My heart was overwhelmed by watching "Roots" this past Sunday on BET. I had been overwhelmed when "Roots" was first broadcast over 30 years ago, but the heaviness in my heart this time around is much deeper. Why? Because as I look around and read the newspapers and watch the news I realize that not much has changed. Wow! That’s a sad indictment upon my country tis of thee, the sweet land of liberty which still has not become a real reality for so many of its citizens. Why?
The hatred that’s still in existence in this country against people of color is amazing. I’ve tried to understand the reasons for this hatred and I still cannot understand the real reasons why. Maybe it’s because our existence is a constant reminder of the depravity of their forefathers. Watching "Roots" is a reminder of how depraved they really were. Forbidding slaves from learning how to read, the slave masters’ continuous raping of African women, the continuous lynchings of African men - how could that be possible? They professed to be readers of the bible but evidently the slave masters were not digesting what they were reading. Wow!
Looking back and then fast forwarding to now, how much has really changed for the masses of African Americans in this country? Yes, we have an African American president and others have made it to a certain degree, but the quality of life for the masses has not changed that much. And truthfully, in a way things have become worse. When segregation was the law of the land we had our own teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc., but since then our children’s lives have been placed in the hands of those who have no love for them. This is the major reason for so many of them falling through the cracks and winding up in the criminal justice system, which is the new plantations.
Those of color that have escaped the madness are still in peril while driving or walking while black, and those that have the nerve to step up and speak out about this madness put their very lives in danger. They have no peace unless they’re one of those that goes along with this racist madness. But how are they able to sleep at night? God created all of us with a conscious, but evidently their conscience has been seared.
My friend, Sam Cooke, sang the song "A Change Is Gonna Come", but how long is it going to take before we see the fruits of it? How long are we going to remain silent in the midst of this madness? Having an African American president and elected officials throughout the cities and states has not brought about any serious change, so what’s the answer? The answer will only come when we’re able to see one another as human beings and not look at the color of one’s skin.
Truthfully, nothing will ever change until we have leaders that are not able to be bought. The love of money is the root of this evil, all of man’s inhumanity, and until we have real love within our hearts towards one another this evil will go on and on and on. The hatred has got to cease because it’s destroying the fabric of our society.
Let me share with you some words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The tensions which we are witnessing in race relations today can be explained, in part, by the revolutionary change in the Negro’s evaluation of himself, and the determination to struggle and sacrifice until the walls of segregation have finally been crushed by the battering rams of surging justice. The new Negro has acquired a new self-respect and a new sense of dignity. He lacks the fear which once characterized his behavior. He once used duplicity - a survival technique - but now he has developed an honesty."
To Dr. King’s words I must ask this question: What happened to this new Negro? Where has he disappeared to? Why is he so silent to the injustices that are still going on? Has he sold his soul to the devil or is he just plain scared? Unfortunately, one does pay a price for standing up against this evil - look what happened to Dr. King, Brother Malcolm, and John and Robert Kennedy. If they don’t murder you they will make your life miserable. My heart aches for those who are standing up and speaking out because we have paid a price and still are. Wow!
This is a new year, but will there be a new way or will things be allowed to remain the same as they’ve always been? Think seriously on that! This is Lillie’s Point of View!