January 9th, 2005

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Death and Birth

I was just poking around Wikipedia looking at dates because I only just found out that there are entries for each year and date.

As many times as I've heard the story, I only just learned that Black Panther members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot to death in their sleep during a raid by 14 Chicago police officers ON MY BIRTHDAY in 1969. I wasn't born in 1969, but it was on the date of my birthday.

Something about that is really intense. I mean this story is one of many stories that I think are among the most important largely forgotten moments in our recent history. Our recent history when the FBI was the most powerful terrorist organization in the United States.

I have no real point to make. Stumbling across stories about the Black Panthers and especially about Fred Hamptom always makes me get choked up and angry and impassioned. I didn't expect to stumble across that in an innocent casual search on my birthday. And I needed to share those links with others so the story of Fred Hampton is in more people's heads than my own. Wikipedia really has some very good content. I'm consistently amazed at how high the signal to noise is there.

Stories like this make me feel like I'm not doing enough and my energies are focused in the wrong place. Sometimes I feel lost. Other times I feel inspired. In either case I don't have the energy right now to do anything about it but share links.