By the time this blog hits Wednesday, it will mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. 50 Years after Martin Luther King Jr gave one of the best speeches on all time: I Have A Dream. We all know it right? Many of us have it stored up and still recite the message about King having a Dream that one day his children would not be judged by the content of their skin but by the content of their character. I only WISH that would be more true today! Now for all of those who are “colorblind conscious” per say, even though the Utopia is not being built, I have a question, after you heard what Dr. King said, in that speech, or after you hear some of today’s folks speak after 50 years, will YOU be that same person going home after this? And will you be that same person going back home after going to DC with a new attitude? Or being the same person or persons who might have that same mindset?

I have said this many times before: what are the folks doing or will do to maintain King’s Dream? I want to ask that. Seriously.

I don’t want the same ole’ answers of which I think are watered down. I want to know, from those who say: “I don’t see color”. Or “I have a lot of Black Friends”. Or have laid off workers or fired workers of color. Still believe that fried chicken is the source of blacks, or have revised the voting areas to keep blacks from voting in a dumb factor, or no matter how hard black folks work, they are still being labeled as N*ggers. Yeah I said it. Or those who want to cling on to one liners of Dr. King from I Have A Dream, or any other speech he spoke without reading or hearing the WHOLE THING! Then yes I’m asking the serious question. And I don’t care if you’re Generation X, Generation Y, the Millennials, or those older than me. I don’t care if you strictly liberal, progressive, conservative, or like the ideals of being Republican and many others. And I don’t care if its those who are serving in uniform or had served in uniform, or doing community service, or being in a fraternity or sorority that is well known, or whatever:  I’m pulling a Kendrick Lamar and its call out time!  I got love for some, but I have to call out.  I don’t what you’ve done. I care about what you’re doing lately!

I care about what have you done to maintain fairness for folks like me who are still looking for work have done lately without taking me out because of race. I want to care about what have you done lately to make sure that those like me wouldn’t get hated on because of education, healthcare, voting rights, or better yet, trying to get a better house, or feeling comfortable working next to a guy or female who is either Gay/Lesiban, or been in jail and is getting help to recover. Or someone who is going through drug treatments. Or being a member of the Black Community. Or going through in feeding the homeless. Or making sure that our veterans are well prepared and taken care of.  There was a recent MSNBC/Wall Street Journal poll in which had this buzzing:

An MSNBC Wall Street Journal Poll was displayed in question in race relations.

An MSNBC Wall Street Journal Poll was displayed in question in race relations.

Look at the numbers: At 54% – Adults agree with the statement. But only 19% of African-Americans  who took the poll, believe or agree with the thought. However that 79% under the disagree list, that is scary. Mainly no surprise. Now the parallels in this that there are those who believe that things are making strides: BUT still have to make improvements. And even not to dodge the on going issues of Race. That is a must talk. I don’t care if you are a business owner or and prospective employer. And speaking of that, I kept reflecting on August 2010, when I got the letter from Reed vs Dresser in which I was discriminated because of me being black trying to find a job with Dresser of Waukesha. And yes, they have made some changes in which the training and proper hiring in conjunction with African-American Applicants. But also this has to be a lesson in terms of ME as an African-American Male, that I have to be careful to send my resume to whom or what they may be sound in term of companies looking for future applicants. Mainly applicants of color!

I dare comment about this colorblind effect: If those who really believe that, and do all this hiring and supporting customers of color, and they don’t include them, then what does that mean? I’m just saying!

Many have made the trip to Washington DC. Leaving Chicago, Detroit, Texas, Milwaukee and others. And many have gone to the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall to hear voices from Ben Jealous, Tom Joyner, Martin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton, and definitely Cory Booker. Plus the females were represented to speak as well as Rep. John Lewis. Lewis was just 23 years old, at the original and spoke as the last living speaker from that era. Plus, Asean Johnson from Chicago spoke as a 9 year old as he is.  I want to spotlight Cory Booker for a moment. He was talking for all of us who weren’t even born when the Original March of 1963 was commenced. Cory Booker told us Gen X, Gen Y, Millennial generation and others about stop being, fat, dumb and happy about we got our freedoms, but don’t still stand up for the beliefs. Whether you like it or not, yes we have made some strides, but the work ain’t done! He commented this in a fashion in which it had to be said: 

“My father when I was growing up said it very simply,” Booker said. “He used to look at me and say, ‘Boy, don’t you dare walk around here like you hit a triple, ‘cause you were born on third base. You are enjoying freedoms, opportunity, technology, things that were given to you bought by the struggles and the sacrifices and the work of those who came before. Don’t you forget where you come from.”

“You drink deeply from wells of freedom and liberty and opportunity you did not dig,’” Booker continued. “The truth of the matter is, the dream still demands, the moral conscious of our country still calls us, that hope still needs heroes.”

In other words: more of US need stand up. Many of us had the old folks telling us to never forget where we come from. AND not being ashamed about mother or granny making strides for us! Don’t be ashamed my fellow Under 40 Generation X folks. For you Generation Y and Millennials YOU BETTER NOT be ashamed about this. It’s ok to for example, listen to Jay Z, or sample a song from Otis Redding. But don’t forget how the music was really started in which folks like us have to understand. That goes for the Robin Thicke fans! I know that Blurred Lines is a hit. But the sample goes back to Marvin Gaye and countless others who made the music real than Jay Z or 2 Chainz anyday! I got love for Jay Z and 2 Chainz but I’m just saying!

Speaking of speakers: Yes, Rev. Al Sharpton. His National Action Network got this thing together. And plus, I really had to comment his viewpoints on Fannie Lou Hamer and Rosa Parks were spot on. The next time, younger readers of my blog, if your teacher or those in your family asks you about Rosa Parks, you probably might think of Outkast’s song from 1998. Rosa Parks was seamstress. Who refused to leave her seat on the bus in which her feet was in pain during the segregated south era. And yes she was discriminated, but though was not busted up of her faith. And as far as Fannie Lou Hamer was concerned, her role during the era of civil rights, formed the Mississippi Freedom Summer, under the umbrella of SNCC, or the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. And also was a Vice Chair Person of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She was also an associate of Dr. King, and like  Dr. King, also criticized the Vietnam War. Fannie was also jailed and nearly beaten to death in June of 1963 in South Carolina. But she continued to her fight through Voter registrations, and mostly known for her singing biblical songs. She was also known as “Freedom Summer” who also welcomed those who were even non black in the cause back then.

So like Rev. Al Sharpton said: “Rosa Parks wasn’t no ho, and Fannie Lou Hamer wasn’t no B*TCH!”

Today: in Washington DC, near the Lincoln Memorial where the original march happened, the patrons gathered once again. Some were at the original. Most weren’t grown, and many weren’t even born. No I wasn’t at the 50th. I should have been there. But like many others I’m doing my part to advancing the dream as well. Many spoke today, including the King Family, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Jamie Foxx, Rev. Al Sharpton, John Lewis, Past Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Caroline Kennedy represented for the Kennedy Family, and yes, even President Obama who was the centerpiece. However yes, there is work to be done! No more of this sideline watching. Matter of fact, I want to let the folks know, who were around at the Original March, I RESPECT YOU! I respect you because many of you had to endure the B.S. of being hated on just for guys like me to not to go though that. But I do know that there is much more B.S. to tackle: Jobs, Education, Housing, Financial status, There are many ways of appreciation, but THANK YOU! I just only hope that those who would tell those thanks. Instead of acting like it just happened with slouching pants or a “Control” rap lyric. Or Twerking without knowledge!

So I’ll agree that the country has made strides so far. BUT like maintenance, it needs a lot of fixing. One positive thing I can say about this event, folks talking about lighting a fire underneath, this fire has been relaunched! Only this time, with a twist. They say that many blacks don’t’ have a voice now, who probably got all question asking, per say, but you have to earn it! Rev. Bernice King, quoted her mothers words of struggle: “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” So freedom can’t be won unless you have to work on it. And about marching, I have to give Obama Credit. Every time he mentioned about the single parents, those who in uniform, those in the community and many others are still MARCHING! Many of us who are younger or don’t have this knowledge about what’s up with marching? Or now folks are saying, Why are we marching? – Voting Rights, Civil Rights, and many other RIGHTS that most taken for granted. Even in this era. We better recognize!

Last Saturday in Milwaukee, I attended a gathering at Victory over Violence Park, near CYD. And many of my city’s past and present black activists, personalities, government officials were honored for their work and dedication. Even Vel Phillips. Plus also representatives from the Sikh Temple who were effected by the shooting last year in Oak Creek attended the event. Many had turned out for the event in which anyone in Milwaukee should have made plans.

The work still continues. For me: the sidelines are done. I’m not sitting down on the sidelines and not doing anything. Not me. I was raised way better than that. So I’m the game. Not just talking about it. But just actually doing the job! No I’m not an activist. But I do know what’s up that needs to be done. Period!

Time to march on. With more conviction.


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