An Opinion …

This 2019 Fourth of July celebration season has surely created an opening for my, in my opinion, tone of accountability with a thread of hopefulness. Thus, I’ve waded into the conversation about the “Betsy Ross Flag” and Nike and Colin Kaepernick. First, I couldn’t quite understand the context for the controversy about the 13-star flag, given its wide spread use over the years. I shared this viewpoint in a FB response acknowledging context that as African Americans, we are encouraged to remember and to celebrate our journey and the resiliency of our ancestors. Slavery and racism and inequity and inequality remain as attachments to America’s true history whether we examine the church, corporate America, education, or not for profits, etc. Wherever you engage this system of things, there will be these cloaks of darkness!

Whatever your status, these systemic covert cloaks that have been handed down from generation to generation still greet you. These are realities that I am forever embracing, even in retirement, and committed to drawing energy from those who have gone before me in order to make a difference in some small way as opportunity avails itself.

We quickly quote in part … (I’m guilty, too). Is this similar to seeing in part through a mirror that is dimly lit? Perhaps only lifting and responding to a partial section of Mr. Frederick Douglass’ quote could fit drawing a conclusion from a dimly lit mirror.

“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine … There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloodier than are the people of these United States at this very hour.” – Frederick Douglass

Please include the entire Frederick Douglass speech in your reaction and set your 2019 and beyond goals in a fashion that honors those from whom we continue to draw inspiration and their God given light that continues to shine in dark places in our own time.

(courtesy of Senator Ted Cruz! In a response Tweet to Mr. Colin Kaepernick) “Let me encourage everyone, READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH; it is powerful, inspirational, and historically important in bending the arc of history towards justice: https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/2945.” And, of course, I am encouraging you to research for yourself too.

I appreciate and respect the views of others who take alternative approaches to reach a goal similar to that of my own. Over the years, we have learned that bringing forth change is more than raising the issues of the day … we must have a plan. It’s also about working for change in ways that promote a balanced discussion (pro/cons) and build relationships that last.  Yes, we need agitators and activists too. And, we need supporters at all levels of society prepared and willing to do what’s right when these public platforms attract a light set to guide yet another sliver of the ongoing change process into uncharted goal-driven places.