By James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D.
Houston Forward Times
Racism is a longstanding social illness in the United States of America. Seemingly, there is no cure for it.
It has been with us for as long as I can remember. The result of it has created heartache and heartbreak.
Lives have been lost and it has left the stain of disgrace on this country. Accomplishments, it could be argued, are sometimes overshadowed by our blatant disregard for some members of our beloved community.
I know for sure that racism will be around for as long as I live. It has been a part of my life experiences.
Unfortunately, and I say this with no pride, I have witnessed racism up close and personal.
I have been around long enough to watch the many levels of racism that exist in this country.
For example, we have had educational racism. Segregated schools were the norm until the case, Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka ended it.
Did that stop us from getting an education?
The answer is a resounding no!
Black colleges, now called Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), were founded in order that higher education was afforded to African Americans.
At this moment, HBCUs are the hottest and most talked about educational venue in the land.
Everybody wants to attend an HBCU. I am a graduate of an HBCU (Johnson C. Smith University), and I know the power and influence they have.
The right to vote has always been problematic for African Americans. It is a fundamental right for all Americans, according to the Founding Fathers.
The problem is that the ‘current fathers’ don’t see it that way.
Will that stop us?
The answer is another resounding no!
African Americans are now voting in record numbers and that trend will continue.
There are states in this union that are creating trumped-up rules to keep us from exercising our privilege at the polls.
Some in this country have taken racism below ground zero. There are people in our states who hate Black people and want to kill us.
That is a powerful statement, yet it is factual and true.
Interestingly, there are citizens who believe the opposite. I suspect their experiences are different, and they live in an almost contactless America.
If you are one of those people, pay close attention now.
Racial tragedy struck Buffalo, New York, on May 14th.
Hate came up from the ground and reared its inhumane and immoral head.
Ten Black people were murdered by a White man who hated Black people.
It’s that simple and that sad.
Payton S. Gendron, 18 years old, was the shooter. He also injured 3 people as well during this shooting spree.
The victims were assaulted at a Tops Friendly Markets store and the victims ranged in ages from 20-86.
This crime of hate is unthinkable and was done with malicious intent.
The killer was not a Buffalo resident. He drove approximately 200 miles from Conklin, New York, to commit this heinous crime.
Gendron had already scouted out the place for his crime. He knew that many African Americans shopped at that location. That is sick beyond words.
According to reports, Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said, “We found some things that show he was here in early March, and then again, we know he was here on Friday, basically doing reconnaissance on the area.”
Gramaglia added, “He was in the store, both on Friday and Saturday.”
These statements were made by him to CNN’s Erin Burnett.
Payton S. Gendron surrendered to police after this life-altering atrocity.
America, where are we headed? Only time will tell.
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