The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race
Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it’s about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?
The answer can be found in May of 1970.
You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.
You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings…
Congratulations to Byron Scott from the Cap on becoming the new head coach of the LA Lakers!
Commemorate this day with a unique, limited edition handprint basketball:
Forget all the controversies. Let Marvin Gaye and the other greats be your true guide to life with Kareem’s commencement mix tape.
So, you’re graduating this month and school administrators feel a sudden desperate need to hire someone famous to toss advice at you like over-engorged water balloons of wisdom. When it’s over, you will be soaked with insight and inspiration. After four years of intense studying, what new understanding can be offered in 20 minutes under a hot sun in a stifling rented gown worn by a thousand other sweaty grads with itches of unknown origin? Or is parading some celebrity speaker merely an eleventh-hour attempt to convince your parents that you got their money’s worth?
Harvard, Yale, Stanford, let me save you some money on speaker fees. I’ve put together a mix-tape of four Motown songs that will tell graduates everything they need to know to march forward happily and successfully through life. Get the party started by playing these songs at graduation, maybe with the Dean of Students holding a boom box over his head like John Cusack in Say Anything…