Chief Justice John Roberts’ famous 2007 statement on the subject of discrimination.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s 2014 rejoinder on the reality of discrimination.
The Mission and Aspirations of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, two Black Americans of African descent and the University of the ’Hood:
To continue and to succeed at the 7-year-old fight against UCLA et al., to establish an academic degree-conferring institute—a living educational memorial to honor the memory and legacy of Jack Roosevelt Robinson on the campus of UCLA in the lifetime of his widow, Rachel Robinson—Working through the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) that she founded 45 years ago in 1973, Mrs. Robinson, as the spiritual head of the JRF, at 95, still leads a team of men and women dedicated to the mission of equipping minority students for higher education with the tools to succeed, by mentoring and providing full tuition scholarships. Mrs. Robinson is an extraordinary and effective education and social advocate in her own right. By God’s grace, she will turn 96 on July 19, 2018.
Jackie Robinson, an authentic American hero and Army veteran, should be honored by UCLA and the nation in four significant ways
1) The establishment of a living educational memorial called the Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson Institute of Sports Management—an accredited academic degree-conferring institute, (to increase inclusion and diversity in the $75 billion per year sports industry) integrating it with HBCU’s (HBCU Digital Yearbook: An Invitation) and UCLA’s existing Graduate Division UC-HBCU Initiative under the auspices of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
2) The renaming of Le Conte Avenue (currently named in honor of the Confederate officer, thief and enslaver of Black bodies Joseph Le Conte, from a celebrated and prolific slaveholding family; dating back to before the American Revolution) in front of UCLA to “Jackie Robinson Way,” in honor of Mr. Robinson and his family. Moreover, it would be a tremendous honor and recognition for UCLA and the City of Los Angeles to physically note where America’s authentic hero—Jackie Robinson was educated, develop and honed his skills, matured into manhood, fell in love, and married Rachel.
3) The relocation of the current Jackie Robinson Stadium and construction of a new one on the campus of UCLA within three years (notwithstanding the unfair West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016, fast-tracked by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, passed with suspension of “regular order” and without public hearings in the waning months of the Obama administration). Doing so would free up the VA land that is desperately needed for homeless veterans. Los Angeles is the homeless veterans capital of the nation. The stadium currently occupies a portion of this land. It was deeded to the United States in 1888 for the specific purpose of providing housing for disabled veterans. Further, procuring adequate compensation (with an annuity to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Jackie Robinson Museum) to the Robinson family for the naming rights of the new stadium on the campus of UCLA. As a veteran, and the son-in-law of a World War 1 veteran and the father of a veteran (Jack Roosevelt Robinson Jr., who served and sacrificed for his country in the Vietnam War), Mr. Robinson would have approved.
4) Let us commemorate the day (April 15, 1947) that Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Wesley Branch Rickey integrated Major League Baseball as an official national holiday—a day of healing, a day of national reflection, and a day of reconciliation each year on April 15, and go to the ballpark and have some fun, enjoying America’s pastime, and make April 16 the day for filing taxes so that each April 15 is reserved exclusively for education, reflection, and healing of the long-lasting divisions in our nation over the Creator’s infinite wisdom of the biological process for each human being to produce more or less melanin—the pigment determining one’s skin, hair, and eye color. As a nation, we need to confront and deal with this centuries-old simple yet agonizing conundrum now more than ever. Please note that I did not say that we have a race problem. That’s because we don’t! What we have is a lack of education and a heart and soul problem. There’s only one race—the human race—male and female.
This national day of remembrance is for all Americans and future generations of Americans to acknowledge where we were in 1947, the progress we have made in human relations as a nation, and where we want to be as Americans—one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Examples of what and how we can do it. Let it begin with me.
You can help by supporting the establishment of April 15 of each year as an official national holiday by lobbying the president, your governor, senators, lawmakers, business leaders, editorial boards, top-tier Olympic sponsors such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, Visa and Intel, MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA, PGA, LPGA, NHL, MLS NAACP, UCLA alumni, labor unions, fraternities and sororities, and civil rights groups.
We would hope as part of the legislation to enact the national holiday— a day of healing that it would be a special funding appropriation for the creation of “Jackie Robinson Way”—and for street restoration in front of UCLA (a grant to fund capital investments) through the U.S. DOT “Complete Streets program” or similar program. Do your part.
In 2011 when we proposed that the Regents of the University of California, the University of California, and UCLA honor Jackie Robinson with an honorary degree (posthumously), we sent a small illustration of what we envisioned as an honoris causa diploma to honor Mr. Robinson. The end result is what you see above. However, all three University of California entities rejected the proposed Jackie Robinson honor. Peruse then-associate secretary of the Board of Regents Anne L. Shaw’s letter dated June 3, 2011, as well as then-UC President Mark Yudof’s letter dated June 6, 2011. Also read Turteltaub’s, deceitful, misleading, and most troubling letter dated August 8, 2011, sent to me, her superiors and to Mrs. Robinson from the office of External Affairs at UCLA, on behalf of UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block and herself.
Let us commemorate the day (April 15, 1947) as a national holiday in her lifetime
Tuesday, October 24, 2017, marked 45 years, to the day, that Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson’s body was physically untethered from the mooring lines and the bounds of earth. His physical time at the home plate on the Creator’s playing field of life was complete, and he was called up to the Majors. But not before the Almighty allowed him to steal home plate one last time in his final public appearance as an honored guest at the second game of the 1972 World Series at the old Riverfront stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
On May 13, 1947, 25 years earlier, Jackie Robinson played in his first game at the old Crosley Field in Cincinnati—this place and time are the source of baseball folklore of early team camaraderie and cohesiveness. The urban legend was conjured up from bits and pieces of real events at different times. It was then fused and memorialized in a statue and in the powerful motion picture “42,” which depict Pee Wee Reese placing his arm around the shoulder of rookie Robinson to defy the sneering crowd and in recognition of their common humanity and enduring friendship. That’s not a legend.
Notwithstanding the fact that Jackie Robinson has been physically gone for 45 years, his indelible love, his indomitable spirit, and his memory and legacy will never be forgotten or erased by time or distance from the hearts and minds of the millions of people whose lives he touched, especially those of Rachel Robinson and their children, Jack Jr., Sharon, and David.
We must believe that in those 45 years, not one day has passed without Rachel’s thoughts migrating to their oh-so-little and precious but intense and powerful time together when their lives were physically shared.
The remarkable thing is that Mrs. Robinson has carried on protecting the memory and the legacy of a true American hero that were bequeathed to future generations of Americans as a beacon of hope that America can and will eventually truly live up to its creed that all men and women are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, an equal opportunity, fairness, and the pursuit of happiness.
Proposed “Jackie Robinson Way” Street Sign at Westwood Boulevard—The Gateway to UCLA. Ain’t It Beautiful?
Jack Roosevelt Robinson and Wesley Branch Rickey—Courageous Partners Who Propelled America Forward and Changed the World.
Because we are first-class citizens of these United States, no matter how long it takes, no matter the cost, it is our duty and our responsibility to fight against California state-sponsored discrimination. And we will. This is our pledge.
THE INEVITABLE LEGAL FIGHT
THE CURRENT LEGAL FIGHT
WE ARE SENTINELS FOR AMERICA’S VALUES
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NON-DISCRIMINATION MANDATE MUST BE ADHERED TO.
Billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money will be allocated and spent by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for security in Los Angeles, California, for the 2028 Olympic Games.
Staging the Games in Los Angeles automatically mandates (by federal statute) that the Olympic Games (on U.S. soil) be designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the DHS.
Therefore, federal tax revenue from Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, along with tax revenue from the other 42 states including California, and U.S. territories will be used to provide security for UCLA, the City of Los Angeles and the State of California, for a non-governmental (private) internationally controlled event.
Such spending makes this a federal issue with non-discrimination mandates that must be met and federal laws adhered to by the DHS, the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, the Regents of the University of California, the University of California, UCLA and the International Olympic Committee.
The taxpayers particularly in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, as well as the taxpayers in California, and the other 41 states want the federal government to hold the California State Legislature, the City of Los Angeles, the Regents of the University of California, the University of California and UCLA accountable for participating in and condoning racial, ethnic and national origin discrimination before any taxpayers’ money is committed or used in support of a non-governmental (private) internationally controlled event.
The State of California, the City of Los Angeles, and UCLA cannot engage in discrimination and still host the Olympic Games (with public funds) in 2028. Period! California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s words were never more pathetic and apropos, “There are consequences to discrimination.”
Liberty, justice, equality and fundamental fairness are America’s core values. It is our birthright, and it is non-negotiable! All states of these United States of America (but particularly sanctimonious California in this case) must be committed to America’s fundamental tenets of equal opportunity and justice for all of its citizens without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or any other legally protected status. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination by recipients of federal financial assistance.
The City of Los Angeles and UCLA are engaging in a whitewashing of history. They’re discriminating against the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson and millions of Americans who loved what he stood for — an equal opportunity and a fair shot. Preferring instead to honor Joseph Le Conte who was an enslaver of Africans and African Americans for profit, a self-proclaimed racist who enrolled in Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School in 1850 to studied under, and who became a devotee of the world-renowned racist and devout white supremacist Louis Agassiz.
There is not one street named in honor of Jackie Robinson in the City of Los Angeles. But there is one at the gateway of UCLA at the intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Le Conte Avenue in honor of a self-identified racist and white supremacist (a onetime officer in the Confederate States Army) –one Joseph Le Conte, from a celebrated and prolific family that enslaved and exploited human beings–Africans and African Americans for profit as a business model for their decades-long family business. Moreover, there is also a middle school in Los Angeles named in his honor, but not one named in honor of Jack Roosevelt Robinson.
Do the Right Thing, Mr. Mayor!
Since 2011, there has been a continuous drum beat that has fallen on tone-deaf members of the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and UCLA officials to pay tribute to the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson by renaming Le Conte Avenue (currently named in honor of the self-proclaimed racist and enslaver Joseph Le Conte), in front of UCLA, to “Jackie Robinson Way” in honor of Mr. Robinson and his family. Mayor Garcetti and members of the Los Angeles City Council, stop discriminating against the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson. Mr. Mayor, stop discriminating against millions of Americans who love Jackie Robinson, and what he stood for, and lived for—a better, more just, and an equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of the color of skin that God gave them, and what he died for much too young, and much too soon.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was still fighting (for inclusion and a fair shot for all Americans) in his final public appearance at Game 2 of the World Series on October 15, 1972, 45 years, to the day, this year October 15, 2017, when he said, “I am extremely proud and pleased to be here this afternoon, but must admit I’m going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third-base coaching line one day and see a Black face managing in baseball. Thank you very much.”
Nine days later the great voice for universal equality was stilled. They said his death was from a heart attack; but if the truth be told, it’s more likely it was from a stressed mangled broken heart. Perpetual psychological stress alters insulin needs, and increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, which in turn, increases the risk for heart disease. The fight against white supremacy, racism, discrimination and for common decency is psychological stressful 24/7/365.
Jackie Robinson’s only daughter, Sharon Robinson, poignantly yet in a celebratory manner opens up about her father’s final public appearance.
Do the Right Thing, Mr. Mayor!
In response to the conscience-shocking torchlight procession of the Klu Klux Klan, white supremacists’ white nationalists’ and Neo-Nazis’ “Unite the Right” rally and march in Charlottesville, VA, on August 11, and the ensuing melee on August 12, 2017, the Rev. Kelvin Sauls of Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, CA, convened and hosted an Interfaith Prayer Vigil: “Love Transcends Hate.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke at the vigil. (Click on-screen speaker to unmute.)
Mayor Garcetti, the world is watching.
Mayor Garcetti, you are right: sometimes, some issues just do not have two sides. The proposed street name change from Le Conte Avenue to “Jackie Robinson Way” in the City of Los Angeles at the gateway of UCLA submitted six years ago by us to UCLA, the Los Angeles City Council while you were a member and its president, and again multiple times during your incumbency as mayor is a great example. There is only one side, and it’s the right, good and true side. History will judge whether you were on the right, good and true side regarding the continuation of celebrating and honoring the memory of a racist Confederate officer who served in the Confederate States Army (CSA), and who was a decades-long, multi-generational prolific thief and enslaver of human beings with black skin who looked just like Jackie Robinson and his family, and me and my family, with a street named for him (Le Conte) in the City of Los Angeles. Or whether you do justice for the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson—an authentic American hero, his family and the first Angelenos (with Spanish surnames), of African descent who founded Los Angeles on September 4, 1781, and all the Angelenos of African descent who followed—Do the right thing, Mr. Mayor! The world is watching; and they will remember what you do and whether you were on the right, good and true side!
Mayor Garcetti, your inclinations and political instincts were right when you were president of the Los Angeles City Council in 2011. You graciously took time to send a letter dated August 16, 2011, to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block in support of our Jackie Robinson proposal. However, sadly, now that you are the mayor of Los Angeles, with the power to advance the dream of recognizing and appreciating Jackie Robinson with a street named in his honor at the gateway of UCLA, you have failed. However, in your time as mayor you have used your power and influence to recognize Mr. Robinson’s contemporary Vin Scully with a street named in his honor, and deservedly so. The question is, why haven’t you used that same power and influence to honor Jackie Robinson—a true American icon who is without a doubt equally deserving? Did you really mean what you said in your letter posted below? Were your words not true?
Three Words to Describe Sen.Tim Scott. Courageous Truth Teller!
On Thursday, September 14, 2017, President Trump signed the congressional joint resolution condemning the violence of the KKK, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists during the August 11-12, 2017, rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
UCLA still discriminating after all these years
UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block and Vice Chancellor, External Affairs Rhea Turteltaub rejected Jackie Robinson—an authentic American hero—a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of our government by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by Congress and President George W. Bush in 2005, but UCLA accepted Lowell Milken and Donald Sterling—two individuals who were severely sanctioned by the government for serious wrongdoing.
Milken was barred for life from working in the securities industry as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (11 28 16 SEC Annual Report 1991.pdf; Information about Lowell Milken is on pages 16, [95 endnotes] and 146). Read “MoJo to UCLA: Release the Milken Documents!” (MoJo Letter to UCLA). And the Justice Department obtained a record $2.725 million settlement from Sterling for housing discrimination. Sterling is a serial housing discriminator and a rapacious slumlord billionaire. Sterling was also banned for life from the NBA for his demonstrated racial animus toward African Americans.
LISTEN TO DONALD STERLING’S RACIST, ANTI-BLACK DIATRIBE. THEN LISTEN TO UCLA CHANCELLOR GENE BLOCK’S AND UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESIDENT JANET NAPOLITANO’S DEAFENING SILENCE IN RESPONSE TO STERLING’S HATE SPEECH WITH THE INTENT OF VERBAL DISMEMBERMENT OF BLACK AMERICANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT—ANOTHER FORM OF PRODUCING “STRANGE FRUIT.”
It is quite revealing that during the seminal event in the spring of 2014 at UCLA– the UCLA/Sterling racial scandal–Chancellor Block of UCLA and President Napolitano of UC made no public statements criticizing or condemning Sterling’s racist and hurtful remarks. Nor was there any statement about the impact of the UCLA/Sterling racial scandal on African American students, staff, or faculty at UCLA. They also refrained from commenting on the six-year relationship between UCLA and Sterling prior to the racial
scandal, or on Sterling’s habitual and illegal discrimination against African Americans in both housing and employment. They did not openly address their compatibility with Sterling’s core values or their social engagement with Sterling, despite his racial animus toward Blacks. Block, Turteltaub, and Napolitano never thought to apologize to the UCLA African American community of students, staff, and faculty, or to the Black community at large, for UCLA’s embrace of a man identified by the DOJ as a serial housing discriminator. Why?
This is a complete and shameful breach of leadership by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and University of California President Janet Napolitano. This void of leadership perpetuated an already duplicitous relationship with Donald Sterling. What follows is a master class in the art of true leadership in academia pertaining to facing down racism and white supremacy and protecting students, faculty, staff and the larger community from its devastating effects. It was conducted by Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy on September 28, 2017.
In The Matter of Lowell Milken
Then University of California President Mark Yudof, UCLA Chancellor Gene David Block and Rhea Jo (Pincus) Turteltaub, Vice Chancellor, UCLA External Affairs, perhaps should have read “Den of Thieves” and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s injunction entered against the Milken brothers, in which the Milkens consented to the entry of the order barring them from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, investment company, or municipal securities dealer (In the Matter of Michael R. Milken and In the Matter of Lowell Milken) before ingratiating themselves with Lowell Milken and the acceptance of his mad loot and the forever entanglement of the university’s good name and reputation with Milken’s.
Read James B. Stewart’s book Den of Thieves and (MILKEN’S REVENGE?), Roger Parloff’s chronicle of the ensuing libel suit against Mr. Stewart by Michael Armstrong, a former attorney of Lowell Milken’s. Purportedly, the suit was financed by Lowell Milken.
There is no doubt that UCLA Chancellor Block and Rhea Turteltaub, UCLA Vice Chancellor, External Affairs, as a function of their due diligence should have read the book and the SEC injunction entered against Lowell Milken before signing off and recommending to UC President Yudof and the UC regents the acceptance of $10 million for the establishment of the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law in his honor. The book would have given them an extraordinary look at how Lowell Milken acquired his millions of dollars, enabling him to share the booty with UCLA 20 years after he was barred from the securities industry by the United States government. The old adage “Follow the Money” applies here.
“Peruse UCLA Chancellor’s Letter to the Editor of the Los Angeles Times.” It Rings Hollow!
“While our staff goes through a routine process of evaluating every gift, there was never any question of whether to accept this one.” – Chancellor Gene Block, UCLA, September 2, 2011. Click here to view the “UCLA Chancellor’s Letter to the Editor” posted on the Lowell Milken Family Foundation Website.
What Integrity Looks Like.
Please also review an article by Larry Gordon (no relation to Carl Gordon, the first steward of the University of the ’Hood), published in the Los Angeles Times on August 24, 2011, about the highly respected and principled former UCLA business law professor Lynn A. Stout, the Paul Hastings Chair in Corporate and Securities Law. In 2011, Prof. Stout stood on principle (in the face of withering criticism from colleagues and high-ranking officials at UCLA, publicly led by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and University of California President Mark Yudof) in opposition to Milken’s $10 million gift to the UCLA School of Law and the hoisting of Lowell Milken’s name in honor as the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. Prof. Stout, in disgust and in protest, resigned her tenured professorship at the UCLA law school. Please read the article
we are committed. we are resolute! We Put Our Money Where Our Mouth Is.
The cashier’s check payable to the Regents of the University of California is a gift to support the Jackie Robinson proposal from Mae Gordon dba University of the ’Hood. A new $5,000 cashier’s check has been drawn every 90 days since December 14, 2015, up to the present, exclusively dedicated to the Jackie Robinson proposal put forth by the University of the ’Hood.
With pride and gratitude, we make this initial financial offering for a great and noble cause. The giving of ourselves, our time, and our money is indicative of our faith, our fortitude, and our steadfast commitment to the realization (in Rachel Robinson’s lifetime) of the living educational memorial—the Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson Institute of Sports Management—an accredited academic degree-conferring institute on the campus of UCLA. It’s to honor Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s work—their lifelong commitment and struggle for a more just and inclusive America. And for the creation of “Jackie Robinson Way” at the gateway to UCLA. Fiat lux!
Sly, Specious, Intractable Institutional Racism
UCLA engaged in blatant ethnic, racial and national origin discrimination. UCLA Chancellor Block and Rhea Turteltaub, Vice Chancellor, UCLA External Affairs, engaged in perpetuating institutional racism and personal ethnic, racial and national origin discrimination when they accepted money from Lowell Milken for the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law (in the same month they rejected the Jackie Robinson proposal) and Donald Sterling’s $3 million pledge (and the $425,000 installment he made) to the UCLA Division of Nephrology, and the acceptance of the Nazarian’s gift for the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies on the campus of UCLA in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Nazarian. They along with their family, are Iranian-Jewish political refugee who recently emigrated to the United States escaping religious and ethnic discrimination just prior to the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
However, over the past six years, UCLA Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellor Turteltaub has rejected and refused to accept money from Mae, a long-time UCLA African American staff employee and me her husband (members of the UC community, U.S. citizens hailing from Watts, Los Angeles and Compton, California; our national origin) for the establishment of an educational memorial to honor the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson on the campus of UCLA— Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s alma mater. Ask them “Why?”
Questions that must be addressed by UCLA Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellor Turteltaub.
Ask Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellor Turteltaub why they took money from Jewish donors, Donald Sterling and Lowell Milken, (well-documented U.S. government sanctioned individuals) for projects on the campus of UCLA.
Also ask why they took money from Mr. and Mrs. Nazarian (relatively recent Jewish immigrants from Iran) for a Jewish-centric parochial project (the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies) on the campus of UCLA.
Further, ask Chancellor Block, Vice Chancellor Turteltaub and UC President Napolitano why they refused to conduct a fair assessment (cost-benefit analysis) or to accept money from Black Americans and others for the proposed living educational memorial called the Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson Institute of Sports Management—an accredited academic degree-conferring institute to honor the memory and legacy of Mr. Robinson—a universally celebrated American hero and UCLA’s most revered alumnus— on the campus of UCLA.
As Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stated sometimes there’s no two sides to an issue. It’s either right or wrong.
UCLA’s emails are deliberately mean-spirited and laced with deception and microaggression.
Particularly Vice Chancellor Rhea Turteltaub’s deceitful email.
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
The above narrative and the anatomy of institutional racism and discrimination at UCLA by Chancellor Block, Vice Chancellor Turteltaub and University of California President Janet Napolitano is very important to emphasize to Black Americans of African descent, especially the young: as American citizens, you have the right as a student, faculty member, support staffer or outside contractor to participate in any and all college and university activities that receive any federal assistance. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is designed to protect you from being denied the benefits of, or subjected to any discrimination on the basis of, race, color, gender, ethnicity or national origin.
—DON’T LET NOBODY TURN YOU AROUND—FIGHT UCLA!
This is to set the record straight about the narrative and reason (which was co-opted from the original purpose by President Trump and others) why Colin Kaepernick, NFL players and others are protesting by (silently and peacefully) taking a knee during the national anthem.
In general, the protest is to call attention to the continuous systemic racism and discrimination directed toward Black Americans of African descent by the white privileged class in America—and, more specifically, to call for the immediate cessation of the extrajudicial lethal social control tactics used against unarmed Black Americans by police departments in predominantly African American communities throughout the nation.
White privilege has been undergirded by, fortified by and wrapped in the American flag and the notion of national patriotism since 1789, when the first Congress of the United States adopted the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights—and when President George Washington signed the first Fugitive Slave Act on February 12, 1793.
Lest we forget the Dred Scott decision (the worst Supreme Court opinion ever written) handed down on March 6, 1857, by Chief Justice Roger Taney, from the bench in open court he uttered the following:
“They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”
Patriotism is defined as the love and devotion that one feels for America, its symbols (the national anthem—ironically, “The Star-Spangled Banner”—was a symbol of resistance against British warships in1814 and was written by Francis Scott Key, a lifelong enslaver of Black Americans and the brother-in-law of Chief Justice Roger Taney), fidelity to its laws, and support of the U.S. Constitution that protects Americans and gives us our way of life.
So one would have to admit that the historical notion of patriotism and patriotic feelings about America depend on the color of one’s skin and one’s gender. Without a doubt, historically those factors have determined how much of the benefit and protection of the laws and the U.S. Constitution you receive. If you are a white American, for the most part you receive full protection, no questions asked. If you are a Black American of African descent, historically you were denied full protection, and this was codified into law at the inception of this nation in the U.S. Constitution and by state law in every state of the Union. Statutorily (because of white privilege) white human beings were allowed to literally own Black human beings as their property from birth to death, including their children(the Latin phrase partus sequitur ventrem literally means “that which is brought forth follows the womb”).
Therefore, the feeling of patriotism for America would logically depend on which side of the color line you’re on—especially between 1896 and 1954 during the execution of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld racial discrimination and segregation as the law of the land. Nonetheless, despite the specious court ruling and inequities in receiving the full measure of protection of the U.S. Constitution before, during and after the decision, Black Americans have always been immensely patriotic.
Black Americans have fought in every war (Black freedom fighters in the American Revolution; the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the American Civil War; the Buffalo Soldier regiments during the Spanish-American War at San Juan Hill, Cuba; and the Harlem Hellfighters in WWI, as well as the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII) in support of America and its noble ideals, with devotion and gallantry, while those who received the full protection of the U.S. Constitution—including every agency of the United States government, the United States Congress, the Supreme Court of the United States and presidents of the United States, as well as every branch of the United States armed forces—applied the scourge of racism, segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement and lynching against Black Americans in and out of uniform under the banner of white privilege, white supremacy and patriotism.
Black Americans have also fought on American soil to secure full and equal civil and human rights by exercising their right to protest and to seek redress from the government in a lawful, peaceable and patriotic manner, in and out of uniform, as delineated by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And for exercising the tactic of civil disobedience to draw attention to the matter that you have your boot on their necks, they (Black men, women and children) have been and are being killed by police and others throughout America without accountability. Again, white perpetrators receive full protection of the U.S. Constitution while Black bodies lie in the streets of America without equal protection of the U.S. Constitution.
Despite the horrible treatment of Black men, women and children throughout American history, there has never been a fifth column of Black Americans to overthrow or destroy the government of the United States, because, despite all the racism, segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement and lynching perpetrated against Black Americans of African descent, we know we are Americans too. Now that’s real loyalty and patriotism.
A note to all Black Americans of African descent in and out of uniform, especially in NFL, NBA and MLB uniforms:
The above narrative about the history of the notion of patriotism in America from the perspective of Black Americans of African descent is to educate and emphasize your duty and responsibility to exercise your constitutional rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Your rights were paid forward and secured by Jackie Robinson; W. E. B. Du Bois; Paul Robeson; Fritz Pollard; Jack Johnson; Muhammad Ali; Bill Russell; Tommie Smith and John Carlos; Jim Brown; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Curt Flood; Rube Foster; Wendell Smith; Sam Lacy; John H. Johnson; Josephine Baker; Ella Josephine Baker; Rep. John Lewis; Thurgood Marshall, former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel; the Mendez family; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.; Fannie Lou Hamer; Medgar Evers; Walter Arthur Gordon; Rev. James Reeb; Rosa Parks; Father Theodore Martin Hesburgh; Viola Liuzzo; Jimmie Lee Jackson; three civil rights workers-Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney that were tortured and assassinated by the Klan; and four young beautiful full of life Black girls-11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Diane Morris, who were literally blown to pieces by a 15-stick dynamite bomb hatefully and in a cowardly manner placed at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday, September 15,1963, by the infamous domestic terrorist hate group the Ku Klux Klan. The bombing also physically injured 22 others and inflicted indelibly emotional trauma leaving psychological scars on the girls’ families, the Black community and others while tragically paying it forward. All were/are true American patriots that fought on American soil for your rights because they love their country.
So never let anyone or any institution deny you or impinge on your rights as an American to an equal and fair opportunity—not a guaranteed equal outcome but the guarantee of a fair and equal opportunity to compete in anything and everything; with the full protection of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protest for those rights if need be.
Never forget those rights were paid for in blood before, during and after the modern civil and human rights movement. The complete list of indigenous, interfaith, interracial and intercultural American patriotic freedom fighters against anti-U.S. Constitution hate groups on American soil is too long to cite in this space, but you get my point-DON’T LET NOBODY TURN YOU AROUND. You honor those people when you fight for your rights. Especially when you’re fighting and protesting against injustice. If you don’t know who these freedom fighters were who paid it forward for you, look them up on the Internet.
Copyright © 2017 -Carl Gordon, co-founder and first steward of University of the ’Hood®
Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on. —Thurgood Marshall
Ain’t the Robinsons worthy of being recognized by UCLA, the City of Los Angeles, and by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)?
C-SPAN JULY 13, 2016
Senators Scott and Boxer on Race Relations Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) gave his second speech on police relations with African Americans. He said the country needed to recognize that “because you do not feel the pain, does not mean it does not exist.” Following his remarks, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recognized Senator Scott for his remarks and talked more broadly about diversity, segregation, police training, the history of race relations. [Listen carefully to Sen. Barbara Boxer’s impassioned speech at timeline 18:17.]
In all candor we must ask former Sen. Boxer where she was in December 2015, and in January 2016, when we requested her help to make the Jackie Robinson project a reality at UCLA. Why didn’t she use her girl power and her considerable senatorial power (66 years after her mother and father taught her the lessons about Jackie Robinson, and the pain and scourge of racial discrimination in 1950) to fight for the recognition, the memory and the legacy of Jackie Robinson, as well as his accomplishments in the field of human relations in a troubled time in America on the campus of UCLA? Where were you, gentlelady from California, when you could and should have made a difference?
The Honorable Senator Dianne Feinstein (Calif.-D)
Former Senator Barbara Boxer (Calif.-D)
Was/is the man with black skin not your constituent deserving of constituent services?
Unquestionably Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are aware of the importance of symbolism and the role of symbology as well as the pain and stress associated with them when used by any governmental authority to glorify and honor a malefactor or an oppressor of a people on public buildings or in the public square.
This is demonstrated by the fact they were signatories—along with 28 other Jewish U.S. congressmen and senators—to a letter dated May 21, 2014, to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary, in which they expressed their deep concern over the Hungarian government’s decision to construct a monument commemorating the tragedies suffered in Hungary during the Nazi occupation while deliberately whitewashing the uncomfortable truth about Jewish suffering during the brutal and lethal occupation under the Nazis was wrong. They (the Jewish members of the United States Congress) were proactively and collectively making known to the world their pain of state-sponsored humiliation felt by the Jewish diaspora at the hands of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government.
However, when a United States citizen (their California constituent—a Black man) asked them for help to remove an offensive monument—a street sign in honor of Joseph Le Conte, a self-identified racist and multigenerational thief and enslaver of Africans and African Americans—and to replace the street sign with one paying homage to the memory and legacy of a true American hero, Jack Roosevelt Robinson, again there was no response.
My elected representatives did absolutely nothing; they didn’t even have the courtesy of sending a letter of acknowledgement. It was as if they (Sens. Feinstein and Boxer, both of the Jewish ethno-religious group) were saying my pain—and that of other Black Americans of African descent—as a result of 244 years of legalized enslavement of your people and its devastating aftermath and legacy (to this day), are not really so painful or important or relevant today.
With regard to my request to honor Jackie Robinson, they took the same position as then-UC President Mark Yudof did in his letter dated June 6, 2011, when he said, in effect, the University of California has done all that it was going to do to honor Jackie Robinson. Further, what has been done is fitting and enough.
Moreover, Sens. Feinstein’s and Boxer’s inaction regarding approximately the same issue (marginalization of a people by those in power) here at home made it abundantly clear that Jewish pain is real and worthy of addressing, even if it’s on another continent 6,208 miles away from Los Angeles. And that Black Americans of African descent need to get over their pain and memory of the enslavement of African people in these United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in South America.
In Rachel Robinson’s book, “Jackie Robinson An Intimate Portrait” she said,“Jack believed that positive relations between Blacks and Jews was critical to both.”
Jackie Robinson and Dr. Sterling Wade Brown, representing the National Conference of Christians and Jews, answer questions about the fight for civil rights in this 1968 interview. Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection. http://www.wnyc.org/story/215698-jackie-robinson/
For the past 45 years, Rachel Robinson has been the keeper of the flame preserving and protecting her husband’s memory and legacy through the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Rachel (Annetta Isum) Robinson, the widow of an authentic American hero, Jackie Robinson, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UCLA and a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from New York University. She was an Assistant Professor at Yale School of Nursing. She was also the Director of Nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She is a life-long social activist in her own right. For the past 45 years, she has been the keeper of the flame preserving and protecting her husband’s memory and legacy through the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She was born on July 19, 1922, in Los Angeles, California, 95 years ago. At UCLA, she met Jack, the love of her life, and the father of her three children, Jack Jr., Sharon and David. Click the book image to read editorial reviews and learn more.
“I was the support person so often misidentified as the ‘little woman behind the great man,’ but I was neither little nor behind him. I felt powerful by his side as his partner, essential, challenged, and greatly loved. ” —Rachel Robinson
The bottom line is this: UCLA Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellor Turteltaub took questionable, if not tainted, money from Donald Sterling and Lowell Milken but rejected money from Black people, even if the money had been gifted by the African American Church for the establishment of an educational memorial to honor the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson on the campus of UCLA. That’s wrong! That’s institutional racism and discrimination, plain and simple... and it is incredibly short-sighted. And as former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer characterized discrimination, it is stupid and dangerous.
Each of the videos and images in this opening introduction reveals a piece of the anti-Black environment at UCLA, and gives a glimpse into the mindset of the multiple perpetrators’ hubris, greed, disrespect for their constituents, hate, implicit racial bias (including against the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson) and their incredible disrespect for the rule of law and common decency over the past six years.
Judge Cunningham and Dr. Head—two professional African American men who did everything that was expected of them—were told: Stay out of trouble with the law, go to school and get a good education, choose a profession where you can make a real contribution to society, keep your Black identity but assimilate to help change the dominant culture and you will be fine, and you will be respected and accepted as equals among your colleagues and in the larger society. However, in Dr. Head’s case, he was subjected to racial taunts and humiliation and racial discrimination by colleagues at UCLA. In the case of Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge David S. Cunningham III, he was racially profiled, intentionally publicly humiliated, placed in handcuffs by UCLA campus police for an alleged seat belt violation. It has been well-documented that there is a strong and pervasive anti-Black sentiment on the campus of UCLA. This institutional anti-Black bias was documented in the October 15, 2013, Independent Investigative Report on Acts of Bias and Discrimination Involving Faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles.
…But not for the proposed living memorial institute at UCLA to honor Jackie Robinson.
He was banned for his free speech, but not for his racist housing discrimination policies.
UCLA nurtured and accepted his tainted money for years, until he became too toxic.
Turteltaub, Block and Sterling at the LA NAACP Roy Wilkins Awards Gala in May 2009.
There was no daylight between Donald T Sterling, Rhea Jo (Pincus) Turteltaub, Vice Chancellor, External Affairs, UCLA Chancellor Gene David Block and UC President Janet Ann Napolitano’s core values, ethics and moral principles. This is evident in part because of Ms. Turteltaub’s and Mr. Block’s embrace and long-time support of Sterling as a multiyear financial donor to UCLA. However, they said and did nothing about his racial animus toward people of color. Nor did they act (as stewards of the university) against Sterling’s documented policies of housing and employment discrimination against African Americans in 2009 or 2014. But to the contrary, they continued to take his tainted money. There was also a social relationship that began in the 2008–09 school year. Their kindred connection existed despite Turteltaub’s and Block’s full knowledge that Donald Sterling had been severely excoriated and sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which essentially classified Sterling as a rapacious, racist landlord and a serial housing discriminator against African Americans and others. View the DOJ press release at http://bit.ly/2pEvBZA.
How can they discriminate against their fellow Californians and then in good conscious go outside their borders and sanction other states for alleged discrimination?
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.