Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community was written by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967. He talks about the harm of “separation”. A term used often when describing the Black Power movement.
In the wake of the Troy Davis case, this question appears again. Where do we go from here? Will this case be an isolated event with no real implications in our lives? Should we revolt and cause mischief or will this put our agendas in perspective causing us to come together as a community? I choose the latter. Dubois said, “a little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.” How do we come together and progress our agenda and close the racial gaps within health care, education, imprisonment, and unemployment? Educate. Litigate. Advocate. Stand for something. Like the Black Power movement, separation is not on our agenda. It’s not “the government doesn’t care about me so f*ck the government”.
You have no right to complain about the government if you aren’t even registered to vote. Make changes from within. Run for public office and change the infrastructure of the policies locally and influence those leaders that pass bills such as the voter’s suppression bill in Ohio. We have to stop making excuses and take action. If they require government-issued ID, get as many people as you know down to the DMV. Make it happen. Let’s not let the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. die on April 4, 1968. Let’s not the lesson taught on September 21, 2011 disappear with Troy Davis.
Educate – People that pull us back with ignorance don’t have that strong connection to our past. You don’t need to go to school to read. Educate yourself on the past and make a powerful impact on this generation. Education could have stopped the shooting involving two USC students over an ipod. Education could have halted the Bowie State stabbing over music.
Litigate – Be eager to attend jury duty. Attend town hall meetings. Run for public office and influence your friends to be involved in politics. If you are against capital punishment, don’t vote for a President who supports it. Register to vote and show up to the polls! African-Americans are disproportionately left out of the voting process because of criminal activities. Have a voice and use it. A proper litigation and effective counseling would have granted Troy Davis another trial to prove his innocence.
Advocate – If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
The results of not taking action is homelessness, unemployment, racial disparities in all walks of life, death, and injustice. What would Martin Luther King, Jr. think of us today?