Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the once again chilly, delightfully sunny island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this 7th day of March, 2015, a beautiful one on the Cape, as we all settle in for the week end, with most doing whatever it is they like to do best; whatever that may be…
But for some, in Selma, Alabama fifty years ago, that ‘lazy’ kind of day just was not flying for most in that violent, racist, segregated South. Especially on March 7, 1965, a day that will live in infamy. A day where Blacks marching towards a metaphorical bridge to real freedom and equality, were viciously attacked by police; tear gassed and trampled when attempting to cross a real bridge in said town, the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A brave group of African-Americans standing up to the brutal brand of racism rampant only 50 years ago today.
On this day fifty years ago, great men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., U.S. Congressman John Lewis (the last man alive who was at the original march in 1965), and many others marched on Selma to bring that vital and urgent message forward to a country and indeed world at large. A world who could now see their struggles up close and personal, “TV” becoming main stream by the mid-60’s, thereby ushering in the Civil Rights movement much quicker than anticipated (Voting Rights Act passed by Congress; signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson into LAW in 1965), as it was clear many in the country had not ‘evolved’ enough to conquer their own demons of hate, racism, violent tendencies, ignorance, religious zealotry and bigotry. Thus, the march met with a violent resistance complete with dogs, tear gas, horses running people down and water cannons, all caught 50 years ago ‘on video tape’…
President Obama and the First Family (many other dignitaries as well), are on hand and walking across that now famous bridge, as I write these words, with the President to give a speech to that “Bloody Sunday” massacre, hopefully bringing some much needed attention to what has been going down in this 21st Century America, lo OUR general attitudes and behaviors by both police and citizenry alike. How these two seemingly separate and distinct groups interact and more should be the topic, and what WE as a people can do to improve upon that relationship; healing it rather than inciting “it” more. For what has been noted in Ferguson, Missouri lately by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should stun just about everyone, and that really is the point of both this march. Indeed, to remember Selma, but also march so as to not forget Ferguson either. Or a young teenage named Michael Brown. If we continue to go about our business like it never happened, nothing will change and that is not news to many blacks living in this wealthy nation today. This ‘cowboys and Indians’ game of thrones policing goes on everyday for many young men of color in society today, making life unbearable for many young African-American males who are starving for a way out, for a way UP!
The GOP’s lack of interest in both history and what that history entails unto US all is both astonishing and in a word, well, kind of weird. What are they doing instead? “Cooking up new voter suppression schemes (laws) I’ll bet!” (credit Louis Gossett Jr. in the classic 1982 film, “An Officer and a Gentleman”).
We are all flying in the same jet!
Have a nice Saturday!
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS!