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Derek Joy

Derek Joy

History unfolds the politics of a social revolution

By Derek Joy

         Isn’t it interesting how fate and history so often intertwine?

For instance, we just celebrated the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Holiday.

The first and only National Holiday in America that honors a Black American.

As fate would have it, and so recorded in history, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., rose to prominence as a Southern Baptist Minister leading his Non-Violent Civil Rights Movement.

He was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga., and assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.  His birthday is less than three weeks before Feb., which is Black History Month.

Fate and history again.  Even further, his legacy was built on non-violence yet he died a violent death.  What’s more is how so many Black American lives are lost through violence, especially Black on Black crimes – Blacks killing Blacks when Anglos did more of the killing of Blacks in the nation’s history.

So it is that several twists of fate un-folded fate and history in the days leading up to the celebration of the MLK Holiday.

George Zimmerman was again arrested and released on bond for an alleged act of violence. Again. He made history as the first Anglo male to win an acquittal under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground Law.

Pursued Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black American from Miami Gardens, who was en route to his father’s residence in gated community in Sanford, Fla.  Zimmerman did against the advice of a Sanford Police dispatcher.

He confronted Martin, a fight ensued and Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed Martin.  None of which would have happened Zimmerman not pursued and confronted Martin. Yet he was allowed to go free of murder charges when he was clearly the aggressor.

That is not the only instance of how fate and history intertwine.

Consider the U.S. Supreme Court, only days before the MLK Holiday, announced its decision to hear the case challenging the constitutionality of the ban on gay marriages in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

A real humdinger of an historical twist of fate since a circuit court ruled that Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriages rule it to be unconstitutional, while 36 states allow gay marriages.

That case will be heard sometime next Spring.  Florida Attorney General Bondi, who happens to be the first female in Florida elected to that post, can pull in her horns for a hot minute to await the High Court’s decision.

After all, Bondi has angered an alienated a lot of people who claims she is wasting taxpayers money, in addition to time that could be better spent fighting against crime and defending other aspects of the State Constitution.

King fought for the civil rights and equality for all.  Bondi seems to be doing nothing less than fighting battles dictated by the Republican Party.

A real twist of fate and history in light of the fact that the Three Fifths Clause, which gave slave owners three votes for every five slaves they owned, was ratified in the U.S. Constitution.

That, in law, was changed by the Emancipation Proclamation which was took effect Jan. 1, 1863, during the Civil War.  Lincoln nailed with his Gettysburg Address that was reportedly crafted by Secretary of State George Seward.

The 13th Amendment was ratified April 8, 1864, supposedly abolished slavery.  The 14th and 15th Amendments granted Black Americans a greater measure of freedom and modicum of equality.

Still, it was nearly two years after King’s speech that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.  And much of that, in essence has eroded.

Hence, history and fate do intertwine with remarkable regularity.  Check it out.



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