Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Inner Conspiracy Brother: Things I Wish From History

It's been a while since my Inner Conspiracy Brother has shown himself. However, in light of recent articles and documentaries I've read and watched lately, it was necessary. As I look back and observe how history unfolded, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if people could have done things slightly different. What great leaders or figures who are not with us could still be here? What tragic events could have been avoided? Who was cheated by history when he or she was owed more? When the world was owed more?...
  • I wish Muhammad Ali had stopped fighting right after the "Thrilla In Manila" with Joe Frazier or even his victory over Ernie Shavers, while on top and with his mind still intact. With his social impact and charisma, he could have been a leader and figure head in the Black community. I'm curious to see how his wisdom has matured since his fighting days. Also, no one wanted to see Larry Holmes beat up an old and slow shell of what Ali used to be.
  • I wish the US government had not betrayed Joe Louis after sacrificing years in the prime of his championship career to serve in the military in World War II. He took not only the race but the country on his shoulders defeating Hitler's Aryan prize fighter, Max Schmeling, in the midst of the Nazi rise as the world watched. His influenced helped segregate golf and baseball, helped soldiers get better conditions, and more. Upon returning from war, the government was taxing Louis at 80%-90% for decades, even taking his purses at some events, to recover millions in back taxes accrued in his years in the military. This forced him to fight into old age and humiliate himself for much of his remaining life attempting to escape the unfair tax burden. He would die as a laughing stock with nothing; all while Schmeling, former Nazi poster boy, became a millionaire working for Coca-Cola in America.
  • I wish Nelson Mandela and Stephen Biko would've had a chance to lead South Africa together far before Apartheid ended. Although he still became the country's leader and symbol of hope, Mandela spent much of his effective adulthood in prison and Stephen Biko was killed in police custody. Had Biko not been killed and Mandela have spent 5-10 years in jail instead, they may have made a wonderful leadership team for their apartheid-stricken country
  • I wish Malcolm X had listened to his security team and canceled the speaking event at the Audubon Ballroom in 1965. His new message upon returning from his pilgrimage to Mecca was important for our race and our nation. I wish he had more time to spread it before the Nation of Islam "silenced" him. He knew they were after him. "The ink of a scholar is worth a thousand times more than the blood of a martyr."
  • I wish the Black Panthers' conflicts with the police hadn't gotten so violent that they ruined the name of the organization (as well as leading to the murders of Fred Hampton by police, Huey Newton by a misguided opposing youth, and others). If the organization was still around with widespread support, there are many issues that their influence (at times forceful) could help us to address for the benefit of the Black community.
  • I wish the Vietnam War would've taught the US government a lesson about how quickly things get ugly in terms of public opinion when you're fighting against guerrilla style warriors would won't line up and fight as an army. When women, children, the elderly, and everyone else is helping the enemy and no one is wearing uniforms, you look like a barbarian no matter whether you're killing the right people or not. This should have been taken into account a generation ago and it could've changed our foreign policy for the better.
  • I wish the courts would have taken some action against the cops who were taped excessively beating Rodney King. This would've set a precedent of intolerance against the excessive police action that escalated to the deaths of Amadou Diallo, Oscar Bart, Stephen Bell, and so many other lives. Despite the evidence, cops don't fear anything more than a slap on the wrist for murdering unarmed people. Zoom in on that cartoon if you get a chance.
  • I wish the NSA would've reported their finding about possible terrorist entering the US to the FBI in 2001 and they would've worked together to prevent 9/11. One of the biggest tragedies in American history may have been prevented had it not been for petty attitudes that caused the organizations (both having vital information) not to cooperate with one another. What it worth it?
And, I gotta talk about it...
  • I wish the B.I.G - Tupac (or more accurately, the Bad Boy - Death Row conflict becuz of Suge Knight's influence) had gone much differently. After the Quad Shooting in 1994, Biggie should've called Pac and attempted to sort things out before the "East Coast-West Coast beef" gained any steam. After that didn't happen, both artist could've done things differently as follows:
  • I wish Tupac hadn't become so increasingly paranoid and confrontational during the last years of his life. This contributed to the fight with Southside Crip leader Orlando which I believe ultimately caused his murder. When you stomp out a gang leader, there's usually backlash. With his intelligence and revolutionary mind, the Black community and the world deserved to see him as wisdom mixed with his passion and street intellect. He was only 25.
  • I wish Biggie had not been naive enough to believe that after Tupac's death, he could end the East Coast-West Coast feud by simply promoting in L.A. there was still public anger over Tupac's murder and still hatred towards Bad Boy. Plus, the Blood gang's involvement with the LAPD (and thus the Rampart scandal) made it entirely unsafe territory for Biggie as things had not actually been resolved, just suddenly ended through Pac's death.
Just think of how different the world would be had all of these things unfolded differently. I think the world deserved these answers and in the context of some people, Joe Louis especially, I think he deserved better from a nation and a world that he served so well for so long. Til the next time, My Conspiracy Brother has spoken for now. As long as there's conspiracy, he'll be back, very soon...

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