Listening to Martin Luther King’s speeches, for his birthday celebration, made me really think of those days compared to today. What mostly comes to mind is the sliding backwards of the People of color and the Black on Black crimes growing dreadfully fast. There are many reasons for this up tick in these crimes coupled with the flagrant disregard to the mighty works of MLK and others, starting from the first slave bought to these shores until now.
There were always the occasional crime within the Black community. That’s in all communities. However, it was never as frequent as it is now. It usually came from an argument stemming from a night of drinking and partying, as now. It was never the random fracas that happens now. The Peace Marches were all orderly and ALL provocations came from law enforcement or the representation there of. We, as kids to adults, conducted classes on how to registrar to vote, how to vote, etc. We taught, as kids to adults, how to protect yourself against fire department’s water hoses, the police dogs and battery upon the body. I say “we” because I was involved also. This is first hand knowledge.
The one thing that is different today is education. It was instilled in all of us, during those days, to study and study hard. To never give up studying and then more. And, this was happening although we knew that getting to the top rung of the ladder was impossible, that a Black person could only go a little ways up. Today it is not so. A Black person can go as far as possible, even as President of the United States.
Then there is the reason why a Black person can’t go far, other than education. It’s having a criminal record. Not many Blacks, especially men, are without some sort of record. There are not many jobs that does not require background checks and/or security clearances. People are hollering that there are too few Black policemen. How many, that want to be a policeman, can pass a background check? Not many. And, most that can pass a background check prefer some other job. It’s a vicious circle but education is still the center. Martin Luther King talked about that many times and it’s still talked about today. However, kids, today, don’t take education seriously. They study just enough to graduate and no more. They only want to know what is needed, not anything and everything like it was done in days not too long ago. Education was talked about since the sixteen hundreds, when the first Black came to America. That is why it was illegal for a slave to read or have any other type of education. Why do we still have to push this fact? Have Blacks forgotten our history or, even, been taught our history? Why fight/kill each other and hold our people back?
Martin Luther King had a dream as well as all of us. We have gotten far but there is still a long way to go. There should never be an area, in the Black community, I am hesitant to travel. There should never be a time that I look at another Black man and wonder if he is dangerous or not. After all these years, I should never have to listen to a Black person and hear ignorance, an uneducated person. I am perplexed over all of this. After all those peace marches, it was mostly for naught. My scars were gotten for nothing. Why?
I’ve been fighting inequity all my life. This was during childhood, in the military and after the military until today. Don’t believe it is so? Look at the Academy Awards. Again, why? Will this ever get right? World history say…NO. The best we can do is keep it as low keyed as possible and, as I say, “keep on keeping on”. There are inequities all over the world, in every culture and it’s been this way since the beginning of time.