Of course “Black lives matter”. The peaceful demonstrations matter. they speak out to all of us.
Alas, however, the movement took a side turn when demonstrators started defacing buildings and tearing down statues all across the country.
Some of the great generals represented by the statues were indeed slave owners. In those days anyone who could own slaves, did own slaves.
The black lives matter movement can get side tracked by allowing members to destroy the very history that we must preserve in order to learn from the past and to move on.
The history of slavery in America goes back 400 years. The slave trade was a huge business in those days. The slaves came from Africa. Parts of Africa continue to this very day to own and to sell slaves. They still buy and sell human beings.
Owning slaves, is surely not something to be proud of. It is, however, a part of our history. It is part of world history.
Whether people were slaves in Egypt in 1550 BC, whether they were white serfs in the middle ages in Europe or black slaves in America, for centuries, historically and shamefully, people have been bought and sold into slavery.
Although this is nothing to be proud of, it was and it remains a part of our history.
These statues also represent our history. It would be far better to leave them standing so that we can learn about each of these generals. There should be large plaques on each statue informing us of the wars in which the generals fought, the battles they won and unfortunately that they also were slave traders and owners.
The civil war was fought partially to free the slaves but the civil war did little or nothing to help support these former slaves, these people of color.
This is perhaps one of the most important and most critical moments in the history of this nation.
If we do not recognize our past failures, nothing will ever change in the present and we will never be able to move on to a different and better future.
For the first time in the 400 years of American history it is possible for all of us, we the people of this nation, to finally give recognition and pay more than just lip service to the protection of the right of all citizens of the United States of America to vote and to be treated equally under the law regardless of race, creed or religion.
There has always been a percentage of the population of this nation who were poor and left behind. Afro Americans have historically always been left further behind.
Ever since the 1930’s there were and are still citizens of our nation who even though employed, simply do not earn enough to put bread on the table. These people have never been able to built a reserve to carry them through any emergency that might arise.
These people are not only Afro-Americans.
This pandemic has forced and focused the attention of every American on the people who are suffering the most from the COVID19.
We live in a capitalistic society. Capitalism allows some people to amass large fortunes however it requires periodic rethinking and readjustment in order to serve all of the people.
It is not communism nor it is socialism to believe that some part of the corporate profits should go to the people who actually do the work that makes the profit possible. This is fairness.
Most presidents of the United States since Roosevelt have tried to create programs that would be helpful to the general population. However, some communities, largely Afro American, have always fallen behind, whether in healthcare, education or housing.
This is the time. This is the moment to end apartheid in the United States. This is also the time to end the extreme poverty in any community in which extreme poverty exists.
This is the time to address these problems by making our past history known and relevant so that we can look at the changes that we must make in the present in order to move our nation into a future in which all citizens have access to equal medical care, good education, affordable housing and equal protection under the law regardless of race, creed or religion.