21st November 2013 · 0 Comments
By Edmund W. Lewis
With NFL players and coaches thinking it is normal to use the N-word to motivate underachieving Black teammates, America making giant leaps backward into its racist past and a government that no longer places any value on quality education, equal opportunity and health care for the masses, could there ever be a better time for Black folks to start rediscovering who we are and what our divine purpose is? Black people in America find themselves fighting some of the same battles we as a people have been fighting for centuries. We can either continue to run around chasing our tails, cower in the corner afraid of our own shadows or stand up and fight for our right to be. Fighting for our right to be begins with getting to know and love ourselves again, reconnecting with and learning from our past and asking tough questions about our place in the world and what we are up against. Blessed are those that ask the questions that lead to enlightenment, empowerment and liberation.
Here are a few questions to get the juices flowing:
• Why is Gov. Piyush Jindal getting so little credit for the deplorable conditions at Grambling State University and at other Louisiana public colleges and universities?
• How ridiculous is it that Gov. Jindal continues to do everything in his power to undermine New Orleans — including siphoning funds out of the city’s chronically underfunded public school system, moving a mental health facility to the Northshore and blocking the expansion of Medicaid benefits that could literally save thousands of lives among poor and working-class residents — while touting the Big Easy as “America’s comeback city”?
• Why do we continue to tolerate state lawmakers who routinely break the rules they set in place and act like they are above the law?
• Doesn’t Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s efforts to force civil court judges to relocate to the old Charity Hospital building bring to mind the bad old days when Blacks had absolutely no decision-making power in New Orleans and white elected officials could do whatever they wanted without fear of reprisal?
• Is anyone really surprised by Mayor Landrieu and Louisiana Gov. Piyush Jindal’s collaborative efforts to prevent New Orleans civil court judges from building a new courthouse on the site of the old Louisiana Supreme Court building?
• Now that the mayor has succeeded in removing all safeguards from the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board and has one of his deputy mayors in the race to replace outgoing S&WB chairwoman Marcia St. Martin, do you think the board will hesitate to shove higher fees and rates down the throats of the city’s poor and working-class families?
• What do you make of HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher’s description of Sen. Mary Landrieu as “a lousy Democrat”?
• Why do you suppose Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro hasn’t filed charges against Merritt Landry in the shooting of 14-year-old Marshall Coulter?
• When was the last time you ran across a fearless Black elected official in New Orleans?
• Why does so little of the millions of dollars generated annually in New Orleans from Black food, music and culture find its way into Black people’s pockets?
• Why do Black folks keep allowing Black elected officials who do nothing to uplift and empower communities of color to remain in office?
• When did public offices become family legacies to be passed down from one generation to the next?
• What would happen if Black residents stopped attending and supporting Black churches who do absolutely nothing to address racism, classism, injustice, poverty and unconstitutional policing in New Orleans?
• Now that white supremacist Craig Cobb has discovered he is part-Black, do you think he will understand if he is not accepted into the “White Nationalist Intentional community in North Dakota” he proposed last year if that idea comes to fruition?
• If Man was made in the image of God and science has proven that human life originated in Africa, why would anyone knowingly create and promote the idea of a blond, blue-eyed Jesus?
• Is the scientifically proven African roots of humanity the real reason so many conservatives embrace creationism over evolution?
• Why did Home Depot think it was cute or clever to send out a text with an image of two Black drummers and a person in a gorilla mask that asked “Which drummer is not like the others?”?
• Why don’t the Richie Incognitos of the NFL ever bully a teammate with the temperament and volatility of a Ray Lewis, Adam “Pacman” Jones or New England tight end Aaron Hermandez?
• Is anyone out there buying Richie Incognito’s recent assertion that the racist and profane remarks he told his Black teammate Jonathan Martin came from a place of “brotherhood”?
• What does threatening to slap someone’s mother or kill someone’s “whole (expletive) family” have to do with professional football?
• If the Miami Dolphins coaches instructed Incognito to “toughen up” his teammate, will Miami be slapped with “Bully-gate” or “Bigot-gate” charges and forced to endure a 12-month “scarlet letter” the way the New Orleans Saints did?
• What are you doing to feed your mind and spirit?
This article originally published in the November 18, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.