Where Have You Been?

Where were you on April 4, 1968? What were you doing to keep Dr King alive? Did you join in the protests and rioting? Are you a racist for not being there to defend him when you were just a scant ten miles away? How do you handle the insanity of a legitimate protest,  masking the outright thuggery of rioting?

We were there, and even though my wife and I were not in immediate danger, the whole town was shut down at night with the threat of certain arrest. I was a broadcast engineer at WMC-TV in Memphis, and had special permission to go to my night-time job keeping the station on the air. It was not uncommon to see gaggles of police and highway patrol cars at motels and restaurants, and even military personnel carriers ripping across the streets of Memphis.

I was glad the police and national guard were there. Was I being racist?

Let’s take this even further. Where were you in the late 1950’s when Memphis City bus drivers were forcing black people to move from in front of the rear bus door, to the very rear of the bus to make way for white people to sit. What if you were that white person, and you didn’t ask for that seat? What if you were that white person, and you were just a junior high student like thousands of other kids that had to ride city buses to school (At that time there were no school buses in the city.)?

I may or may not have been that one person who caused the ejection of a black person from a bus, but I was still there not knowing what to say or do.

Was I a racist because I didn’t immediately throw myself at the bus driver and city police in defense of that black person?

If I were to put you into the same situations in segregationist Jim Crow America in the 1950’s, I don’t believe you would have behaved differently. If you were defending a black kid or adult, it was not unusual to find yourself surrounded by people calling you a n**** lover and being threatened.

My point is this. I know what racism is. The United States is not a racist nation. Protesting this police killing problem by disrespecting our nation makes no sense. The whole thing was started by an NFL quarterback who was bitter about life, and is not the brightest guy around. Even though I respect his reason to protest, I think he was dumb to have chosen his method.

If you want to disagree with me, fine, but bring your facts.










10 thoughts on “Where Have You Been?”

  1. Hi, Bob..VERY glad to see you posting…keep it up! Also, I think you’re very courageous to post this.
    It’s very easy to call someone a racist when you haven’t BEEN in that person’s shoes. No, you are not racist, you were living your life…protecting yourself and your wife, seeing things that didn’t make sense to you because you didn’t have a racist bone in your body. It must have been terrible to see things like that happening to Black Americans…and to feel ‘what can I do?’….those were different days than they are today.
    I agree with you about this latest situation of the NFL…his method stinks….and, of course, more and more are following suit ….in attempts to prove America racist, in my opinion, when they had a Black president who not only didn’t help matters but actually started them off with the Henry Gates ‘beer summit’ fiasco Obama started by responding without knowing the facts.
    UGH…a Black president who barely ever mentioned the Black on Black killings in Chicago..in 8 years he did nothing to tell kids they can do better, to study, to stop drugs, etc. He left them to their own devices, acting out a lack of parents, a culture which tells them to do wrong, and ‘leaders’ who want them making bad choices….he let all those Black kids down. That, to ME, is RACIST!

  2. Z: Thanks for your reply and encouragement. There have been many days when I would sit down to write an opinion, but would just fold the laptop in disgust with the whole condition of things in this nation. As regards the Black racial situation in America we are very long way from the 1950’s.

  3. Good to be “back”, Ed. Having seen Bill Bennett interviewed on TV last night, I was wondering if he still had his radio show, and if you were still a regular on that show.

  4. I wouldn’t know how to put you into moderation. I would guess that WordPress doesn’t like multiple links in a comment. I gotta look at that. Thanks for the information. No harm intended.

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