Monday, January 21, 2008

A reality yet to be achieved…

Why pause to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Blink.

To mourn his loss and honor his accomplishments?

Yes, but we can't stop there.

We have not transcended race or gender…we have not defeated poverty…we are a nation once again at war…we have yet to overcome.

In honoring Dr. King and all of those who participated in the movement we must also acknowledge our capabilities and breathe life into what can be.

Today, nooses are hung on high school campuses and arrogantly displayed on the cover of national magazines…media critics discuss how even racists will vote for an ‘acceptably black’ candidate and fashion editors chastise women of color for wearing natural hairstyles in corporate environments…the achievement of thousands is credited to the system they struggled against…the historic campaign of Shirley Chisholm is scarcely mentioned in an election year where a woman and a black man are trying to do separately what she strove to do as one in 1972…white supremacists plan to march in Jena Louisiana even as the language of immigration reform is laced with bigotry and fear…and education is still separate and unequal.
We are a nation that does not resist funding war but hesitates to feed the hungry, that rushes to close the doors of opportunity that many an ancestor walked through not 100 years ago and that tolerates a system more interested in pandering to corporations than respecting workers.

Now is the time to bring back the Poor People’s Campaign, mobilize in opposition to war, resist The Man’s efforts to divide people of color and progressive causes, educate and empower your community to vote and participate and be heard.
Now is the time to honor the King legacy through action and unite in the struggle for what I know is possible…

…no longer a dream, more a reality yet to be achieved.

15 comments:

andrea said...

That's something I have been wondering about all through this caucus process -- am I the only one who remembers Shirley Chisholm?! I wasn't even of voting age back then.

I too, have dreams ...

QQ said...

Very well said. It really gets under my skin when people speak about civil rights like it is a movement in the past that met its goals and is now just history.. If thats the case I'm trying to figure out when the end of the Civil Rights Movement was.. because clearly the problems we faced then continue today.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I remember Shirley Chisholm. She was great. . . didn't mince words. I remember her going up against George Wallace. She was an ideal in so many ways.

She was one of those who were an example for me to believe that the world was changing. That everything we fought for in the 60s was going to come to fruition. That it was going to be a different world where equality and justice was our fabric and the voice of the people would be heard.

The youth of the 60s were too indentured in materialism to hold on to that dream.

I still shake my head sometimes and think WTF?
I mean shit, at least they didn't have to vote for so many republicans.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Pam. But at 62, having been gassed, jailed, beaten and fired for my support of the "Dream", I know that further progress will be left to your generation and, perhaps, even beyond. Even now, as we finally see a viable black candidate for the Presidency, the Clintonites (as in Bill), who none of us thought would ever get 'low-down' in a discussion over the merits of Dr. King's work, taints of politcal division based on race dare to come to light. Personally, I am outraged!! But YOU go girl!!
Best to you, Dandy

Sarah J said...

Shit, nobody even remembers Carol Moseley Braun and that was just four years ago.

katecontinued said...

You mention Shirley Chisholm and I remember wearing a button in support of her campaign. We also never hear about Angela Davis and the communist party campaigns. It speaks to your point of what version is politically acceptable.

In forty years - seems like a split second of equity.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm a little fragmented when it comes to referring to you as "a Bitch". I haven't used the word out loud when referring to women in my life at all; yet, I do think and use the word "pussy" to both men and women when referring to 'a person of weakness'. Now, I consider my self a supporter of feminist issues----always have, as an adult man. But, shit, my wife even loves to play with me or other men being 'pussies' if we don't stand up for certain causes. Maybe we all need schooling on this issue. And Yo' ENIDS might want to stay clear of the conversation as well.................
dandy

Spring said...

I show a documentary about Shirley Chisholm ('Unbought and Unbossed') in my college social policy course, and it's a fav of the students each time.

None of my students so far have heard of her before seeing the dvd. They see the film as such an eye-opener to what they don't know historically, and it spurs them to seek out more about past leaders of color.

Not only is the film relevant today in terms of the current election, but the social issues and policies that are discussed in the film are still problems and still being discussed now, 30 years later (which of course is why I show the film in that particular course).

Maya's Granny said...

It always worries me when people assume the battle has been won, particularly when the foe is pushing back the ground gained as fast as they can.

Thank God we have you to speak up and remind us that the fight still must be fought.

ShortWoman said...

Best thing I've read about Dr. King in the last week. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the way Bill Clinton slept while Martin Luther King III spoke on MLK Day? So much for Bill's undying commitment to Civil Rights! Bill claims to be the first Black President; however, History records that the First Black President was actually Warren G. Harding, as described in a book entitled "The Incredible Era".

Historically, the Black Vote was a Republican vote, from the Civil War until Kenedy. I think its time, especially ater being dissed by Clinton, to reopen dialogue with the Republicans.

Warren Harding's Ghost

Shark-fu said...

Well Mr. Harding this is a first.

Interesting comment, but keep in mind that blacks didn't step away from Republicans so much as Republicans stepped away from blacks.

Certain confederate flag adoring candidates aren't helping to mend that rift any.

See ya, Ghost-based Prez...

laughingmuse said...

Awesome post. All I want to add to the other comments is, "Shark-Fu, I love you!"

Anonymous said...

ABB:

I note some skepticism with regard to Warren G. Harding being the First Black President. You can Google “Warren G. Harding”, “The Incredible Era”, or even author “Samuel Hopkins Adams” to find the book. You could also Google “Warren G. Harding” and the Roaring 20s dated term “Negro Blood” and findhttp://www.stewartsynopsis.com/warren_gamaliel_harding.htm to find out that President Harding was Black on both sides of the family and that he was no friend to Jim Crow and actually passed some Civil Rights Legislation. Harding himself actually fought suppression of the story of his heritage becoming public.

As for the Stars-and-Bars Flag wavers, here is a list of some of the notable Democrats who were strident Segregationists: George Wallace, Lester Maddox, J. William Fulbright, Harry F. Byrd, Robert Byrd, Theodore Bilbo, Al Gore Sr., and Lloyd Bentsen. Everyone remembers 1he 1968 Presidential Dixiecrat-inspired Third Party bid by George Wallace, assisted by Lester Maddox against Civil Rights. It was not well known that Harry F. Byrd, who ran for President in 1960, came with 20,000 votes in 3 states of denying John F. Kennedy an outright victory in the Presidential Election, almost requiring a vote in the House of Representatives. Had this happened, the deal-making to select a President, any President, would have ended Kennedy’s Civil Rights Initiatives, even with the help of Kennedy’s rival and friend, Richard M. Nixon. (Chris Matthews chronicles this friendship in his book “JFK & Nixon”. See http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/progjfk1.htm, particularly the part about JFK’s intent to support Nixon should he fail to get the Nomination. This brings to mind the Kennedy quote “Sometimes, Party Loyalty is asking too much!”). Hugh Hefner, in the Senatorial Race of 1972 Report Card gave Bentsen an F in Civil Rights while he gave Bush Sr. a C. No one fought harder against Civil Rights than Al Gore Sr., whose State of Tennessee still honors Imperial Wizard Nathan B. Forrest with a State Holiday. Fulbright, of course, was a mentor of Bill Clinton. Robert Byrd was a Klansman. Of course Bilbo’s unforgettable performance on Meet the Press in 1946, toting a pistol, spouting White Supremacy, etc. rounds out the Rogue’s Gallery.

Bill Clinton’s Anti-Black tirades against Obama are but an eruption of what has been all but buried by the Dixiecrat Era. Note that Jackson and Sharpton have kept friendly relations going with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity with GOOD REASON. Th GOP was never the enemy of the Blacks. They just haven’t been the best of friends for the last 40-50 years. However, it would definitely be a good idea to keep a dialogue going, as Sharpton & Jackson are doing, in the event that Bill becomes our Worst Nightrmare.

Warren Harding’s Ghost

Anonymous said...

FYI, here is Bill Clinton sleeping through the MLK III speech, as well as some of his dreams:
http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=1837590

Yours Affectionately,

Warren G. Harding's Ghost