October 21, 2011

"John Carlos, who saluted Black Power with raised fists at 1968 Olympics, addresses Occupy Madison."

That and he's in town for the Wisconsin Book Festival with a book to promote.
After Carlos finished speaking to the group huddled together by the Occupy Madison camp in Veterans Park, listeners purchased the new book he co-wrote with sportswriter Dave Zirin, titled The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World.

John Pope waited in a short line for Carlos to autograph his copy. "[Carlos] was at the top of his athletic prowess and instead of coming home as a hero, he came home as someone who was despised by a lot of people because he took a real serious stand against a lot of issues," he said.
And that's what it's all about, kids: taking a real serious stand against a lot of issues. And moving merchandise.

37 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Cause mongers are the assholes of the universe.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I still despise him. At the time I harbored, in my adolescent naivete, a belief that the Olympics should be free of politics. Wasn't Hitler wrong in 1936? Now I just believe that the Olympics should be abandoned.

KenK said...

"And that's what it's all about, kids: taking a real serious stand against a lot of issues. And moving merchandise."

Ain't that the truth.

Scott M said...

He's signaling black power in that picture? I always thought it was a high-speed picture taken in mid-javelin throw. The black power thing explains all the people around him, though, and I admit that's always bugged me about that picture.

edutcher said...

He was a jerk then and time hasn't smartened him up.

"The Sports Moment That Changed the World."

And here I thought it was Jesse Owens, as Tyrone says, or the massacre of the Israeli athletes in '72.

Ann Althouse said...

And that's what it's all about, kids: taking a real serious stand against a lot of issues. And moving merchandise.

Can a line from the post win the thread?

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

What a coincidence that he is also selling a book! You could not make that up.

traditionalguy said...

He exercised free speech in sign language. It took guts to do that.

The value of free speech is, as always, that we learned what he is thinking about.

Pogo said...

The Sports Moment That Changed the World?

What exactly changed in the world, or in sports, or in the Olympics, for the matter?

How is one to tell, except that he feels compelled to point out this non-entity.

KenK said...

Some of you guys have a really negative attitude. What's the point of being a civil rights hero if you can't cash in on it forever?

Shouting Thomas said...

I don't know if the sports world changed as a result of that moment, but the phenomenon persists.

Black athletes are granted a special dispensation to be showboats and braggarts, while white athletes are supposed to be icons of stoic blandness.

It's sort of like the Raging Grannies vs. Angry White Men. One is good, the other is terrible.

I don't think I need to tell you which.

ricpic said...

I still despise the shit. Some of us are funny that way, we just refuse to evolve.

Curious George said...

The 1971 Cubs: The Sports Moment That Changed the World.

They came in third also.

m stone said...
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The Drill SGT said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
I still despise him. At the time I harbored, in my adolescent naivete, a belief that the Olympics should be free of politics.


You beat me to it.

Many Americans were proud when a Jesse Owens, an American, stood on the Gold Medal Platform in 36. We were pissed when Smith and Carlos stood on the platforms in 68, demonstrated that they were "Black" Americans, unlike Jesse.

The Drill SGT said...

m stone said...
Who was the other guy on the podium with him that gave the salute?


Tommie Smith is on the Gold platform. John Carlos, was an also ran in 3rd.

m stone said...

On July 16, 2008, John Carlos and Tommie Smith accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for their salute at the 2008 ESPY Awards.

Past winners: Pat Tillman and Todd Beamer

Scott M said...

Tommie Smith is on the Gold platform. John Carlos, was an also ran in 3rd.

Ah. That explains why they were letting two guys throw javelins at the same time. I think I've got it figured out now. Who says the net can't teach you valuable things?

Chuck66 said...

Why do 1% of the athletes get 99% of the awards wealth? Why should this man get to stand on the podium in Mexico City when people like me can't throw a ball straight.

Everyone should have gotten to stand on that podium. We are all equal!

DADvocate said...

The Sports Moment That Changed the World.

A little more than grandiose. I've brought up Carlos at work before, becasue I saw him run in the 1969 NCAA championships, and no one uder 45 knows who he is. I always think of Springsteen's Glory Days when I come across someone trying to live off of far past athletic accomplishments.

Scott M said...

I always think of Springsteen's Glory Days when I come across someone trying to live off of far past athletic accomplishments.

Ironic because that's what Springsteen is doing when he plays that song.

AJ Lynch said...

Chuck R:

Good one!

Jamboree:

Chris Hedges hates America. You know that don't you?

jamboree said...
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David said...

Despised? I suppose by some, but I remember being puzzled. Just what was black power to him? Why do something so ambiguous that interpretation was a mirror of the observer, not a reflection of the act? And why was his head down? He did not look proud and powerful. He looked like he was trying to hide in plain sight.

It's kind of sad, actually. It hurt Mr. Carlos. Has it ever occurred to him that he was used? Or did this moment so define his life that he could not question anything about it?

William said...

I have these vague memories of the Mexico City Olympics: Hundreds of Mexican demonstrators were killed, and news of their murders was suppressed. Some guy broke the broad jump record by a huge distance. I also remember that Black Power salute, but I didn't know until just now that it changed the world.

ndspinelli said...

Whether you agree w/ what they did, they believed in what they were doing and paid a price for it. I can abide that.

Matt said...

Most of the comments here are both hilarious and depressing. Still bitter because a black man was standing up for the civil rights movement?? I guess he was too uppity for some of you?

Who cares if they were political? Would you complain if they got too religious too?

And note the 'moving merchandise' quip is misguided; why should someone give up their rights to sell something they have written just because they once stood up for a polical cause like equality?

Sigivald said...

In a few decades, it'll stop being forever 1968.

Because the original fixées will all be dead or incapacitated.

Then maybe - just maybe - we can start to move on from echoes of Protest Culture and Soviet funded anti-Americanism.

rcocean said...
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rcocean said...

Civil Rights moment? WTF.

This was 3 years after the CR bill was passed. Carlos was just like all those assholes that supported the by Black panthers. It had nothing to do with "Civil Rights".

That lefties still remember and love him doesn't surprise me.

DADvocate said...

Most of the comments here are both hilarious and depressing. Still bitter because a black man was standing up for the civil rights movement??

Your emotional state is way too fragile and your lack of insight way to great.

Matt said...

DADvocate

Your emotional state is way too fragile and your lack of insight way to great.

Just the opposite. I don't care personally if people raised their fist for a political purpose 4 decades ago. Why would you? Are you opposed to civil rights or something?

And if you think the Olympics is supposed to be apolitical then why not tell the Olympic committee to not play any national anthems for the winners. In fact, why not eliminate gold silver and bronze all together? The Olympics is completely political. And all the better for it.

Or, more to the point, it is the way politics is supposed to be. I.e. "I stand up for what I believe in and you stand up for what you believe in and we don't kill each other." Note the [white] Canadian who received the Silver medal helped Tommy Smith and John Carlos with their plan. That's what I'm talking about.

Revenant said...

Still bitter because a black man was standing up for the civil rights movement

Um, Matt? The Black Power movement was comprised of people who thought Martin Luther King had the wrong idea.

I'm just sayin'.

Sorin said...

“The Black Power movement was comprised of people who thought Martin Luther King had the wrong idea.”

Very true but the children of today only know what they have been taught. They were not “there” so they do not understand what it was like at the time. They have no context through which they can understand the meaning of the act.

I was an adult at the time and remember the furor that it caused.
Life goes on and people wander as if they are blind. History in our country is filtered through the liberal lens of the past. Witness the glorification of a perverted man and murderer known as Che. He’s dead but he live in T-shirts and bags.

Matt said...

Revenant
The Black Power movement vs Martin Luther King.

Actually the ideology of the Black Power movement was not all homogenized. It wasn’t like everyone had one agenda and that was to pay back the white race. However, regardless of the methods some may have espoused, they [and King] were all in favor of equality and civil rights. [And besides if you were black and spit upon for a good portion of your life circa the South in the 1950’s I am sure you would have some angry thoughts. Most humans would.]

And note that once they got back home they were subjected to abuse and they and their families received death threats. I would like to think not everyone opposed to their raised fists wanted them dead. Similarly we should not assume that Carlos and Smith wanted violent methods to achieve equality. The raised fists is a cultural moment and a pretty innocuous one at that.

Revenant said...

Actually the ideology of the Black Power movement was not all homogenized.

I didn't say it was. But just because something isn't homogenous doesn't mean it has no common traits -- e.g., there are all manner of Christians, but every last one shares certain beliefs about God and Jesus.

The Black Power movement was solidly against King's message of racial harmony and his focus on earning the acceptance of the white majority. It was a racialist (and, quite frankly, racist) movement that focused on strengthening black Americans as a race.

The Black Power movement was a dismal failure. The civil rights movement succeeded in spite of it, and in no way because of it; the damage it did remains, e.g. in the association of academic achievement and middle-class values with "acting white" among poor blacks.

However, regardless of the methods some may have espoused, they [and King] were all in favor of equality and civil rights

Untrue. There were plenty of people within the Black Power movement, e.g. some of the nastier Nation of Islam and Black Panther types, who preached doctrines of black racial supremacy.

And besides if you were black and spit upon for a good portion of your life circa the South in the 1950’s I am sure you would have some angry thoughts.

One can understand bad behavior without celebrating it.

jeff said...

"Um, Matt? The Black Power movement was comprised of people who thought Martin Luther King had the wrong idea."

Shssss. You're distracting Matt into thinking rather than mind reading.

So did the crowd repeat everything he said? Did they vote and get concenced (my new favorite word) for him to speak? All that stuff got left out.