I posted this years ago, but today’s efforts to block voting rights, white supremacists for the first time in many decades no longer hiding in the shadows, the ongoing crusade against teaching the history of inherent racism, and the Senate minority leader drawing a distinction between “Americans” and “African Americans” I thought I would dust it off and repost. So with a nod to Morpheus from the Matrix here is “We Are Still Here”
Believe me when I say we have a difficult time ahead of us. But if we are to be prepared for it, we must first shed our fear of it. I stand here, before you now, truthfully unafraid. Why? Because I believe something, you do not? No, I stand here without fear because I remember. I remember that I am here not because of the path that lies before me but because of the path that lies behind me. I remember that for 400 years, we have endured slavery, racism, and the denial of fundamental human rights. I remember that our names and heritage were ripped from us. That our men were beaten, and our woman raped. Our children were taken from us and sold as property, and when we were finally freed from the chains of slavery, we remained in bondage. We were denied education and the right to vote, held down by Jim Crow, and terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan. Even after a man of color rose to serve as our President, a man of extraordinary strength and intelligence, there are still those that look to demean our character, challenge our intelligence, to hold us down. To if given the opportunity, destroy us. But what I remember most is that after 400 plus years, WE ARE STILL HERE!
Creating breathtaking works of literature and inspiring others in art and music and producing lifesaving breakthroughs in science and medicine. With each step, we leave our indelible fingerprint on the very fabric of a country that once tore itself to pieces because half of it believed that: the “negro” is not the equal of the white man; that subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.
Despite all our accomplishments, our journey is far from complete. Our achievements produce fear among those who still preach hate, who look to divide, those who do not believe in brotherhood but would hold on to the old ways of subjugation and bondage. But no matter how far we have to go, know this we are still here, and we are not going anyplace.So today, let us send a message to those who preach hate and wish to divide us not on the content of our character but the color of our skin. Let us shake this country, tremble these amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties from sea to shining sea. Let’s make them remember; this is America where we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people, regardless of color, are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, principally among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.