…and what do we have to show for it?
•African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
•African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
Blacks bear a disproportionate share of the unemployment burden. The national jobless rate is 7.4 percent; for African Americans, it’s 13.7
The African-American and African-American child hunger and poverty rates are even greater than the national averages—sometimes nearly twice as high
In case you didn’t hear, the Department of Education released a report that essentially told many of us what we already knew: inner city schools are in a bad state. Its Office of Civil Rights’ study on college and career readiness, discipline, school finance and student retention showed that minority children face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curriculum and are taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.
It noted that while black males make up 18% of students, 35% were suspended once and 39% expelled.
Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act – NYTimes
How Home Ownership Keeps Blacks Poorer Than Whites – Forbes
The Obama administration’s rules for approving student loans are causing a disproportionately large number of blacks to be denied because of blemished credit histories.
Significant statistical research exists regarding race and the death penalty, and race is an issue that continues to be at the forefront of America’s capital punishment debate. Studies have indicated that race plays a decisive role in the question of who lives and dies by execution in this country. According to some studies, race can influence which cases are chosen for capital prosecution and which prosecutors are allowed to make those decisions. Racial disparities have been shown not just in isolated instances, but in many state studies over many years.
Memphis Accuses Wells Fargo of Discriminating Against Blacks
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Tennessee, marshaled a raft of statistics to argue that Wells Fargo offered one lending reality for whites and another for blacks.
Baltimore residents to get $2.5M from Wells Fargo settlement
Deal settles lawsuit claiming bank engaged in predatory practices
Read more: http://www.wbaltv.com/news/money/Baltimore-residents-to-get-2-5M-from-Wells-Fargo-settlement/-/9379180/15502466/-/624qc9z/-/index.html#ixzz2cwb9yRhZ
Wells Fargo deliberately steered prime borrowers into taking out subprime loans. The loans were called, “ghetto loans,” and the Black people taking out the loans were referred to as “mud people.” As a result, even churches went into foreclosure.
Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
On the evening of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin—an unarmed 17-year-old African American student—was confronted, shot, and killed near his home by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida.
….and the battle against hate, injustice, racial inequality rages on 50 years later. The dream is not a reality and not likely to become a reality anytime soon. We are heading back in time. We have lost ground. We have not made many gains. The election of President Obama to the presidency is nothing to herald as Black people are failing faster all across the board since the beginning of his presidency. He has completely ignored the Black community who overwhelmingly supported him. He has thumbed his nose at everything the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stood, marched, protested and was jailed and beaten for. He is not fit to even whisper Dr. King’s name.
Even though I wrote this poem for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I feel that it is worth posting here on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
For Martin Luther King Jr., Day
People say we’ve come so far.
It all depends on who you are.
There’s been no other to fill your shoes.
Today, you’ll again make headline news.
Would you be pleased at what you see?
Is your dream a reality?
No, your dream is not alive! It crumbled into dust.
And all that’s left to show for it is just another bust.
The vibrant voice is stilled, mere echoes of the past.
Your dream did not live on, a net you tried to cast.
The battle rages on as hate will never rest.
And men who lack in courage will always fail the test.
Who rings the bell for freedom and human rights for all?
While men cease to stand and to corporations crawl.
Who will ignite the spark and watch the fire burn?
And who will just sit back and say, “no, it’s not my turn?”
Will there ever be another Martin Luther King?
Who dreamed that one day, the freedom bell would ring.
“Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring!”
It’s still a dream, Dr. Martin Luther King.
Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland