Sunday, March 8, 2015
So What's Next After Selma 2015 ?
In March of 1965, thousands of people marched 54 miles from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery to protest the disenfranchisement of African Americans and in support of civil rights for all.
Today some of us won’t drive two miles to vote in an effort to derail some of the oppressive legislature on the books that scales back some of the progress those marchers were responsible for making.
The first of three Selma marches took place on March 7, 1965. As the marchers were walking out of Selma, only six blocks from where they started, they were stopped on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. There, state troopers and other residents attacked the unarmed marchers with clubs and tear gas to keep them from getting to the capital. The attack on the peaceful marchers on the bridge on March 7 was captured by journalists and quickly spread around the world, becoming known as “Bloody Sunday.”
In 2014 protesters in Ferguson MS endured a similar response from police when they protested the shooting of Micheal Brown. Sadly, Ferguson won’t have the epic impact on social injustices that Bloody Sunday did. As a matter of fact one can see social injustices against Blacks and Black men escalated after the Brown shooting. Black men continued getting gunned down by police. The economy continued to grow while Black unemployment remained in its stagnant and disproportionate rate compared to White unemployment. The changes taking place across the country to The Voting Rights Act serves to make it hard for minorities and the elderly to participate in the voting process.
Commemoratives are nice. It’s important to pay homage to those fearless individuals that pioneered the positive changes that afford us some of the liberties we exercise today. But commemoratives are not going trigger the momentum necessary to annihilate the injustices and oppressions impeding many from the quality of life they deserve as citizens of what is often called “The Free World”.
The problem with commemoratives is after they’re over everyone goes home and nothing changes. There’s no return to the bridge to complete what was started as was the case 50 years ago in Selma. There’s no larger crowd than yesterday pressing the powers that be for change.
After the commemoratives, the elegant speeches and fiery sermons, it is back to the same old same old. It begs me to present the question - Has racism become commercialized in the form of commemoratives, memorials and celebrations? It’s definitely a question worth pondering.
If not then where is the movement?