San Jose Statement: Smith and Carlos' 1968 protest will be immortalized in statue: "'A hundred years from now, people will look at that statue and say 'What was that about?' and someone will say 'Demonstrating at the Olympics,' ' said Harry Edwards, an activist, sociologist and lecturer at what was then San Jose State College. 'That will just open the door to the discussion.
'The real legacy of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in this statue is that they provided a point of focus to pose their enduring questions to a free society. What is the role of protest and patriotism in challenging times? To have this statue on a college campus, it's so appropriate. These questions will be debated as long as America is a free society.'
The idea to honor Smith and Carlos came from Eric Grotz, who was a political science major from Fremont. Inspired in class by a professor's lecture that some don't get recognized for their efforts, Grotz researched Smith and Carlos, then wrote a resolution to honor them to the student government three years ago."