On Thursday August 25, 2011 the daughter of a civil rights activist had the distinct honor of sharing a very privately personal pre commemoration EXPERIENCE through the eyes of one who lived through the injustices that were entrenched into the fibers of American culture. It has been less than fifty years since the movement that changed the modus operandi in the United States.
But in 2011- the beautifully powerful statue that was resurrected in honor of the man that sacrificed his life so that ours would be improved, is merely a remnant of struggle that covertly thrives among the board rooms of banks that continually deny loans submitted by people of color. It lives within the real estate industry that continues to segregate homeowners by encouraging purchase in areas that are “affordable”. It breathes in legislation that “we” rarely vote on because either we’ve become divested in the issues and/or ignorant about its actual ramifications.
We strolled between the huge pillars of stone. Struck with the powerful symbolism. The imagery of Moses parting the red sea was pronounced in the design of the megasculpture. The artist obviously played on the biblical saga only in this scenario Martin had parted the Mountain that he had so infamously referenced in his “I Have A Dream” speech.
“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society and peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience”
Walking along the wall of his famous quotes, it was resounding at just how many were still pertainent to the world that we seem to ‘ignore’ rather than challenge. Taking to the streets in an effort to raise awareness has become a behavior reserved for those who don’t have anything to lose or for those who aren’t working two and three jobs just to make it. Some even contend, including myself, that marching has become obsolete.
It is now time for those still under the thumb of whatever oppressor (yes believe it or not-they still exist), to use social media as well as write Congressman and women in the manner in which the system was created-to flood their offices with our issues and concerns. Protesting is the strong arm method of bringing the issue to the attention of those in power. But prior to that stance, the issue must be brought to the attention of those who do the Politrix dance on a daily basis.
Thank you so much for putting the first black man on the mall. But by all means please don’t think we are appeased into dead silence because the proverbial “bones” are now a black President (that is prevented from doing the work that needs to be done).
At the end of our homage, my mother turned to me with a tear fighting to stay within its concave casing. Solemnly she said “Very has little changed daughter. I can’t believe we fought for this….”. Her statement hit me as if I had personally disappointed her. In actuality all of us dropped the ball. Getting basic rights was just the base of the iceberg that would become “race relations” within America. Our leaders became more preoccupied with self promotion rather than community uplift. Our culture became miopic and universalistic.
Outlawing the word NIGGA was ceremonial too.
Ain’t a damn thing changed only morphed into a pill that is less intense to swallow.
In the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
“Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies”