Mike Ditka, This One is For You

So it seems Mike Ditka is all upset over the recent string of protests by NFL players who have been taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem to protest police brutality and other forms of racial oppression. A few days ago, Ditka, a former star and coach of The Chicago Bears, said in a radio interview that African Americans have not been mistreated in this country since the days of parasols and Model T’s. “There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of,” he said.

This proves one thing: Mike Ditka is an idiot.

Yes, I know that he attempted to “clarify” the comment a days later. He said was only speaking in the context of professional football. If you buy that, I’ve got a used Detroit Lions Super Bowl ring to sell you.

No, it seems pretty plain: Mike Ditka is an idiot.

Worse, he is a particular kind of idiot, the kind – increasingly prevalent – who seeks to diminish or deny what African Americans have endured in the “land of the free” from the moment the first slave ship arrived in 1619.

So the following list is compiled as a public service, both to help Ditka stop being an idiot and to educate those who, like him, think all the bad stuff magically disappeared when the slaves were “freed.” Here are one hundred instances, examples and illustrations of oppression black people have faced over the last century, one for each year. The list is completely random and certainly not exhaustive.

If you know Ditka, please make sure he sees it – he’ll be particularly interested in the entry for 2017.

Enjoy. Or, something…

1917 – Thirty-seven African Americans are lynched

1918 – Sixty African Americans are lynched, including pregnant Mary Turner, whose baby is slashed from her abdomen and stomped to death by the white mob

1919 – “Red Summer” sees 26 anti-black race riots all over the country

1920 – Fifty-three African Americans are lynched

1921 – At least 50 – and perhaps as many as 300 –  African Americans are killed in an anti-black race riot in Tulsa

1922 – The U.S. Senate kills an anti-lynching bill

1923 – Martial law is declared in Oklahoma because of a Ku Klux Klan insurrection

1924 – Sixteen African Americans are lynched

1925 – A black doctor in Detroit is arrested for defending himself against a white mob that attacked his home

1926 – Twenty-three African Americans are lynched

1927– Sixteen African Americans are lynched

1928 – Ten African Americans are lynched

1929 – Seven African Americans are lynched

1930 – Twenty African Americans are lynched

1931 – The “Scottsboro Boys” are put on trial on false charges of raping two white women on a train

1932 – Six African Americans are lynched

1933 – Twenty-four African Americans are lynched

1934 – Fifteen African Americans are lynched

1935 – Eighteen African Americans are lynched

1936 – Eight African Americans are lynched

1937 – the Senate kills an anti-lynching bill

1938 – the Senate kills an anti-lynching bill

1939 – the DAR bars Marian Anderson from singing at Constitution Hall because she is African American

1940 – The White House reaffirms the policy of military segregation

1941 – In the midst of a national military emergency, the Red Cross refuses to accept blood from African-American donors

1942 – Whites in a housing development in Detroit riot over the prospect of African-American neighbors

1943 – Whites in a Mobile, Ala. shipyard riot over the promotion of 12 African-American workers

1944 – In a letter to Yank, a military magazine, African-American soldier Rupert Trimmingham complains of being forced to eat in the kitchen of a Louisiana restaurant while Nazi prisoners, “sworn enemies of this country” are served in the dining room

1945 – white students walk out of schools in Gary and Chicago to protest integration

1946 – A white mob in Moore’s Ford, Ga. lynches four African Americans, one of them a World War II hero

1947 – African American activists in Walton, Ga. ask that federal troops be sent to quell a “reign of unbridled mob violence, terrorism and arson”

1948 – incensed at the introduction of a civil rights plank into the party’s platform, a group of Southern Democrats split from the Democratic Party

1949 – an appearance by African-American singer Paul Robeson is disrupted by white rioters angry over his political stands

1950 – Two white police officers are indicted for beating an African-American prisoner to death

1951 – Over three thousand whites riot in Cicero, Ill. to stop a black family from moving in

1952 – The state of Kansas defends school segregation, arguing that there is no proof the “mental development of any of the [African-American students]…has been retarded” by the practice

1953 – a “virtually continuous riot” that will last over three years begins when black families move into a Chicago housing project

1954 – the first White Citizens’ Council is organized

1955 – Emmett Till is kidnapped and lynched in Money, Miss.

1956 – Singer Nat King Cole is attacked by whites while performing onstage in Birmingham

1957 – the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army is called in to escort nine black children to school in Little Rock

1958 – An African-American doctor leaves Fort Valley, Ga., rather than serve an eight month sentence for “using obscene language in the presence of a white woman”

1959 – Prince Edward County, Va. closes all public schools rather than comply with an order to integrate them

1960 – Over a thousand African-Americans are arrested in sit-in demonstrations

1961 – “Freedom Riders” are beaten and brutalized – and have a bus burned – during an interracial bus ride through the South

1962 – Over a thousand protesters are arrested for demanding equal justice in Albany, Ga.

1963 – Four little black girls are murdered in church by white terrorists with a bomb

1964 – Three voting rights activists are murdered by white segregationists in Mississippi

1965 – Nobel laureate William Shockley argues for the genetic inferiority of African-American people and advocates a program of paid, voluntary sterilization

1966 – Martin Luther King is stoned in Chicago while fighting for housing rights

1967 – A group of African-American men and two white women are held captive and brutalized by Detroit police – three of the men are killed – during a racial rebellion

1968 – Martin Luther King is assassinated by a white supremacist

1969 – Two leaders of the Black Panthers are murdered in their beds by Chicago police

1970 – Mississippi bans the new children’s show Sesame Street because it “uses a highly integrated cast of children” and “we’re not ready for it yet”

1971 – a young African-American woman is randomly killed by three whites in Drew, Miss.

1972 – the federal government admits that African Americans have been used for 40 years as unwitting guinea pigs in a syphilis experiment

1973 – Donald Trump is sued for housing discrimination

1974 – The city of Boston explodes in unrest over the issue of school busing to achieve integration

1975 – The National Guard is called in to Boston to restore order because of white unrest over school busing to achieve integration

1976 – Newly-released FBI documents reveal a massive FBI counter-intelligence and sabotage program against African-American civil rights organizations

1977 – Four people are shot and killed – three of them African-American, one a dark-skinned Indian man – in a rampage by a white supremacist in New Rochelle

1978 – Results of a preliminary study indicate that the death penalty is used primarily to punish those who kill white people

1979 – Five people are killed when Klansmen attack an anti-Klan rally in Greensboro, NC

1980 – Eighteen people are killed in a riot that explodes after five white Miami police officers are acquitted of beating to death an African-American man who fled from them on a motorcycle

1981 – An Army private is indicted on murder charges in the racially-motivated killings of three African Americans in Buffalo, NY

1982 – A race riot in Miami after a police officer shoots a young African-American man in the head at a video arcade, claiming he was reaching for a gun

1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to intervene after an African-American robbery suspect sues, claiming he was denied his right to a fair trial because a Brooklyn prosecutor systematically removed African Americans from the jury

1984 – An African-American family is forced out of their new home in a white Chicago neighborhood after two weeks of racial harassment and anonymous violence

1985 – Five children and six adults are killed in the police bombing of an African-American militant group in Philadelphia

1986 – A black man is savagely beaten, another chased into traffic and killed, by a white mob in Howard Beach, NY

1987 – a parade celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday is attacked by whites in Forsyth County, Ga.

1988 – Candidate George H.W. Bush uses an appeal to racial fears – the “Willie Horton ad” – to win the presidency

1989 – five young African-American and Hispanic men are falsely accused and imprisoned for the rape of a white jogger in Central Park

1990 – In Louisiana, David Duke, a white supremacist and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, gets 43 percent of the vote, running as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. Senate

1991 – A 15-year old African-American girl, Latasha Harlins, is shot in the head and killed by a store owner who believes, mistakenly, the child has shoplifted a bottle of orange juice. The store owner is sentenced to probation

1992 – Rioting ensues when a jury in a white suburb acquits the Los Angeles police officers who beat an unarmed African-American motorist, Rodney King, nearly to death the year before

1993 – Denny’s restaurant chain is sued for mistreating African-American customers, including requiring them to pay before receiving their meals, refusing to serve them, and calling them derogatory names

1994 – President Bill Clinton signs a crime bill that will fuel the mass incarceration of African-American men, effectively decimating their families and communities for a generation

1995 – Mark Fuhrman, a Los Angeles police officer and a witness in the racially-charged murder trial of O.J. Simpson, lies on the witness stand when he testifies that he has never used the racial slur, “nigger.” Tape recordings will capture him using the term over 40 times and bragging about illegal and unethical conduct

1996 – Thirty-one black churches are targeted in a wave of arson attacks, most of it centered in the states of the former Confederacy

1997 – Abner Louima, a black man from Haiti, is beaten, tortured and forcibly sodomized with a broomstick by New York City police officers

1998 – an African-American man named James Byrd is chained to the back of a truck by three white supremacists and dragged to his death

1999 – Amadou Diallo is shot and killed by New York police while reaching for his wallet

2000 – New York City police shoot and kill Patrick Dorismond, an unarmed African-American man who had been waiting for a taxi

2001 – The attorney general of Missouri releases a report that black motorists are 30 percent more likely to be pulled over by police and 70 percent more likely to be searched

2002 – Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott ignites a firestorm when he says of Sen. Strom Thurmond, a notorious segregationist who ran for president on a racist platform in 1948, that if the rest of the country had joined Mississippi in voting for him,  “we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years.”

2003 – Prominent African-American athletes, entertainers and businessmen receive letters threatening them with being set on fire and castrated if they don’t stop dating white women

2004 – A white judge is suspended for wearing, as his Halloween costume, an orange prison jumpsuit, an Afro wig and blackface

2005 – The Bush Administration is heavily criticized for a laggard response to Hurricane Katrina., which leaves many poor people in New Orleans – most of them African-American – without shelter, water or food in the midst of one of the greatest natural disasters in history

2006 – An unarmed African-American man named Sean Bell is killed in a hail of police bullets fired into his vehicle; three police officers will be acquitted of manslaughter and other charges

2007 – Six African-American teenagers in Jena, La, are charged with attempted murder after a schoolyard fight with a white boy who feels well enough after the assault to attend a party that same night

2008 – A white supremacist is indicted over threats to, among others, a newspaper columnist, a college professor, a politician and housing rights activists

2009 – The inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s first African-American president leads to an extraordinary period of racial insults by political officials and media figures. Over the course of his administration, Obama is heckled while speaking to a joint session of Congress, is called “uppity,” “boy” and “subhuman mongrel,” and has his American birth repeatedly questioned and denied.

2010 – A new report from the Drug Policy Alliance indicates that African Americans are arrested at up to four times the rate of whites for marijuana possession, though they use the drug at lower rates than whites

2011 – A New York City police officer is arrested for falsely arresting an African-American man under the city’s “stop and frisk” policy, which has seen 600,000 people detained by police, 85 percent of them black or Hispanic. This, even though only two percent of the stops turn up contraband and, indeed, contraband is more likely to be found on whites who are detained.

2012 – in Sanford, Fla., an unarmed African-American boy named Trayvon Martin is killed by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, who will later be acquitted

2013 – A Missouri man and woman plead guilty to plastering a swastika in the driveway of a black family’s home and setting the home on fire

2014 – an African-American man named Eric Garner is killed in Staten Island by a police chokehold; authorities decline to bring charges

2015 – nine African Americans are slaughtered by a white supremacist while at a prayer meeting in their church in Charleston, SC

2016 – an unarmed motorist named Philando Castile is killed in Falcon Heights, Minn., by a police officer who will later be acquitted

2017 – Mike Ditka says African Americans have faced no oppression for a hundred years

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Mike Ditka, This One is For You

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