Educate, organize and mobilize – (thethirdreconstruction.com) – Over the past few weeks I’ve written about the repeated disclosures of racism across America that were intended to remain hidden from the eyes and ears of the public. The racism has been disclosed under a wide variety of circumstances, but two circumstances will get special attention this week. Those two circumstances are law enforcement and college campuses. Obviously, if Black Americans distrust law enforcement, that distrust under-minds our ability to trust American democracy, a very troubling prospect. Equally or more troubling is the repeated disclosures of racism on college campuses. The college disclosures are living proof that society is perpetuating its racism to a new generation, which if history holds true, will teach it to seceding generations.
Although the disclosures of racism are painful reminders that America is still a very racially divided country, conversations about the issue offer a unique opportunity to move America toward a non-racial, multi-ethnic, equal opportunity society, which is characterized by political, economic, and social justice. It is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. The disclosures come with unique credibility in that they are attested to by the offenders themselves, not allegations by Blacks.
Particular interest should be taken in the efforts of the Ferguson demonstrators to turn their activist response to racism into a modern day iteration of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. I applaud and support their objectives and have been writing about some of the conditions that are motivating them. I’ll be making ongoing observations about their efforts and the efforts of others that realize America’s status quo is inherently unfair to the majority of Americans in many areas that impact political, economic and social justice.
I must observe that I’m particularly concerned by the lack of involvement by the Black faith community. Some of our most dedicated leaders have come out of the Black churches throughout our history and the same is true today. However, too many of our church leaders are hiding from their responsibility to offer leadership in the many areas where Blacks and others are threatened. To be specific, I’m addressing the plague of racism and poverty that is pervasive in communities populated by the overwhelming majority of Black church congregations.
For all activist and want-to-be activist the Third Reconstruction needs you and offers perspectives that are vital to your success. One of the most important things that current civil rights initiatives need is a better, simpler understanding of the history of Blacks in America. It is virtually impossible to fully appreciate the fight you’re in without better understanding how you got there. When I teach, I reduce the history of Blacks in America and the current movement down to five basic concepts in a one page document.
Recently, I was discussing the history of Blacks’ struggle for equality in America with a friend and he expressed a certain degree of skepticism of my contention that Blacks have been subjected to a 400 year conspiracy by white supremacist that are, and through 400 years of public policy have been, promoting the subjugation and intentional exclusion of Blacks from the benefits and fruits of America. Understanding the five elements of our 400 year racial exclusion will enable activist to better understand their challenges of today. I write about these elements/concepts as they are the core to understanding who we are and where we’ve come from. They are the Doctrine of Exclusion; America’s Era of Enslavement (1619-2865); the Era of the First Reconstruction (1865-1954); the Era of the Second Reconstruction/the Civil Rights Movement (1954-2013), and the Era of the Third Reconstruction (2013-forward).
Understanding the history of racial polarization in America and understanding how to promote meaningful dialogue on the difficult topic of race are essential in the promotion of non-violent activism whose mission is to create a non-racial, multi-ethnic, equal opportunity society. This endeavor will not be easy but it must be done. As adult Blacks, we owe our ancestors, children, and our country nothing less. It is also important that present day activist learn from the experiences of civil rights leaders of our past. There is no substitute for the valuable experiences that will help prevent many mistakes and make present day success much more likely.
As I’ve noted in the past, I’m confident that such difficult efforts will bear fruit because I’ve witnessed and participated in such an effort here in Wilmington, NC. During the 10-15 year life of Partners for Economic Inclusion which was formed in 1997, we had many successful discussions and activities that dealt with racism and that led to better bi-racial understandings and the creation of life-long inter-racial friendships and business relationships. The one thing that was essential to our success was that they had business, social, and political leaders involved and committed to the efforts. Community leaders have to talk the talk and walk the walk. They have to lead by example.
As we’ve reported, www.thethirdreconstruction.com is a blog. Our mission is to help build a non-racial, multi-ethnic network of organizations and individuals committed to political, economic, and social justice.
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News and www.thethirdreconstruction.com with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice. To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/ThirdReconstruction. Please “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites www.GreaterDiversity.com and www.thethirdreconstruction.com. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our pages. •