Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen
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!