Tuesday, December 28, 2004

George Bush and the return of Little Black Sambo

Remember Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney -- and the Civil Rights Summer of 1964? How brave we all were back then as we worked hand in hand for a new world of hope and justice and harmony where "colored people" would be allowed to vote.

It's 40 years later and "colored people" are still being systematically deprived of their right to vote -- only this time on such a grand scale that it would cause even Martin Luther King's jaw to drop.

I marched in Montgomery.

I was at Malcolm X's funeral.

I taught in freedom schools, I picketed, I marched. And for every white person like me out on the line, there were at least five "Negroes" risking their lives to have the right to vote.

Now, 40 years later, George Bush is doing every single thing he can think of to resurrect Jim Crow, Stephen Fetchet and Little Black Sambo.

In predominantly African-American precincts in Florida and Ohio in November 2004, absentee ballots were lost, people were intimidated, voting machines were not provided, legitimate voters were "purged" from voting lists, people were instructed to vote on the wrong day, provisional ballots were "lost," votes disappeared and even dead people were allowed to vote as long as they voted for George W. Bush.

I don't know how African-Americans feel about being placed once again at the back of the bus but I know how I feel. I am totally pissed off!

In 1964, civil rights worker James Cheney was lynched because he tried to help secure Black people's right to vote. His battered body was found at the bottom of a river in Mississippi on June 1964.

James Cheney died in order to protect EVERY American's right to vote.

Now there is a new Cheney in town -- a ruthless man who wants to turn back the clock to the bad old days of bigotry, racism and Jim Crow. Dick Cheney should be ashamed for trying to steal the souls of Black folk.

"I have a dream where a man will be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin," said Martin Luther King. And to the bigoted hateful corrupt men in the White House today who are once again stealing the African-American vote, I have this to say: We stopped this criminal behavior once and we'll stop it again.

"We SHALL overcome."