REGARDING CURRENT PROTESTS against the never-ending war in the Middle East, I remember the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations waaaaaay back the late 1960s and early ’70s, comedian-turned-activist Dick Gregory praised the demonstrators but said that they would have little effect on Nixon and Kissinger’s attitudes or on American policy.
Gregory said (and this is from memory) that if we REALLY want to make a change in US policy, we had to do it with how we spent our spent our money.
He said that if only 10% of Americans refused to buy a Coca Cola or to a McDonalds for one week, Coca Cola and McDonalds would see that the war ended the following week.
Well, we didn’t do it for that cause and we won’t do it for this cause …
No laughing matter
The following is from Rolling Stone (August 20, 2017): Dick Gregory, pioneering comedian, author and civil rights activist, died Saturday at the age of 84. The St. Louis-born Gregory got his start in comedy while serving in the Army in the Fifties, where he worked on his craft in talent shows. After years of performing to predominately black audiences at nightclubs while holding down a day job at the post office, Gregory’s big break came in January 1961, when Hugh Hefner asked him to fill in at the Playboy Club in Chicago.
Hefner signed Gregory to a three-week residency, then extended the contract, the New York Times reports. The residency allowed Gregory to be among the first black comedians to be embraced by white audiences, even as he held a mirror up to them for their role in racial inequality at the time. Both Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby credited Gregory with blazing their path.
“From comedy to civil rights to a life dedicated to equality, he never waned. Immeasurable generational sacrifice. A transformative blockbuster comedian who obliterated the color line. He quickly realized that the inequities and travesties of life were no laughing matter. There is no question humanity is better for it, we will allow his legendary history to stand for itself. Generations will delve into his sacrifice, comedic genius, focus and aptitude.
For now, we simply want to reflect on his Service and Grace. Civil rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, human rights, disabled rights, animal rights. Dick Gregory’s DNA is virtually on every movement for fairness and equality for all livings things on this planet. He was rarely one to rest and never one to stop championing for peace. Hopefully now he may find some semblance of them both.” (Christian Gregory, son)