Black Lives Matter. That’s a phrase no one should have to repeat or say. Every life should matter, but here we are in the 21st Century, and racism is still rearing its ugly head, and we have just elected a congress who I don’t see willing to do anything to make changes in our lives that will in any way actually work towards ending the hate, bigotry or racism that prevails like a cancer through the very fabric of our lives.
It seems strange that those on the right rail against our government and cry about government overreach and then when a young black man is killed by agents of that same government cheer loudly that our system of government the very one they say is stifling them now works perfectly and say that justice was done. Justice was not done the system is broken and it is beginning to look like it isn’t going to get fixed any time soon.
There is a huge racial divide within our nation that over the past few months has opened up and is swallowing us whole. We should have come a long way since Dr. King was gunned down by a white racist in Memphis some 46 years ago, but obviously we haven’t. If anything we have slid backwards. It makes no sense in a time when social media allows us to see almost everything happening on the planet instantly.
We have elected a Black President twice now and by that act along we should have crossed a barrier of racial divide and closed the gap on bigotry and hate and yet by that very act of doing hate and bigotry and racism seems to have increased and multiplied not abated or decreased. We have more bigotry and hate floating around today than we seemly had in 1968 and a lot of it is being slowly and deliberately institutionalized into the very fabric of our government.
Laws are being passed in state after state to once again marginalize minorities from exercising their inherent right to vote. When they should be working together to bring more and more of our citizens into the mix we see less and less of working together and more and more of disenfranchisement of our citizens and more and more restrictions of their rights. Women are marginalized over whether or not they should be allowed the right to control their own bodies. More and more of our students are shut out of the political process by having their right to vote restricted.
In a nation that once lead the world in free education students are faced with an almost insurmountable mountain of debt just to make it through college. The United States once the unchallenged leader in public education is now not even in the top ten among industrialized nations in how many of our children even graduate from high school. And segregation is now being re-introduced to our society in the guise of Charter schools.
And to say that race and racism doesn’t play a role in what is happening in our society is to say you are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses and you can’t see the forest for the trees. We have went to the polls this year, just last month and elected perhaps the most racist congress since the 1850’s. A congress whose only goal over the next two years is to destroy this nation first duly elected by a wide margin Black President whose accomplishments should rank him among the best we’ve ever had yet everything he has done since he has been in office the opposition has only tried to destroy. By their own hands they are telling our citizens and the world they are not for progress.
While our first Black President is far from perfect when you look at what he has done in six years in office few presidents beyond FDR or LBJ have even come close to what he has been able to do and for the most part FDR and LBJ had a much more compliant congress to deal with when they were passing Social Security, Medicare, Voting Rights and Civil Rights.
Yes Black Lives Matter just as all lives matter, but we shouldn’t have to continue to have this conversation over black or white or color of any kind. We should have reached a time when the color of one’s skin should have absolutely no bearing on the person that they are. Yet we not there today and with each passing day we seem to be going backwards.
I realize we live in an imperfect world and that there will likely always be haters and bigots and racists but we should resist allowing them to seize the day and we should resist with every fiber of our beings allowing them to institutionalize their hatred, their bigotry and their racism.
If this election pointed up anything it pointed up that we have an electorate who doesn’t have a clue as to what the real issues are and we have an electorate who won’t go to the polls and vote and we have an electorate that when it does go to the polls often votes against its own best interest. We have strange voting patterns like those in Arkansas who went to the polls and voted overwhelming to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas and at the same time those same voters voted into the US Senate a man who campaigned against raising the minimum wage in Arkansas. Where is the sense of that?
Black Lives Matter, because as my minister the Reverent Dr. Robin Meyers says, “Either we all matter or none of us do!”