Author Topic: If You've Never Lifted Anything, Everything Is Heavy - by David Evans  (Read 2190 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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As you probably know, the median age of the American people is approximately thirty-seven years and this is reason for serious contemplation.  Median-age Jane and Median-age Joe finished high school in 1990.  Such a person has no intuitive or experiential sense of the magnitude of the problems faced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States and by Nelson Mandela in South Africa before apartheid was abolished.  Older citizens know, however, that no issue confronting our country today compares to Jim Crow segregation of fifty years ago or to the Draconian racial laws of South Africa as late as the 1980s.
We are blessed that the median-age American is so far removed from state-sponsored racial segregation in the U. S. that its existence seems unbelievable.  On the other hand, we are cursed if that separation in time breeds naïveté or cowardice.  I say this because, in this country, too many beneficiaries of the civil rights struggle have removed themselves from similar quests today.  They seem unable (or unwilling) to comprehend the courage of Martin and Nelson and will often dismiss, as insoluble, lesser problems than civil rights or the abolition of apartheid.  Two current problems come immediately to mind; namely, the pervasive ensnarement of young Black and Hispanic males in the criminal justice system and the widespread deterioration of the public schools.
To imply or declare that these two current problems are “insoluble,” given what Dr. King and Mr. Mandela overcame, reminds me of the wisdom:

To one who has never seen RED, PINK is crimson.

History will be very unkind to us if, in a country so vastly different from that faced by Dr. King, we consign whole segments of our society to socioeconomic and educational apartheid.  It does not matter if the results are by chance, design or through indifference; they are happening on our watch.