Why did we even fight the battle 50 years ago?
I remember 1966. I got involved. It was about the time we got married. I had people we lived with who were active in Civil Rights. Folks from the south. It was a hard time. We made efforts to deal with the oppression and discrimination that was everywhere. We did more than protest and express outrage, we were engaged in serious conversations that led to reconciliation.
People became friends. People became partners in the fight. White, Black and all in between. It was a cause and we fought it hard. Things mattered. Progress was made. Then in the middle of all this MLK was murdered. There were sound leaders who took up the baton and carried it forward. They became our voice.
This went into the 70s. By the time Carter was elected we were finding justice.
Little by little the battles were won.. the war was not yet won.
Then Reagan. The economy had stumbled badly.. yet new hope came. Things in the community were getting better.. George H W Bush was a blip. Then Clinton. Things got better right along. True justice was taking place.. but there were new voices of disunity boiling up. Sharpton who got people killed because of his protests. Jackson who became a parody of what was a real fight with real victories. A new dark age began to descend.
When George W Bush was elected by a handful of votes in an election he actually lost.. it became a cause celeb. It became a race issue when it wasn't really.
Then 9/11 and the world changed forever. Our focus ceased to be each other and we entered into a war that transcends any other concerns. In a soft way a unity of purpose was found. Common enemy. No matter what you believe about the Iraq war that most democrats supported, we were in a fight for our security.
8 years later.. because of some really bad governance on the part of a democrat house and senate elected in 2006 and a weakened president.. things came apart.
Folks got hurt. Displaced. Foreclosed.
Thru most of the Bush administration even though the squeaks would come up from the professional race rabble rousers like Sharpton and Jackson.. the reality is things were still moving forward. Justice was coming. That was bad news for Them because if in fact true racial reconciliation too place, they were out of a job. The perpetuity of the situation demanded an unending inequity. When the question asked of how will we know when affirmative action should end... the answer that reveals their true intent is NEVER. That is unacceptable. I fought too long and hard to believe that there can never be a time that true equality can exist. A permanent underclass based on race is unacceptable even if it is desirable to those who make a living on racial issues.
Then Barack Obama was elected. Many saw him as a healer.. a black president. Some of us were concerned about his lack of competence. His lack of transparency. His lack of experience. His background as much as we knew of at least. His books were disturbing. Not inspirational. Racist. Before he came on the scene we were well on the way to real racial harmony.. not perfect, but much better than it was in 1966. Progress. Now because of the professional race baiting and participation in it by President Obama.. we are back to 1966. Things are worse NOW than they ever have been.
What is so discouraging is the people who gave their lives to the work.. look back and see it all undone by one man.
The reality is that the last few years with Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, Baltimore, Black Lives matter, the campus fiascoes and a multitude of think skinned "everything is about race and racism" has worn so thin it has become irrelevant. No one hears anymore.
We worked hard to try to get racism set aside and develop awareness. That's all lost now. Destroyed by the kind of People Booker T Washington warned us about. Sadly the chief among these is in the white house. I know civil rights leaders. They are friends of mine. He is not a civil rights leader.. he is a rabble rouser and hangs out with the worst of them. Look at how often Sharpton has been to the white house.
The civil rights battle is lost. No one cares any more. Too much noise and no substance. It's over.
Now we must start again all over. It's not my fight any more. I can't partner with stupidity. The so called leaders of today are without merit or cause. When everything is about racism.. then NOTHING is.
That's were it ends.. a lost cause.