My most vivid memory of the murder of Dr. King? Being scared out of my mind that my Mom and Dad might not be able to make it home safely.
As a 10 year old, I certainly wasn’t aware of the political and racial issues represented by Martin Luther King. he was always in the paper and on television, but news like that was a background noise to someone that young. Some news always gets through – less than a year before Israel kicked the snot out of the Arabs, there was a war going on – but the most important things were going to school, having to practice the piano and trumpet, playing baseball and all those kid things we did before video games and iPods.
My Mom and Dad had left our place in Maroa, Illinois to go to Greenville, South Carolina with a group of teenagers who were visiting Bob Jones University to see if they wished to attend that college when they graduated. My sister was just 1 year old, my brother was 7 and my grandmother was staying there and taking care of us.
The first indication I had that something was happening was watching my Grandmother glued to the TV the next morning. Of course, in honor of the slain civil rights leader just about every American city with any sort of black population incurred riots and looting. Policemen were being shot at in the streets, cities like Chicago (very close by) were going up in flames, National Guardsmen were being called out to restore order – and my parents were about 1000 miles away. And to get back they had to go through or around lots of nice respectful rioting.
Of course, they did get back OK but that was the first time I felt the news actually affect me personally. How scared can you be when you’re afraid your Mom and Dad might get shot or not be able to get home.
I also developed a strong interest in Dr. King and his speeches – more than just “I Have A Dream”. We live in different times, but its funny that the ones who still judge people most by the color of their skin are the liberals. The conservatives have moved on (as they always do) to making sure that everyone has economic opportunity to be the best they can be regardless of their skin color. Sort of a “content of their character” thing – as Dr. King wanted.
The Norwegian government claims it has directed criticism against China after Chinese authorities put down protests in Tibet over the weekend, but says it doubts a boycott of the Olympics would have any positive effect.
Johansen stressed, however, that there are some “positive” things happening in China in the area of human rights. He therefore has little faith that attempts to isolate China or boycott the upcoming Olympics would do much good.
Speaking for the Italian government, Italian Foreign Undersecretary Gianni Vernetti told Chinese Ambassador Sun Yuxi that China should avoid using force against demonstrators and should uphold human rights including freedom of expression.
Speaking on Italian radio, Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema rejected calls to boycott the Olympics.
He said the Beijing Games were ”an unrepeatable opportunity” to put pressure on China to allow dissidents to voice their grievances.
The speaker of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, suggested that European Union leaders should boycott the Olympic opening ceremony.
*Ed – oooh – won’t that strike fear into the hearts of the leaders of a country that has no problem with driving tanks over its own citizens. An opening ceremony boycott!
France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the European Union should consider boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics if violence continues in Tibet.
He insisted that France had no plans to boycott the entire Olympic Games, saying that would not be “just.”
Halt! Or I will say Halt! again.