By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
It is with profound pride and sincere humility that the Westside Gazette Newspaper trumpets and indorses the vision, life, inheritance, and the spirited leadership of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Happy Birthday!
On April 14, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech at Stanford University titled “The Other America” to which I put forth efforts to one day erase that stigma.
Dr. King said: “But tragically and unfortunately, there is another America. This other America has a daily ugliness about it that constantly transforms the ebullience (the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts or feelings – exuberance) of hope into the fatigue of despair. In this America millions of work-starved men walk the streets daily in search of jobs that do not exist. In this America millions of people find themselves living in rat-infested, vermin-filled slums. In this America people are poor by the millions. They find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” Read full speech at: Just as it was in 1967 so it is today! Only the numbers have increased and the ethical and biological makeup of those who are forced to eat from the crime of neglect and selective annihilation has been augmented with the crying voices of more babies and immigrants seeking a better life.
One could only hope that on the 90th birthday of Dr. King, things would have changed.
Living in America in thing present time and having lived here for over 60 years, I can unequivocally say that there is more than two Americas.
I don’t say this with pride or arrogance; I say it to jar the minds of those of us who can make a difference but don’t.
There are myriad excuses that we allow to disable, paralyze, immobilize, make us lame, and just plain ole’ cripple us into not getting into the battles or confrontations to freedom and equality.
We have become too comfortable, too assimilated, and too damn scared. Too dependent on leaders who suffer from selective amnesia that have given them an illusion of grandeur.
This view and stigma is transgendered, homophobic, White, Black, Brown, boy, girl, woman and man. It’s Jew, Gentile, Protestant and Catholic- it’s all of us.
A nation who caves into the vitriolic destitution of depraved and sick minded leaders guided by the thought of supremacy, privilege and entitlement is a homeland of the same.
We’ve come too far to be bogged down with the same ill-gotten gains: weighted burdens of rape, robbery, betrayal and stolen identity.
We can move from under those weights when we begin to help one another, not looking for nor seeking some form of payment in return including indentured servitude masked by forced free labor based upon the melanin in one’s skin.
Yes, it is difficult to believe that peace and equality can be achieved when we see our government on the brink of collapsing, while the poor seem to be fading to black (disappearing) and the middle class is its replacement.
Is there an auxiliary for the replacement of leaders who are opposed to the ideals of a political party in “power”? Education, the great equalizer to fairness and success, has and still is addressed under the auspices of “with all deliberate speed,” in Brown vs Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas.
We ain’t got it yet. Even when we have people who look like us the process moves slower than syrup in an icehouse, and if it appears that they are creating any type of movement to create an equal field of play- ‘they’ come after them.
The Other America, can only be eliminated when fear is replaced with a soul based on the like fear of man. In many cases that fear comes as a “Knock at Midnight”, or through “A Letter From a Birmingham
Jail”, it might disguise itself as “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”. In all of its camouflage it poses the question “Where do we go from Here”. There are many questions that may originate from “I have A Dream”, and we may not find the answers right here on earth yet, “The Drum Instinct” inevitably, if used correctly, will lead us directly to our answer when we can stand up and say without any fear, “I’ve Been to The Mountain Top!”
In the words of this Mahaila Jackson song ‘How I got over’, How I got over, You know my soul looks back and wonders, How I got over. Soon as I can see Jesus, the Man that
died for me, the Man that bled and suffered Hung on Calvary, I’m gonna thank him for how he brought me. I’m gonna thank God For how he taught me. Yes, thank my God for how he kept me. I’m gonna thank him ‘cause He never left me. I’m gonna thank God for
ol’ time religion. I’m gonna thank Him for giving me a vision. I’m gon’ join the Heavenly choir And I’m a-sing and never get tired. I’m gonna sing somewhere ‘round God’s alter And I’m a-shout all my troubles over! Lord, we got to thank you, thank you for being so good to me…