IF

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The March on Washington is not the climax of  our struggle, but a new beginning not only for the Negro but for all Americans who thirst for freedom and a better life,

When we leave, it will be to carry on the civil rights revolution home with us into every nook and cranny of the land, and we shall return again and again to Washington in ever growing numbers until total freedom is ours.

We shall settle for nothing less, and may God grant that we may have the courage, the strength, and faith in this hour of trial by fire never to falter .

Asa Philip Randolph

As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington here in the twenty first century, we are posed with a question of (if).

if2What (if)the March on Washington had never taken place, or what (if) the late Dr. Martin Luther King had never been inspired. And what (if) the Boston tea Party wouldn’t have happened, or Paul Revere decided not to ride that night that he declared “the British are coming”, or what (if) the Declaration of Independence was never written? And what (if) Sacagawea had never shown the way to Lewis and Clark , or (if) Susan B Anthony had not fought for a woman’s right to vote. And what If Rosa Parks had taken her seat on the back of the bus?

The American experiment has always been highlighted by displays of clashing cultures in their unending battle for relevance through their various worldviews of  freedom.  As  America approaches the end of the summer 2013; we are all asking what (if) George Zimmerman had never shot  and killed 17 yr. old Trayvon Martin? Or what (If) Zimmerman would have heeded to the advice of 911 police dispatchers and not pursued Trayvon? And what (if) there was one Black  person on the jury?

(If), is a multidimensional conceptual apparatus of  enumerable possibilities, results and the many options in between. (If) can go in so many directions that it is mind boggling to make sense of it all.

What did the Washington Marchers really accomplish when yet, another unarmed young person of color of sub Saharan African heritage is gone, portrayed in the epitaph to his life as one who deserved what he got, according to a trial’s outcome? this decision leaves the shooter free and the other dead. Yet, the question remains (if)?

Unfortunately,  Black on Black crime plays over and over again nationally until the Cry’s of mourning fadeTracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton into the fabric of the urban rhythm and is discounted as another fact of urban life. All life is supposed to be of equal value. After Trayvon’s demise, from Attorney General Eric Holder onward, fathers of color nationwide are once again having 1950s level conversations with there teenage sons about how to interact with authority figures. They feel that these are needed in order to avoid possible racial profiling and its associated worst case scenarios.

George Zimmerman, himself a person of color of multi- ethnic heritage, is identified in many ways. “Identity is not defined solely by one’s own views, but also by how they are treated, said University of Southern California sociology professor Jody Agius Vallejo”  Zimmerman is treated as as either a hero or a villain according to which point of view of we listen to.

From social media to the streets, Americans who thirst for freedom brought the whole Trayvon Martin case out of the obscurity of another deep south open and shut case under the cover of darkness into  the  light of justice. The trial is over and all we can say is “only (if)“. However, this has awakened a whole new multi ethnic/multi generational generation of Americans who thirst for freedom.  As to the question of (if), Scripture reminds us to:

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing (if) we don’t give up.
Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation (NLT)”

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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