is interesting, although the laws of the infamous Jim Crow era have
been virtually eradicated, resentment and legacy of such remain
a pronounced part of the fabric of America through persons who maintain
such thought. The
remnants and residue of such attitudes have become more and more
evident and blatant, in my opinion, since the United States elected
our first president of African descent, President Obama.
display of such feelings of bitterness are becoming common and in
essence, I think, are a distraction to society’s more pressing issues
such as health care reform, poverty, economic confusion and other
social issues that continue to beg resolution. Former President
and humanitarian Jimmy Carter highlighted my thoughts with his observation
of the outburst from the Congressman from South Carolina, who in
the midst of a presidential address regarding health care said simply,
“you lie!” President Carter articulated best that such outburst
came from something deep within, which he attributed to Racism.
submit and maintain that my fear and intuition lead me to believe
that acts of the like happen frequently and as a matter of fact
more so in small towns across the country outside of major cities,
leaving those citizens who are mainly minorities most venerable
to hate crimes. Such expressions of resentment as displayed by the
Congressman from South Carolina, who refused to apologize to the
Congress and just happened be in public and on national television
at prime time. This further leads me to another very important point
that cannot be ignored. To add insult to injury, I was in disbelief
that Fox affiliates nationwide refused to air the president’s message
regarding health care but rather aired the reality show “So you
think you can dance.” Call me paranoid, but as an African American,
an American and member of the free world I was insulted to the utmost.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck,
the odds are that it is probably a Duck!
second instance that has gained national attention was the situation
of an African-American woman in Clayton County, Georgia, who was
simply trying to dine at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant and was literally
beaten in broad daylight by a white man who felt disrespected. One
would hasten to remember and cannot forget how in 1955, the then
14-year-old Emmett Till from Chicago was humiliated, murdered and
disfigured because a white lady felt that she was disrespected.
Till’s mother insisted on a public funeral service, with an open
casket so as to show the world the brutality of the killing: Till
had been beaten and an eye gouged out, before he was shot through
the head and thrown into the Tallahtachie River in Mississippi with
a 70-pound cotton Gin fan tied to his body with barbed wire. 1955
I did not know any better I would think I was reading reports from
the early 1900’s. The message, however, is that just as the Jim
Crow era and mindset have persons who maintain such legacy, so does
Emmitt Till, social justice advocates and company. In 2009, I continue
to plead that such actions are unacceptable and intolerable.
stood in January in the nation’s capitol to watch a high point in
history usher in the light of a new time with the reality of the
times of yore. I listened to the poetry of poets and cried their
tears of both joy and sorrow. I dreamt with dreamers watching the
reality of their dreams come to fruition. I watched artist place
on canvass centuries of emotion that can only be painted. And then
I finally listed to a country and a world come together in a common
prayer that closes the Negro National Anthem, that begins with “GOD
of our Weary Years, GOD of our Silent Tears.” But there was also
the simultaneous reality of those persons that perpetuate the philosophy
and thought of the late Jim Crow that have to be whitewashed through
the commonality of humanity.
BlackCommentator.com Guest Commentator, The Reverend D. D. Prather, is a noted Civil/Social Justice Activist, a native of Atlanta, Georgia and former
National Member of the NAACP Board of Directors. Click here to contact the Reverend Prather.
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Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Est. April 5, 2002
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