We Shall Not Be Moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water…We shall not be moved is the refrain for an old folk song that became an anthem of the Civil Rights era and also a rallying cry for solidarity by union organizers in the struggle for workers’ rights. As we enter the month designated as Black History Month and acknowledge the contributions of African American people to the establishment of the United States of America, pharmacy cheap as well as the formative historic contributions African people have made to civilization on a global scale, we also pause to take stock of where we are now, how far we have come, and where we are going from here?
Race in America, as a point of discussion, has been brought to the forefront of critical discourse like never before, especially within the socio-political arena, in large part due to the candidacy and election (twice) of President Barack Obama. Having a Black man as the leader of the “free world” and the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most elite military forces has contextualized race and racial discourse in America as integral to addressing the systemic and institutional barriers that have paralyzed our progress in tackling inequality, injustice and the growing economic stagnation of the middle class. Recognition and acknowledgement of how fundamentally intersections of race, class and gender effect our national disposition and historic legacy is essential when speaking about the disparities that disrupt America’s relationship with its citizens of African descent.
On February 4th, 1991, Rodney King was brutally beaten by a group of white LA Police Officers. The beating of Black men and women in America is an insidious and shameful part of this nation’s racial history even to the present day. What makes this event significant as a moment in Black History is that the beating of Rodney King was videotaped and released publically as an objective witness to the brutalization bringing the LAPD under intense scrutiny nationwide, while at the same time igniting a firestorm of racial unrest and violent demonstrations, including looting, rioting and mass arrests. The video documentation was featured on mainstream media sources and just like the photojournalism that seared the consciousness of white America during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s; when Black men, women and children were brutalized by state sponsored terrorism, the entire world watched the brutalization of Rodney King on the nightly news. Fast forward to the summer and fall of 2014, only 23 years later, when the world watched Eric Garner choked to death by the NYPD and 12 year-old Tamir Rice gunned down on a neighborhood playground by the Cleveland police, only weeks after unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Jr. was shot dead in broad daylight in Ferguson, MO just days before he was to begin his first college class. The accumulated video witnesses, social media posts, and real time public Instagram photos projected around the world of the aforementioned atrocities have once more exposed our nation’s bedrock principle of a society governed by equal protection under the law as severely flawed and our criminal justice system in need of intense interrogation and complete reconstruction. Calls for justice and a newly engaged activist movement #BlackLivesMatter challenge us all to recognize that unless we remember our history we are bound to repeat it. “Black and white together…we shall not be moved.”
Up Next Week: Can WRONG be made RIGHT?