?
Events of this week at the University of Missouri got me to thinking about “the good old days”. My “good old days” included the shootings at Kent State and the riots in Harlem, Watts and others. My “good old days” were some of the most turbulent times in American history, and watching the events at the University of Missouri put me in a most reflective mood.
First and foremost, racism is not dead in America. We see it every day and are reminded of it every time we hear of another black person being shot by police. The militarism of America has continued unabated since the unleashing of the National Guard on the student population at Kent State. Our local police departments are equipped with better grade weapons than most country’s armies. Why? Who do our local governments fear that has brought about this escalation of weaponry? As near as I can tell, it’s not armed bands of Isis running amok in our streets. It must be someone else.
Watching how the students of color handled themselves this week at the University of Missouri was eye opening. Part Dr. King, part Ghandhi, and part Donald Trump, the student body were able to get their demands met without a shot being fired. While I give great props to the student who launched a hunger strike, and the other students who marched in solidarity to their cause, the real winners of this skirmish were the black athletes on the University of Missouri football team who refused to play until the president resigned. After watching a few clips of Tim Wolfe, the ex-president, it is easy to see why the students of color didn’t feel like the president held their best interests at heart. The chancellor of the University has also since resigned. It sounds like a good house cleaning is in order.
As an old dog who has now been taught a new trick by this generation, let me say that had we known all we had to do to get our demands met was to refuse to play football, why heck, you all would be living in a different world now. Had we known the secret to social change then, I expect everyone today would have a house and a good paying job with free medical care and using hover boards to get to and from work.
Withholding football never occurred to us, “back in the day”. Each cancelled game would have cost the University of Missouri over a million dollars. Turns out, it was an easy financial decision for the folks in charge. Good on you, Missouri Tigers and all of the coaches and teammates that supported the movement.
In memory of a different time I give you Crosby Stills and Nash. There are still four dead in Ohio: