“THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME” by Gardenia Hobbs

This article was posted in the Rocky Mount Telegram titled as “Progress On Racial Equality Front Meets New Challenges In 2016.”

“THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME”

As I pause and reflect on this country’s promise of justice and equality for all I am reminded of the many barriers that have negated the fulfillment of this promise. Are we destined to continue dreaming an impossible dream? Are we destined to continue living in a country where justice and equality will never be on one accord? Indeed, there is much truth in the old adage “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

Legislation has all but put an end to forced racial segregation yet actions and attitudes remain unwavering. Racial stereotyping is just as prevalent today as it was yesterday. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that abolished the Jim Crow Laws and invoked the commerce clause which outlawed discrimination in public accommodations. Today we are seeing new laws enacted like HB2 that give rise to discrimination anew and religion being used to justify the unjustifiable.

In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed to rectify inequities in voting rights. In 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated key parts of this act citing there was no longer a need. After that ruling the restructuring of voting rights went into overtime. Today we are not asked to count marbles in a jar or read parts of the Constitution but the obstacles of acquiring a voter ID and getting to a polling place is just as daunting.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was handed down on May 17, 1954 and from that day forward opponents started working feverishly to find ways to circumvent the law. Following this decision home schooling increased, church schools, charter schools and academies started opening at an epidemic rate. Today public schools are being robbed of funding and are just as segregated as they were before the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Affirmative Action was first introduced in the issuance of an Executive Order to create the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. By Executive Order, President Lyndon B. Johnson developed and enforced this order in 1965. From the outset there was strong opposition. Under the guise of reverse discrimination there has been one lawsuit after another. Today, the Affirmative Action Program has been stripped of its original intent and is but a fading shadow.

In 2009 the Tea Party was formed and from day one its members went after President Obama with a vengeance and gave birth to the slogan “taking our country back.” Tea Party members have depicted President Obama in every racist format possible and engaged in verbal racial confrontations even with African American members of Congress. Instead of rebuke the organization has been embraced as if it were mainstream and candidates seeking elected office have been elated to get its endorsement. To the contrary, when Black Lives Matter organized in 2013 critics wasted no time calling the organization racist and a terrorist group. This comes as no surprise because down through the annals of time when people of color have dared to speak out about injustices or challenges the system they have sometimes paid the ultimate price or have been labeled as trouble makers and radicals. Is it the expectation that people of color should suffer peacefully and accept things as they are without question?

In 1968 George Wallace ran for president on a segregationist platform. Today we have George Wallace in Donald Trump, a man who freely expresses racist views and is a Mister “Cure-all” without a how. It is appalling to hear members of the Republican leadership criticize his racist remarks on one hand and endorse him on the other hand. Obviously, for them, it’s all about winning at any cost and sacrificing self-respect is a price worth paying.

John F. Kennedy said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” So, as long as minds and attitudes reject change, it is not unreasonable to expect that “the more things change the more they will stay the same”.

Gardenia B. Hobbs, Rocky Mount, NC

Butterfield Applauds Unanimous Fourth Circuit Decision on Discriminatory Voter ID Law

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For Release:  Immediate

 
 

Date:  July 29, 2016

 

Contact: Meaghan Lynch

Office:    (202) 225.3101



 

Butterfield Applauds Unanimous Fourth Circuit Decision on Discriminatory Voter ID Law

 

Washington, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today released the following statement after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously determined the NC General Assembly acted with a discriminatory purpose in enactment of Voter ID law:

 

“I applaud the UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT on its unanimous and well-reasoned opinion that determined the North Carolina General Assembly acted with a discriminatory purpose in enacting a voter ID law and other discriminatory voting procedures including a limitation on early voting. 

 

“The law addressed by the Court today was passed by the General Assembly one month following the suspension of a portion of the Voting Rights Act that required federal preclearance of voting changes.  The legislature’s intent in enacting this law has now been found unconstitutional and unenforceable.  The appellate court found that the trial court “ignored the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.”  The court went on to say that the election law changes have had a disproportionate impact on African American voters and no basis ever existed to support the law’s passage and enactment.  The appellate court is requiring the state to completely cure this unconstitutional voting law.

 

“Today, the federal court has validated my long held view that this law discriminates against African American voters because of their race.  It is my hope that the State of North Carolina will embrace this decision instead of pursuing costly appeals.  North Carolina’s image has been tarnished by this and other discriminatory legislative enactments.  By embracing this decision, the State of North Carolina will begin the process of restoring the state’s reputation for protecting the right to vote.”

 

http://butterfield.house.gov

 

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The Real Reason White People Say ‘All Lives Matter’– Huffington Post

The Watch Dog response: This is a lengthy article but it is Fabuloustastic! A must read!

Why “Black” Makes Us Uncomfortable

Dear fellow white people, let’s have an honest talk about why we say “All Lives Matter.” First of all, notice that no one was saying “All Lives Matter” before people started saying “Black Lives Matter.” So “All Lives Matter” is a response to “Black Lives Matter.” Apparently, something about the statement “Black Lives Matter” makes us uncomfortable. Why is that?

Now some white people might say that singling out Black people’s lives as mattering somehow means that white lives don’t matter. Of course, that’s silly. If you went to a Breast Cancer Awareness event, you wouldn’t think that they were saying that other types of cancer don’t matter. And you’d be shocked if someone showed up with a sign saying “Colon Cancer Matters” or chanting “All Cancer Patients Matter.” So clearly, something else is prompting people to say “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter.” (Huffington Post)

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II Speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Click on photo to watch Video, you will be glad that you did! It was Fabuloustastic!

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Edgecombe County -Where Were You? I Was There!

I became actively engaged as a community activist and a community activist in the late 80’s.

I was there when we appointed James Knight as the 1st Black Sheriff of Edgecombe County in b 1996. I had a vote in the matter because I was a county officer. He was elected in 1998 and is still our Sheriff.

I was there when Carol Allen White announced she was running for Clerk of Court as she worked in the Clerks office. She was fired. She ran, won and became the 1st Black Clerk of Court. The powers that be ran Patsy Whaley against Carol during the next election and won.Carol set out for 4 years but ran again and has been our clerk since the early 2000’s. 

I was there when we got Andre Knight and Lois Watkins elected to Rocky Mount City Council.

I was there in Greensboro when we got Rev. Dr. William J. Barber elected as President of the NC NAACP State President and he has taken the NAACP to a whole new level. He is still serving as our President. 

I was there when we appointed G.K. Butterfield to replace Congressman Frank Ballance in the around the early 2000’s. He has become one of the most effective Congressmen in my lifetime along with Congresswoman Eva Clayton. G.K. is still serving.

I was there when we got Attorney General Mike Easley and Senator John Edward’s elected. I worked closely pith my good friend Anthony Young whom ran their campaigns.

I was there at NC Central University capturing Senator Barack Obama on video when he came to announce he would be running for President in NC. I was there when Obama came to Wilson Beddingfield High School and East Carolina University. I was at Rocky Mount High School when Michelle Obama came and spoke on behalf of Obama days before the election in 2008. I was in Rocky Mount when former President came to speak on behalf of Obama.

I can call numerous others names of others politicians locally and statewide that I was there.

Folk I have been there where were you? Since I didn’t see you then, it ain’t too late for you to get involved.

What you gone do? If you ain’t gonna get involved on the ground, then stay the hell out of my way because I will not entertain folk who got so much to say but ignant to what us going on around them.

Gospel Concert In Honor Of Taro Knight

Concert: AAMEN (African American Men Enhancing Neighborhoods) will sponsor a gospel concert in honor of Taro Knight at 4 p.m. Sunday in the McIntyre Auditorium on the campus of Edgecombe Community College, 2009 W. Wilson St., Tarboro. The concert will feature the Edgecombe County Male Chorus, Cherry Hill Baptist Church Choir and the Pines Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Choir. Admission is free; donations will be accepted. Make checks payable to Union Baptist Church, P.O. Box 121, Tarboro N.C. 27886 (memo line” care of Taro Knight). For information, contact Na’im Akbar at 567-4604 or the Rev. Roy Gray Sr. at 883-9508.

Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter

The Watch Dog response: The following was taken from Anthony Clark Facebook page. This is just Fabuloustastic!

I worry about all these community organizers who talk about working with police telling you to be submissive and compliant. What they are really doing is telling you to give up your rights and go along to get along. I wonder why they can’t see police shooting unarmed Black men. When we say ‪#‎BlacklivesMatter‬ we are talking about a race of people And when they talk BlueLivesMatter you are talking about an organized group of people who operate under the motto of to “protect and serve”. What they don’t seem to realize is that’s a job. In my opinion they should quit before killing a person arbitrarily. If you are under pressure and feel your life is in danger go do something else less stressful. Again we misunderstand They don’t mean protect and serve the people, they are protecting and serving the government and each other. How many Black people have to die for us to understand we are the subjects of their racism. A targeted people. I find it offensive that all those good cops can’t find the bad ones before they kill someone, but they can find your ass.