In a perfect world, I would pen this and say “WE HAVE OVERCOME.” However, if we are all, to be honest with ourselves, we have not. As I sit in front of my computer and begin to write words that are either going to be celebrated or hated, I can’t help but ask the questions,
Why are we criticized for celebrating Black History Month?
Is there something wrong with wanting to know MY/OUR history?
Why don’t ALL schools acknowledge and celebrate Black History Month?
After all, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, Columbus Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and others.
In Louisiana’s Capital City, why are we so afraid of stimulating the economy in “North Baton Rouge?”
Why are we still creating school districts that simulate segregation?
Why in 2020 are we just hiring the First Black Female Louisiana State Police Captain?
This list of questions could go on forever. These questions burden me because I’m teaching my children that with hard work and dedication they can become anyone they want to be. I want to believe this. I want to tell them that people will not lock their doors when they see them approach. I want to tell my son that the melanin in his skin won’t cause some people to automatically label him a “thug.” I want to tell my daughter that as a woman, a black woman, she will be able to be the CEO she was born to be (her initials are CEO).
I, then, begin to think of all of the reasons we have to keep fighting.
We have to keep fighting because we have not crossed the Finish Line. Just when we think we are about to cross, the ribbon is moved. We form rallies, we gain traction, we get closer, then the rules change. What does this mean? It means “Those who have the gold make the rules” (THIS is the Golden Rule). It goes without saying that we have been electing public officials based on who has the most money in their campaigns and not who is the most qualified for THAT position. We select public officials because of their party affiliation or promises that are made … not based on political platforms that could help all communities. As a result, we end up with leaders with their eyes on re-election and not reform! The “good leaders” we do have are remaining silent when in fact we need to speak out.
We keep fighting because injustices, racism, prejudice, discrimination, sexism, classism, etc. are still plaguing us. Our country is divided by race, gender, financial status, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, you name it. We will allow it to create division. We have no moral compasses, no compassion, no respect, and even those of us that believe in God have found ways to skate around doing what’s right.
So you see, the fight is not over …
As long as Black America is still underemployed, poverty continues to attack minority communities, food deserts still exist, women do not receive equal pay, black boys are placed on the school to prison pipeline in elementary school, corruption wins elections, black males are disproportionately receiving harsher sentences than their white counterparts for the exact same crimes, and minorities continue to choose between health insurance and putting food on the table … the fight will continue.