Categories
Lewis Uncategorized

James Baldwin’s Relevance To Current Civil Rights Activism

James Baldwin

James Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York on August 1, 1924. He was one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century. Mr. Baldwin’s first piece, Go Tell It on The Mountain, was published in 1953 and focuses on John, a 14-year-old boy. John was struggling to earn his stepfather minister’s love in 1930s Harlem. It was Mr. Baldwin’s most critically acclaimed piece. And, it also served as the foundation of his great literary career.

Activism Against Police Brutality

Mr. Baldwin wrote an essay entitled Reporting From Occupied Territory in 1966. This essay tells the story of Frank Stafford, a 31-year-old traveling salesman. Stafford witnesses the beating of an underaged black boy by two white police officers in Harlem. When Stafford asks the officers why they’re beating a child, they turn to beat Stafford. The salesman suffered a beating so bad that it cost him one of his eyes.


Civil unrest was rampant in the 1960’s. Especially as black Americans, like John Lewis, held civil rights protests. Police turned fire hoses and attack dogs on peacefully protesting black citizens across America. Furthermore, some of these black citizens included women and children. Reporting From Occupied Territory is a fictitious story. However, it is an accurate portrayal of police brutality against citizens protesting for their own humanity. Civil rights movements need written documentation. This powerful piece from Mr. Baldwin provides that documentation.

Mr. Baldwin’s Civil Rights Impact Can Be Felt Today

Mr. Baldwin’s impact on civil rights can be felt through his literary work. However, it can also be felt in other ways that are relevant today. Mr. Baldwin debated writer William F. Buckley Jr. on February 18, 1965, in Cambridge, England. As a result, this debate was part of a publicity tour for one of Mr. Baldwin’s books. The two were renowned intellectuals from different backgrounds and starkly contrasting views. Mr. Baldwin grew up as an impoverished advocate for civil rights. However, Mr. Buckley was born into wealth, maintaining white superiority over black people.

Mr. Baldwin explained that black people needed to value themselves within America’s white supremacist society.  Mr. Baldwin didn’t specifically say “black lives matter.” However, his ideas within this debate are identical to today’s Black Lives Matter movement. Simply put, “the American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro.” 

Mr. Baldwin also used his fame to speak at rallies for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). In addition, he gave his speaking fees to the movement in the 1960’s. Financial backing has the biggest impact on any civil rights movement. That premise can be applied today as well. Many protesters are being unjustifiably arrested for peaceful protest. Meanwhile, donating towards these efforts can help them bond out of jail. Donations can go towards their legal representation fees. It can also go towards signs, water, or any other resource protesters will need.

For these reasons, James Baldwin was a true pioneer for civil rights. This is just one reason why minorities should vote in the upcoming election of 2020. His impact will be felt for generations to come. Visit Christian News.tv for news around the world.

©G Bradshaw – All Rights Reserved

Categories
Lewis Uncategorized

Five Reasons Why Minorities Should Vote in 2020

Why Minorities Should Vote in 2020

Considering what’s already happened in 2020, minorities will face a direct impact from this election cycle. Here are five reasons why minorities should vote in 2020.

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for all Americans due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and protests ignited by the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. These times of unprecedented turbulence mandate the steady hand of leadership from America’s president. As of June 2020, President Donald Trump’s approval rating rested at 38 percent. 88 percent of African Americans believe Trump has ignited racial tensions instead of extinguishing them in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.

The 2020 candidates are set, with the incumbent Trump set to run against former Vice President Joe Biden.

1. Current President Donald Trump

The most obvious reason why minorities should vote in 2020 focuses on the current president’s history. Trump’s disdain for minorities has been well documented, most notably his administration locking migrant children and their families in cages. An additional four years will lead to more immigration raids affecting Latinos and the ongoing disenfranchisement of black people. Voting for Biden would change the Trump administration’s status quo.

2. Administration Pandemic Crisis Management

Trump’s handling of the current pandemic has been at best confusing. At worst it’s been downright deceitful. His assertion that the COVID-19 virus was a hoax back in March has now been changed to telling Americans to “deal with it.” Not exactly inspirational words from a President ill-equipped to handle this pandemic. Media claims the pandemic has disproportionately affected minorities. Using that logic, minorities should vote in 2020 for someone with the qualifications to handle a pandemic.

3. Qualifications of Joe Biden

Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1973 and served as Vice President during former President Barack Obama’s two terms from 2008 to 2016. He is also the author of the 1994 crime bill leading to mass incarceration, expressing a tough stance against crime. In contrast, his political experience would have suggested a calming presence during these turbulent times such as the protests for racial equality with the Black Lives Matter movement.

4.Trump’s Leadership Skills

The recent protests regarding racial equality should bring out a sense of empathy from any President. Sending the National Guard to spray rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse unarmed, peaceful protesters excludes all sense of empathy. Especially when it is just to get a photo op holding a Bible. Most of all, Minorities should vote in 2020 for a candidate who understands their plight. And, will take great measures to create racial equality instead of racial incitement. Congressman John Lewis was a “prime example” of true leadership. Not as a president, but for his leadership and leaving a legacy for the civil rights movement that will continue to remain.

5. Satisfaction with Trump’s Policies

There are some minorities whose values align with Trump’s policies. Trump’s tough stance on immigration, his pro-life stance on abortion, and even the recent stimulus checks provided to many Americans. Some minorities are praising Trump and vowing to reelect him for President. Simply put, minorities are either happy with current presidential leadership, or they’re looking for a change. If that isn’t enough to get minorities out to vote, then nothing else will. Stay informed with what is going on in the USA and around the globe at Christian News TV.

This piece isn’t serving as an endorsement for any candidate. Trump and Biden are polarizing enough in their own regards to elicit some sort of reaction. Minorities will act in their own self-interest by seeing what each candidate stands for. Align the candidate’s stances with their own, and get out to the polls on election day.

©G Bradshaw -All Rights Reserved

Categories
Lewis Uncategorized

John Lewis’ Unique Legacy Remains Foundation For Civil Rights

GET INTO TROUBLE

GOOD TROUBLE

JOHN LEWIS, A FATHER OF NATIONS

  • America Grieves for John Lewis

    America is still grieving after the loss of longtime U.S. Congressman John Lewis. He succumbed to cancer on July 17, 2020. But, John Lewis’ Unique Legacy Remains. Few Congress members have captured the imagination of America as Mr. Lewis has. Even fewer Congress members will leave a legacy that will endure for generations. Understanding the origins of Mr. Lewis’ passion for civil rights provides an understanding of his legacy.

    Humble Beginnings Provide Inspiration for Change

    John Robert Lewis was born on February 21, 1940, in Troy, Alabama. His parents were a family of sharecroppers. An early life of poverty, segregation, and political disenfranchisement inspired Mr. Lewis towards civil rights activism. Mr. Lewis attended Fisk University in 1961. He helped organize Freedom Rides. It was a movement that challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals throughout the South. Mr. Lewis coordinated the movement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or SNCC. Mr. Lewis’ efforts with the SNCC planted the seeds that were planted in his quest for civil rights. The Black Lives Matter movement echoes the injustices that Emmett Till endured as it did for George Floyd.

    Civil Rights Movement Gains Momentum with a Historic Event

    In 1963, Mr. Lewis was elected chairman of the SNCC. This was after Chuck McDew stepped down from the position. He was responsible for helping to coordinate the March on Washington event in August 1963, serving as the keynote speaker of the event. The March on Washington was highlighted the “I Have A Dream” speech delivered by iconic civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mr. Lewis considered Dr. King a friend and mentor. This solidified the civil rights movement.

    John Lewis’ Unique Legacy Remains Foundation

    Mr. Lewis’ commitment to civil rights was unquestioned. He was arrested multiple times for his crusade against racist Jim Crow racist polices. Nevertheless, Mr. Lewis remained steadfast and undeterred in his commitment to the cause. However, that commitment was about to receive its most difficult test.

    On March 7, 1965, Mr. Lewis was beaten by cops during an organized march from Selma, Alabama to the state’s capital city of Montgomery. That day was infamously named “Bloody Sunday,” as Mr. Lewis suffered a fractured skull during the ordeal. The physical violence Mr. Lewis endured would have broken the will of lesser humans. However, it only intensified Mr. Lewis’ resolve to continue his civil rights quest while getting into “good trouble.” John Lewis’ legacy remains as a reminder that we have to stand for what is right.

    Mr. Lewis Crafts His Political Career

    The 1970s and 1980s saw Mr. Lewis continue his civil rights advocacy. His efforts to register minority voters led him to become director of the VEP (Voter Education Project). Under Mr. Lewis’ direction, the VEP added nearly four million minorities to the voter rolls. That resulted in Mr. Lewis getting elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981, a position he held until he was elected to Congress in November 1986. Mr. Lewis served in Congress for almost 34 years, gaining reelection while going unopposed at times. 

    His most crowning achievement was his advocacy for the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010. This law provided an affordable healthcare option for Americans in need. It was a significant achievement for Mr. Lewis, and for the American people.

    The Most Enduring Part of Mr. Lewis’ Legacy

    Hundreds of well-wishers attended Mr. Lewis’ funeral in Atlanta. Those in attendance included former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Passion, bravery, and commitment are the main traits that solidify Mr. John Lewis’ unique legacy as a civil rights icon. However, the most enduring part of Mr. Lewis’ legacy was established before his rise to prominence.

    In 1961, Mr. Lewis waited in a designated white-only waiting area at a Greyhound bus terminal in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He was attacked by a group of white men. One of those men was Elwin Wilson, an admitted Ku Klux Klan supporter. Mr. Lewis did not press charges against the men at that time. In later years, Wilson claimed to have a change of viewpoint. He denounced his racist views after President Barack Obama took office in 2008. In 2009, Wilson somehow arranged a meeting with Mr. Lewis to express his regret for his participation in beating Mr. Lewis decades earlier.

    Mr. Lewis forgave Wilson for his transgressions, displaying a fortitude that few humans possess. Mr. Lewis was committed to non-violently pursuing civil rights. Forgiving someone for such a heinous act without pursuing consequences against them is downright impressive. Human nature demands our perpetrators receive some sort of consequences. As a result, Mr. Lewis forgave and formed a friendship with Wilson. Wilson died in 2013. Most of all, it is the ability to forgive someone in this capacity that makes him an American treasure.

    Continuing the Lewis Legacy

    Mr. Lewis is buried at South View Cemetery in Atlanta, survived by his wife Lillian and son John Miles Lewis. It is unclear if the younger Lewis will follow in his iconic father’s footsteps in the political arena. Furthermore, it would be nice if Mr. Lewis’ gravesite were turned into a national monument. Especially since the civil rights movement he created paved the way for the Black Lives Matter movement. Above all, every American striving for civil rights should take a moment to honor John Lewis, a true American icon.

    ©Gregory Bradshaw- All Rights Reserved

  • Categories
    Uncategorized

    Aurora Police Chief Fires Officers Mocking McClain’s Death

    Aurora Police Chief Fires Officers

    Due to systemic problems in Aurora, CO Police department, Interim Aurora Police Chief fires officers involved with Elijah McClain’s death. Vanessa Wilson announced on Friday that three APD officers have been relieved of their duties. Erica Marrero, Jaron Jones, and Kyle Dittrich were seen on video gleefully smiling while reenacting the choke-hold. This was used to subdue and eventually kill McClain. An internal investigation of the video reveals that Marrero, Jones, and Dittrich were drinking alcohol while recording the video. Furthermore, it was on the site where McClain’s confrontation with police initially took place.

    The 2019 death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colorado has sparked yet more protests for racial equality in America. The ultimate insult in the ordeal focuses on the fact that Aurora police chief fires officers involved in McClain’s death Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema, were never charged. Recent findings have only rubbed salt into the wounds caused by McClain’s death. Elijah’s family must now endure even more hurt.

    A lengthy investigation of the video was conducted by the APB. Chief Wilson fired Marrero and Dittrich 72 hours after due process disciplinary hearings were held. Jones chose to resign after the hearings. The video was also sent to Woodyard and Rosenblatt. The other two officers directly involved in the McClain incident. Woodyard was “devastated” and “disgusted” by the images in the video and deleted them. He was not terminated.

    Aurora Police Officers Lack of Human Empathy

    There are many things to unpack here. Making fun of an unfortunate incident resulting in a victim’s death shows a total lack of human empathy that embodies sociopathy. Law enforcement officers openly drinking alcohol and simulating the choking incident at the very site where McClain was strangled displays unbelievably poor judgment. In particular from people empowered to uphold the highest standards of moral judgment. This incident just reinforces the need for real change for Black Lives Matter movement.

    To further make these points, Rosenblatt responded with “haha” when receiving the video. When speaking to investigators about the video, Rosenblatt’s response to the video was tinged with a dismissive, “let’s just move on from it” type of tone.  He was also terminated for his response to the video. Dittrich maintained that the video was made in a show of solidarity for the Team 30 section of the APB. To “cheer them up.”

    Officers Fired for Mocking McClain’s Death

    It appears the only law enforcement entity with any sense of inherent morality is Chief Wilson. Making light of the death of an unarmed citizen that posed absolutely no danger to law enforcement displays corruption of officers that should not be law enforcement officers anywhere. Systemic problems within the Aurora Police Department is evident when Aurora Police Chief fires officers. McClain’s death is brought to national attention. Moral empathy should be at the very fabric of every law enforcement officer. The same as every medical doctor should want all their patients to find remedies for their illness. The video mocking McClain’s death, and its subsequent indifferent reactions, should further disqualify those involved from gaining employment within law enforcement permanently.

    But that will not happen. These officers will find gainful employment within a different law enforcement agency. One that is unfazed by their previous wrongdoings. They will be allowed to employ these practices if the opportunity arises. To her credit, Chief Wilson has taken action to rid her department of officers set on disgracing the standards of law enforcement. The citizens of Aurora hope that her efforts won’t be in vain in the foreseeable future.

    ®Gregory Bradshaw – All Rights Reserved