On February 8, 2013, a 60 year old white man, Joe Rickey Hundley, on an airplane slapped a two year old black child and drew blood just below the child’s right eye, and told the mother to “shut that N—-r baby up”. Hundley was an aircraft parts executive and was allegedly arrested and charged with simple assault. I wonder what would have happened to a black man slapping a white child on a plane.
When nine year old Quvanzane Wallis was nominated for best actress for her recent film, a tweet from The Onion blog called her a cu_t (rhymes with runt). This is just as when young Gabby won a Gold medal as a gymnast at the Olympics. There, the talk was about her hair. Why? There is no post-racial era, yet.
Think about Michael Vick. He went to prison for allegedly mistreating dogs. When the black New York maid, Nafissatou Diallo, charged the head of the international monetary fund, Dominique Strauss Kahn of raping her in May, 2011, the charges were dismissed.
Last Wednesday, February 27, 2013, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia slapped Black America with a startling statement in considering whether the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Article 5 is still needed to protect the rights of blacks to vote in states where discrimination is notorious. Scalia said that, in effect, granting the right to vote for blacks is somehow the perpetuation of a racial entitlement which Congress can’t be trusted to get rid of and so the Court must do something about it.
As people ask the question of whether we are in a post-racial area they merely need to look at these incidents to find the answer. The answer is no. There is still work to be done. If these incidents aren’t sufficient, they can look at the nearly 30 states who were busy passing new laws to prevent blacks from voting in the 2012 presidential elections. Take a look at the still rising prison population for non-violent offenses. Why? Because the prisons have been privatized and they have to keep the prison beds full so the corporations can make money. As a note, one private prison corporation, GEO Group, has purchased the rights to have a stadium named after it for $6 million dollars by the University is Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. How fitting for the country that has more prisoners than any other country in the world.
Scalia’s racist rant from the bench of the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT is just more evidence for the proposition that racism still lives here. On the other side is the memory of Reverend Jeremiah Wright being accused of being a black racist because he merely preached about the racism in America. As for me, I believe that Wright is still one of the greatest preachers in the world. Get a copy of his 1993 book, “What Makes You So Strong” Sermons of Joy and strength.
It is clear to me that White America and Black America are still separate on a lot of things. This is a general statement, and while the election of Barack Obama is evidence that things have changed, the fact is that black employment is down to nearly twice the rate of white unemployment. White unemployment is approximately 7 percent while black employment is closer to 14 percent. Schools in black neighborhoods are probably twice as bad as schools in white schools and are pipelines to prison, rather than to positive careers. And yet, blacks must compete for the same jobs. I can’t believe these things are simply coincidences. They are continuing realities. We must be ever vigilant seeking remedies as we go to make more changes until there is a truly changed America. Since when did voting cease to be a right and become a privilege?