We have all heard the sayings, “History repeats itself,” and “There is nothing new under the sun.”
The events [in Charlottesville, Va.] have taken me back to my elementary school days in old East New York. Every morning, my mother had us watch the morning news. Negro students, not unlike myself, were being escorted into school by federal troops, armed with rifles. Confronting them were angry, bigoted, racist, ignorant individuals, backed by local law enforcement officials such as Bull Connor. Gov. George Wallace declared, “Segregation, now and forever.”
President Eisenhower had ordered the desegregation of schools after Thurgood Marshall’s great argument against “separate but equal” before the U.S. Supreme Court.
When you fail to study history, you are doomed to repeat it.
The glorious history of the U.S. is steeped in terrorism. Without terrorism, the U.S would not exist as it does today.
Settlers imbued with the notion of “manifest destiny” terrorized numerous native tribes and methodically killed them off.
Years later, the grandchildren of the same people were terrorizing Blacks who had been emancipated— burning their homes and churches, and running them off their land.
In the 1930s, my father and grandfather, along with other Negroes in Cairo, Ga. had to face the KKK in a bloody shootout. The Klan never came back.
We can legislate the public, but not the heart.
America has not addressed its fractured foundation, and therefore, finds itself rattled.
Jesus said, “A house divided cannot stand.”
I personally was shot by a young white kid in East New York in the late ’60s. Thanks be to God, the bullet, a .22, ricocheted off the band of my beret.
What was I doing at the time? Simply walking down the street with my brother.
Oh yes, we had a Black president most recently, but we have seen the overall disrespect he encountered from the Congress of the U.S. A pattern that in essence was treasonous. White men conspired against the president of the United States, on the very day that he was sworn in. New York University was foolish in touting to its students that we were in a “post-racial America,” with the election of Obama. America operates with a code of “double speak.” Downsizing? No, you’re fired. “Theater of War?” Ask a combat veteran. Maybe “Take back our country” or “Make America Great Again,” which this president stole from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, has helped to stir the hemlock-laced pot or fresh racism. A racism that says, “I no longer have to tolerate your presence. “Out, out, damned spot.” Obama took the helm of a sinking ship, righted it, and saved passengers and crew. Yet Fox News and others depicted him and his wonderful wife as chimpanzees. A congressman called him a liar before the nation. The notion that our nation’s leaders can speak so freely and not be reprimanded is pitiful. When Giuliani spoke ill of Mayor Dinkins at a police rally, and Una Clark was called a nigger on the steps of city hall, NYPD officers went down a path that is taken more than 20 years to recover from.
How is it that the vilest are so vocal in their beliefs, and those who should speak maintain their silence. America’s double speak has fed the alt right, KKK and others. The philosopher Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is that good men do nothing.” I ask, how can you be good, when you do nothing in the face of evil?
A number of years ago, I was fortunate to have been present at a celebration of the late civil rights attorney William Kunstler. The evening culminated in my meeting the mother of one of the greatest heroes of American history. She was Carolyn Goodman, a name that had faded in time, after her son’s murder by the KKK in Mississippi, in 1964. Her son was Andrew Goodman, a Queens College student who had gone to help Black people register to vote, in the bowels of America’s hell. He lasted one day and was murdered by the Klan at the age of 20.
We shall never forget Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.
At age 83, Carolyn Goodman was arrested at 1 Police Plaza, along with Dinkins and others in response to the murder of Amadou Diallo.
As I held her hand and thanked her for the young man who she had raised, tears welled up in my eyes and I held her tight.
Let us not forget Woodrow Wilson’s praise of “Birth of a Nation,” which was screened at the White House, and its aftermath.
Don’t forget Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who knew of the slaughter of Jews in Germany in the 1930s and said nothing until the Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, a Jew, publically embarrassed him.
Negroes were being lynched in the South at the same time, and FDR would not make a comment on the terror going on in the South. Eleanor Roosevelt challenged him and lost.
White America is waking up to terror of their history.
They have identified it as such and are now standing against it and those in support of it—in and out of government.
There is hope. I believe it was Einstein who said, “A problem is never solved on the same level it is found.”
Let us all take the higher ground.
Patriotism must never come before the mandates of God Almighty.