Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now You Might Not Agree With This. .

. .but I’m gonna say it anyway: Sean Bell, Barack Obama, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright are nothing new to us. We've seen them before. In my opinion, these three men are simply a 21st Century reflection back of the Martins, Malcolms and Medgars of yesteryear. And yet, they represent the progress that we as African-Americans have made. They are here to remind us of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Allow me to explain myself. . .

The Victim:
One was a civil rights activist; the other a high school baseball star, making the transition into family life. The lives of Medgar Evers and Sean Bell parallel only in death; and yet through the profound violence of their deaths, a community was united. In memorium of Mr. Evers, a college was established in his name; one can only wonder if and how respects will be given to Mr. Bell. And while, it took thirty years for Medgar’s murder to be vindicated, one can only hope that this time, we won’t have to wait that long this time around.

The Savior:
He has taken the lead, folks; and despite Clinton’s landslide win the West Virginia last nite, Barack Obama remains the front-leader in the Democratic race to the White House. For all those people who said we couldn’t do it, there is a Barack Obama supporter shouting YES WE CAN. And just as Martin had done for our parents, Barack gives our generation hope and makes us believe in the journey to the promised land.

The Outspoken Pariah:
Even in the midst of their fiery words, the truth rings loud and clear: Injustice will not be taken lightly. I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X when I was thirteen; I’ve both watched and read the remarks of Reverend Jeremiah Wright (the whole thing, not the media-edited versions). Dare I say, that this is a dangerous parallel to make, all things considered, but both rhetoric leave me with the same sense of enlightenment and vigor. Thankfully, we live in a day where Rev. Wright (and sometimes wrong- laugh with me here) can say what needs to be said, and he doesn’t have to fear for his life. As long as there are two sides to every coin, there will always be a Malcolm for every Martin. . . .

Two weeks ago I went to visit my father’s family in the Carribbean. A priority for me was to see my grandmother. At eighty-seven years old, she is as sharp as ever and while having only completed up to the sixth grade, she has raised among her children, two police sergeants and a doctor. As I sat in her living room admiring the photos of our kin on her walls, I began to think of how much the world has changed in her lifetime. She was born less than sixty years removed from the Emancipation Proclamation.. . .I pray that she will be here to see our next President.

I digress. We will continue to lose our brothers and fathers and uncles and husbands to senseless violence and incarceration. However, the Sean Bell's and Medgar Evars’ of the world will not have died in vain. Despite their tragic losses we can see signs that the change gon' come. Whether it is at the pace we would like is another story, but our impatience will give us the fire to keep striving forward.

I’m done. Speak on it. . .

1 comment:

Bettina said...

Yes, a change gon' come. The world is slow-but sho(ly) changing.

So your post is to let us know what we already know? Give me more, N. Give me more.

Why do we HAVE to continue to lose our brothers to sensless violence and incareration? I mean yeah, of course we don't have to, but it is the classic catch 22. We must be the change we want to see in the world. Yes, the death of Sean Bell brought blacks together (at least here in NYC) but how long does that last? People get together, rally and say how effed up such&such was, but then go back to doing their own thing and not making a conscious effort toward social change. We have to keep on keeping on in order for that change to come.

Geez, I had a lot of little cliches...