Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Wall of Justice

A friend challenged me to compare Biblical story of Jacob and Esau with the tragic violent events of Ferguson, MO.

 I think what the Jacob/Esau story told us was that Esau compromised with Jacob and was satisfied with the remunerations Jacob gave him which allowed Jacob to keep his birthright when, in fact, the birthright was not rightfully Jacob's to keep. Esau compromised and settled for the things he received even though he was much aggrieved against.

Should the black man be considered as Esau, much aggrieved, angered at those who have perpetrated a great injustice toward his people? If they give him what he wants should he simply forgive them? The black man in this nation was promised many things but the white man did not deliver on them. What does one do when one party is still stealing from you? Does one simply sit back and accept one's plight?

The emergence of the KKK, White Citizen’s Councils and other racist groups institutionalized racism through vicious Jim Crow laws mandating segregation, instituting poll taxes, and literacy tests to permanently cement the second class status of the black man into the southern landscape. It not only took root then but continues nationwide to this day.

The black man has been kidnapped, beaten, lynched, had property confiscated and innocents killed by white vigilantes and white police. The electorate does not think about that nor the de jure suppression of the black vote, the black man's only recourse for justice. Instead districts are gerrymandered in favor of whites and they get difficult and costly-to-obtain voter ID requirements. The excuse white institutionalized power gives is the protection of the vote when blacks and other progressives know it is protection AGAINST the black vote since there is little voter fraud and the white reason for the ID law is a sham. When one is poor it is not so easy to have the mobility to adhere to the "law" to obtain an ID nor afford the cost of one.

Jim Crow has reared its ugly head yet again and the black man is angry -- no furious. I cannot blame him for that. Prejudice of white against black in this nation runs deep and its amelioration slow. The Grand Jury of Ferguson comes back freeing the white aggressive police officer shooting an unarmed man as did the jury come back to free George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvone Martin and the truly innocent man selling cigarettes outside a store was choked to death by the police for a ridiculously minor offense. Multiply those incidents a thousand times.

Yes, Michael Brown had flaws. Were they deserving of death? I believe Michael Brown did not need to die and that what happened to him happens over and over and over again across the nation so much so that it becomes part of the black man's DNA to fear. This must change.

There are things so consequential that one must say "no more" for those who have felt the jackboot of white tyranny on their neck. The black man hangs from the Poplar Tree again and again and again. When does it stop and is passive resistance effective? I do not know. Michael Brown is NOT Esau but is the representative of hundreds of years of cruelty and injustice against a people where the wall of justice said to have been under construction has, in truth, yet to be built.

Racism is the albatross around our nation’s neck; it is the conundrum of a nation that is supposed to stand for justice for all but in reality stands for justice for the few. Esau, I suspect, would not compromise with that!

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