To Tell The Truth…Pray and remove the statues—then what? (Aug. 23, 2017)


Our nation is in a state of denial, as they will not accept the established fact that racism is alive and well.
Too many persons, particularly those in seats of power at the local, state and national level, strive to make the nation’s division issue a product of the election of President Donald Trump, instead of admitting it has always been a major issue in the “Land of the Brave and Home of the Free.”
There are those in Pittsburgh and across this nation who contend that we must pray, and I personally understand the power of prayer. But my 85 years of life have taught me that prayer alone will not suffice. Upon leaving the shores of Africa, our ancestors prayed, upon landing at their destinations they prayed, WE have prayed over the last 400 years. I was born into a Christian family and my parents instilled in all of us what prayer could and could not accomplish. Dad and mom would say, “If you are unemployed or underemployed and pray that the condition be resolved and then go to sleep, upon awaking the next morning your condition will not have changed. If you want to get married, have a family, buy a car, educate your children, buy a house, prayer alone will not be enough. Ask yourself, when is the last time you prayed, what did you pray for, did you pray for the violence to cease throughout our communities, did you pray last week to hit the Mega Millions or Powerball?
The history of Black people indicates that we have always been a praying people, but we still cater to people who look different than us, but PREY UPON US. Yes, we most definitely should continue to pray, but we must exert that old phrase, “Pray and put our minds and shoulders to work.”
It has been estimated that there are about 18,000 statues in this nation that need to be removed. That makes no sense. Most persons have never even noticed the statues. If the statues had been made out of copper or aluminum the midnight (thieves) plumbers would have removed them a long time ago. Those persons who overwhelmingly advocate to remove the statues remind me of magicians, who exercise the phrase, now you see it and now you don’t. We should be more concerned about our deplorable turnout on election day, example, Detroit just had an election, Blacks make up the largest percentage of any major city in America, and less than 17 percent voted. Have those of us who participated in the ‘60s forgotten already?
I recall as if it were yesterday, Blacks and Whites marched arm-in-arm, chanting, “We shall overcome.” Large numbers of these well-meaning White persons were the family members of the owners of the major corporations, their grandfathers and fathers are deceased, and now the former marchers are the chairmen of the boards. The ‘60s are long gone and each day we are reminded the last words to our chant, “Some Day,” and in 2017 it is apparent that much has changed, and much remains the same and removing the statues will definitely not resolve our multitude of problems.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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