It was an open secret that Coach Fort wasn’t exactly wild about having Black players on his team to begin with. He was one of the last holdouts, preferring whites who might not be as talented but who were, by his reckoning, better team players. He was commonly quoted as believing that whites played better-organized ball. That Blacks suffered from the star syndrome--they wanted to solo and showboat. “I’m two seconds away from grabbing my Bowie knife and slicing that big, ugly, black ape’s balls off and stuffing them in his mealy mouth,” Coach Fort ranted.
Fred Farley, Fort’s assistant coach, was trying to calm him down. “Now Johnny, I know you’re pissed off,” he spoke almost in a whisper. “But you’ve got to quiet down before this thing goes public. It’s a family matter. We’ve got to keep it a family matter.”
“That spear chucker doesn’t start another game. You got that, Fred? He doesn’t even get to start my second car.”
“Sure Johnny. That’s a cinch. We’ll start Blaustein, okay. Just calm down.”
Sam was so upset by what he overheard that he told Busta who told Steve who told Reginald 23X who told me. Of course, the brothers had to cool Sam out. “I ought to put my size 15 sneaker all the way in that muthafuckin honky’s redneck ass,” Sam said to Steve.
Steve told him to stay loose. For now. Sam took Steve’s advice. And Farley followed Coach Fort’s orders. Almost overnight, Sam went from being a trophy Negro to becoming a Black revolutionary.
“Brother Sam is right-on, you know. We can’t let these honkies lock us out,” Busta Jones, one of PSU’s leading Black student intellectuals, said matter-of-factly. Busta, a graduate student in philosophy, was the atheist son of a nationally known Baptist preacher. “This campus is already lily-white. There are only 600 of us here right now, you know. Out of a population of 33,000. We’ve got to deal with this. If they ram this scheme through, then Black students on this campus are past tense.”
Reginald 23X, who was the very middle class, extremely indulged Reginald Jefferson III before joining the Lost-Found Nation of Islam the year before, took the floor. “Brother Busta is right. If the white devil gets to implement his plan, then Blacks students on this campus can bend over and bid their posteriors adieu. The white devil’s plan is as plain as day, you know. Like, they limit the number of students in Springville and Black students become the spooks who no longer haunt the campus.”
Just as the bow-tied Reggie, a pre-law student who planned to go into international negotiations, was about to really get going with the oratory, Steve Tweedle made a dramatic entrance into the 600-seat lecture hall.
Steve marched to the front of the classroom in full Black Panther regalia--dark shades, black wool beret, heavy black paratrooper boots, mid-length black leather jacket and two leather bullet-laden bandoleers crisscrossing his chest. Steve was a reformed Chicago street gang leader who had gone to college and discovered The Movement. He brandished a Remington rifle in his right hand, a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver in his left. A Colt .45 hung in the holster on his hip. It was the general consensus among sisters on the campus that Steve was fine. He looked like a taller, darker, bearded Huey P. Newton. His voice was deeper and richer too. “Ya know, you brothers is just playing at being angry unless you willing to pick up the gun. You want power. This is power,” he yelled, brandishing his weapons. “You want The Man’s respect. Ya know, this is what The Man respects,” he shouted as his right black-gloved fist, clutching the rifle, shot into the air. “Power to the people! Off the pigs! Power to the people! Off the Pigs!”