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Public opinion, when we made it home, ....

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Quotation by John Carlos:

Public opinion, when we made it home, was dramatically against us. The editorial boards of the major papers spoke in unison that we were an embarrassment. We were un-American. We disgraced the country my father was shot at for fighting for. But no major media gave us the opportunity to speak our minds and articulate why it was exactly that we did what we did. Everything was framed by what they wanted people to think about us. It was about as objective and unbiased as a press release from the Pentagon. It wasn't just our voices that you never heard. You also didn't get an inkling of the support we had throughout the grass roots in America that said they understood. When I say grass roots, to be perfectly clear, that means black, white, and brown folks who politically were down with what we were trying to express. Someone having black skin in no way meant they appreciated what we had done. I had certain people tell me we had set black folks back a hundred years. In other words, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising their fists rivaled the defeat of Reconstruction in the South and the birth of Jim Crow. It boggles the mind.

John Carlos     (more by this author)

1945 -

John Wesley Carlos (born June 5, 1945 in Harlem, New York) is a Cuban American former track and field athlete and professional football player. He was the bronze-medal winner in the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics and his black power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to equal the world record in the 100 yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record (although the latter achievement was never ratified). After his track career, he enjoyed brief stints in the National Football League and Canadian Football League but retired due to injury.

He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. Following this he became a track coach at Palm Springs High School. He was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2003.

And he co-authored the book "The John Carlos Story - The Sports Moment That Changed The World" - with Dave Zirin, first published in hardback by Haymarket Books in 2011.

Author Information from Wikipedia

Country: United States

Type: Prose
Context: Book
Context Details: p132 of The John Carlos Story, by John Carlos with Dave Zirin, first published in 2011 by Haymarket Books.


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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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