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Clinton Promotes Civil Rights Agenda

September 16, 2007

From the EXAMINER:

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, unveiling her
agenda to promote civil rights, told an NAACP banquet Saturday that the
"scales of justice are seriously out of balance" for black Americans."

I was glad to see this statement.  I was glad that Hillary (who I believe is going to be the next President) discussed the evident imbalance our countries judicial system displays toward people of color.  However, there is another quote in the article that is more important:

"You’re invisible to the president even when you are on CNN,"

Senator Clinton is reported to have used the statement to reference the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and underscore the attitude of our national leaderships to the concerns of minorities.  It’s a sobering commentary, but it is my hope that it serves as "coffee" for those in our community who have seemingly forgotten that the struggle still goes on, that integration was the end of our dreams.  News flash folks.  We’re still living in a country where injustice goes on, and our elected leaders aren’t necessarily looking out for our best interests…in fact a lot of them don’t even know our interests.

Black people, we need to adopt the attitude that the great democratic intellectual Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of in his address "The American Scholar":

"We have listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe.  The spirit of the freeman is already suspected to be timid, imitative, tame. Public and private avarice make the air we breathe thick and fat…We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds."

I believe the task of our community, if we are to thrive, is to awaken those docile among us, and engage them again in this race we still run; the work we still must put our hand to the plow for – that being the exercise of some power to the benefit of all. So people let’s raise our game, let us not just wait for our spokesman to validate what we know to be true. Let us walk on our own; work with our hands; speak our minds to the places and people who will not see us…because whether they will believe it or not, James Baldwin spoke the truth when he wrote:

"He [the Negro] is the key figure in his country, and the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as his and the Negro recognizes this, in a negative way.  Hence the question: do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?" (James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time)

Or, simply put, we’re standing right in front of you America, and we’re more important than you know. 

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