Monday, August 26, 2013

Two Marches, Same Struggles

In 1963...When they had the original March on Washington....I was about 5 years old...I hadn't started Kintergarden yet.....I have absolutely no memory of that March....I wouldn't...I was too young.  I only discovered this year at my family reunion that my aunt and my mother's only surviving sister was actually at the March on Washington in 1963.

She and her husband were alledgedly told by my Grandfather that they should go because "this was going to be history!." How correct he was... It was...It is historical and it's a blessing that my Aunt is still around to tell those of my generation and their children about those days, those milestones in not just African-American History, but American History.

This is American History...Not just Black History...This was our nation at the crossroads....

Unfortunately....50 years...50 years have passed and this nation is still at the crossroads of race... A few years ago...They tried to argue that now that we have elected a Black President that we had entered the "Post -Racial " era...Where race was less and less a factor...

I so wanted to believe that!  But it just aint so...Everything in America is still decided by race...You know, My grandmother used to say that there is no such thing as a co-incidence. How right she was.It's not a co-incidence that there is a concentrated effort to bankrupt and close schools in a lot of our major cities that are inhabited by African-Americans and Latino children...While more prisons are being built...It's not a co-incidence that we are turning out African-American and Latino children that aren't equipped to compete for the new jobs that are available...and there for will be destined to live in poverty, turn to crime and fill up these new prisons and become cheap labor...That is not a co-incidence...

This is the new face of Jim Crow...Jim Crow Jr.

Racism is alive and well in 2013 as it was in 1963...It just doesn't wear a hood...Today it wears jackboots...or possibly, a Brooks Brother's suit......

II-

I wasn't at this March either....Though a lot of my friends did go down for the march....Then they were fighting for De-segregation, Jobs, Education and protection from racist violence... Now, we are fighting for Jobs, Education and an end to racist violence....What really has changed?  You know how they say that the more things change, the more they stay the same? Sadly , that is the case here...  Ironically while this march was going on ,I heard a story about a black family of 20 people who were asked to leave a restaurant because a white customer "felt threatened" by them.   This didn't happen in 1963...It happened a few days ago in 2013... Still think this is Post racial America?

As much progress as we've made, there is still so much to do...There are still forces who want to force us to go back to the America of June,Wally and Beaver Cleaver....in the 50's...Some people say ..Well maybe you should just wait for people like Mitch McConnell to die and he'll be replaced by forward thinking and younger pundits....

Sorry...I don't have time to wait for these old last ditch racists and tea party folks to die...I need them to go away right now! We can't..and by we ,I mean all Americans...Can't afford to go back anywhere...The world is watching the USA and the world is moving forward...We have got to move forward too...and we can't waste another 50 years wrestling with this race problem.....

While this weekend's March was supposed to be a triumphant celebration of our civil rights past...All I can really see is a reminder of what we need to do and where we need to be heading in our future..as well as how far we haven't come. Sorry, that's just how I see it!

1 comment:

Arlene said...

Cousin, I was just a babe like you in 1963. But I went for the March on Saturday. Our union was represented by over 2500 members, all dressed in our We Are One Tee shirts. It was a spectacle. A major event! The weather was perfect.

Now we have to work so that the MOVEMENT can continue. Nothing happens in just one day! They couldn't build Rome and they certainly can't build the systems necessary to change what we have in just one day. But every day we're breaking through! Public education didn't just start one day. People fought long and hard to establish schools. We're still fighting here in Philly to make sure our schools are open, with the necessary staff, curriculum inclusive of academics, arts, and music, classroom materials and safe facilities.

We can't stop now!! Even us, the grandparents have to fight. We can be tired, but we've got to mount up, on eagles!!




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