History Holds Lessons for Future

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Remember today's history for tomorrow - Donald Sterling - Cliven BundyAt church on Easter Sunday, my wife and I noticed a child about one year old clapping her tiny hands and dancing to the lively music. As the week went on, I couldn’t help but think about that child and the fact that she has a few lessons to learn, but starting by learning to love church is the right place to begin, because getting a start in the wrong place can be damaging.

The week brought us from Nevada, Cliven Bundy and his thinking outloud that Black folks were possibly better off as slaves and that states rights are better than federal rights. Such nostalgia is dangerous nonsense. States rights brought us a segregated America and slavery brought us pain.

This week also brought us the fight for Affirmative Action to cure America from what Latino Justice Sonia Sotomeyer called the unfortunate effects of centuries of discrimination. Her fight was with Chief Justice Roberts who acts as though he wants to figure out a way to reintroduce a White superiority America for the benefit of privileged White males. He must think it’s cute to say that the way to stop discrimination is to just stop discriminating. On the basis of race with Affirmative Action, Justice Sotomayor says you can’t just wish it away.

That baby at the church is clueless as to what awaits her, but, hopefully, your generation will have advanced the ball of equality forward by the time she can vote. Justice Roberts would stop that (voting rights), if he could.

Sad to say, but we have one Black man on the Supreme Court, but he doesn’t even speak unless he gets permission from the other conservatives on the Court. The Republicans have found another dupe in Dr. Ben Carson. Carson normally gained the respect of Black America until he said that Obamacare was worse than slavery. He may be a medical genius, but he is a fool, in my mind.

Presently, I am continuing my study of the Negro baseball leagues and the economic and moral uplift they brought to Black America in their heyday. In one book I am reading, it says that the Negro leagues were among the largest Black business enterprises in the United States. The book talks about how “the cafés, beer joints, and rooming houses of the Negro neighborhoods all benefitted as Black baseball monies sometimes trickled through the Black community.”

Of course, Black newspapers thrived during Black baseball days. That meant that advertisement thrived also. That is still our base, those Black newspapers and advertisement from small Black businesses and churches that spread the wealth of the community.

I listened this week as Black Pasadenans talked about Jay-Z and Beyonce coming to town. That money will all go into the pockets of mostly White promoters who still spend it with their brothers in business in their own neighborhoods. There is very little Affirmative Action in the business world. What is peculiar is that as we support the ranch products of Cliven Bundy, and others like Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, they forget who we are.

Donald Sterling makes me think of Roots. The slave master owned slaves, slept with them, but wants to control their personal lives and who they associate with. Sounds like the Clippers need a new owner. As the record comes out, it demonstrates that Sterling has paid out millions of dollars to settle discrimination lawsuits.

What is important is that we never forget. That little girl will need our support and will need to know our history that will provide the lessons for how she can deal with her future.