America hates change, especially when the “real oppressed” people rise and demand equality. America also hates the people who fight for the oppressed. But when the radical change calls come from or on behalf of People of Color in America — America nips that shit in the bud.
Nearly. Every. Single. Time.
Sometimes Miss America will misconstrue our messages. She coins new codes, craft new policies, and gets loud and angry to intimidate the oppressed. Killing and oppressing humanity is America’s original sin, and it’s a sin they seemingly can’t overcome. Equality scares America because equality requires radical changes. It requires giving up some things, sharing some things, and making room for others. What we learn time and time again is that lots of Americans hate change, and that hate manifests itself in a variety of ways — like those chants to make America great again.
If haters of change don’t kill radical agents of change, they’ll attempt to smother or suffocate change agents. When they can’t suffocate our calls for change and equality, they mislabel and blackball change agents. When they don’t do those things, they simply beat it to death with their tongues. America kills radical change by any means necessary.
If it’s not the status quo, then it gotta go.
America is the place offering changes some of us can’t believe in. The rest of us know it’s not coming. Every day another story reveals the two Americas. It’s the story of America where there is equality for some (mostly men), and inequality for the rest of us.
Time and time again history reveals America is resistant to change and equality.
Malcolm X was killed fighting for radical change.
In 1963 there was a huge rift between Malcolm X and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad over the political direction of the Nation. Malcolm X wanted the Nation of Islam to become more active in the widespread civil rights protests instead of being loud critics on the sidelines. Malcolm left the Nation in March 1964 and in the next month founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. Sometimes you catch hell from your own tribe.
The growing hostility between Malcolm and the Nation led to death threats and open violence against him. On February 21, 1965, they assassinated Malcolm while delivering a lecture at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of his murder.
Viola Liuzzo was killed fighting for equality and civil rights.
Viola Liuzzo was killed when she stopped at a red light, and a car with four members of the local Ku Klux Klan pulled up alongside her after marching in Selma. In March 1965 Liuzzo, this housewife and mother of five heeded the call of Martin Luther King Jr and traveled from Detroit, Michigan, to Selma, Alabama in the wake of the Bloody Sunday attempt at marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. After marching, she worked to shuttle protestors back to their homes. When the KKK saw this white woman and a black male civil rights activist in a car together, they followed Liuzzo as she tried to outrun them. Overtaking the Oldsmobile, they shot directly at Liuzzo, mortally wounding her twice in the head.
Viola’s activism, particularly with the NAACP, was due to a close friendship with an African-American woman, Sara Evans. Viola’s beautiful soul was only 39 years old when she was killed.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed fighting for radical change and equality.
They assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. while fighting for equality and the civil rights of oppressed Black and Brown people in America while standing on a balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel by a sniper’s bullet. The shooter, James Earl Ray, pleaded guilty to assassinating King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He lost his life fighting for change at the hands of Whiteness.
Medgar Evers and John F. Kennedy were killed fighting for radical change.
Civil Rights leader and veteran Medgar Evers was assassinated fighting for radical changes in America, and for fighting against White Supremacy. Evers was the Mississippi state field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Black change agent was shot in the back in the driveway of his home in Jackson, Mississippi, shortly after midnight on June 12, 1963. Police and FBI investigations determined the prime suspect: Byron De La Beckwith, a white segregationist and founding member of Mississippi’s White Citizens Council.
John F. Kennedy was killed trying to be a change agent.
On Friday, November 22, 1963 (just a few months after Medgar Evers’ death), John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy were in an open limousine riding slowly in a motorcade through downtown Dallas. President Kennedy assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old Dallas citizen, was accused of the slaying. Two days later Oswald was shot to death by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner with mob ties in the basement of a Dallas police station.
Before he became president, John F. Kennedy served three terms in the House of Representatives (1947–53) as a liberal. President Kennedy advocated better working conditions, more public housing, higher wages, lower prices, cheaper rents, and more Social Security for the aged. Kennedy also led a fight to abolish the electoral college, advocated for labor reform and became increasingly committed to civil rights legislation.
Abraham Lincoln was killed fighting for radical change and equality.
Abraham Lincoln was a radical change agent. Honest Abe led America through the American Civil War and ended slavery within the country’s boundaries. His presidency also included the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, at the end of the American Civil War. His assassination happened only five days after the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert E. Lee, surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army of the Potomac. Lincoln lost his life attempting to do the right thing, but as usual, America wasn’t having it.
These are just some famous people killed fighting for civil rights, fighting against oppression, and fighting for equality. There have been plenty of everyday people killed with little or no fanfare fighting for human rights and basic civil rights like Harvey Milk who fought for gay rights and equal opportunities. Many human and civil rights activists have been ignored and forgotten, jailed, blackballed and even exiled fighting for speaking out against injustice in America for decades.
Change is hard, and if there is no violence, there is usually no change sadly. America is a hard-headed step-child that won’t change its ways without a fight.
America hates change, America despises equality — and it’s never granted without blood being spilled. So for those you excited because you think a radical change is coming in 2020 with “socialists,” forwarding-thinking candidates, let me let you down easy. It’s not happening. Bernie will not bring about any radical change. Neither will Warren, Booker, Harris, or anyone else running for President. Real change requires you be outside of America’s systems. A radical change also mandates bloodshed.
No major movement for human rights in this nation (or anywhere) has ever been successful without death. Death seems to gets our fires ignited, stirring our souls, bringing shame and condemnation. It shouldn’t take that, but that’s the only thing that moves America to change.
Achieving Equality Requires Investments and Sacrifices.
White Supremacy (aka inequality) has always fought to survive by any means necessary. White Supremacists and their enablers will kill White people and Black people to ensure People of Color remain oppressed, left behind, unequal, and kept separate from anything that could cause them to move upward to equality. If you believe in real change — if you believe in civil rights and human rights, then you need to understand there are always sacrificial lambs. Most of the lambs are People of color although many allies of the struggle, good White men and women, have also made the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. Mostly all died at the hands of American White men, the biggest obstacles to equality.
With that said, allies — are you really ready?
A radical change is not coming with your vote. Radical change isn’t coming with your donation to your favorite political party. Change happens at the grassroots levels. All the national talk coming from politicians is bullshit. People in your communities are the real change agents. What are you doing? Are you sitting on the sidelines complaining or are you doing? Watching television listening to talking heads talking out the sides of their assess? If you can’t physically partake of steps toward equality, what are you contributing to those who can?
Radical change is you. If equality is going to happen, it needs you to contribute to the effort.
Change is not AOC, Auntie Maxine, Adam Schiff, the Mueller Probe, or Bernie Sanders. It wasn’t Obama, It’s not Hillary Clinton, and it sure as hell ain’t Trump. The people above were ordinary people who did extraordinary things in America. These radical change agents made the ultimate sacrifice for something they believed in. They drove, the marched, donated and raised money, they created legislation, they preached, and the protested.
What will you sacrifice? What do you believe in? How much are you truly vested in equality?
It only takes ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, to bring about radical change.