44

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tommiesmithMany of you know this story, but it  has always struck me as one of the largest displays of injustice in the history of our country. These men truly stood for something more than themselves or the ideology of a nation. At the Mexico City Games in 1968, two black American sprinters stood on the medal podium with heads bowed and fists raised—a symbol of black power. Teammates Tommie Smith and John Carlos had secretly planned a non-violent protest to bring attention to the injustices faced by black Americans should they medal in the 200-meter race.  Which they did, with Smith capturing gold and Carlos bronze. But at the time, the athletes encountered such outrage that they were stripped of their medals, suspended from their national team and banned from the Olympic village. The athletes and their families also received numerous death threats. I have heard terms such as patriot or freedom used sparingly in our culture, unfortunately many individuals have no idea what they truly mean…..

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40 years after their silent protest at the 1968 Olympics, Gold Medalist Tommie Smith hugs Bronze Medalist John Carlos, and their wives Delois Smith and Charlene Carlos after Barack Obama is officially sworn in as the President of the United States. Photo taken in the Smith room at the Sheraton Boston in Boston, MA. (Boston Globe/Stan Grossfeld)

My respect for not only our new President, but for those who cleared the path.

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3 Responses to “44”

  1. thewreckoning Says:

    What is often overlooked is that the guy standing next them, Peter Norman of Austrailia, was wearing a “Olympic Project for Human Rights” button, the organization of which Carlos and Smith were members. In the photo, he just looks like the white guy, but in reality he was down with the cause. In fact, he took a bunch heat when he got home. Both Carlos and Smith gave eulogies and were pallbearers at Norman’s funeral.

    Check out Dave Zirin’s obit: http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/view/4221/1/215/

  2. thewreckoning Says:

    Or check out Zirin’s interview with John Carlos: http://www.zmag.org/zmag/viewArticle/19450

  3. Robert Says:

    all three of the homies got the button on.

    mark droppin mo knowledge.

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