Contributed by Jim Hayes
Reports show that big numbers that turned out at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, for the fifty seventh anniversary of the march, where Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I had a dream’ speech.
More than half a century later, the ambition of ending systematic race oppression has still not been won. Police brutality persists. Back lives continue to be lost. Unequal distribution of wealth and opportunity remains the everyday reality. All have become worse since Donald Trump took the presidency.
New generation marches on Washington
Video from ABC News
Participants joined under the ‘Get Off Our Necks’ slogan, and they were there to fight for a justice system that treats all equally.
The eruption caused by the killing of George Floyd continues into its second month. It has brought attention to the seriousness of the problem and the political fault line in American politics. Others have died since Floyd, such as the two killed at Kenosha in Wisconsin.
Aggravating the situation, is a president bent on encouraging the white supremacist movement. It has been emboldened to take the opportunity to make their gun toting presence on the streets. Trump routinely refuses to distance himself, routinely expresses sympathy for them, and gives them an open go.
They are the ones who arer leading the escalation of violence. When you get driven armed thugs with a virtual green light to stand over others, it is not surprising that those they are against will be targeted.
Last week in Portland, for instance, a convoy arrived sections of it broke away and targeted certain neighbourhoods and taunted people and sprayed capsicum spray onto crowded footpaths. These ghroups move around the country, targeting, beating, driving cars into percieved opponents, and now deliberately killing.
Inevitably, this encourages reprisals. Some will meet violence with violence. This is exactly what the white supremacists intend. It plays straight out the pages of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Create violence, accuse the opposition of being violent, and then use it for a law and order campaign. The Nazis used a similar strategy to raise their political presence and fortunes.
Like the Nazis, American white supremacists enjoy the benefit of practical official sanction. And it is this connection between the rhetoric of law and order and the use of street thuggery, which poses an immense danger to American society and the concept of democracy.
During the rise of the Third Reich, it was the communist and Jewish New World Order that was accused of sabotaging Germany’s day in the Sun. In today’s America, it is Antifa, the socialists, islam and Jews behind the New World Order, getting in the way of America being great again. See the similarity?
Many Americans are showing that they do see the threat. This and revulsion over the continuing police killings, are the reasons why so many went to the Lincoln Memorial, despite the risk of Coronavirus infection.
This is a country that has already scored more than 6 million official infections. It didn’t prevented this from being the biggest march seen in years.
Recent polls show that most Americans do not approve of the way Donald Trump is handling race and other key issues, and there is a growing disquiet.
Behind this, the chasm between between black, brown and working class communities, and largely separated Middle America, is becoming wider and deeper.
Donald Trump’s support has given the white supremacists a degree of legitimacy in Middle America, and this has emboldened them, and provided an opportunity to recruit for their politics of hate.
Rev. Al Sharpton addressed the crowd and said, “Even though we are here in the midst of a pandemic … we wanted to come to show … that enough is enough.”
“It’s time we have a conversation with America,” the civil rights leader added. “About your racism, about your bigotry, about your hate, about how you would put your knee on our neck while we cry for our lives.”
MLK III calls for justice at march on Washington
Video from Reuters
A highlight was the presence of Martin Luther king’s son, Martin Luther King 111, who said, “Together, we are taking a stand, and we are taking a giant step forward … on America’s rocky but righteous journey toward justice.
“There is a knee upon the neck of democracy.”
Martin Luther King’s grand spoke daughter spoke and called on the young to be the generation to bring about change.
Jacob Blake, whose son was of the same name shot 7 times in the back and left crippled said, “We’re tired. I’m tired of looking at cameras and seeing these young Black and brown people suffer. … We’re not taking it anymore.”
He finished up with these words. “No justice.” The crowd roared back, “No peace.” This is the state of politics in the United States of America.
Jacob Blake’s family lead Washington rally
Video from Guardian News