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Getting back in the fight: What Black America can and must do to fight injustice

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Getting back in the fight: What Black America can and must do to fight injustice

By Lavon Stennis Williams

As Black America was reeling from the blow caused by the recent Supreme Court Decisions gutting the Voting Rights Act and raising the bar for Affirmative Action higher education, another right hook was thrown from Florida when a jury failed to convict George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old young Black man whose only crime was being Black in Florida. These sucker punches landed in the gut and heart of Black Americans, and we should have seem them coming.

You see for years, Black Americans have been saying: “They are trying to turn back the hands of time” We said that in the 70’s when angry anti-integration mobs blocked school busses in Boston; the 80’s when “Regan Conservatism” took aim at every gain made by Black Americans; the 90”s with the assaults and acquittals Black men like Rodney King, at the hands of those who were to “protect and serve them;” and now today. When in spite of having a Black man as President, the state of Black America has never been more “at- risk.”

Perhaps our vulnerability stems from our dropping our guard once we began to reap the benefits of the struggles and battles fought by those who came before us. Are we now losing the battle because some are not fighting fairly, or because we have simply quit fighting?

Frederick Douglas said it best Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. His words ring just as true today as they did 156 years ago and remind us that much of what we as Black America are experiencing today, results from what we tolerated yesterday.

In no way am I advocating violence of any type. Worthy battles are not won by fists and weapons, but by our brains and ballots. What I am saying is that we must be willing to do what those, including Douglas, did before us. They refused to tolerate injustice- and they had less to fight with than we do today. We each must take responsibility to correct the wrongs being sanctioned by laws, and those whom we elect to pass and uphold the laws.

The internet and social media have made it possible to connect and symbolically mobilize mill-ions in minutes, but for us to win our battles, we must move our fight from the key board to the voting booths to ensure that we elect those who represent our interest and vote down and vote out laws and lawmakers who have written off Black America.

We must fight not with bullets, but with dollar bills by boycotting companies and businesses who do not support us and fund causes that oppress us. We must refuse to shop at establishments where we cannot work. My point is that millions of us took to Facebook, twitter and even emails to protest the injustice of the Zimmerman verdict, but did little to follow up on our words with meaningful actions. We failed to fight back.

Yes, it’s a new round, but the same fight and Black Americans, we must get off the ropes, put up our guards and get back in it.—bob and weave my friends, bob and weave.


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