Sunday, January 20, 2008
Abraham, Martin and John
This week we remember the great Dr. Martin Luther King, and the legacy of the peace and civil rights movements he was instrumental in. While much progress has been made in the area of civil rights-- I mean in the daily "lunch-counter-water-fountain" sort of integration-- How much have things changed?
A few years back the process of "red lining" certain neighborhoods by banks prevented minorities from recieving loans for houses in those neighborhoods, effectively prolonging segregation. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, predominantly black districts (which tend to vote Democratic) were denied the same number of voting machines that affluent (read; Republican) suburbs recieved. Some were sent false voter information instructing them to vote at the wrong location. Others were falsely accused of being felons, once again denying them the vote.
The 1960's were turbulent times; government by gunplay. Some in the Black community organized into an armed "self help" movement, one that employed, fed, clothed and protected it's own. The Black Panthers, the socio-political movement of Malcom X, and like organizations were seen as a direct threat to the institutional power structure. The result? Massive importation of Heroin from CIA connections in Southeast Asia hit the ghettos. LSD led revolutionary, educated youth to a "lifestyle of voluntary simplicity". The revolution was destabilized. This model was repeated in the 1980's when Reagan's Nicaraguan Contra henchmen flooded the same neighborhoods with crack cocaine, to fund their war in Central America.
How much more peaceful has our country become? Half the country was successfully duped into supporting the endless resource war that President Cheney craved. Got a twelve-year-old kid? Just wait six years, they'll be eligable for a "Tour".
In the 1960's, influential people who promised hope and change were shot and killed.
Let's not let their dreams fade away. Haven't we grown some since then?
Isn't this our time of hope and change?