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Orangeburg Massacre - 45 Years Ago

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by heyabbott, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member


    I liked this piece. I didn't know about it, and was very impressed with the South Carolina State players then. A smaller death toll than Kent State shouldn't remove this fight for rights from the forefront of our consciousness, but it does. And I'm sure there were more self-less acts of fierce protests that I just don't know about. These players and these students didn't protest to get on TV, they did to change their lives; and we are all better for it.
    Self promoting liars and extorionists like Jess Jackson and Al Sharpton get the glory, headlines and cash, but Willie Ham, Harold Riley, Oree Banks and Robert Lee Davis and many others are far more deserving.

    I couldn't help but think of the contrast with today's players, far more interested in getting tattoos of their babies' names than in making sure the kids that didn't get college scholarships for being 320 pounds will have access to higher education and quality health care.

    22 years after "...Samuel Hammond, died in the hail of fire from the state troopers..." Michael Jordan infamously said that republicans buy shoes too. Maybe they don't make them like Willie Ham anymore and maybe we're too interested in watching sociopaths dance?
  2. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Damn good post.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Odd that everyone knows Kent State, I hadn't heard about this until now.
  4. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    You also probably haven't heard much about the killing of Jackson State protesters that occurred not long after Kent State.

  5. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Those incidents happened at HBCUs. The mainstream media didn't give a damn about it.
  6. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Thanks for reminder. I had not heard of protest and massacre before, AND I AM 50!!!
  7. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    I kind of agree with Drip. Kent State got famous because it was white kids killed and then Crosby Still Nash and Young sang about it. And people like Chrissy Hynde and Devo were there, and they later opined heavily. People who garnered media attention, were able to get the story out there for decades.

    However, another reason, sadly, is who did the firing and the circumstances. At Kent State, it was National Guardsmen, essentially the U.S. Army in the eyes of most Americans. South Carolina State and Jackson State were done by local cops or state troopers. Also, it was the circumstance. In Orangeburg, it happened at night and after cops said they had been fired on by protestors. They claimed they couldn't see. (One trooper had been injured by rocks and he thought he had been shot) At Kent, it was the middle of the afternoon, and the guardsmen has essentially cleared the commons area. The story of what happened next is convoluted. The Guard claimed they had been fired upon from behind by a sniper, so they opened into a crowd with M-1s.

    And I am not downplaying Orangeburg, just offering a little bit why it wasn't/isn't as famous as Kent State. Another interesting thing is that SC State had the opportunity to get famous as the school was a football powerhouse and produced a bunch of big name NFL players in the 1970s including Harry Carson, Donnie Shell, Joe Gilliam, Barney Chavous, and others. I am pretty sure Gilliam would have been there in 1967 having just finished his senior year.
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