As y’all know, I was born and raised in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. And I just gotta say, it felt really good for our hometown Atlanta Falcons to beat the Seattle Seahawks this past Saturday. The Falcons came to Atlanta in 1966 when I was five years old, so I grew up with them, and we’ve had our share of heartbreaks. But, Atlanta is a great sports town and we’re proud of our teams, win or lose…but we certainly prefer winning. The real bummer is, I’ve never been to a game in the Georgia Dome. Oh well, my memories were at the old Atlanta-Fulton County stadium.However, today represents a very special day, full of memories. As you know, it is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national day. As a little boy I remember walking past his birthplace, his church, and his final resting place.
You see, it was Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, my neighborhood, that gave America — indeed the world — Dr. King, a great champion for individual rights, liberty, and freedom.
I also have memories of my parents supporting and voting for one Rep. John Lewis. I grew up in complete reverence for the man who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was my congressional representative. In those days we really did have iconic black men, who along with our dads, served as role models…and notice I did say dads.
But, during the 2010 congressional campaign, it was rather astonishing, and I was slightly incredulous that this same man, who was my congressional representative growing up, came to Florida to campaign against me. Interestingly enough, Rep. Lewis had no idea of my background, he was just being a Democrat, and as an esteemed “civil rights icon” who better to assail a young black conservative running for congressional office? Well lo and behold, we won that race in 2010 and I joined the Congressional Black Caucus — we can talk about that one day.So, after all those years I was finally able to meet the man who represented my family in Atlanta, who had spoken out against me. I greeted Rep. Lewis and told him the honor of finally meeting him. I told him I’d grown up in the congressional district he represents and attended Grady High School. He was amazed, as he had no idea of my background.
That brings me to now, where we have the seventy-six-year-old congressional representative claiming that the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is illegitimate. It appears to me that Rep. Lewis, as he did last week at the confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions, is doing the bidding of the progressive socialists of the Democrat Party, and little else.
When people talk of John Lewis they speak of a civil rights icon and a historic leader, as I did here, but today, what does that really mean? And how is John Lewis confronting the pressing and prevailing issues in the black community today with the voice and platform that he commands?In other words, what are the real “civil rights” issues for the black community? Let’s be honest, showing a picture ID is not some “dog whistle” for the repealing of voting rights, although that’s the fear-mongering message the liberal progressive left promulgates for electoral advantage. And truthfully, shame on Representatives John Lewis, Cedric Richmond, and Senator Cory Booker for their abjectly disrespectful and ill-conceived partisan political attack of Senator Sessions in his confirmation hearing.
On this day when we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us reaffirm our commitment to the real civil rights issues of this day.First of all, the black family must be restored, and the numbers tell a very disturbing story. Since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society debacle expanded the welfare nanny-state and rewarded out of wedlock births with government largess, we’ve seen the traditional two-parent black family be decimated.
And Rep. John Lewis can certainly testify that the black family was a fundamental strength in the struggle for equal rights in the black community. I would offer that he and Senator Booker stand up for reinvigorating strong black men — and when was the last time either of them spoke out about the denigrating and demeaning language of rap music towards our black women?
This is a critical piece in the new civil rights era, but how often have you heard Rep. Lewis, or any Congressional Black Caucus member, to include Barack Obama, address this issue? Not very often. Silence rules the day, and that’s very disconcerting because apparently the Democrat Party line is more important.
Secondly, my mom and dad made a critical decision for me, and that was to send me to a small black Catholic school located across the street from Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Rep. Lewis’ congressional district…Our Lady of Lourdes. In other words my parents made a choice for my education and they realized education is the great equalizer and that it would set the conditions for my success. Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School no longer exists. When have we heard Rep. Lewis or Rep. Cedric Richmond lead a rally for the great civil rights issue of today: parental choice for education?
As a matter of fact, Rep. Richmond is from Louisiana, in the New Orleans area, I don’t recall him testifying about Barack Obama ending the DC school voucher program in Washington DC, while Obama’s kids went to the prestigious Sidwell Friends. Rep. Richmond said nothing when Attorney General Eric Holder brought a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana’s school voucher program. I just have to wonder, if I’d been born much later, say ten years ago, would my parents have been able to make the same choice for me…heck, would I even have two parents in the home?
Third, I remember as a kid walking down Auburn Avenue to the historic Butler Street YMCA. It was there that I learned to play basketball, swim, and box. It was there that two people every Saturday morning would conduct Bible study, it was the Young Men’s Christian Association after all. But, walking down Auburn Avenue I saw black owned businesses and professional offices — doctors, dentists, lawyers. “Sweet Auburn” was a cradle of black entrepreneurship — but no longer. And the issue of black small business growth and entrepreneurship is quite telling of the failure, the lack of opportunity, the dismal economic outlook that plagues inner city black communities all across our nation.
I know, Rep. Lewis embraces the $15 minimum “living” wage concept. However, my memory is of being a young black teenager who was proud to get that first minimum wage job at Baskin Robbins in Ainsley Mall at $3.25 an hour. It was about teaching me responsibility and financial management…but it was not going to be my career.
And even when I got that dream part-time job, while still in high school, at Sears and Roebuck’s catalog distribution and retail store on Ponce de Leon, my sights were on college and an Army commission.
Look at black teenage unemployment today, and where is Rep. Lewis, Rep. Richmond, or Senator Booker and their testimony on that issue? Nah, touting and doing to bidding of their white liberal masters is far more important than addressing the issues of black economic empowerment, as opposed to enslavement…and the policies to rectify this, another important civil right issue of today.
Lastly, but certainly not of least value is what has to be seen as the most important civil right issue of today, the Second Amendment. Our inner cities have become war zones — shake your head in disagreement if you may — but tell me what you call Chicago.
We have blacks being held hostage to drug gangs and other criminal elements and they are precluded from defending themselves. Funny, there are mayors all over America who will provide protection — “sanctuary” — to criminal illegal aliens while law abiding citizens are the real victims who fear for their children as there is no possible aspect of safety.
My memories were of playing basketball into the late hours at the outdoor Bedford-Pine courts and walking home. No fear of being shot. Were there “potheads?” Sure, but they did not own our neighborhood. We listened to “soul music,” not overt references to misogyny and violence. My folks had a pump action shotgun and a .38 special revolver..that one was Mom’s. Yet in most of these crime ridden inner city neighborhoods, the individual right to own a gun and personal protection is restricted.
My recollection of the Declaration of Independence, says the first inalienable right of the individual endowed by God is life. Sadly, folks like Lewis, Booker, and Richmond are less concerned with the single mother who lives in fear for her children — they’re just mouthpieces for the Democrat Party.
So, here we are on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I would assert his dream is far from being attained. And having a black president had nothing to do with it, because Dr. King was focused on character, not the color of one’s skin.
And if character is important, I would offer that John Lewis, Cory Booker, and Cedric Richmond stop being “tools” of the progressive socialist left and address these critical civil rights issues. The longer they refuse to do so, the more they prove their hypocrisy and irrelevance. President-Elect Donald J. Trump is our legitimate president.
John Lewis said he will not attend the inauguration. He should reconsider because failing to do so will further exacerbate the strained atmosphere of race relations in America. As well, it will only serve to damage his legacy…