Crispus Attucks mattered
By Don Eskins
Nationwide protesting by the Black Lives Matter movement, in which groups are demanding equal treatment and protection for American minorities, brought new meaning to this week's July 4th Independence Day trivia question.
The question simply asked, “Of what significance was Crispus Attucks during the American Revolution?”
The answer- 'He was the first American killed in our nation's move toward independence from Great Britain.'
For those who may be wondering, Attucks was killed by two rifle balls fired from British muskets during the historic 'Boston Massacre' which killed five Americans who had gathered there to protest the occupation of Boston by British troops. The troops had been sent there to enforce England's unpopular taxation of American colonists and had subsequently been quartered in colonial homes without the consent of the homeowner.
The 'Massacre' signaled the early beginnings of the American Revolution.
Of special note, at this particular time, is the fact that Crispus Attucks was a member of a minority group.
He was an escaped slave whose father was African and his mother Native American, a Natick Indian.
It seems ironic that Attucks, the first person killed in the movement for American independence was a product of two of the most persecuted racial groups in American history.
Sadly, though, some 250 years later the persecution continues.
From the Declaration of Independence in 1776, to the Civil War- 1861, to the Emancipation Proclamation- 1863, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and now to the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 American minorities continue to rightfully demand the rights that should have been theirs long, long ago.
Even though our forefathers proudly proclaimed 'All Men are Created Equal', inequality continues to exist for a vast number of our citizens.
We, as a united nation, need to solve this problem. Any ideas?
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Carlsbad ahead of the curve
When it comes to civil rights Carlsbad, although not perfect, has a history of being progressive and ahead of the curve.
This especially rings true in the area of education.
Let's not forget that the Cavern City graduated its first Hispanic student, Cruz Fernandez, in 1933.
And let’s not forget that in 1951 Carlsbad ended segregation in its schools and in the spring of that year graduated its first African American student, Jimmy Thomas.
Carlsbad schools accomplished this monumental feat three years ahead of the Brown vs Topeka Schools Supreme Court decision of 1954 which ended segregation in public schools throughout the nation.
Following desegregation in the Cavern City's educational system local merchants began to watch what was taking place within the walls of its schools.
As a result businesses, which had been closed to African Americans, began opening up their doors to all members of the community.
This bold and progressive move by Carlsbad, to integrate its schools, proved to be an eye opener for local residents and helped to make the community a better place for all to live.
Carlsbad- ahead of the curve.