year, African American actress Taraji P. Henson feared that the
COVID-19’s impact on the Black community would be “trauma
on top of trauma.” Henson was on point. Black suicide rates are
off the charts.
a dozen HBCUs met Black History Month with threats of violence that
forced their temporary closures, leaving many students fearful and
angry. One Spelman College student wondered out loud why she was
experiencing the same white supremacist terrorism her grandparents
were subjected to, for simply trying to get a better education.
may not ever have had any historically Black colleges or universities
in your state but know that these are not isolated actions. They are
connected to the growing anti-Black campaign throughout the U.S.
Police murders, vigilante murders, food insecurity, health
disparities, unhoused, hostile school environments, and the list goes
Ahmaud Aubery case in Georgia gained international attention for its
blatant racist vigilantism of three good ole’ boys, but similar
acts have not received the same publicity. For example, in rural
Missouri there have been at least three known cases of young Black
men killed at the hands of white men. All the lethal shootings were
ruled justifiable before there was any mention of criminal
anti-Black climate is growing and becoming more intense - and ugly.
It may be driven by a rabid, white extremist movement but it also
enjoys the complacency of a silent majority of all racial and ethnic
groupings. This has nurtured an environment that supports not just
anti-Black ideologies but anti-gay and anti-woman ideologies as well
- in short, anti-everything except white, male dominance.
former president set a lot of negative attitudes and behaviors in
motion while in office. Most of his tyrannical ideas and actions
would not have seen the light of day if it weren’t for the
complicity of the diverse majority. This complicity is not
necessarily intentional. Some of us are in perpetual survival mode
with scant energy or time to confront the sources of oppression.
Others understand the systems of oppression but are confused or
hesitant about how to tackle them.
this next period, those of us who know an injustice when we see it
have to be more proactive, more organized and more tenacious in
advancing the ideals of democracy. The forces of reaction are
aggressively moving us towards an authoritarian model – some
say fascism. Our goal is not just to resist these political
tendencies but to put a decisive end to it.
we currently have some limited powers in the Executive Branch and a
little in the Legislative Branch, the enemies of democracy are
exploiting all branches of the government to move their agenda
whether it be legislative or judicial. The two branches can greatly
suppress the powers of the Executive Branch despite the fact that all
three branches are supposed to be checks and balances while operating
cooperatively in the name of The People.
is a time for us to be acutely clear that passivity is the enemy of
democracy. There are many tragic and historic examples of how this
has manifested itself for different societies but trust and believe,
the masses of people are always
pledge to one another is not to repeat the most egregious human
rights violations but to move ourselves and our communities to a
deeper purpose and a higher level of civilization. There are
intentional obstacles being created and policies being implemented
with which we’ll be stuck for a long time.
History Month is as good a time as any to talk about the importance
of our history and culture in the context of our right to exist in
this country as long as we want. No amount of book burning will