I want to start a new group. I want everyone who reads this column to be a member. Now before many of you stop reading this column because you’re sick of people always starting something new, hear me out. This is a very simple group that just requires you to spend .39 cents, or the cost of a phone call or a few minutes to write an e-mail.
The new group is going to be known as BKCR: BLACK KNIGHTS OF CIVIL RIGHTS. The basic premise of BKCR is that when the water hoses were turned on marchers, it was black folk who got hit with that water. When the dogs were sic’d on marchers, it was black folk who got bit. When the buses in Georgia wanted to seat people to the back, it was black folk who were sent. When the protestors sat at the Woolworth counters asking to be served a meal, it was black folk who were pulled off those seats and arrested.
Every other ethnic group who has since benefited from the civil rights movement has done so via what I call the “white pass.” A “white pass” basically gives anyone whose hair isn’t like black people a pass. It’s very simple. If a white barber or beautician can cut and style your hair, you got the “white pass.” Sorry, black folk with so-called “good hair,” if they knew you were black, no matter your hair texture, you still had “black hair.”
The civil rights movement did have a small number of others. But 95 percent of it was black folk. So it is important that we remember and defend that civil rights movement, and be the constant guardians of that movement. We must be writing, calling and e-mailing against all those who constantly try to take what we did and apply it to their lesser situations.
We all need to be offended anytime someone in this country has an issue and they try to make it like our “civil rights movement.” Black people had been out of slavery for almost a hundred years, suffering the indignation of Jim Crow laws, KKK lynchings, sharecrop farming, discrimination?”and more?”at the hands of the U.S. government. We lost lives and land. We were refused an education. We were restricted where we could live, work and play. We were denied the enforcement of our right to vote. We were third-class citizens except for when it came to paying taxes. Then and only then did the rules apply to us as it did everyone else.
So I take offense when others want to use our struggle and apply it to their own. I am offended to see individuals who want to promote their agenda and claim that it’s just like Rosa Parks. I am offended when people take every issue they can think of and immediately try to compare it to the civil rights movement.
There is no comparison. Whether the movement is the current illegal immigration marches, gay marriage, or handicapped people wanting to live in a four-flat walkup where there isn’t an elevator, their situation is not the same. So, I hereby anoint/appoint you a Black Knight of Civil Rights. And whenever someone claims that their movement is “just like the civil rights movement,” then counter it with a “NO, IT’S NOT” letter, call or e-mail.
Otherwise, our accomplishments are watered down by those who use it to build up their own.