Racism revisited

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Last night I was privileged to attend a screening of the documentary Black Thursday Remembered: An Oral History Project. After the viewing a panel comprised some of the students involved with faculty and a reporter who covered the story participated in a Q&A session.

Seeing the still photos from the campus back then and especially during moments from the events of that day where profound. They put the concept of the civil rights movement and institutionalized racism into reality. I grew up learning of the civil rights events but it wasn't until I saw events occur at local locations I know and drive by every day did I gain a deeper perspective.

The word conservative was bandied around all evening. The context it was used in made it synonymous with bigoted or racist. Even now it seems sugar coating the truth on an evening of harsh truths had to occur.

Some of the 94 students or the 94 as they are referred to were able to show up in addition to the panel members. Many of those had not returned to campus since they were forced to leave campus hours after expulsion.

The black students on campus tried bringing up different issues with the university and were told they were not a sanctioned student group so they could not be recognized by the administration. This resulted in the Black Student Union being formed.

During the 20 Nov 1968 meeting they discussed their frustration, anger and dismay on not issues of bigotry. The topics included physical safety on and off campus, the availability of housing, verbal harassment and more. major issue was lack of proper housing being supplied to them. Other issues included safety of black students from physical harm After much heated discussions they formed their plan.

The next morning almost all of the 114 registered black students on campus met for breakfast at the dining hall. This caused quite a stir around campus. The majority of them went from there to the the President of the universities office.

They handed over a list of demands asking for President Guiles to sign off that he acknowledges and will take action to help alleviate the problems. The list covered issues like equal and fair housing, adding courses like Black History and having ethic food from the black community as options on the campus menu.

Guiles refused sign anything under duress. The tension increased to an unbearable point during this standoff. Some of the students began trashing the place for roughly five minutes. The police were called.

Police from multiple counties assembled with riot gear. They formed a corridor with police on both sides down the hall and out to waiting trucks outside. Under the guise of telling the students they were there to protect them from the demonstrations that were occurring outside they loaded them into trucks and took them in to be arrested.

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They had to call family to be bailed out. A Catholic priest who was a civil rights activist named Father Groppi arrived to help raise the funds to bail out the students. Regardless of being present or participating in the act of rioting they were expelled. Upon learning of their expulsion they had just hours to leave campus.

I was lucky enough to speak to one of them, a Dr. Juanita **** who teaches Street Law (consumer law) in Milwaukee. She shared with me how it felt to pull off the highway into Oshkosh for the first time since then. The feelings stirred up walking on campus.

The conversation evolved to modern day civil rights and the landmark election for President Elect Obama. Her eyes lit up when telling of the voter registration drives she worked tirelessly on leading into Nov 4. The pride in her voice talking about her students and how this generation was being proactive in their own future.

She represented what was right back in 1968 and what is right now in 2008. She strongly advised mentoring the youth. Leadership by example and guidance through compassion. She will be the first person I think of during my recollections of the evening.

It is a shame this give and take was a one night event. This is the type of knowledge and emotion that more of our High School and College students should be exposed to and hopefully learn from. In my opinion the older a person is when it comes to views on intolerance and equality the harder it is for them to change. Teaching our youth todayy will go a long way to ensure a better tomorrow.

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

~The Dad

To learn more on this topic I recommend the article from the student run paper the UWO Advance-Titan.

Leaderless dealing with the Pac

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday the suspended cornerback has been reinstated by league commissioner Roger Goodell, but he must miss two more games -- this Sunday and the following game on Thanksgiving. He'll be back Dec. 7 at Pittsburgh.

Goodell has just shown himself to be a panty waist on discipline. The one thing he said he would be tough on from day one. Pacman Jones had his second chance. Goodell gave Pacman Jones what was to be his last shot when he reinstated him this season. Not taking a stand on zero tolerance just cost Goodell a big credibility hit.

After years of problem children in sports like Ray Lewis, John Rocker and Latrell Sprewell the comish has the chance to set the Mendoza Line for bad behavior to a higher standard.

He said he would and then looked good out of the gate but now it's time to prove it. He had been tough but fair. If he was pure blood and guts without fairness Pacman wouldn't have had his chance to play in Dallas.

Allowing Jones back in when the season started was a second chance many people in life would never know. Goodell acted with compassion and still kept his eye on the ball for the good of the NFL by making this known it was the last chance.

Now he is throwing his prior actions out the window bending over backwards keeping a player who can't stay legit.

Yes Jones completed a rehab program. I hope it was enough to help him through his life. Hopefully he can make the changes to keep strong and maintain a healthy life for himself.

Attending rehab should not be a factor in his return. That ship had already sailed when given his last, "last chance". If anything his drinking exasperates the situation. He has a history of finding trouble after finding the bottom of a bottle. At some point you have to make him face up to his problems and stop enabling him with the privilege playing in the NFL.

He needs help to learn how to maintain a healthy, safe lifestyle. The NFL sure is not the place anyone learns those lessons.

The NFL needs to get back to taking care of it's product and stop coddling troublemakers.

~The Dad

I have long bemoaned the lack of real pizza and subs out here in the midwestern wastelands. A few times I would read about a place in the paper and get my hopes lifted up only to have them crash back down with the grace of a bag of hammers.

Once again I see in my morning paper this morning another article about a newly opening pizza. The article talks a good game. Even says it's a family recipe from an Italian grandfather back in New York. This just opens me up to look further into it.

My wife had gone online to read their website to see if they had a clue. She had the menu page open and it was there I saw it happened. WORM SIGN! The first hint of legitimacy. One of the holy key words any true pizza connoisseur knows.


When ordering a pizza you either order it by the slice or by the pie. Using any other units of measurement are wrong. This will only show your ignorance and that you wear black dress socks with your sandals. You may rarely exchange slice with the word piece. If you have to ask when you may use it or how many times you may use it you have already exceeded your lifetime supplies.

Fearing I'm tilting at windmills again I grab my battered shaving bow... baseball cap this evening heading to the car. I was going out to pick up a movie, buy some groceries and bring home what is most likely another soul crushing attempt of finding manna. I called to place the order and was given the standby "we're sorry, the number you are trying to reach has been disconnected" voice message. Not off to an auspicious start here.

I called up the Mrs and she saw I had dialed the number to their other place. Instead of having me try and remember the number while standing in the middle of a drug store so I can call it hopefully faster then I will forget it I asked her to call. Wives come in sooo handy.

As I pull in I notice their across the street from campus is also in walking distance of some local bars. This prime location should serve them well. I exit the car and was immediately greeted by a Mr. Pavlov. My mouth waters as he takes me to the door.

It was there I saw a sign from above. The menu hanging from the wall that is. The species of sign that is native to an authentic pizza provider.

White background, sectioned off, ribbed to hold individual letters that you place one at a time.

Here is an example of a well worn such sign. This for the for those of you who can't read.

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The first pies on display were not pizza. These thing were, were... Oh, the hell with it, macaroni and cheese pizza. There I said it. Can we move on now please?

As I peered into the kitchen across the universe the sharp crack of the seventh seal resounded throughout. All you could hear was the silence so loud. With the deprivation of the sense of sound the sense of smell and sight sharpened to a preternatural level. My expectations are being met.

My eyes beheld hand tossed dough being smoothed over waiting for the crimson swirl of sauce to settle. As my nose inhaled the pleasures wafting from the oven I watched mozzarella feathering down accumulating as snow on a cold December morn.

I made my purchase and started walking to my car. At this point multiple things raced through my mind. The wonder of the smell emanating through the air. The goosebumps rising up and down my spine. Sharing good pizza with my wife who travelled this journey with me. The idea my child could grow up in a world with pizza. Calling my old friend Al if I finally found pizza that was worthy out here. To also tell a fellow online pizza lover the same. Why did they cancel Dark Angel?

As I pull into the car I sit there for a moment enjoying the anticipation of the moment as my car smells like a pizzeria. Steeling myself with a firm resolve I leave the car.

I put the pizza inside the house on the back landing securely on the shelf. I walk around to the front door for the only allowable, no, wonderful diversion. I knock on the front door so the dogs get all excited and bark. The MNA pads over on all fours and barks too. She was waiting for this.

It is time to eat.

I sit down at the table to test for the final benchmark. I was eating pizza and it was glorious. It was not as good as Enzo's pizza but no pizza ever will be again. Compared to other authentic pizza this was about an 8. I'll be able to give a legit rating a few pies from now when the endorphins are not as strong.

~The Dad

Written in the spirit of the Walter "Gib" Gibson, the Godfather of pizza literature.

New Rule: Philadelphia Eagles, week 12

Neither Reid or Morningwing are allowed to even consider a run play on a third down conversion within 40 yards of the opposing endzone. This applies twice as much if it is 4th down territory. The rare exception will be a designed McNabb keeper once every other game.

I am a huge fan of Reid and hope he stays on for many more years. When they picked up Morningwing after his *ahem* time in Detroit I was less then enthused. I was disabused of that notion rather quickly his first season. He was a worthy addition.

From failing to convert on a goaline series to needing that all important first down to keep the final drive alive the running game has been a heartbreaker.

Westbrook is manning up and playing with a rib injury that is on the mend. He is not playing well enough to take the game on his shoulders and deliver until he heals a bit more. The man is human. One hell of a football player that I believe is a future Hall of Famer but he is still human and doing his best. You can't ask him for any more.

McNabb has been remarkable this season. His offensive weapons in the passing game are the best he has had overall in his tenure. Yes during that period that should not be mentioned he had better but not overall.

Rookie Jackson is the best receiver so far this year and has the potential to FINALLY be that number one receiver McNabb has never had. Well, get the picture.

It is our damn run game. We have two tight ends that are solid between L.J. Smith and Celek. I am respect Smith but do not rank him as high as everyone else seems to. Westbrook is just Westbrook . WIthout him we wouldn't have had any of the success we have had.

The problem I have been ranting about for years is the lack of a north/south running back. I was excited when they picked up Hunt in the draft finally pulling in a powerback.

Even though he has shown he won't be the player I had hoped for his selection gives me hope. It seems the front office realizes their is a need at that position. I just hope they ratchet up that belief and pick one in the first round.

Having two first round draft picks this year with one coming in from Carolina I think they should trade up and pick the best available. A power back to spell Westbrook and jam the ball smash mouth style for short yardage is the teams biggest need. There is no excuse not to fill it.

It was a good game that was frustrating to watch. The Boys in Blue played like the reigning champs they are and earned the W. There is no excuses for our loss and no complaints about their game or any officiating.

We had been weighed, we had been measured, and we have been found wanting. The only response is to stand back up, brush it off and prepare next Sunday night in Cincy.

~The Dad

So much for the after glow

I will post later about the amazement that was last night. Right now I am pissed. The old adage for ever one stop forward you take two steps back hit home this afternoon.

Last night we took a major step in the continuing battle for equality in this country. At the same time Arizona and Florida supported state constitutional amendments to ban same sex marriage.

Then there is as Paul Harvey would say."The rest of the story".

Arizona and Florida passed constitutional amendments recognizing marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Outright making it illegal for gays and lesbians to marry.

Even if they can pull a civil union deal for themselves out of this it's still the same garbage from our past. Separate but equal. Blacks had to use their own bathrooms, had segregated schools, had to sit in the back of the bus. Gays in this country are now being relegated to such legal intolerance that has not been seen since.

Current projections has Arkansas with fifty seven percent support to prohibit unmarried sexual partners from adopting. This applies to same and opposite sex couples.

This is another thinly veiled attack on gay rights since gays can not marry in that state. Straights can marry and adopt, gays and lesbians do not have that option.

This one hit close to home for me since my wife and I adopted our kick ass daughter. These wonderful kids need a home with love. That is not a hard concept to understand and you can not logically explain that wouldn't happen with two mommies.

Considering the amount of abused children, children of divorce (currently a hetero issue), children born to crack mothers, etc out there right now to deny them a supportive, loving home of parents wanting to do such that is a travesty.

By their theory single parents who lost a spouse to death or divorce are not fit to be parents either. They just shy away from that angle.

How we can come together and advance our society by elevating a black man to become President Elect and at the same time relegate other human beings to second class status is incomprehensible. Intolerance by law is still intolerance. Just by putting it in the books does not make it any less ignorant.

With that off my chest I feel a bit better. Looking forward to my post of the magic that was Election Night 2008.

~The Dad