March On Washington

The National Young People’s March On Washington For Gun Reform: An Inspiration To All Decent People, And A Warning To Those In Power!

Today, we are witnessing a massive March on Washington, “A March For Our Lives”, estimated at 500,000 people, and in 800 locations around America, and even in other nations, by young people and their supporters, demanding gun reform after the tragic Parkland Massacre in south Florida, which led to the deaths of 14 students and three teachers by a mentally ill young man who had assault weapons designed for war as he conducted his massacre in just six minutes.

Over 187,000 students have been in the line of fire from school shootings since the Columbine, Colorado Massacre in April 1999. And an estimated 33,000 victims of gun deaths anywhere in America occur every year.

We have seen great courage and conviction by the young survivors of this massacre, and it gives hope and confidence in the future of America, that we are witnessing the commitment of young people both at that high school and all around America to bringing about essential change. And their parents and families and many others are joining them in this struggle against inertia.

We are shocked at the lack of action by Congress and President Trump, and we have a future generation of leaders being created by the refusal of our government to overcome the power and money of the National Rifle Association and other powerful interest groups that control our government, and ignore the needs and desires of the American people.

The goal has to be to kick out of office as many of the “traitors” to the American people who do not give a whit about what happens to young Americans in their schools and to all Americans in other public places.

A political revolution against the cancer now existing in our government is a revolution that will triumph, as many of the older generation of politicians, in office only for their own personal ends, shall be repudiated in midterm and later elections by massive participation by the future generation reaching 18 in 2018 or soon after.

The March On Washington 1963, Plus 54 Years: Backtracking On Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

Fifty four years ago, The March on Washington occurred, with the most famous moment being the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech before a crowd of whites and African Americans estimated at a quarter of a million people.

The march was impetus for the passage in the following two years of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights, with Lyndon B. Johnson picking up where John F. Kennedy left off.

Now, a half century later, the great progress on civil rights and civil liberties has suffered backtracking, partly by the right wing Supreme Court, and partly by the policies of President Donald Trump.

It is very disconcerting and even tormenting that the progress made has been reversed.

But that means the battle to restore and expand what makes America a democracy must not be abandoned because of setbacks, but rather pursued with renewed energy and commitment, in order to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

51st Anniversary Of March On Washington, And We Are Moving Backwards!

Last year, the nation celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for justice, civil rights, and advancement of the nation economically and socially, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech the highlight of the event, attended by a crowd of all races and nationalities.

Now, a year later, we have a massive problem of outrageous law enforcement abuse in St. Louis, New York City, Los Angeles, and every day, more evidence of police officers killing, rather than wounding or tasering many suspects or citizens, a tremendous over reaction!

Racism has never disappeared, but now we have police departments with equipment used in the Iraq and Afghanistan War, and acting more like the Gestapo, being very trigger happy!

There is no need for military style equipment to be given to communities in America, as we are not a military or police dictatorship, and journalists and citizens should not be abused with tear gas, rubber bullets, or weapons being pointed at them menacingly, and having foul language used toward them.

Additionally, there have been cases of mentally ill people, disabled people, being seen as a threat when they are not, and immediately, the reaction is “Shoot to kill”, and multiple bullets to vital areas, and often by multiple police officers, making the events a massacre!

We are a government of, by and for the people, not of, by and for the police! The police deserve respect, but not obedience when they are committing crimes as police officers, and they need to be brought under control!

More Republican Lies: They Claim They Were Not Invited To Speak At March On Washington Event!

The Republican Party and the conservative movement did not want to be involved in the events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington yesterday, and, they had the gall to lie and complain that they were not invited!

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor preferred to be in North Dakota, talking to oil lobbyists; and Speaker John Boehner had excuses that he was too busy! That is pure bull, as anyone can rearrange his schedule if one wishes to attend an event! George W. Bush could have shown up, even if not speaking since he had recent stent surgery on his heart. All he would have had to do is wave to the crowd and pose with Presidents Obama, Carter and Clinton. Republicans did not want to be associated with this event, clear and simple, and this includes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell!

The only African American Senator, conservative Tim Scott of South Carolina, was also invited, but turned down the offer, and yet, conservative talk show hosts complained that he had not been invited!

Are the GOP leaders and conservatives ever capable of telling the truth—that they do not give a damn about minorities, African American, Latino, Asian American—and still, somehow, think the long term future of their party is to get an all white backing as the percentage of white population continues to decline?

That strategy is a failing one, and one wonders when the GOP will finally come to grips with reality!

The “New” South Vs. The “Old” South

The American South has undergone a lot of change in the past half century since the March On Washington in 1963.

Many Northerners have moved South; many people of African American and Latino heritage have grown up in an environment where segregation and open prejudice is gone: and we have seen Southern Presidents who completely represented a different image of the South.

So we have President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who overcame his past and his heritage, and promoted the Civil Rights Revolution, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

We have Jimmy Carter of Georgia, the first Southerner elected from outside since Zachary Taylor in 1848, representing the “New South” Governors elected in 1970, including Ruben Askew of Florida and Dale Bumpers of Arkansas. Carter promoted advancements in civil rights and human rights, and demonstrated then, and right up to this moment, that he is a very principled, decent man.

And we have Bill Clinton, elected Governor of Arkansas, representing the New South tradition after Dale Bumpers had initiated it in Arkansas, and being a major promoter of civil rights and equality during his Presidency, as much as Johnson and Carter.

And we have John Lewis, the only surviving speaker at the March on Washington, now 73 years old, and carrying on the tradition of his mentor, Martin Luther King, Jr. He has been an exemplary Congressman from Georgia, and truly the conscience of the nation on civil rights!

These four gentlemen, three Presidents and a Congressman, represent the best of the “New South”!

The “Old South” was thought to be overcome, particularly over time with the death of Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and others of their ilk.

But as it turns out, the “Old South” mentality has survived even past these two GOP leaders who promoted segregation and hate, as the 2013 Republican Party, with the evil influence of the Tea Party Movement, is working very hard to back track on racial equality, racial progress, racial justice, and using code language to appeal to the bigots and racists who remain in America, whether in the South or Midwest or Great Plains areas of the nation, and hoping to repeal the progress of the past half century.

They do this without shame or embarrassment, and that is what is most troubling, and they even have their talk show hosts on radio and television and cable, who spew forth hateful and divisive propaganda with no apologies–Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity et al—and make millions on promotion of hate and division, rather than trying to bring us together and move forward!

So the “Old South” is, ironically, surviving in the party of Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner and the other principled Republicans of 150 years ago, who fought against the “Old South” and slavery, and would, if they were here today, hold their heads in their hands, and weep over what the Republican Party they loved, has become!

Three August Birth Presidents, And Civil And Human Rights Advocacy!

Here we are, on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in the month of August, and we have the reality of three August Birth Presidents, in the past 50 years occupants of the White House, and all three of them have promoted civil rights and human rights as their ultimate legacy in the Presidency!

Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961; Bill Clinton on August 19, 1946; and Lyndon B. Johnson on August 27, 1908.

Their births span a half century, from the early 20th century to the post war years and the early 1960s.

And all three have a record they can be proud of on civil and human rights, and the two surviving ones will be speaking today, and the older daughter of Lyndon B. Johnson, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, will be speaking in her father’s name, to celebrate the historic event of the March on Washington.

This is a day to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr, but also Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama as well!

A Great Historic Moment: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter At Lincoln Memorial Today To Commemorate 50th Anniversary Of March On Washington!

Today will go down as one of the most historic days of speech making in American history, commemorating one of the greatest speeches and events in American history—the historic speech of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington fifty years ago today!

We will see three Democratic Presidents–Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter—speak at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the event, along with Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, the older daughter of Lyndon B. Johnson, and the one surviving speaker of the March on Washington, Georgia Congressman John Lewis!

As wonderful as all this is, one has to wonder where is George W. Bush? His dad, George H. W. Bush, is in poor health and in a wheelchair, so he gets a pass, but why is the son not expected to be there? And what about the Republican leadership in Congress and Republican Governors? Where are they, and will any show up? If so, there is so far a deathly silence, as if they do not wish to be part of this historic event, even though many Republicans were supportive fifty years ago.

If no leading Republicans show up, it will be a total disgrace, and a sign of the terminal illness of a party that had Lincoln, TR, and Ike, along with many Senators and Governors historically, who made the Republican Party proud!

105th Birthday Commemoration Of President Lyndon B. Johnson!

Today, August 27, is the 105th Birthday Commemoration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, a President who had a massive effect on our nation’s history.

We live under the influence of LBJ on Civil Rights, Medicare, Education, NPR, PBS, Environmental Laws, Consumer Protection Legislation, Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, and the War on Poverty that so desperately needs to be revived after 45 years of ignoring it!

Yes, this President is blamed, and carries the burden of the Vietnam War, but his legacy in domestic affairs lives on!

And tomorrow, his older daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, will join Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 during the Presidency of LBJ!

50th Anniversary Of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech And The March On Washington!

It is hard to believe that this weekend, and specifically next Wednesday, four days from now, marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington by a crowd estimated at a quarter of a million people, calling for racial equality and justice.

It was a peaceful march, with a crowd of people of all races, an historic moment on the way to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It was a time of the greatness of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King Jr, and his brilliant “I Have A Dream” speech, one of the few greatest speeches ever given by any American in our entire history!

It was a time of hope and optimism, before the tragedy of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr himself, as well as the tragic war in Vietnam, which took 58,000 lives!

It was a time of optimism and a sense of progress, and now, sadly, the same battles fought over race and voting rights haunts us, as the Supreme Court majority, created by Republican Presidents who represent a desire to move backwards on the subject of race, seem to believe that denial of voting rights and the issue of race no longer is of importance in America, when it continues to be a divisive matter that prevents the full development of justice and equality in this nation!

This is a sad time when the Republican Party, which in large measure supported the civil rights legislation of the mid 1960s, now has adopted the old Southern Democratic racist policies that the national Democratic Party repudiated fifty years ago, and the GOP seems unembarrassed that they have become the “poster boy” for racial prejudice and nativism!

So while we celebrate the anniversary, we are still having to fight the battles won, and then lost, due to the party that once boasted of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, and now boasts of despicable leaders who have no shame, including Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, et al, and their ilk!

Condolences To The Family Of Trayvon Martin: Racial Justice Has A Long Road To Travel!

The decision of the jury in the George Zimmerman Trial in Sanford, Florida, finding him not guilty in the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, is a tragedy of major proportions, and my condolences to the family of Martin, who will not see racial justice in his death!

There is no question that racial profiling was part of the mindset of George Zimmerman, and that IF Trayvon Martin had been white, this tragedy would not have happened!

So as this author said just yesterday, any young black male from age 14 to 35 is an endangered species, and any one who has a racist intent can feel free to shoot and kill such a person and claim self defense!

So it means that every black parent has to live in constant fear of the demise of their sons because we have a crazy system which allows the use of firearms by people who should not have such firearms, and with the recognition that fifty years after the March on Washington, racial justice still has a long road to travel!

Just because we have a black President does not mean that the fight for racial justice, racial equality, and equal treatment under the law has been won, far from it! It is clear that battle will continue long into the future, but this is not the time to despair, but instead to regroup and organize for the struggle ahead for all decent people in this nation!