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BOTTOMLINE… Institutional Racism Requires Black History Month

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Crispus Attucks

Crispus Attucks

Black History Month is an acknowledgment of the fact that “Black Lives Matter”! The history of the planet and its people is peppered with accomplishments of adventure, creativity and tenacity by men and women of color.  The need to provide special attention to the importance of Black people in the development of the planet and Western Civilization is based on the institutional justification of Black enslavement. The Western Civilization economic needs justified a policy of Colonization that time has lived to determine as racist and exploitive. America’s greatness is tainted by our history of slavery and denial of reparations for the enslaved and their children’s, children’s, children.  The first official blood spilled for America’s freedom was that of Crispus Attucks, a Black man. Despite the hate constantly heaped upon Blacks in America, supported by the laws and policy of America’s institutions, Black people have served, contributed and earned the right to be respected and honored as a golden thread in America’s fabric.

Black History Month is a time that the institutions of America need to step up and acknowledge the equality gap. The elected officials, especially those who are in place because of Black elective support, as the representatives of the institutions that still get it wrong, should use BHM as a time to address the Black Community and express concern for the inequality that still exists. They need to attend events and place advertisements in the programs that are advocating for equal access and opportunity for the least served.  Though we applaud the accomplishments of Alexander Dumas, we cannot forget that Blacks are statistical victims in America’s education system.  Our elected officials are in charge of the schools that fail our children and the society that could benefit from another great Black scholar. They are in charge of our cities and counties where public safety and other government jobs are issued to the family members and friends of the “all ready employed good ole boys”.   There are still many individuals who have racist tendencies, but it is the institutions that have the power of policy that causes havoc to race relations in America.

Black History Month is the time that allows for image correction. The Black image is in need of an upgrade from both, the inside and outside… Black folk cannot afford to have “a season of pride”.  We should regard pride as a lifestyle not an occasion.  A lifestyle of pride requires us to realize that what we do today will be what our children’s children will regard as their history.  We will want them to know that we held our elected officials to a standard of service and respect that earned our votes.  The need for remembering Black people’s historical contributions will continue as long as our elected officials continue to allow and promote policies such as “war on drugs” and “three strikes”. Those policies are racist and they develop the statistics that make Blacks appear to be a social problem as opposed to the benevolent contributors that history proves.

Register to vote and vote! Take your children to a City Council, a School Board or County Board of Supervisors meeting, and explain how the officials get there and how they are replaced by election or recall.  Who you and I voted for and where you and I spent our money will become important personal history that has social implications for our children.  Let us get it right!

BOTTOMLINE: Freedom can be a …

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Freedom does not negate physics. Newton’s law of motion says, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction…”

I am free to say what I want and you are free to respond! I am free to vaccinate and you are free to not vaccinate. I am free to hope that my vaccination shields me from measles etc… You are free to ’dodge’ or catch the measles, etc. You are free to ’dodge’ or catch the measles.

As to the child that is too young to vaccinate and is vulnerable and dependent on others being vaccinated, the parent/guardian must take charge. Since that parent/guardian cannot take charge of who is and who is not vaccinated, they must take charge of their child. If your child’s immune system is vulnerable should you trust the probability of others being vaccinated any more than you would trust a daycare service operated by the ”Redeemed Child Molester’s Association?”

Our society does not require people to make smart decisions. We are allowed the freedom to decide for ourselves with good or bad decisions. That same freedom requires us to deal with the repercussions, as well as the rewards of our decisions.

Freedom can be confusing and frustrating, and definitely requires responsibility. When confronted with the “Jim Crow” laws of the post civil war era, an era that obviously paid no heed to political correctness, a formerly enslaved man was overheard to say “Freedom can be a ‘B-word’!”

BOTTOMLINE: “Change is Occurring…and Hope is Alive!”


Publishers commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Dr. King’s Birthday requires us to annually measure the amount of successful change that has occurred since his death. Our friend Celes King IV was quick to say, “Perception is reality.” I think we can agree that the election of Barrack Obama to President of the United States boosted the image of Black men across the planet. It must be considered that if “Black lives matter” is a truer statement today than when Dr. King was alive, that Barrack Obama being President adds to that truth!   In several years, by 2016, people aged ten years and younger will represent members of an exclusive group. The only President of the United States that they will have experienced is a Black Man.  They, having witnessed such proof, will grow up expecting that Blacks can and will excel. That is a major long term benefit of Mr. Obama being President.  He is an inspiration. He inspires young Black children to want to be like him, to become important and influential members of society. He also shows the non-Blacks who harbor the false impression that “Blacks can’t” to understand that “Blacks can” and that society benefits when “Blacks do!  We know that low expectations generally come true.  Increased expectations allow room for increased participation and performance.

Increased expectations will cause among other things, a greater competition for participation and an expectation that winning is for the well prepared. Just because the world is more willing to accept that a Black man can do, does not mean that it will be easier for him to do; however, easy is not a requirement!

As we measure successful change, access to opportunity for those who have been deliberately denied that access, is an issue. The imagery of success is great for perception, but reality requires a job count and a measurement of education and quality of life. Access to education, jobs and quality of life for most Americans, Blacks in particular, has diminished since Dr. King’s death. The image of the most prestigious office holder on the planet, being racially disrespected under the guise of politics has been a reminder to “old school” witnesses, that racism is alive and that to some Republicans, greed and or “white privilege” is more important than the welfare of the Country.

So, in closing, I will say that the fresh sheets and pillow cases of opportunity make the American bed look better, but the mattress is still lumpy with racism, making a peaceful night hard to come by. Change is occurring but the need for hope is very alive!