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Dick Gregory: Clenched fist salute stirs typical U.S. reaction
Dick Gregory: Clenched fist salute stirs typical U.S. reaction
Item IDEgyptian19681030Gregory.tif
TitleDick Gregory: Clenched fist salute stirs typical U.S. reaction
AuthorDick Gregory
DescriptionMexico City is increasingly becoming the symbol of the emerging new spirit which is gaining momentum throughout the world. Student revolts have far surpassed anything seen on a campus in this country and indicate the courageous and determined spirit of Latin American youth.
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Date1968 October 30
Volume50
Issue27
SectionEducation
Page(s)4
Digital File Format.TIF (Tagged Image Format)
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Rights StatementAll copyrights held by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email: http://reftrack.lib.siu.edu/reft100.aspx?key=SCRCEmail&cllcid=SCRR
CollectionDaily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
TranscriptDick Gregory: Clenched fist salute stirs typical U.S. reaction

By Dick Gregory

Mexico City is increasingly becoming the symbol of the emerging new spirit which is gaining momentum throughout the world. Student revolts have far surpassed anything seen on a campus in this country and indicate the courageous and determined spirit of Latin American youth. Recently, victorious American black athletes. shocked a sizable segment of public opinion in the United States by raising their hands in the clenched fist salute while accepting their gold medals at the Olympic Games. As a result they were
expelled from the Games,
Personally, I never have been able to understand why the clenched
Dick ittegowy
fist salute produces white outrage. Black folks learned this salute from white folks. We have been using baking soda just as much as white folks and we saw the clenched fist on the box.
Americans were proud to win the gold medals but outraged to see the clenched fist. Yet the Olympic Games themselves are supposed to aid the developemem of a spirit of cooperation and unity in the world population. It is entirely consistent wich that spirit for black American athletes to offer a salute which wili be immediately recognized by black people in all other participating countries. To criticize or penalize black American athletes for recognizing a common bond of unity is inconsistent with America's supposed desire for world cooperation.
The black athletes were expelled because the rules of the Olympic Games state that they are not supposed to be political. The clenched fist salute was interpreted as injecting a note of political propagandizing into the cooperation spirit of the games. To be consistent with that sentiment, both America and Russia should be expelled from competition. Both Countries make political hay of Olympic Game competition by keeping close score and publicizing their comparative accomplishments in the national mass media.
But America has always been consistent in displaying inconsistencies. Many Americans currently support the candidacy of George Wallace for President because he has promised to give them "law and order." Such Wallace supporters do not seem to realize (or are unwilling to admit) that they are championing the cause of the same man who stood in the school house door to block law and order.
Many Americans severely criticize the welfare system in this country, "Relief has become a dirty word in America. An atmosphere has been created where people are ashamed to be on relief. If relief embarrasses or shames America, let it be called foreign aid. America is never embarrassed to send money all over Europe for health projects and the like, and it is nothing but relief. Those who criticize welfare do not seem to mind farm subsidies, America's inconsistency sanctions paying farmers not to plant but resents providing financial assistance after she plants.
America's most pronounced inconsistency is illustrated by her inability to solve basic problems at home while oresuming to be able to solve everyone else's probems abroad. The inconsistency is magnified by the ludicrous spectacle of American troops in Vietman attempting to force democracy upon people at gunpoint. If America's performance of democracy at home were consistent with what we say about the democratic way of life, It would never be necessary to take up
arms to enforce It. People all over the world would be demanding democracy for themselves.
America's most crucial battle has yet to be waged at home. I would rather see domestic strife between Americans than to see Americans engaging in foreign turmoil. During the Democratic Convention in Chicago thousands of troops were broughc into the city to keep the peace. It is unfortunate that there were not 100 more Chicago's occurring simultaneously throughout the country. Perhaps then it would have been necessary to bring the American troops back from Vietnam to keep the domestic peace.
If there had been a really morally committed people's army of German youth in the 1930's, creating domestic disorder as American and Latin American students are doing today, millions of Jews and other people the world
over would have been spared senseless slaughter. And until America gets her own house hr order, she cannot justify the presumptioa^uf dictating solutions to for-ign problems.
We will begin to bring order to every American household when the capitalistic system is brought into proper perspective in this country. I do not advocate destroying the capitalistic system, but I do insist that it be put in its proper place behind the United States Constitution. Today the Constitution has become the servant of capitalism rather than rhc capitalistic system serving the best interests of all Americans within the framework of the Constitution. The recent inability to produce meaningful gun control legislation was a fine example. The vast majority of the American people favored a strong gun control But the firearms industry, a powerful voice in the capitalistic system said "no" to firm gun control measures. The bill was defeated, disregarding the will of the people.
When life in America is truly defined and conducted by the Constitution of the United States, a major step will have been taken to control the use of all guns, at home and abroad.
LanguageEnglish
TypeText
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