One of the things the civil rights movement did best was stay on message with a central goal of ending Jim Crow segregation and racism. That message was delivered by the NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and of course the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The witnesses and historians sometimes tell the story as though it all took place over a year, or even a summer. But even before it had a name, and yes, a brand, the movement to fight discrimination had begun. The fact that the NAACP launched an Anti-Lynching Campaign in the 1930s gives us some perspective of the struggle. Bills were passed by the House but blocked by Southern senators. In essence, lynching was a state crime and the law was written to prosecute lynchers if the state failed to do so. That didn’t go over well.

I bring up lynching because just like police shootings of unarmed black men, I can’t think of one civilized person that would support the practice. But just like lynching, in spite of it being illegal, police shootings keep happening. The purpose of lynching in the South was to keep Black men in their place. Lynching sent a message reminding Black men of who really held the power.

“They are who we thought they were,” the late Arizona Cardinal’s coach Dennis Green yelled at a press conference following a frustrating loss to the Chicago Bears. That phrase fits perfectly when it comes to racism in this country. It’s very difficult, sometimes impossible, to get people to change their hearts and minds. That’s why we have laws and that’s why we need to elect prosecutors who are not afraid to convict cops when they are wrong.

Radio One recently released the findings from its study, Black, White & Blue: A Spotlight on Race in America. While I don’t discount the findings, my issue with polls is that they yield responses that most people already know. How many times do you see headlines about a new study and your only response is, “Duh?”

Black, White & Blue confirms some things I already thought or knew to be true, like more Black people than white people believe Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for improving race relations. I was more interested in how people felt about issues that were more controversial – the kind that Black and white people who are friends, co-workers and church members tend not to discuss, like the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Here’s what I found out:

In a nutshell, the study points out more Black people than white think “Black Lives Matter” is making a positive difference and more whites than Blacks think it’s dividing America and encourages violence. Duh.

There are interesting findings like Blacks and whites are almost even in their belief that neither presidential candidate will improve relations between Black Americans and the police.

Blacks (83%) and whites (85%) in the study had very similar numbers when asked if the relationship between Blacks and police was the same or worse since President Obama was elected. Most of us agree that there’s a problem. It’s just that the problem has way bigger impact one group than it does on the other.   So, all this conversation seems fruitless. What’s needed is action on the part of the people being victimized.

Duh.

I don’t remember there being a lot of polls and studies going on during the Civil Rights Movement. People were just doing the work. Even though I’ve shared my stories about being motivated by all the good food we protesters got along the way, I was also motivated by an urgency for change put forth by my parents and other adults I respected. Are Black parents today encouraging their children to get involved in “Black Lives Matter” or are they hoping someone else’s kids will put themselves out there?

I don’t know personally know any who are.

Here’s what I do know. Racism is a real thing that is embedded in our society. Trying to change the minds and hearts of people is noble effort, but the key to fighting for equality against things like police brutality is through legislation. That means registering to vote, voting and changing laws and lawmakers. That’s how any advocacy group is successful. Marches, protests, boycotts, sit-ins, even rioting in the streets, all play a role in bringing issues to the forefront in this country. But what’s most important is electing people who will fight for our causes, implement policies that protect us from violence and appoint Supreme Court Justices who will turn the clock ahead and not back.

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10 thoughts on “Actions Speak Louder Than Words In Combating Racism

  1. ALL the slaves that were taken out of West (and East) Africa during antebellum slavery are the direct descendants of the Families (Tribes) of Israel that came of out Egypt with Moses. Through the “Passover” door our forefathers with walked into freedom. Through the “Door of No Return” our forefathers, as a nation living exiled in Africa for 15 centuries, were FORCED onto ships and brought back into captivity (Deut. 28:68) as was the agreement at Mt. Sinai between our forefathers and our heavenly father YAHUWEH (if we failed to observe the LAWS HE wrote for us).
    The commandments were written for us because we, as a family the size of a nation, had no law to govern ourselves by when we were delivered from captivity in Egypt. The persecutions we bare as “African-Americans” are not a result of racism, but reflect the fulfillment of sanctions that were placed on our forefathers (Daniel 9:11) because as a people we ventured away from OUR constitution.
    Our forefathers didn’t immigrate to the American continent, but were brought here by FORCE into captivity. Therefore, in this nation of immigrants we are the ONLY people living in captivity. We are born in captivity, born American, and born the descendants of Israel spoken of in the book of Deuteronomy.

    The two lines from verse 3 of the Star Spangled Banner, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,….”

    is a testimony to Deut. 28:64-68, “And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other, and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

    28:65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest, but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind,

    28:66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life,….”

    BUT THERE’S GOOD NEWS FOR US,

    Deut. 30:1-5

    “30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee (ISRAEL in captivity), the blessing AND THE CURSE, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

    30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,

    30:3 That then the LORD thy God will TURN THY CAPTIVITY, and have compassion upon thee, and WILL RETURN and GATHER THEE from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

    30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee,

    30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it, and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.”

    Colin K. is the beginning of the awakening of the House of Israel. It’s not about racism which is just a diversion to keep us blind to who we truly are as a people. It’s all about the restoration of Israel because “BLACK LIVES” MATTER- TO YAHUWEH. The following scripture verifies this….

    “Deut. 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

    32:9 For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”

    Willing to go on “Tom Joyner Show” (Radio), or “The Talk,” etc. and have a serious discussion.

    We are part of the “Stone That The Builders Rejected.” “Fa Tru.”

  2. Ivan Cohen on said:

    So often the focus is getting people to the polls to vote but none gets placed on the character of the candidates seeking these votes. Toward the end of this article, the spotlight is placed on the federal level (i.e. Supreme Court judges) but nothing on the state or local level. Legislation is only as good as its enforcement.

  3. Rev. James E. Samuel on said:

    Thanks Missy (Sherrie): All must read this posting! This only a sampling of what will come out of a “Trump” administration! This is a replication of the “Moves” made by Hitler Germany in 1933.., in marking the Jews of that day. If the Federal Government does nothing to stop these Gestapo tactics …, the next move will be to require we bear some sort of physical (Tattooed) marking! What these “Haters” want, is to return people of color to the plantation chains…, and to return to the days of lynching and taking properties. There are far more atrocities tan that to expect in the event of his election, but we must not allow or accept it! If there is a Voter Aged individual living under your roof who refuses to “Register”…, especially if they are “Black”, give them their walking papers! If they can accept what is occurring to come to fruition, they are enabling the “Antichrist (Donald Trump) to come to power in the world! Chaos is the “Fruit” of this supremacist movement…, and carnage and economic devastation is the fulfillment of this politic! Trump’s followers are those seruptitious “Klansmen” who no longer wear robes…, but suits and ties! These want to legitimize their “Racism”! Lastly Thomas…, if we care about saving this nation, and have an 18 year old or older in our home who will not register or vote…, give them their walking papers! NUFF SAID!

  4. Anna Caffarelli on said:

    I am a 57 year old female and Im white. For the last 15 years I have been dedicated to learning and being a social justice/anti-racist advocate. It sounds great in theory, but it seems almost impossible to make changes by simply doing the ground work . Talking to folks in my white race about white privilege, the historical, political and economic links to contemporary racism, is like communicating in sign language to a sight impaired person! So maybe the old saying that “talk is cheap” really is a truth.

    In my humble opinion,  it is the same story line as always. The white dominate culture will continue to do what we do, in order to maintain control over and the distribution of the global and domestic resources. That is why I believe my race will continue to try and disrupt whatever efforts are made, to form any type of movement, organization etc. that attempts to shed light on the issues as well as,  leveling the playing field. The last thing my race wants, is for a national response of collective voices such as the BLM movement because this will then change the status quo for the wealthy elite. In turn the wealthy elite does what they do best….maintain the national racial devide. This is when I see the white people who traded in their white hood and robe for a buisness suit or uniform come out of the woodwork in protest!

     I respectfully agree that voting is one of the single most effective tools for change to occur. We have to get out there and register to vote in order to change the laws,  lawmakers, policies and legislate  term limits. And most importantly  to make sure those white politicians who are out to pit one miniority group against another just to maintain the white status quo,  are removed or blocked from politics !!!

    They say history repeats itself. If that is true, I would respectfully wish that an effective Black leader would also  emerge onto the national scene to set the stage for change and  maneuver through the govermental, political, social and economic systems.

  5. We have to do something and do it quick,the same thing keeps happening over and over. Look at the freddie gray case. They refused to convict thoses cops and they knew they were guilty,his medical records and the coroner report and other professionals that could have been called in on that case to prove what they did to him was murder,instead they chose to turn a blind eye,and pay the quilty instead,our justice system is in the toilet.they laugh at this country,nothing but racism,hatred,i hope all remember come november,and get rid of the judge and the mayor, and that da,please remember them for him! Karma will take care of the rest of them.

  6. Stephanie on said:

    Yes u support black lives matter to bring forth that racism still exist , of course it does it never went any where, because laws were put in place for protection, yes I say to all my young people I am around vote, your ancestors died for that right up hold their honor❤️Be better than my generation and add to the next❤️

    • J. Smooth on said:

      I agree Stephanie, and not only the young people should vote,
      but they should know what the issues are and and learn about
      the candidates and know whom they are voting for.

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