The Truth about America!
Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
150Trip End May 16, 2008
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A question was raised about a comment I made in my last blog about my visit to the Civil Rights Museum.
"The southern states do everything in their power to denigrate anybody and everybody who doesn't fit their ideal of a "supreme" being, using the bible to support their position. Blacks, Jews and Catholics are all beneath them. They enact laws to support their position even against various Supreme Court rulings."
Is this still happening today? Yes, and No!
I had been too brief on a subject that is taught as University courses over whole semesters, and hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written on. How do you summarize 4000 years of injustice in one paragraph. Why 4000 years? Did Moses not deliver his people from slavery? When did the Berlin Wall come down? Remember Tiananmen Square? Not the South...though still a History of Civil Rights.
I finally read, with some difficulty, Marvin Louis Booker's dissertation about "The Complete Meaning of Martin Luther King". He writes likes he talks, with passion. You must read between the lines, so to speak, to understand where he is coming from. His style is of one who has a grade 9 education. He was taught at a time and from a history where a proper education was available only to the rich, the elite, the lucky, and usually, the white.
On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. Follow this link to read, watch or listen to it in its entirety. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
Slowly, over the next decade or two after the peak of the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s, the rights of minorities have been entrenched in the laws of the country. Public opinion and public displays of racism have evolved to a point of tolerance. Or so we think. Marvin Louis Booker writes from experience. The percentage of blacks and minorities in prisons and jails far exceeds their representation in the general population. Why is that so? Think of the economy. Who controls the purse strings? So to speak. White males. How many women in the corporate world have been stopped by a "glass ceiling" ? Token representation is allowed in numerous organization. Whether it be females, blacks, other minorities, or persons with disabilities. How often do you hear of Police brutality against Blacks? Do minorities in the poor neighbourhoods truly have the same opportunities as those raised in "richer" parts of town? What really has changed?
Marvin Louis Booker writes that Martin Luther King had a vision, A DREAM, that was halted when the battle was won. But the War is not yet over. Complacency has set in by the oppressed. They are no longer officially and publicly, physically segregated. Battle won. Though they are still, on the most part, economically segregated. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. From experience and talking with the man/woman on the street Marvin Louis Booker knows who is the first to be let go when the economy takes a downturn. The almost poor and the poor. How do you survive? Do not survival instincts automatically kick-in?
Why is the War not yet over? Self-interest, greed, apathy, the wasting of our natural resources. ME! ME! ME! When the greater good of all mankind is the path that every man, woman and child follows each and every moment of their lives then Heaven on Earth, the message of Jesus Christ, will have been fulfilled. Only by living the message of true brotherly love will this prophecy be complete.
Marvin Louis Booker calls himself a preacher. He's taken the messages from the Bible, the writings of Martin Luther King, a keen awareness, and a philosophical view of the world around us to write a very thought provoking thesis. As he writes, "The "promised land" that Dr. King spoke about the night before he was gunned down, was economic justice, as well as a social-political justice. He taught the American Dream, which is prosperity for all, from top to bottom." He quotes Dr. King, "True Peace is not the absence of tension, but it is the presence of justice".
Marvin Louis Booker is preaching to the oppressed as well as to those who can make the most difference to fight against the status quo. His message should be globally distributed. It is a message that touches the heart and the soul.
Some statistics about Memphis. All approximations and may have varied since tabulated. Population: 670,000 Black: 61% White: 33% Living in Poverty: Black 30% White 10% Median income is 20% below the State of Tennessee median income. Compare this to Nashville. Population: 560,000 Black: 27% White: 64% Living in Poverty: Black 25% White 10% Median income is 5% over the State of Tennessee median income. Arrive at your own conclusions from these numbers.
What is the Truth About America? These are a few of my observations from what I've seen. And what the "man/woman on the street" has told me.
I could tell as soon as I arrived in Memphis that it was different than Nashville. I didn't need official statistics to tell me what I had already observed and determined. Memphis looks and feels poorer than Nashville. I saw very few " white" people in Memphis during my walks and drives. Those I did see seemed to be tourists. I wasn't planning on making my observations known because my views are skewed by the limited amount of time I spend anywhere. The night I was in downtown Nashville there was a Circus at their arena so I saw more affluence and more "white". Nashville is the State Capital. They are also different cities due to their economies and someone could arrive at some similar conclusion by comparing Edmonton and Calgary. Two cities do not make a country. What else have I observed? The minorities do seem to make up the majority of the "grunts" doing the menial work. Not just in Tennessee, but throughout the eastern seaboard. Though what has surprised me is the affluence of some in these minorities. It is very apparent that they flaunt their success. After 2 generations some progress is being made. But should there be more?
What have I been told? The dislike of the President and his policies are apparent in the general population. The distrust of the political process and the "establishment" is nothing new as this is in the news all the time. The majority of the population is only trying to survive. I do think there is optimism in the future. Not the near future as the "statistics" show that the US economy is heading for a recession. The Americans are fed up with their election process. Taking 2 years to elect a President frustrates the population. It's no wonder they are disinterested. It's not the " best" person with the interest of a nation in general that gets elected but the one who satisfies the most special interest groups.
A charismatic person of vision is required to lead the country in reaching the ideal entrenched in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and in their Constitution. I believe that whatever is written and believed in will one day be fulfilled. If we, as individuals, can dream a dream and have it fulfilled, then why can a Country with its own vision not go through the same process? As in a personal journey where there are hardships and times when the goal seems out of reach, a Country must also have its bumps and hurdles to cross before it accomplishes its purpose.
The Truth about America? It is on its own Journey in fulfilling its SOULs purpose as enshrined in the United States Constitution and by the writers of the Declaration of Independence. That I believe to be true.
I don't know whether any of this really answers the question asked. If you read Marvin Louis Booker's dissertation you would have to say yes to, Does racism still exist in the south that exceeds that of the Country in general.