Several years ago Retired General Colin Powell, a member of the Republican party, addressed their convention talking about a tent big enough to house a diversity of people with different points of view. I am sure Powell and a few other Blacks are Republicans because it is the party of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln who signed the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery in America and stopping the civil war. Many Americans were happy to see that day but not as happy as African Americans who were the enslaved people and considered property of White owners mostly in the southern states.
There was one America with two different ideas about state rights and what they could or could not do when it comes to civil rights of all citizens regardless of race in this country. So they went to war over these ideas and the White southerners, Confederates, lost and became democrats along with the Ku Klux Klan and other groups that disguised racism in their every day business and practices. It is a history that has been altered and sometimes ignored in Americans history books because it brings back memories some want to forget. This is what we have learned from taking teachers on an Underground Railroad Study Tour every year from Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Canada and New York. Letting them experience the history the way it was during slavery in America.
I bring all of this up because a couple of weeks ago Governor Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia decided he wanted to celebrate Confederate History Month to commemorate the sacrifice of the Confederate solders who died during that war but not mention they were fighting over slavery. Some say he omitted slavery because he wanted to get conservative (KKK) voters, while he said you can’t celebrate everything that happened during that period so he left out why (slavery) the people gave their life for. To be fair Governor McDonnell later changed his mind and included slavery as part of the celebration.
Going back to Colin Powell’s speech of the big tent let us look under it, to see who in under there making policy. We currently have the racist Tea Party members, Rush Limbaugh with his racial comments from time to time, Sara Palin who writes things on her hand while critiquing President Obama who is educated and can articulate his ideas, you have party members calling for the firing of its only Black leader, you have some seeking office claiming Obama is not a citizen, you have the KKK, during Reagan’s presidential campaign, saying the Republican platform looks like it came out of their play book and you now have some Republicans developing a southern strategy to suppress Black voters, increase white voters while altering history in the process. The tent has grown since Powell gave his speech but not in the direction he hoped for.
Some other things have happened under the tent and some have left the tent. A few weeks ago, a White male Republican friend of mine came by to see me and he said: Hardy I had to get out of the Republican Party, I am now a Decline to State. There are a lot of those kinds of people leaving the “Party of No” with their mean spirited attitude. That is the reason McDonnell wanted to rewrite history and view Blacks as non people in the developing of this country and strip us of our rights.
The Republican strategy is to not only remove President Obama from office but all people of color from any decision making position in our society. Just like the Tea Party people are organizing, we to must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep progress moving forward.
The Black Press must report all incidents with analyses of their impact on our people and plead our own cause. The NAACP must remain tentative to all of the political nuances of public policies that are designed to take away civil rights and prepare for court battles. And the church must continue to enlighten our people to strengthen our spiritual resolve to fight against people in high places by putting on the (full armored suit) Paul speaks of in the Bible. Yes Republicans built a larger “tent but the wrong” people were invited in to break bread with them.
NAACP Branch is Seeking Answers to Low Performing Schools
A couple of weeks ago the California Department of Education released a report that landed 11 schools in the San Bernardino City Unified School District at the bottom of the pile in the state. The first report showed other neighboring districts had the same problem but for some reason they were removed the next day. A week later members of West Side Action Group (WAG) decided to call a press conference in front of the district office to highlight its concerns because the kids at the bottom are African Americans. The same is true in the surrounding districts as well as in county operated schools.
School Board President Danny Tillman, rebutted at the conference that some of the actions by the Department of education and WAG are politically motivated because Arturo Delgado, Superintendent of San Bernardino City Schools is running for the County Superintendent of Schools against appointed incumbent Gary Thomas. Some people are supporting Thomas and others Delgado. ents has anything to brag about when it comes to educating Black students, which is my greatest concern.
The NAACP San Bernardino Branch is holding a meeting to try and uncover the facts and focus on educating our children.
I hope they will be able to shed light on the crisis we have in our educational system locally and in Sacramento.