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BLACK v WHITE. STILL TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT!

CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell – Tuesday, January 19th

Father in Heaven, I thank you for the gift of today, the present! Monitoring the various news sources this morning, I decided I would stay local and go back, way back, to one of the really great defining period in the history of these United States.

That period of Black v Black, White v White and Black v White, came to light again, yesterday, Monday, January 18, as this nation, under God, observed Martin Luther King, Jr, Day, a federal holiday.

From my humble perch, I don’t get the impression that this day gets the respect it deserves and if I’m wrong, I stand corrected. I will not go running for cover behind the façade of ignorance.

The Fact of the Matter (emphasis without the apology) is that however we may want to encapsulate it, racism is alive and well in America! And let me hasten to say that not because you have managed to turn a blind eye to it, means it will dissipate and disappear into the thin air like mist to the morning sun!

It is a fact that West Indians, Caribbean nationals living in America, have demonstrated extreme tolerance to this kind of warped vision of human inequality despite the painful, selfless and sacrificial reminder, from the mountain top or the balcony, that the skin color, the melanin content, the pigmentation, should not be the sole criterion for judgment of character!

So, waking up to the news that a fresh new wave of protest is trending and receiving red carpet treatment from Los Angeles to New York City, forced me to be cynical, redundant, irrelevant, all of the above. What is new!

Thank you, Spike ‘Crooklyn’ Lee. Thank you, Jada Pinkett Smith, for the reminder, moons, decades after, that not all humans are born equal and so despite some progress, ‘La Luta Continua. Victoria E Certa!’

The struggle for equality continues to be a daily dynamic in these United States and front-liners Spike and Jada are of the view that the quiet, silent, non-violent approach, in Hollywood, of the places and the famous faces, is not working!

Am I to understand here that everyone goes to the movies just to see a few good white folks perform? Or, is it a case of price, not prejudice…price of ‘edutainment’ that is not overtly expensive in the face of covert racism?

Who would have thought that 50 years after, more than a half a century after, there are states of the Union that don’t fully support the federal holiday that is MLK Jr, Day, observed on the third Monday of January each year, since the early 1980s?

My guess is that in this ‘econocentric’ universe, there is no 100 percent holiday. Mass transit has to roll, food has to be bought and no amount of machinery and automation can replace the human quotient.

That said, how many workplaces in the above scenario, took the time to educate the workforce on the singular significance of the ‘holiday?’

For many like myself, coming to and living in America, is like a dream come true. That dream started somewhere, by someone, who to this day is relevant in the philosophy he espoused and the legacy he left us.

That’s today’s conversation. You have the last word. Share your thoughts.

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