By Frank Garrett Jr
I grew up during the days of Jim Crow. Back then it was the law of the land and seriously enforced. Today it is not the law, but it is systematically enforced through institutions and over zealous police officers. While we are living in the first decade of a new century, the racial issues of the last two centuries continue to fester like an untreated sore. I consider the problem one we must resolve before too long. White Supremacy is an attitude borne out of white privilege, white majority, and white affirmative action.
It has not been without its critics even among some white’s bold enough to be honest about this lingering problem in America. I have read and listened to the words of Robert Jensen, and others willing to speak truth to white power. I know the majority is aware of their continuing mistreatment of the minority; I also know most of them don’t care.
When the word reparations enter the room, I have also noticed the indifference demonstrated by the majority. In many ways I can understand the reaction. To admit slavery was wrong and a crime against humanity is to admit today’s discrimination in education, business, and medicine is an even bigger crime against humanity.
The problems of race will continue in America until the majority overcomes it’s denial that racism is still a prevailing issue. When I listened to republicans waxing almost poetically about what Harry Reid allegedly said about Barack Obama during last years campaign, I thought I had died and gone to Mississippi. Picture John Cornyn caring about what black men are called or described as - wish he had felt that way about the black people in Tulia when he was the states Attorney General. Someday we are going to have to start a serious discussion about race that is more than a sound bite.
White people are going to have to stop denying there is a problem and it mostly starts with them. There comes a time when you have to ask why over ninety percent of the men exonerated and set free from prison because of DNA are black. Why is it that no white male dies at the hands of the police in Austin, Texas? Are we to believe white males never resist arrest, or run to avoid apprehension? The things I say are not just Austin issues but American issues. We live
in a nation considered a shining light on a hill, but under the glow of the lamp of freedom I continue to see chains and whips. How long do we allow our nation to talk like diplomats when it comes to politics, but behave like plantation owners when it comes to equal opportunity? Of course I cannot address this issue fairly without mentioning the
errors and omissions of my brothers and sisters. If I may, let me deal with this in Negro dialect so Harry Reid, et al, won’t think I am going to run for president someday. FREEDOM AIN’T FREE!!!!
There must always be proper preparation before opportunity can know at your door and get an answer. This madness I see among us is something we must address. Bad parenting has replaced successful child-raising and there is no clearer indicator of this problem than the criminal justice system. Our lack of love for our children today is reflected in their attitude, behavior, and lack of courtesy. We really need to get a grip on our youth. Anytime a black child thinks getting an education is acting white - that child needs an intervention. I intend to devote a column to this issue soon.
I must admit I am proud of how much we have overcome in America. From the belly of ships, plantations, the back of the bus, and cell block eleven to the White House is quite an accomplishment. I shudder to think of how much we could accomplish on a level playing field. Maybe the majority thinks that too. They feel it is imperative that we be held in check lest we leave them behind. We are over comers you know, and must never lose our desire to succeed in spite of the barriers others use to keep us down. If America wants to overcome it will have to engage in a meaningful dialogue for a change, and quit thinking one dynamic speech from President Obama resolves our issues. This situation calls for more than the president’s voice. Heck, it might even have to include some of us who are not light-skinned and speak with a Negro dialect.