Daily Archives: June 26, 2013

Lest We Forget

I’m feeling a certain kind of way, and it’s only midweek! It’s tough being black at the moment.

First, the Supreme Court’s punting on Affirmative Action on Monday (a policy that helped me access college, a PhD program, and my current academic position), then the Trayvon Martin trial started (and I’m getting emotional so early – y’all, I can’t!), and yesterday, the weakening of the Voting Rights Act, fought so hard for back in 1965 (check out above video).

I’m telling you: I’m feeling a new Reconstruction era/New Jim Crow coming on – it can only happen if we continue to forget our history!

My main fear is not folks trying to set us back legally and otherwise, it’s: Do we in 2013 have the same courage as the Civil Rights generation to rise up and fight injustice? Those people were prepared to die for freedom.  I once asked my students if there was anything they were prepared to die for.

No, was the collective answer.

Frightening! (A self-absorbed generation would NEVER have been able to face down those state troopers in Selma 1965, and the non-black allies who responded in kind to the violence by joining their fellow African American citizens in the struggle: do we think – had they been so self-absorbed as today’s young people – would have looked at the same footage and join the movement? Or, would they simply say: “Not my problem”?)

Of course, all is not lost: in gender politics, Texas state senator Wendy Davis gave an 11-hour filibuster that blocked a law banning abortions in Texas. She trended last night on twitter: #standwithWendy.

But the racial fallout might make these gender politics mute if we don’t protect the basic rights that are the cornerstone of democracy.

Sigh. I need my David fix right now…