Monday, January 30, 2017

Black History Month Reminds Us We Still Have Work to Do

photo by chapstickaddict / flickr

Since February is Black History Month I remembered an old page in my own history. Growing up in the 40’s and early 50’s—race was not really a problem in my little community. Everybody was white in all the houses in that mill village. My church, of course was lily white. There was only white students in every school I went to. In High School we did have one guy of Hispanic descent. The city buses of course had seats in the back of the bus for what we called: “the colored folks.” In the mill where both my parents worked there were blacks—we sophisticates—called them: “nigras.” But the people of color swept the floors and cleaned the toilets and made less than the white workers. White folks had what we thought were the good jobs. There were white and colored drinking fountains everywhere—and bath rooms of course. We had a maid that we dearly loved and was a member of our family in many ways. She could clean a house like nobody else I have ever seen. Back then I never thought about her life and the struggles she might have had.. But most of us never connected justice and mercy with those on the other side of the color line. 

Down Second Avenue was the Baptist Tabernacle where Parson Jack railed against the black folk and the Communists. But that was not all—he also was tied to the KKK. And from time to time they would meet in their robes at his church and he would preach about how God cursed Ham—with a black skin—and we had to follow the Bible, of course. 

My eyes first were opened one day when I was riding the bus home from town. I still remember we were on Second Avenue. It was close to Parson Jack’s church. The bus stopped and a black lady got on. She moved about 3/4 the way back and sat down. The bus driver looked through his mirror and saw her. “Get back to the back seat,” he yelled. She just sat there looking stunned. The driver got up and made his way to where she sat. “Ok, Get up—move. You can’t sit there, Auntie.” I think it was the first time my eyes were open to injustice. I looked at him and said, “Mister, if you would talk to her like she is a human being—she might get up and move.” Everything got tense. The black lady got up and moved toward the back. The driver looked down on me sitting there and said, ”Huh!” turned around, made his way to the front. The bus moved on down the street. The next time to bus stopped the woman got off. I have often wondered if she had been going further. 

We still have a long, long way to go in race relations. I thought when we elected President Obama that race relations was a settled matter. Little did I know that his fine tenure as President would rip the scab off a sore that continues to make our country sick. We still have a long way to go.

A friend in Seneca, South Carolina said he found a sealed plastic envelope in his yard in January. When he opened it—this is what he found. There was rice in the envelope to make sure the brochure would not get wet.  

“Based on current rates of first incarceration,
as estimated 32% of black males will enter State or Federal prison
during their lifetime, compared to 17% Hispanic males and 5.9% of white males.
Blacks are seven times as likely as people of other races to commit murder,
eight times more likely to commit robbery and three times more likely to use a gun in a crime.
Forty-five percent of the victims of violent crime by blacks are white folks,
43% are black, 10% are Hispanic.

Stop allowing these third world savages to walk all over YOUR people!
Blacks are taking over your TOWN as you read this,
but if you don’t want to fight for yourself at lest fight for your children’s future!
YOU are your own worst ENEMY if you do not joins and stand up for your rights as a White American!

They then say: Never apologize for being white! And there is a National Hotline where you can get more information about joining the Loyal White Knights of the KKK.”

--Roger Lovette /

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