A bus, traveling from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, Louisiana, was attacked by a white mob of Confederate flag-waving thugs and louts. The terrorist ran the bus off the road, beat the passengers with pipes and bats, and burned the bus. The riders were from an organized group of young black and white people fighting for the equal rights of all people of all colors. That was in May of 1961. That summer, Freedom Riders set out to blanket the South with a message of peace, unity, and fairness but were met with violence and death. Lynchings and other racially motivated crimes spread throughout the south. America was not great then, she was wounded. The country was a few years away from weeping in sorrow the assassination of John F. Kennedy and seven years short of wailing and grieving the murder of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
We have tried to make America great, with bandages, salve, and prayer. These have been temporary fixes and we have limped along “bloody, but unbowed”—William Ernest Henley. My personal history of race in America began before the passage of the Civil Rights and Voter Rights Acts of 1964 and ‘65. Seeing my great-grandmother cry when as a child, I was denied the right to try on clothing that would touch my skin in department stores; scream when she found out Dr. King had been shot; rejoiced when my hometown of Washington, D.C was granted political self-determination. I cried when I placed a wreath on her grave the day before Barack Obama was sworn in as the first black President of the United States.
America fooled itself into believing that the hoods in America were burned, no, no, they were just put into mothballs for what some saw as a better day. In Charlottesville, Virginia they carried Tiki torches, over the weekend they carried a new symbol of hate to repeat an old strategy. A caravan of gun-wielding Trump flag flying cowards endangered innocent people who were exercising their rights as American citizens to advocate for their candidates—Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. The cowards surrounded a Biden campaign bus, sideswiped one of the advance vehicles, and caused the cancellation, for the safety of the staff, an upcoming event in Texas.
A real man, not a fearful coward, would have condemned such actions but Mr. Trump praised the group, “ I LOVE TEXAS” Trump tweeted in response to the video of the trucks and cars surrounding Biden’s bus. A real man, not a fearful coward, would not be erecting scale-proofed fencing to enclose himself in the White House on the night of the election. A real man, not a fearful coward, would not call thugs “patriots” or good people as he did for the terrorist in Texas or Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the eventual death of Heather Heyer.
America has a chance on November 3rd to reclaim its greatness and continue on its long-travel to redemption. Revere warned us, Washington fought for us, Lincoln united us, King Jr. made us conscious, Kennedy stunned us, and Obama made us Dream. It is time to stop the nightmare…
Vote November 3rd for Change—and your lives.