21st Century Civil Rights Movement?
I, for one, don’t buy into the idea of insurmountable systemic racism in America. Does racism exist? Of course. Does it sometimes manifest itself in the media, Corporate America, the legal system, etc.? Yes, and it will continue to as long as there are racist people, which is probably going to be forever. But as long as we continue to blame racism for all the problems of the black community, we render ourselves powerless to fix them. Our, so called, black leaders are still fighting the fight of generations past. Al Sharpton has even declared a “21st Century civil rights movement.” (I guess he is our 21st Century Martin Luther King.)
Outdated is the idea that, to fix our community, we need to “stick it to the man”. That fight has already been fought and, i would say, won.
150 years ago, blacks were enslaved, sold as cattle, and treated even worse. For 100 years after emancipation, blacks were prohibited from voting either by bogus legislation or brute intimidation. During this time, the KKK was a powerful political entity and lynchings were common practice in America’s Deep South. Black children were segregated and denied a decent education. This is what I would call “insurmountable systemic racism”. But somehow, through the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s, we overcame. After the passage of two Civil Rights Acts, the Voting Rights Act, and Brown vs. Board, all by 1968, the future of black America looked very promising. Not that everything was “peaches and cream” at that time in history, but the tides had turned.
Our fight was for opportunity, and since then, we have gained it. This is as good as it gets people. We have overcome. (As a matter of fact, I am now advocating that we change the Black National Anthem.) We owe it to ourselves and those who paved the way to take advantage of all the privileges we now take for granted. Those who keep blaming racism, perpetuate the idea that only white people hold the power to fix our problems. At some point we have to take responsibility and do our part. Every black parent should send there child to school with an eagerness to learn. Just think… only fifty years ago, the Arkansas National Guard, stood armed outside of Little Rock’s Central High School to block the entrance of nine black students. How far have we come? Those who fought for our civil rights gave us the opportunity to lift ourselves up. Now it is up to us to do just that. That’s the type of movement we need, not the new “21st Century Civil Rights Movement”.