A couple of things I’ve heard so much since I’ve been here, you know, some of the things I’ve heard so today I’m gratified and elated at the programs That’s the upside of it The down side of it is that the kind of things I’ve heard on the way are the same things that I talked about in 1972 In point of fact, in 1983, Bill Walsh called me in and asked me to put together programs for the San Francisco 49ers And I put together post career, post athletic career, occupational career, where we had the Vice President of Bank of America, the head of the Business School at San Jose State, and did a lot of business with Silicon Valley, come in and literally teach a class. I had a number of the psychiatry staff at the University of California Medical School, Ms. Loma . . Dr. Loma, I forget her last name She came in and did a class on counseling and personal counseling that had to do with adjustments in the family and so forth We had another class on degree completion, how you complete degree . . We had people who were getting degree and completing their masters at USF and San Jose State, and University of California And we had a drug specialist come in, who handled all of our problems with regards to drugs and so forth This was 1983 1986, the programs were up and running 1992, the NFL adopted all the programs, and for practical purposes, they still have the same name and emphasis So, that’s the good part I’m glad to see that people are doing programs The part that I find rather bewildering is this You’re not going to be able to deal with this one person at a time It’s just not going to happen It’s always good to see people Everybody can help somebody There are people who you can’t help Everybody can help somebody and nobody can help everybody And there’s always somebody that can’t nobody help because you can’t save a guy from himself It’s as simple as that The other thing that I found is that, over the years, it keeps shifting Things keep turning, just about the time you get a program ready and think you’re ready to address something, in comes a population of student athletes or even professional athletes with some stuff that you never would’ve dreamed possible, either because the money’s gotten so big or because they’ve become so diverse in their arrangements or they’ve got so many people around them or their moving around so much or their situation There is always something that you’re not in a position to address At some point, we have to begin to address the issue at its core, which is what is happening in the African American community and what has happened over the course of the last fifty years or so in the African American community, particularly since the demise of segregation So, I just want to put that out there I haven’t heard anything that’s new and, as a matter of fact, I haven’t heard anything that’s creative But I’ve heard as much of the same stuff is going to help some people, but it is not going to deal with the problem because systematic problems and issues must be addressed, at least in large part, by systematic responses You’re not going to deal with this on a case-by-case individual basis I found that out the hard way after thirty years of working for the NFL, ten years working for the MBA, five years of working with Major League Baseball I’ve been with the San Francisco 49ers for thirty years and, point of fact, like I said, Menville Walsh created all the programs that the NFL uses I’ve worked with Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon Billy Donovan is one of my clients I work with his guys going back to the point that they went back-to-back LSU Dale Brown, back in the day, was one of my guys John Thompson, Bobby Knight . . I mean, these are all my guys So, it’s not like I’m talking about, “Well, jeez, I’m working at the pro level, haven’t dealt at the collegiate level.” No, I’m talking about where we are today and where we’ve come from We’ve got to begin to evolve systematic responses to these problems And, in the meanwhile, “Good luck! Stay inventive! Stay creative! Stay flexible! And don’t get disappointed!” Because I’m going to tell you something! You think you’re dealing with some stuff now? Wait until you see what’s coming down the pipeline! Not only was I a counselor at the San Bruno County Jail for ten years with athletes . . And, at San Quentin, they have the largest roster of former star athletes in the state of California, not USC or anybody else
Now, I was a counselor at San Quentin and Bruno County Jail for years I worked with inmates and their families, and so forth I was also Director of Parks in the city of Oakland, California for three years And I’m telling you right now that if you think you are dealing with issues now, wait until you see what’s coming down the pipeline There’re some things that we’re going to have to deal with systematically Let me try to pull as much of this together as I possibly can I know that everybody’s short on time, but I hope that I can at least keep you engaged with this so that you can kind of wrap your mind around where I’m going and what I’m trying to get you to understand I hope that everyone attending the conference understands and appreciates what has been presented here, over the last few days I sat in utter wonderment on Thursday as those senior brothers sat up here on the panel and talked about their experiences during segregation when they tried to hold together a sport’s institution, tried to generate sport’s excellence An effort that was emblematic of an institutional effort in communities across this country, segregated black communities These efforts were at the very foundation of the development of the Negro Leagues in baseball, all of the Renaissance team, Harlem Renaissance team, of the Globe Trotters, of the Washington D.C. Bears, that, in two years, won a hundred and twenty games without a defeat And, of course, it was this athletic excellence that Major League Baseball drew up on when it cherry picked Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby to desegregate baseball Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roy Campanella . . All of these great players came as a result of what you saw sitting up on the stage tried to do and tried to accomplish It was also . . Those efforts were also at the foundation that enabled the NFL to go into the black community and pickup Kenny Washington and Woody Strode to join the L.A. Rams Bill Willis and, most certainly, Marion Motley to join the Cleveland Browns in 1946, even before they desegregated baseball It was these guys that kept sports alive, kept excellence as a standard and a goal And, of course, Chuck Cooper was brought into the Boston Celtics by the MBA in 1950 Once these great black athletes had achieved access and desegregation, another generation came along and demanded, not just greater access, but dignity and respect Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Art Ash, Thomas Smith and John Carlos, Kurt Flood of course and his demands that he made on baseball – and now we have another generation that has endeavored to garner power and control That’s what Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and LeBron James are about Magic Johnson didn’t want to be in movies, like O.J. Simpson or Jim Brown. He wanted to make the movies, produce the movies, own the movie houses that it was shown in and hire the people who worked there Michael Jordan just didn’t want to endorse shoes He didn’t just want to get an endorsement for a product He wanted to own the product He wanted to own his own line of shoes, his own clothing line, and so forth, and the same with LeBron James LeBron James has made it very, very clear, “I want to be a billionaire while I’m playing.” So, he hangs out with Warren Buffett and a bunch of other people They want power And so, this is what this thing is about We are where we are because of who came before We can stand taller We can see farther We can reach higher because we stand on the shoulders of giants, such as those gentlemen who were up here the other night and I saw people kind of nodding off “Jeez, what are these old dudes talking about? They’re talking about what they did back in the day in high school.” We are because we stand on the shoulders of giants and also, so much for the notion that, unlike other generations, this generation was making too much money to risk activism Trayvon Martin’s death, the Donald Sterling issue, Mike Brown and Eric Garner . . Of course, gay rights with Jason Collins and Michael Sam and Brittney Griner coming out All have become the focus points of activist efforts by this generation of athletes We’re living in dynamic and interesting times, relative to the developments at the interface of sports and society Black athletes, of course, are also involved
in less savory headline incidents Incidents involving alcohol, drugs, gun play, domestic violence, sexual assault I concur with the president and the mayor of New York, in terms their emphasis and so forth and concerns about this issue, these issues All of these issues, both positive and negative, are critically important as a part of our efforts to understand and wrap our minds around what’s happening with athletes and what’s happening in sports, particularly when it comes to male athletes because they set the standard for what is masculine in American society This is critically important What they do and what they say and the stands that they take are critically important Their outcomes, the way they deport themselves, the way they’re seen in public becomes critically important because they set the standard for masculinity and manhood in the society But, in all of this, there is a confusion of perception and perspective that can no longer simply be ignored or dismissed Why is there such a concern over the killing of black males by police, but no similar expression or scale of outrage, no mass of protest across the nation, no t-shirts expressing concern and so forth over the thousands of young black men who, each year, kill other young black men? Where is the similar concern over the violence against women? We can no longer just say, “We are concerned about those issues too, but this is important.” We’ve got to change paradigms We must now understand why we are expressing the things that we re-express in the way that we do We’ve got to get our minds around this now and be clear on it because of where we are As I stated, I concur with the president and with the mayor of New York when they identified with the killing of Mike Brown, with the killing of Eric Garner, with the killing of Trayvon Martin Mike Brown could’ve been my son, but, at the same time, the two police officers, who were killed, one of them was Latino, one of them was Asian-American Well, I have a nephew, whose mama is Chinese He could’ve been sitting in that car I have a nephew, whose mama is Jewish He could’ve been sitting in that car I have a son-in-law, who’s a German-American and white and who I couldn’t love any more if he was my own son If he had been sitting in that car, I would’ve been very upset That guy would’ve shot him just as well So, what I am getting at here is that we have to understand why we are so upset about some things and not upset about others It’s part of the whole issue and problems and challenges we’ve been talking about here for three days We have to understand that the mission that you set and that I heard discussed my first day here that one of the signal missions and programs here of this conference at the University of Texas is to challenge conventional thinking and explore new frameworks for how we move forward relative to the developments at the interface level of sport and society That’s critically important I don’t know how many of you honed in on that and understood the importance of that statement We have to understand that the template for doing that has been set It has been set by the character of our society, our nation, its history, the very evolution of this culture Most notably, concomitant with its focus on the institutionalization of democratic principals and political protocols, the Founding Fathers, and I emphasize ‘fathers,’ decreed that whites only could claim the rights, privileges, protections of citizenships Declaring that blacks were 3/5 of a human being and that Native American populations constituted separate nations with not even white women being able to vote So, white supremacy and patriarchy, words deeply embedded in the core of America’s – this American experiment, as its emphasis
on freedom and democracy Still, we must never lose sight of the fact that one of the great features of our constitution, aside from its content, is its flexibility, its capacity to engage and provide constitutional foundations for addressing the challenges of change, as reflected in the many amendments to it, as reflected in numerous court decisions and decrees and even executive orders, including the Emancipation Proclamation, which was an executive order So, this is the model We have the model here that we need to move forward Once we wrap our mind around the theme with this convention of challenging conventional thinking and exploring ways of moving forward that may not be part of our current thinking So often those of advocating and working for change in institutions and society lose sight of that need for flexibility in our movement concepts in designing and implementing our strategies and setting our goals That’s why I listen and I hear stuff that I was saying in 1972, but I was implementing in 1982 and 1985 We’re stuck in a certain paradigm We’ve got to be more flexible than that We’ve got to grow and develop Overtime, we can become trapped in established conceptual and analytical paradigms in our prevailing frame of analysis and priorities While we have found the flexibility to shift over time and our efforts to work on our sports challenges, within segregated and desegregated environments and so forth, still, we have from slavery to this day, defined the most basic and urgent contradictions and conflicts in black life as revolving around racial issues We’ve got to begin to think broader than that, if we’re going to deal with the source and the foundation of the problem that you’re trying to deal with at the collegiate level, that I deal with at the 49ers at the professional level, that were dealing with in society more broadly And, though there have been efforts to expand our perspectives and priorities to issues of interclass conflicts and contradictions For example, compared to our focus on race on the limited and episodic progress in that regard has ever been realized At some point, the needle, the social, political compass, always swings back to interracial issues Some of the consequences are as stark and undeniable as they are disheartening For instance, as mentioned, despite violence and killing among young black men in black urban communities across this country, violence and killing so pervasive that they have been defined in some cities as an ongoing state of undeclared war and a major public health concern The interracial conflict paradigm persists, insists upon, practically mandates that it is interracial, particularly black male/white male violence that is of greatest concern and deserving of our most emphatic expressions of outrage and our most heated responses So, when a white man kills a black teenager over loud music, it is a national news topic for weeks, not the forty plus young black men shot to death, across America, by other young black men over that same week, often for reasons no less trivial A white cop shoots a black teenager to death in Ferguson, Missouri, chokes a black man to death in Brooklyn, New York, and it’s an ongoing national story But sixty-five black kids shot to death on or in the vicinity of Chicago school grounds by other black young people is reduced to a one time, end of the year news report But this is not malicious Over five thousand violent deaths of blacks at the hands of other blacks simply does not fit the paradigm that we have been functioning under since slavery This paradigm simply does not allow for the same level of collective recrimination, the same levels of outrage driven mobilization over intraracial conflicts and contradictions, especially where you have conflicts and contradictions
between black men and white men and our white supremacist, patriarchal society In a society with strong countercurrents of white supremacy and patriarchy, the struggle between white men and black men prevails Also, you have a situation where the struggle between black men and white men does not know class boundaries We know most of these murders that occur in a traditionally black community are network murders That is: if you live in a housing project where somebody’s been murdered, if you live on the street where somebody’s been murdered, if somebody in your family’s been murdered, if somebody in your neighborhood’s been murdered, you’re more likely to be murdered I don’t care where you are If you are a black man, driving the streets of America, this white man/black man thing can explode on you and blow up in your face I don’t know any black men, who do not get the chills when that red and blue light starts blinking in the back window of their automobile because they know this could turn into a deadly situation So, not only does the white male/black male conflict take priority, which is why we’re so upset about Ferguson and New York and so forth, but we all know, whether you are LeBron James or Kobe Bryant or whether you’re Mike Brown, that could be you So, we get excited and upset and agitated and upset about that, while we look at five thousand young, black men killed by other young black men every year And there are no t-shirts There’s no outrage There’s no national mobilization In fact, it doesn’t even make the news But, if the paradigm marginalizes interracial conflicts and contradictions, overall it outright precludes and is dismissive of gender based conflicts and contradictions and issues And today, this limitation, this major blind spot in our overall social, political analysis and strategies, in our paradigm for understanding the world that we are attempting to impact promises to be as costly as it is intolerable So, while I’m elated, that athletes are beginning to stand up and speak out, I am equally concerned that their actions do not reflect a much needed, even imperative change in our pragmatic perceptions of the issues America, today, has a major human rights problem and it particularly afflicts black America And that human rights crisis is the circumstances, the outcomes, the status of women and girls All the more so because the problem is so marginalized Nobody wants to recognize it Nobody wants to deal with it Nobody wants to talk about it The statistics are shattering Three women are murdered everyday in the United States And, while we talk about honor killings, we really need to look in the mirror In 2011, 943 honor killings were reported in Pakistan 1,095 women, in the United States, were murdered by the men in their lives that same year When you look at the motives for the murders and look at the reasons for the honor killings, the only difference is they call them “honor killings,” and we call them ‘murders,” but the basic motivation’s jealousy “I told her to go and she went anyway I told her to shut up and sit down, and she kept talking.’ It’s basically the same system of interest, and motives, and so forth for these killings Over ten years of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, 6,614 American troops were killed: all ethnicities, all backgrounds, and so forth and so on Over that same ten years, 11,766 women were killed by the men in their lives and these things that you can look up Google, “50 Facts About Domestic Violence in America,” blow your mind Some of this stuff, nobody talks about it It is simply all too common for women and girls, in this society, to be humiliated, stalked, slapped, hit, beaten, trafficked, sexually assaulted, and murdered It’s common for women to live in a state of perpetual concern, if not outright fear
for their physical safety And it’s so broadly understood that that is the case that it’s become accepted to be expected So, if a woman walks down a dark street and is assaulted, we don’t say, “What is that degenerate doing on the loose?’ We look at her and say, “Well, why did you walk down that street? You know what the situation is.’ We look at her We have to begin to understand the impact of this situation Issues of race do not legitimately deprioritize of displace or marginalize this gender based crisis We cannot explain this away by saying that we are busy with more important concerns or that our plate if full, not today Again, like most of our notions of longstanding pervasive systematic inequality and injustice in American society have always been based in the history of this country The circumstances of women and girls are also deeply rooted in the very cultural fabric and political foundations of this society But this is the 21st century! Women have the vote! Women fall under numerous antidiscrimination statutes and regulations How has this tragedy persisted? Not withstanding changes in the law Well, changes in the law do not change coaching We, and the pattern and tradition of convention and culture overriding law is clear There is, of course, that history, which prevailed over the 19th and most of the 20th century, where women were essentially restricted to the home and confined to the kitchen They were excluded from sport, not only as was stated the other night because the rationalization was that their participation in sport would impact their capacity, their abilities to have children later on They were restricted from sport because they might have children while they were playing sports We forget Title 9 was 1972 But, also in 1972, was what? Roe v. Wade! And so there were clinics and medical services for women, so schools felt secure They felt more confident that they could give these women scholarships, that they could put them on the team, they could know that they would be there to finish a season because of Roe v. Wade, because of all of these clinics, which didn’t just provide abortions, but they provide women’s services, reproductive services across the board So, Roe v. Wade in ’72 and Title 9 are why we have women’s sports today at the level that we do And, by the way, just to bring Roe back, Texas had forty-four women’s clinic, prior to two years ago That has been wedeled down to fourteen and if you don’t think that that’s going to impact women’s athletics, then you don’t understand developments at the interface of race, sport, and gender in American society and that entire history Other post World War II developments also were proximate factors contributing to the marginalization of women First, there has no been no major broad spectrum, social change movement in America that has successfully made the issues, the outcomes, and the elevation of all women and girls a central strategy goal and operational feature of its efforts And even where change organizations have nominally aspired to do so, they have, for the most part, been unable to realize those goals because of barriers of race, culture, lifestyle, and so forth. So, while work and advocacy of such illustrious, progressive feminists as Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and, in sports of course, Billie Jean King from the 1960s through the 1980s real last substantial success in challenging mainstream patriarchal definition structures and processes and traditions Urban and rural poor girls and women, girls and women, in black, Latino, Asian Americans, and Native American communities and cultural environments found the feminist movement and some of its major concerns to be difficult, inaccessible, and otherwise poor, in terms of their ability to identify with the goals and the processes that were involved
On top of all of this, men tended to make the movement about themselves They tended to make the Women’s Liberation Movement about themselves, rather than about elevating women, characteristically calling women’s liberation anti-male This is typical of any privileged situation when you have people of privilege in power, who are challenged, the first thing they do is to make the challenge about them, not about what the people are talking about So, when it came to affirmative action, what did a lot of white folks say? “Oh my god, reverse discrimination.” They made it about them So, men do the same thing Second, the Civil Rights Movement overall played a major role in fostering the substantial isolation and exclusion of women and women’s issues and concerns from the broader goals of the movement There were all kinds of insignia of female subordination, throughout the Civil Rights Movement For example, not one organization focused on the status and future of black women and girls was regarded as a major civil rights organization This was reflected in the 1963 march on Washington, where not even Dr. Dorothy Height, head of the National Council of Negro Women with its stated mission of quote “advancing the opportunities and quality of life for Negro women and girls, their families and communities” was allowed to deliver a primetime speech Each of the so-called Big Five Civil Rights organizations that did get primetime slots were headed by a man A. Philip Randolph in the Union Importance, Roy Wilkins and N.A.A.C.P., James Farmer and the Congress of Racial Equality, Whitney Young and the United Urban League and, of course, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference The Civil Rights Movement was largely a struggle by black men against white men, epitomized most directly by, of course, Dr. King against Bull Connor and George Wallace and Birmingham, Alabama, most certainly, it’s reflected in the movie today, “Selma.” They’ve got Martin Luther King pitted against LBJ and to the chagrin of a lot of people It was perceived as a struggle in this patriarchal white supremacist tradition of black men against white men And what made the badge carriers, the police, so much a part of this is that the police were so often used by the establishment to control black men and black leaders And so, today, any time the police assaults a black male, it becomes a major issue Now none of this is to say that women did not have a prime influence on the March on Washington Behind the scenes, in all of those organizations, women did the work: the calling, the stuffing of envelops, getting out the world, literally, right up to the high point of the march when Dr. King’s prepared speech begins to sound stale and wrote And Mahalia Jackson, who was only on the primetime stage because she sang the National Anthem, screamed out, urged, “Martin, Martin, tell them about the dream.” Dr. King digressed from his prepared notes and the rest of it is history That came as a result of a woman being on the stage It was not necessarily out of maliciousness that women and women’s issues were put on the backburner throughout the movement Not withstanding Stokely Carmichael’s whip, “The place for women in the movement is on their backs.” Though, through the prism and paradigm defining interracial conflict and contradictions, that they had to do with interracial issues, it was simply assumed that if race based conflicts and contradictions were resolved, issues both for black men and black women would be correspondingly and equally resolved We simply could not see, throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, would not accept that much of what negatively afflicted and affected black women, that many of their negative outcomes were a consequence, not of being black in a racist society, but of being women and girls in a long standing patriarchal, sexist, and misogynistic
society and political culture In short, to this day, a great deal of what happens to black women does not happen to them because they are black It happens to them because they are women And so, while all the negative developments that have accrued and accumulated since the Civil Rights Movement was deflated have certainly had a tragically devastating impact on the traditional black community Overall, the most devastating impact has fallen upon black women and girls Now, the reality is that, unless we begin to deal with the situation of women, black women, and girls, we’re not going to be able to deal with the problems that you’ve been talking about here at their roots If we do not begin to come to grips with the realities of what is happening in the African-American community, as a result of the status and circumstances of women and girls, we’re not going to be able to deal with these issues As a consequence of the black middle class leaving the black community, taking with them their money, their presence, their values, their sentiments, their civic and social organizations, their political interest and so forth, and leaving those who couldn’t get it out behind essentially, those who were not able to get out behind, the black community deteriorated We became more and more involved with the underground, and the underworld economy And, of course, with an unjust judicial system, more and more young black men, in particular, ended up in prison And so, after a period of time, we had literally a street-to-prison-to-street conveyer belt going on in African American communities across this country And one seldom note of consequence is the extent to which black culture, in these communities, has been supplanted and displaced by prison culture as a result of the infusion of black offenders with few options relative to legitimate livelihoods and lifestyles And, in so many instances, these prison cultural accouterments are clearly visible, from the swaged pants to the tattoos to the gang organizations and emphasis to the prison cultural accouterments Prison culture has largely displaced traditional culture I sat here, listened to those older brothers, sitting up here the other night, talking about how it was when it was segregated, when the teachers and the coaches and everybody lived in a community and all of them worked together and the kids were proper and they knew how to talk and everything was, “Yes, sir” and they went to school and got good grades Desegregation destroyed that because it was one way an individual, rather than two way an institutional White folks didn’t come into the black community The black middle class that was all know within sight of the ladder abandoned the black community and left the people there without the kinds of leadership and values and sentiments and so forth that they had had during segregation As a consequence, we found more and more of our people unable to function in a normal fashion Institutions became dysfunctional, began to fall apart, became unstable We begin to have schools failing And the next thing you know, our young people are tied into the underworld and underground economy and on that conveyer belt to prison and back to the streets Inmates walking around with the tops of their shorts down today show we’re sending a message and what they were saying . . As I stated, I was a counselor in San Quentin, in the 1980s I was a counselor at county jail for San Francisco at San Bruno for ten years and I saw the change come about It came about as a consequence of the gay community being able to put pressure on these prison systems across the country to put gay inmates on special tears because they were being abused This made sex, in the general population, a marketable commodity And you don’t have to believe me, but I’m telling you happened I remember going in and seeing these guys with their pants pulled down, the tops of their shorts What’s that about? What’s with the guy not pulling his pants up? “Oh, he belongs to somebody.” He’s protected Don’t mess with him because what he’s telling you is “you mess with me, you’re going to have to mess with somebody else” because I belong to somebody And when they left the prison, they continued to wear their pants swaged because the same enemies that they had in prison, since everybody
was being released, they had on the streets And, if you were still connected, people out there still had to understand. He knows somebody Somebody is connected to him So, we don’t want to mess with him But the young brothers, who were on the street, didn’t realize what was going on They saw this guy, who had been in the joint, who was tough, who was supposed to be bad And he was wearing his pants swaged with the top of his shorts showing So, they decided, “Well, hey, that must be the style. That must be what’s happening So, all of the sudden, you get a generation of young people walking around with the tops of their shorts showing and their pants swaged, not knowing what it symbolizes And then when the rappers picked it up, when popular culture picked it up, it really took off And it took off nowhere as great as it did in the African-American community I remember going into a university and the coach came up to me He was giving a lecture and he said, “Well, Dr. Ed, see I’ve got a problem,” he said “The professors, the president of the university, everybody’s saying ‘they’re walking around with Property of the Athletic Department and the tops of their shorts showing.’ Some of it wasn’t even the top of their shorts They had the plumber’s paints going for them. What can I do?” I said, “Coach, look, give me five minutes with them. No coaches, just me and the football team.” About five minutes later, they came walking out And some of them had their pants pulled up so high; it looked like somebody had gave them a wedgie And so Coach, “What did you do? What did you talk about?” I said, “I just told them what they were doing.” I said, “I’m not against it. I’m cool with it, but at least know what you’re doing And I’m not saying there’s anything weird walking around in weird gear. I mean I used to go and teach classes in a dashiki and a black beret, when I was at San Jose State But I knew what I was doing.” So, I’m saying, “Know what you’re doing.” Those guys had no idea what it was about So, that’s an impact that’s cultural Swag pants, gang affiliation, and membership and so forth! There’s another feature that is also just as critical, and this is the situation of the characterization of women The misogynistic, anti-female language lexicon imagery and messaging that came along with the prison culture This is a critical situation because there is not hope of realizing the elevation of women or even realizing a resurgent movement in the African-American community, unless we deal with the situation of women In the midst of all of the negativism and denial, regarding women and women’s roles in the movement of the 1950s and ‘60s, there was one prominent voice that was different In the end, he was villainized, dismissed and his words were ignored and ultimately forgotten In 1964, in a speech six months before his assassination, Malcolm X stated, and the speech is recounted in a book entitled “By Any Means Necessary.” He stated, “In every country that I have visited, the degree and progress of that country cannot be separated from the woman, and her circumstances, and situation. So, I became convinced, during my travels, of the importance of giving her respect, dignity, freedom, education, and every opportunity.” This was 1964 This was when the mainstream Civil Rights Movement was telling woman, “You’re place is in the home. You can’t even speak on the podium.” This is where Malcolm X was and we can only wonder what would’ve happened if he would’ve survived What Stokely Carmichael’s comments would’ve been in 1966 and so forth? But it is not too late, fifty years later Today, a movement centered upon the elevation and liberation of women and girls is critical First, when you lift up women and girls, you don’t just lift up women and girls, you lift up entire families and communities You lift up families and communities I don’t care how many dads I counsel at the 49ers or in San Quentin or in San Bruno County Jail or when I was director of Parks in Oakland It came down to that one guy But when I sit down and talk to a woman, when I sit down and talk to a girl, I’m talking to a family because that’s her focus, that’s her orientation, that’s where all of the ties and the foundations are, in terms of family and community
A movement to elevate woman and girls addresses a broader ray of issues, indirectly in the black community Obesity: well, guess who selects, cooks, and buys most of the meals The old man? The boyfriend? The guy from up the street? No, there’s a woman somewhere off in there with meals to cook She’s the one that’s doing the cooking Healthcare: guess who is typically the first to take notice of somebody in the family being sick Who is most likely to accompany them to the emergency room or to the clinic? And who is most likely to be there, as caretaker, whether they’re babies or old folks, when they come home? THE WOMAN! Education: who is most likely to shop with the kids for school supplies? To stay in contact with the school? To be there to oversee homework? Even religion: go to any church in an urban, black community and see who the majority of people are who are in there: women and their dependent children And who is there for the ex-offender when he returns to the community from prison? When I was Director of Parks in Oakland, I saw guys that I counseled in San Quentin and in San Bruno County Jail come back home, I mean, scores of them And where did they go? Did they go to their fellow gangbangers’ home? No! Did he go to his homie’s house? Nu-Uh! Did he go to his estranged father’s home or his brother’s home with his girlfriend? No! Did he go to his uncle’s house? No! In the overwhelming majority of cases, he goes to his mama’s house Where did Clerette say he went when he came back? He went back home or he’ll go to his lady’s house or he’ll go to his grand-mama’s home, or even he’ll go to an aunt’s home Still, the number one cause of death, this is something we just got to wrap our minds around, we’ve got to deal with the women if we’re going to get ahead of the problem that I’m talking about dealing with on a one-on-one basis We’ve got to deal with these realities And still, the number one cause of death for black females, ages 15-34, is homicide at the hands of a man in their lives Greater death, even from cancer or automobile accidents, this madness has to end, not just for her sake, but for our sakes If you’re going to be successful at what you’re trying to do at this level, with athletes, guess where the athletes come from? The black middle class doesn’t generate athletes I have three kids: one’s a lawyer, one’s a doctor, one’s a computer engineer My daughter went to Arizona on a basketball scholarship. When she came out there, all her buddies were going to the WMBA, and she said, “Oh-No I want to go to medical school.” So, she went and got a medical degree She’s from Kent Medical School in the orthopedic surgery division, cardiac surgery division, wound up also with a degree in psychiatry My son is 6-7 I said, “Well, don’t you want to play basketball?” He said, “No, I don’t want to play basketball.” He said, “I want to do the same thing Bill Gates did. I want to get to the place where I can buy a basketball team.” The middle class doesn’t generate black athletes The same classes where these killings and things are going on generate the black athletes Historically, anytime there was an effort to elevate and advance the circumstance and outcome of women and girls, rather than in joining in the support for the effort, men have refocused the debate and made it about themselves How many times did I hear black men complain when a black woman got a job under an affirmative action program “Well, they take a black woman because they can get two for one. She knocked me out of a job.” Well, it ain’t about you They don’t understand that It’s not about them So, equal pay for equal work, equality of employment, Title 9, athletic priorities came to be about men, not how do we make equal pay for women a reality, not how do we make equal employment opportunities for women a reality, not how do we make greater opportunities for women to participate in sports a reality, but how do these things affect men Will jobs be lost? Will men lose their jobs if women are given equal pay or equal job opportunities?
Will men’s minor sports have to be cut if women are given parity, in terms of collegiate sports opportunities? We made it about us So, just as we insisted that women’s liberation movements was about men, we continue to insist that anything that emphasizes the elevation of woman is also about us So, I’m elated at the “I Can’t Breathe,” “Hands Up/Don’t Shoot” shirts and so forth that these black male athletes are wearing But where is the support for woman in the wake of Ray Rice and upgrade heart? Where are the t-shirts supporting women? I’m elated at the president’s proposed program of “My Brother’s Keeper” and I’ve heard that discussed here But where is the program of “My Sister’s Supporter,” “My Sister’s Partner,” which is more important? I’m telling you it is more important, principally because we have no place else we can go Now, by contrast, women and girls have always been there for us, especially when it was just about us Check this out: go back to the draft move, look at the old news coverage, women and girls weren’t even vulnerable to the draft, but they were out there protesting Go back to the male leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, I was there from SCLC and I was in the Black Panther Party I worked with Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael I know who was back there doing all the work Look at the protest marches around Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Oscar Grant Check out the women and girls in the streets It was three women, using the social network and the social media, who organized the marches in New York City around Eric Garner It was three twenty-something women who put that together In sports, women’s basketball teams at UC Berkeley and Notre Dame wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts Go online and Google, if you really want to see something, Mendocino High School in Northern California where the woman’s basketball team was involved in a championship tournament, all young white girls, and they showed up in “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts And the people who were running the tournament said, “You either have to take those off or you’re going to be dismissed from the tournament. You won’t be allowed to play We’ll go and get another, the team you beat to get here, to replace you.” Their response was, “Then, you’re going to have to find a replacement because we’re not taking off the shirts.” And the one girl, very interesting, I mean she’s sixteen years old, “Why are you doing this”? And she went back to this thing about the Jews in Germany They came for the Jews I wasn’t Jewish So, I said nothing and did nothing They came for the Catholics I wasn’t Catholic So, I said nothing and did nothing They came for the Romans, the Gypsies I wasn’t Roman So, I said nothing and did nothing They came for the mentally afflicted and infirmed I wasn’t mentally afflicted So, I said nothing and did nothing And then they came for me And there was nobody left to say anything Sixteen years old! And we’re beating them, slapping them! Go online and Google “Arianna Smith, Knox College: Galesburg, IL” They’re playing a game in Staton, Missouri, right next to Ferguson She says, “Hey, how can we go there, and play a basketball game, and not address this?” So, during the playing of the National Anthem, she goes out, walks up to the flag, drops down to the floor, and lays there for exactly four minutes and twenty seconds in remembrance of the four hours and twenty minutes that Mike Brown laid in the street And, of course, they came out and told her right then “You’re suspended.”
She said, “That’s fine. I’d rather be suspended than to come here and play a basketball game and leave, like this doesn’t have anything to do with me.” The women have always been there for us So, now it is time, passed time, for men to step up, not just push from behind, but lead from the front, in this struggle to elevate the status, circumstances, and outcomes of women and girls We don’t have a choice This is where we have to start This is the only way we can come close to approximating a systematic process of addressing that we have, that we’re confronted with, that you’re trying to deal with on a case-by-case basis when they come to the University of Texas or Oklahoma, Ohio State, or some of these other places where people have stood up and spoke You’re not going to get done in four years here what we haven’t been able to get done in eighteen years in the community Will you be able to help some people? Yeah, but you’re not going to be able to deal with the problem You’ve got to deal with systematic problems in a systematic way I find it fascinating-I’ve only got a couple more minutes here- I find it fascinating that the NFL PSA’s on domestic violence are silent They’re dealing with silence with silence We’ve got to address it So, you get all of these super star athletes, standing in front of the camera, “Ain’t got the words for it. Help me start. Help me start the conversation. I ain’t got the words for it.” Well, I’ve got the words for it “Just stop it.” Those are three words: “JUST STOP IT.” Stop humiliating, stalking, slapping, kicking, beating, sexually assaulting, and murdering women and girls JUST STOP IT Get all of the superstar athletes in the NFL to go in front of the camera and say, “Hey, just stop it.” If you are beating on a woman, we don’t want you in our locker room We don’t want you in our uniform We don’t want you on the field during practice, much less on Sunday We don’t want you on the court We don’t want you on the diamond In fact, we don’t care if you’re an athlete or not We don’t care if you couldn’t run out of sight, if you had all day We don’t care if you couldn’t jump off the curb, if you couldn’t leap over the cracks in the sidewalk We don’t care if you couldn’t hit your plate with your fork, much less hit the curveball or the three pointer in the clutch If you are hitting a woman or a girl, we want to see you in jail If you get these paragons of masculinity, of what it means to be a man, standing up and saying, “Just stop it,” no big conversation, just “stop it.” If you’re beating on a woman, just stop it Because we have serious work to do, in terms of elevating, terms of our respect, and so forth, for women The simple fact is that we, as a people, black people in particular, and, in fact, we, as a nation! Because Ray Rice is not the poster boy for domestic violence! The poster boy for domestic violence is likely the guy next door, or up the street, or the guy that delivers your mail, or stocks shelves at the grocery store, or sits behind the counter at the bank It’s an American problem, but the simple fact that we, as black people, in particular, because of the circumstances in our community are not going anywhere that women and girls do not go as full and equal partners We men, we black men, are not going to be everything that we can be, whether we’re athletes or not I hear all this talk about how we’re going to improve the athlete; we’re going to improve so-and-so You’re not even getting half the job done
We black men are not going to be everything that we hope to be until women and girls in our communities and in our lives can be everything that they can be We simply can’t continue to keep women in a hole, and excluded, and outside, and wearing t-shirts on cops that kill black males because of this thing that we’ve had going on since slavery between black men and white men and ignoring the fact that we are killing women ourselves and making no progress whatsoever in any strategy, policy, procedure, or practical program implementing efforts to improve black men We are going to have to look at the foundations of the environments that they are coming out of and the key to changing those environments, as I have stated, is a focus and emphasis on black women We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to their circumstances, outcomes, and interests We have to change the paradigm from this white male/black male contradiction confrontation perspective to one that puts an emphasis on the development of women and girls for the simple reason that looking to improve and elevate their lives is the only root to enhancing our own We must change We have no choice Where do we go from here? We change paradigms That is the only hope that we have And athletes have a key and pivotal role in that effort Thank you very much! Black Student Athlete Conference, Session 1: Alvin Logan, Kevin Hicks, DiAndre Campbell . If you build it, they will come: the black participating in their academics because you never know what that networking piece is going we’re done with our collegiate careers Thank you!