A few years ago the republican majority run legislature voted to change the state map that would have inevitably reduced the minority vote in the State of Texas. The Texas U.S. District Court ruled in favor of redistricting in the State of Texas. In 2012 the U.S. Federal Court ruled the redistricting map discriminated against minority voters. Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit struck down the amended Texas Voter ID Law, another thorn in the side of those opposed to the constitutional right to vote. It seems the fight to prevent a fair election inclusive of every United States citizen to have the right to vote has prevailed on the side of the people. As the struggle continues to preserve the civil rights laws established by lawmakers five decades ago, the right to vote is a privilege that every American must exercise.
Retrieved from www.brennancenter.org
"The Affordable Care Act is here to Stay".
-President Barack Obama June 25, 2015
In 2010 the United States Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. After more than 50 attempts by several Republican legislatures to debate, discuss and in an all out outrageous plan to repeal, replace, or even eliminate “Obama Care”, the United States Supreme Court ruling today upheld the law and hopefully will squash the rhetoric. As this so-called, “Lame Duck” president moves forward in his last months as our Commander and Chief, Obama moves forward with a historical international trade bill and despite the history of lame duck presidents, President Barack Obama, keeps on quackin’. Who knows what the next victory for this lucky duck will be.
President Obama and his family walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama with hundreds of participants on Saturday, March 7, 2015. They took the symbolic walk across the bridge to remember the foot soldiers, facing law enforcement with clubs, dogs, horses, and tear gas. It is heart breaking to see the fifty year-old black and white video of men, women, and children, bit by the dogs, trampled by horses, beaten by law enforcement, left bleeding, and broken. Watching the first African American President of the United States walk alongside Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who was one the foot soldiers leading the march fifty years ago; adds to a prophetic symbolism of hope transpired through the relentless struggle witnessed through the foot soldiers participating on that horrible event called, Bloody Sunday.
Eric Holder, our first African American Attorney General, spoke eloquently at Brown Chapel with hints to the masses that the struggle continues. As the voting rights act, section 5, to protect minority voters is revisited by Congress; Attorney General Holder reminds us that these issues of injustice must be addressed. Similar to the actions of those foot soldiers walking across that bridge in Selma, Alabama; the new foot soldiers in Ferguson, Missouri and across the country, must peacefully pick up the baton and continue to initiate change. While supporters prepared for the historic event, the national news broadcasts the police shooting of another unarmed youth this weekend; and millions of Americans enrolled in healthcare face the unknown as the United States Supreme Court examines the constitutional aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Watching and listening to the speakers at the Selma event, the overriding message for one is the resounding recognition of self. We must look ourselves in the mirror and ask have I made a difference. Would I have the courage to stand like the foot soldiers did on Bloody Sunday?
The National Association of African American Owned Media INAAAOM) and Entertainment Studios Networks, Incorporated, allegedly filed a lawsuit against Comcast, MSNBC, Time Warner Cable, Al Sharpton, and other nonprofit African American organizations for $20 billion. Although African American media and entertainers have been excluded from expansion and recognized as Global and Emmy Award worthy, there are several accomplishments one should note as a glimmer of light. MSNBC has introduced a few hosts of color in the past few years. Tamron Hall, Reverend Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris Perry, Toure and Joy Reid. The Chicago Tribune writer Eugene Robinson and Jonathan Capehart are frequent guests on various MSNBC shows. Each host has enlightened viewers in their own way or style, to convey various urban issues related to the plight of African Americans. Some people may view Reverend Al Sharpton as a media hogging pimp. Others recognize his contributions to the urban community and social media outlets as a refreshing and invigorating foot soldier helping to open the door to acceptance and change for future media hosts. What the plaintiffs in the lawsuit have to remember is from whence we came. They have to remember that baby steps are better than one not able to walk at all. Reverend Al Sharpton and those entities that assisted to elevate him to a higher platform through the media is a reminder of how one must learn the basics in an effort to master the stride. So from one African American struggling media outlet to another, keep striving for upward mobility by not bashing those that have established a financial stronghold through favoritism or whatever the case may be. Perhaps the lawsuit will put a spotlight on others who are deemed worthy to those powerful entities who make the decisions on whether or not to broadcast. In the meantime, the resounding message is to continue the struggle. Look how long it took Google to add ethnic Emojis to the mix. By the way, congratulations to Lester Holt for holding down the fort on the Nightly News on NBC! The struggle continues. Change will come.
National Association of African American Owned Media, (2015). Complaint. Retrieved from http://www.naaaom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Comcast-Sharpton-Complaint.pdf
As Black History comes to a close in 2015, I decided to write my first blog. I thought about various social and political issues. Because there are so many issues to discuss, I chose to talk about what matters. I watched the movie “Selma” with my family this February. Watching and reading about the march on Selma as a child, on public broadcast documentaries and biographies was different than viewing a docudrama on actual historical events. Today we remember the 50th Anniversary of the tragic death of Malcolm X. The ideologies from both icons, Malcolm X and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. differed in practices; but similar in the deluge of the struggle for equality for Black Americans. It was sad to look back on history and fast forwarding to the same issues that face Black Americans today.
Even though President Barack Hussein Obama ushered in a new era of change, his messages of unity, hope, and equality for all; did not erase the hatred and separatists views of racists. The recent hate filled comments from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani exemplifies the continuation of ignorance and shame as it relates to the constant disrespect of our two-term Commander and Chief. The past three years, has reintroduced a world too familiar to those who marched in Selma. Separate and unequal justice remains a constant struggle. The presence of young black men walking home after purchasing skittles and ice tea; or sitting with friends, listening to music in a SUV; rises as suspicious or criminal behavior leading to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Voters once denied the right to vote are experiencing similar barriers in various States around the country. The gateway to education opened to students once denied; now facing budgetary cuts slowly closing the corridor to higher education and economic freedom. Although the unemployment rate is at 5.7 percent, the unemployment rate for Black Americans is 10.3 percent; remaining the highest among any other race. What matters today remains the same as yesterday. Justice matters. Equality matters. Fairness matters. Education matters. Voting matters. Lives matters. Pursuit of Happiness for EVERYONE matters.
Bureau of Labor and Statistics. (2015). Household data survey. Washington, DC: United
States Department of Labor. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf