Deja Vu (Been Here before)

I am sharing a post from Twitter: “You cannot teach Black children and be silent about the injustice against them.” This scenario is déjà vu to all of us who faced discrimination all our lives, so we must stand up for change. Elvis Slaughter Lancing Voices.

America is approaching a significant fork in the road. The old saying says, “we have been down this road before.” In the past, a political chorus of rhetorical discourse veiled through the musings of political maneuvers. From George Wallace, Richard Nixon, Bob Dole, Bill Clinton to the present, both sides of the aisle echoed a vibrato of “law and order” that suppressed the voices crying out for justice. 

It now is becoming a revelation to some because people did not correctly discern the cries. George Floyd’s Death was heinous, and millions saw it all over the media outlets. As a word of caution for individuals and groups who do not understand the depth of violence perpetrated upon the lives of African Americans, watch out before entering the discussion. Those who are on a superficial quest because this seems like the trendy thing to do, might find themselves trapped in a basin of darkness that is disorienting at best. The dark underbelly of America is not a pretty picture, as dark as the bowels of the slave ships. Love empathy and Justice are only places pure enough to clean it out. 

“Strange Fruit,” a song by Billy Holiday, captured a narrative of the injustice with the sway of a bluesy cathartic tragedy. The music was haunting, and the voice was iconic. 

Southern trees bear a strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

The balance of the graphic lyrics translated:

Strange Fruit was the George Floyd video personified in a song. During the early decades of the “Great Migration” of African Americans to the north and Midwest industrial cities, droves of African Americans fled the hanging fields of the south for a better life. Migrating populations were redlined out of the American Dream by segregation of a different form. Systemic Racism was not to be defined by geography unless black, in a redlined neighborhood or “American Soweto (the white government established Soweto in the 1930s as a black ghetto on the southwestern fringe of Johannesburg South Africa).  

The more significant point is to understand that there are new voices involved in the discussion, people must unite, educate, and reimagine the American dream, a dream full of methods of engagement and understanding. 

A missed opportunity would be to let the conversations drop to the ground or become lost in some left vs. right political dogma of ideology or a perpetual tug of war. Reimagining the American Dream starts with but doesn’t end with police reform. Governments must adopt anti-lynching legislation into law.

Mere diversity knowledge, teaching, training, and education do not address the attack on the health and well being of a significant segment of America’s population. Several Cities have declared Racism as a Health Crisis to formulate policy and put an end to Systemic Racism. The State of Ohio is considering a resolution of the same, which would make Ohio the first state to do so.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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