NO MORE OPPRESSION
I want to challenge you to a new concept. A concept which will make many angry, confused, tearful, and courageous; for this concept will go against everything you have been taught and believe. What constitutes our beliefs; our family; the environment; our education; social news; media; or what the governmental controlled news allows us to hear?
I, like many others, are saddened by the current events, and the direction our country is headed. We have too many shootings, police violence, and violence in the streets, where all too often, police, criminals, loiters and vandalism goes on without any justice.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are afraid for the future of our families and children. What kind of legacy are we leaving them?
The gay rights movement won a huge victory for their rights to love and have their own family values. While many disagree with the Supreme Court rulings, others applauded their decision of moving the country forward. I have many friends who are straight and gay. I do not feel it is my right to judge and condemn, for I believe there is not one of us which deserves to stand before the throne of God. No matter what religion of faith you are, the color of your skin, or your beliefs, there will always be humans in our society, in our churches, synagogues, holy temples, who are adulterers, murderers, thieves, liars, gossipers, people who are coveting your neighbors possessions, drug users, glutens’, people who are caught up in being self-righteous and looking good, but not really serving God with a loyal and humble heart. There is not one of us without sin, nor are we here to judge and criticize, but to lead by example, to love, and to walk each other home.
I say, “No More Oppression!!” No more oppression of people who are different, who do not think or act like you! No more oppression of men, women, and innocent children!! One person’s rights, are no more valuable than the others. No person’s life is more valuable than the other. All Lives Matter!
We watch on television and social media, and shake our heads at the crimes of good people, who believe they are protesting and making a statement. You cross a line when you loot and burn down businesses of people, who worked their lives to build their dreams.
The killing of Michael Brown brought to light, what many have known for a long time; that blacks, immigrants, women, and the impoverished, are targeted by police officials more than any others. Many began the chant of “No Justice No Peace” as people took to the streets to protest, damaging homes, buildings, and city property. What is right about that? Is it because of the killing of Michael Brown and others; or is it people were angry of all the injustices done to them, and found this a significant outlet to raise their voices in protest, for their own injustices in their lives? Wikipedia gives stats on racial crime at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_crime_in_the_United_States
When people are impoverished, and feel they cannot succeed in life, they lash out at a system that is broken. A system where you can’t make enough money to pay for daycare and the bills to; a system that constantly reaffirms you are not good enough, you are not worthy enough, you are not rich enough, to make it in this world. Yet, there are others who have learned to take the system for a ride and have multiple children to receive multiple checks; where doctors cheat the system, make fraudulent Medicare claims, at the expense of their patients, receiving bigger paychecks for doctors; a system where children are punished with an inadequate school system, which crowds too many children in one classroom, and expects high scores to receive more funds for the school. When the children who are tired, under nourished, and cannot focus because of the drama at home, are put in a slow class or on Ritalin, or some other ADHD medicine, to help the classes out, we are selling the children down a river of chaos and addiction. After being on Ritalin for so long, what will they turn to at eighteen, when they graduate high school? Our schools claim to be drug free, yet continually push drugs on our children. Many parents do not realize that when they leave their children at school, the state has say over their children, rather than a parent, which is leaving parents fighting the court systems, to defend parental rights and beliefs.
It seems in this advanced technology age, we would have become more racially diverse, but that is not the case. We think we know about slavery because of our history books and media, but the truth is, there is a lot of history changed and altered in text books.
- Slavery is the 100% ownership of a person and their labor, in a non-voluntary manner and environment.
- Slavery was a worldwide phenomenon that has existed from prehistory to the 19th and 20th century, where it ended from a moral crusade and England’s William Wilberforce lifetime campaign; which was signed by Parliament to abolish slavery, in 1833, 3 days before he died.
- Did you know that about only 6% of rich whites owned slaves? Most people were middle class and poor farmers themselves.
- Slavery would have ended before the civil war because the middle class and poor thought it was appalling; and it drove down the price of free markets, making it hard to compete in selling their wares. States, who catered to the elite rich, made the poor and middle class hunt runaway slaves in the night.
- ½ of American settlers to the America’s were white slaves.
- In the 1600’s, most slaves were white Europeans. Over 30,000 Irish slaves were sold to the English settlers in the West Indies. By mid-1600’s, the Irish were the main slaves of Antigua and Montserrat, also being sold to other countries and the America’s. At that time 70% of the total population of Montserrat, were Irish slaves.
- That Irish slaves were more predominate than black slaves. Blackslaves were considered worth more money than “Paddies/Irsh Slaves.”
- Before Columbus came to the new world, American Indians practiced slavery. Ethiopia had slavery until 1942; Saudi Arabia until 1962; Peru until 1968; India until 1968; India until 1976; and Mauritania until 1980.
- In Charleston, S.C., according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 407 black Americans, owned slaves themselves.
- African’s sold their own people into slavery. It has been a way of life to resolve debt and poverty.
- John Hope Franklin said, “28% of Negroes in New Orleans owned black slaves. They owned their kin and others. “Black Slave Owners – Free Black Slave Masters in S.C. 1790-1860.”
- https://youtu.be/31E1gHowYcA “The Truth About Slavery”
But many will not tell you this, because it does not fit their agenda, nor does it get them votes.
They say to be kind to everyone you meet, for they are fighting battles you know nothing about.” I believe this is true. We have expected our parents to be better people. The truth is, you cannot expect unhealthy parents to raise healthy children. There comes a time when we grow up and have to take responsibility and accountability for our own lives. We can’t expect a big government program to come in and fix everything. Real change will only come from communities helping communities, people helping people, and families helping families. We are all American’s who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Not one of us, is more deserving than another. We are all trying to make ends meet and to become successful for our families. Life is more than it seems and we are all complex people. There is no one size fits all; nor, are my rights more precious than yours.
If we really wanted to solve race issues, we would address each other with respect and dignity; and call each other by birth names, not names given. In this process, we have to examine our own motivations and beliefs, and the way we interact with others; for in doing so, we grow to become better people; like God refines us through fire, trials, and tribulations. We all want hope, healing, and peace! There is always room for Reconciliation and Redemption.
We all want the American dream, regardless of your race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or age. No one’s rights are more important than another person’s rights. In America we have the Constitution and State laws to abide by. If something offends you, don’t watch it, eat it, or remove it, do what the rest of us does, who honors your beliefs, and turn the other way. Removing a flag will not remove hatred. America is a big place, and there is room for all of us.
Nine black parishioners lost their lives in the house of God recently, at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
They were there, as many other times, loving and praising God. When the young man came in of a different race and belief, they embraced him with love, compassion, and witnessed the love of God to him. Tragically, they lost their lives that day. They led by example, to lead others home. Their legacy will eternally be a legacy of love. This is something that young man seemed to not have from home, for he looked to others for guidance, to belong, to fit in, to validate him as a person, and for love and acceptance.
The dead, six women and three men, were all African American. Eight died at the scene; the ninth, Daniel Simmons, died at MUSC Medical Center. They were all killed by multiple gunshots fired at close range. One unidentified person was wounded but survived. Five individuals survived the shooting unharmed, including Felicia Sanders, mother of slain victim Tywanza Sanders, and her 5-year old granddaughter, along with Polly Sheppard, a Bible study member. Pinckney’s wife and daughter were also inside the building during the shooting. Those killed were identified as:
- Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54) – Bible study member and manager for the Charleston County Public Library system; sister of Malcolm Graham
- Susie Jackson (87) – a Bible study and church choir member
- Ethel Lee Lance (70) – the church sexton
- Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49) – a pastor who was also employed as a school administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University
- Clementa C. Pinckney (41) – the church pastor and a South Carolina state senator
- Tywanza Sanders (26) – a Bible study member; nephew of Susie Jackson
- Daniel Simmons (74) – a pastor who also served at Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw
- Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) – a pastor; also a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School
- Myra Thompson (59) – a Bible study teacher
- The 199-year-old church has played an important role in the history of South Carolina, including the slavery era, the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the 2010s. The church was founded in 1816 and it is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in the South, often referred to as “Mother Emanuel”. It is the oldest historically black congregation south of Baltimore. When one of the church’s co-founders, Denmark Vesey, was suspected of planning a slave rebellion in Charleston in 1822, 35 people, including Vesey, were hanged and the church was burned down. Charleston citizens accepted the claim that a slave rebellion was to begin at the stroke of midnight on June 16, 1822, and to erupt the following day; the shooting in 2015 occurred on the 193rd anniversary of the thwarted uprising. The rebuilt church was formally shuttered with other all-black congregations by the city in 1834, meeting in secret until 1865 when it was formally reorganized, acquired the name Emanuel (“God with us”), and rebuilt upon a design by Denmark Vesey’s son. That structure was badly damaged in the 1886 Charleston earthquake. The current building dates from 1891
It is the hate and anger instilled in our children. Guns like cars and spoons are used for good or bad. More children are killed by abortion (54,559,615), than guns (524,278)http://siftingreality.com/2013/01/21/deaths-from-abortion-vs-guns-since-1973/ . When a society does not care for its women, children, homeless, elderly, how do expect to have a prosperous nation. Children are abused, raped, and murdered, yet the outcries are ignored, while good people turn away in indifference. How do you expect unhealthy parents raise healthy children? We blame them for the hell they put us through, but it comes a time where we have to be responsible and accountable for our actions. This young man wanted to belong, to be accepted, and to be noticed. He horrifically murdered great humans who had everything he did not – love.
We can no longer turn our backs on our children. You see their anger in the violence in society; in our schools; in our homes; in our churches; and in our work places. No longer, can good people turn away in indifference any more. It costs states billions of dollars to combat the effects of neglect, abuse, rape, and murder of our children; so you cannot say, “It does not affect you.”
( Approximately, 124 Billion Dollars, according to the CDC)http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0201_child_abuse.html
Slavery still exist today. It happens all over the world, especially in your own community. Our teens and children are targeted by the porn and human trafficking business, where many people go missing and can be snatched off the street to be used for the sex trade, brothels, domestic servitude, warehouses and manufacturing work, kiln trade, cocoa trade, coffee trade, fishing trade, and organ trade. Human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar profit industry! As long as their is a demand for forced labor, human trafficking will continue unless you get involved and speak up. Human trafficking hotline is 1-888-3737-888.
I say, “No more expecting men to man up. No more expecting women to sit aside in silence, in the presence of men. No more expecting trauma survivors to be ignored and not receive the help they need from a broken society and it’s mental health system. No more for children to keep secrets imposed on them by fear, degradation, and shame, by abusive and sexual predators.” I say,“Enough Is Enough!” “No More Silence!” “No More Oppression!”
Connie J. Lee