Before I proceed with this month’s post I wish to acknowledge those folks who read my posts for a first time and congratulate me on how much they are pleased with the information I give them. I also wish to inform my other readers that writing a blog each month takes much time and energy as well as investigating stories and information that is accurate and substantial. There is lots of spam included, and I delete and ignore that information, sometimes lengthy, that serves me no purpose unless it is vital to the information I give you, and from news items that are true, accurate, and worthy. I am sensitive to that reality and I want all of you to know that my purpose of writing my blog is not only important to me, but to be honest in my reporting.
In the beginning of this month I have to report that the news item that top’s my list is the report from the Office Of The Attorney General Eric Holder that is devastating concerning the Justice Department’s investigation on Ferguson, MO. How does one view this news when you are an African-American person and have a personal opinion that presents such negative reports that effects you, your children, your family and friends and associates? How are you able to sort through the unpleasantness of such a report? The first reaction from me personally is anger. Why should I not be angry when there are people who are out to destroy you because of the color of your skin? Is it no better than Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments regarding the Jewish people and the annihilation of it’s people by Iran? It is pure racism just as it is in Israel. Let us not mince words here, the report was stunning, not that African-Americans are naive and uninformed about years of racism and experience it in all of his forms, but at the level that individuals in the law enforcement community, from police, judicial court systems, and other jurisdictions relating to law that is designed to protect them, apparently had no interest in preventing and stopping such practices.
This report is nothing new to the Black community. We have been down this road before and many times in our history. So, how can we address this?
Selma, 50thAnniversary. The President of the United States spoke on Saturday, March 7th, the day before the celebration prepared on Sunday, March 8th, on the commemoration of the event. In my opinion, the speech was excellent and passionate, one of the best speeches that Obama has made, if not the best. President Obama seems to have taken on a new vigor since he now has only until 2016 to be president.
Here is a sampling of what he said:
Of course, our democracy is not the task of Congress alone, or the courts alone, or the President alone. If every new voter suppression law was struck down today, we’d still have one of the lowest voting rates among free peoples. Fifty years ago, registering to vote here in Selma and much of the South meant guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar or bubbles on a bar of soap. It meant risking your dignity, and sometimes, your life. What is our excuse today for not voting? How do we so casually discard the right for which so many fought? How do we so fully give away our power, our voice, in shaping America’s future?
Fellow marchers, so much has changed in 50 years. We’ve endured war, and fashioned peace. We’ve seen technological wonders that touch every aspect of our lives, and take for granted convenience our parents might scarcely imagine. But what has not changed is the imperative of citizenship, that willingness of a 26 year-old deacon, or a Unitarian minister, or a young mother of five, to decide they loved this country so much that they’d risk everything to realize its promise.
That’s what it means to love America. That’s what it means to believe in America. That’s what it means when we say America is exceptional.
Because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word “We.” We The People. We Shall Overcome. Yes We Can. It is owned by no one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.
Fifty years from Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet finished. But we are getting closer. Two hundred and thirty-nine years after this nation’s founding, our union is not yet perfect. But we are getting closer. Our job’s easier because somebody already got us through that first mile. Somebody already got us over that bridge. When it feels the road’s too hard, when the torch we’ve been passed feels too heavy, we will remember these early travelers, and draw strength from their example, and hold firmly the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”
John Lewis comments in his speech on the 50th Anniversary event:“There’s still work left to be done. Get out there and push and pull until we redeem the soul of America,” Lewis said at Saturday’s 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a watershed moment of the 1960s civil rights movement.
“We come to Selma to be renewed. We come to be inspired. We come to be reminded that we must do the work that justice and equality calls us to do,” he said.
Finis: I have to say this, but we are living in difficult times here in these United States. I have never seen it so dysfunctional as it has been lately. From all corners, not taking the World’s problems in account, but let us just focus on what is going on in our country. At my age, it is very discouraging to see what is happening to us as we proceed to do what we do, especially in the politics that serves us in this country. The so called leaders politically are short sighted individuals whose purpose is to disrupt and hold us back from moving forward towards the kind of country we believe it to be. As a people and a country we cannot accept and approve this kind of undemocratic activity to continue. Look into your hearts and minds to find the solutions to these situations that are presented before us. If you believe in what you know is true, you will decide what you have to do to make the improvements that you know is true for you and your family.