The Aug. 24 march was promoted as a call to action in response to recent attacks on “Voting rights, unemployment, poverty, segregated schools in black communities, the District of Columbia’s ongoing struggles for statehood, gun violence and the out-right murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed high school student.” Although there were crowds of people moving towards the National Mall like waves of waters – they moved with a unified purpose. Even upon finding the west-side of the mall blocked by a fence; orderly and without hostility thousands of people parted to make a path for those turning around to access and cut-across the World War II Memorial in order to gain access to the east-side of the mall; later the west-side blockage was eventually opened for people to enter.
The overall environmental vibe (speakers and audience) was respect, unity and support which could have been easily tarnished by disrespectful tactics used by a few program coordinators to prevent Mr. Marion Barry from speaking. Mr. Barry, served as mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991, and was actively involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during and after college graduation. The SNCC was his doorway and connection to the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Otherwise, every speech was well written, derived from a purpose and worthy of being heard; but it was Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) who stirred the crowd. Minister Sharpton had no problem reminding African-Americans of their past history and of treatments doled out by White-Americans; and Rep. Lewis said, “I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama for the right to vote,” referring to Bloody Sunday in 1965 when police beat him and hundreds of other peaceful protesters. “I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us.”
What about you; are you going to allow the Supreme Court to take your right to vote or other rights from you? It is time to get mad, take a stand and speak out.
On the other hand: The Aug. 28 March on Washington was marred by disappointment and hurt for thousands of participants and travelers. The majority of Americans have always been respectful and supportive of our presidents. We understand the need for security and protection; but many are oblivious of tactics involving stupidity and insensitivity which were shown by organizers of this particular event. Based on the review of crowds at the Aug. 24 event, a kindergartener could have been knowledgeable enough to determine that past Aug. 28, 1963 march participants who are now – elderly and/or handicap would return to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Why wouldn’t they?
Instead of finding a welcoming environment at the National Mall; participants who had walked a few hours in the commemoration March on Washington was greeted by fencing surrounding the mall and a one check-point entrance-way which was intended to screen thousands of participants. There was no reason for this incompetence other than to prevent the entrance of too many black people; also limiting the ability for many older black citizens to personally get a glimpse of their president who had derived at his position due to their blood, sweat, tears, faith and rights to cast a vote.
Yes, America finally elected its first African-American president, and the majority of its citizens think it’s wonderful; but those of us who are attentive – knows the wheels of congress, house of representatives, and the senate was geared up to ensure President Obama failed before he took his seat behind a presidential desk – which was always occupied by a white man! Due to our president’s race – he has also been the worst treated president in office. Tea Party members had no problem voicing, “President Obama will be a one-term president.” Wrong, masses of public citizens claim. Further, one thing black people and a few other races are good at is prayer; therefore, we claimed two terms – and that is what our president got. However, the new clans of Jim Crow and Uncle Tom’s are blatant in their efforts to ensure our first African-American president accomplish very little. Be encouraged President Obama – you are not standing alone.
At this point, I am sure many residents of the District of Columbia will join me in apologizing to participants and visitors who were prevented from enjoying activities held at the Lincoln Memorial. The District of Columbia and surrounding areas is knee deep in military forces (Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Army); there was no legitimate reason why numerous entranceways were not open or staffed to accommodate every citizen. This is another indication that little has changed when minorities band-together to demand change, jobs, justice and equality.
The writing on the wall indicates statehood for the District of Columbia will only be realized when the mayor and dominate management positions are filled by whites.
As of this writing, there is no official record documenting the number of participates attending the Aug. 24, or Aug. 28, 2013 March on Washington. A few reporters and/or media refer to the crowds as tens of thousands.
Talk to me: If you participated in the March on Washington – what was your experience ?
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