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Ain't No Big Dog Gonna Scare Me
Published:
1/13/2016 4:59:34 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch


In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his historical March on Washington speech, expressed concerns regarding the Negro’s freedom. He was concerned that 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln the Negro was still not free. History revealed that President Lincoln agonized over signing the Proclamation but he viewed the signing as a necessary war measure. I, too, am concerned that 153 years later, Blacks are still not free. Blacks are still undereducated by design in a bias educational system and police officers are killing off black males in record numbers.

I am reminded of the Big Dog that jumped off his porch to intimidate a little mutt that was strolling by. The mutt turns around and charged the Big Dog with a bark that was amazingly louder and fiercer than his stature. The Big Dog was a little embarrassed because some of the dogs that ran in his pack were watching with great anticipation that he would demolish the little mutt. The Big Dog was caught off guard by the mutt’s unexpected response, retreated to the safety of his porch and said I rather save my tail than my reputation. He had miscalculated his target. With his life and reputation on the line, the Big Dog felt it was better to retreat safely to his porch than to get whipped in front of his pack by the mutt. Oftentimes, we jump off our porches for no reason other than to start a fight. Yes, that’s right. We know how to pick on the little guy. America has always jumped off her porch to beat up on her poor and oppressed. America has been slanted in her vision and prejudiced in her distribution of wealth and prosperity. America is a great nation but great does not have to be bad. We often equate greatness with largeness and wealth.

Through our greed and self-righteous posture, we find ourselves as sitting ducks. We can hide while in the water but out of the water we are nothing. So, we find ourselves in a “no win situation.” What do we do as a nation? Do we retreat or come together? We cannot continue to sit back while our young black men and women are slaughtered in the streets of America and the police only defense is “whoops, I thought”. “Whoops to the no no”. Enough is enough! Do we really care about diversity in America? Are we going to continue to defend and protect bad police officers? Or, are we going to take the position of the mutt? Are we going to fight for our rightful position in this country or be intimidated by the Big Dog?

The March on Washington was to dramatize the shameful conditions of the Negro. Segregation was still the order of the land. Dr. King expressed concerned that the “Negro basic mobility was from a smaller ghetto to a larger ghetto.” And in his last speech, “The Promised Land”, Dr. King spoke about the difficult days facing Black Americans. Fifty three years later, we find ourselves facing the same problems. We find ourselves being chased onto the porch by the Big Dog.

Illegal gun owners are gunning down innocent people while the Big Dog hides behind the Second Amendment. With all of the wasted and misdirected wealth in this country, we can move students to another level. We can combat the war on drugs. We can clean up our streets and make them safe again. We can cut through the paperwork for Affordable health care and make it a reality for every American. Funds would be made available to clean up abandoned homes and restore them for the poor and homeless. In a recent subway incident one man took off his shirt and hat to a man who was shirtless and shivering on the train. I immediately thought about the thousands of persons who entered and exited the train and saw the man? How many persons passed by this homeless, nameless and to some “shameless” person and saw him as invisible? How many saw him as a “no count”? Every life counts. How many had on coats and sweaters that could have given up just one to help the shivering man in need? This is America and America is bigger than that. America has an obligation to provide for its poor and homeless.

Top of the agenda in the Black community is Black on Black murders that are occurring at alarming rates. We have to become more active in saving our black men from themselves.

As the banking industry profits from low interest home mortgage financing and refinancing, more and more Americans are still losing their homes. The criminal element recognizes the banks prosperity and hopes to cash in on this prosperity as evidenced by the rash of robberies. The drug problem knows no boundaries. Drugs have transcended racial and professional lines. If we were to take a count of everyone we knew who died from drugs, we could establish another state. The pay scale has not kept up with rising costs. Employees with just a few years before retirement find themselves in unemployment lines. Black professionals living the middle class dream are now joining the unskilled laborers in competing for low paying jobs. Black business owners who started businesses during the prosperity years of President Clinton have closed their doors Blacks entrepreneurs are being passed over for business opportunities and contracts. The middle class has become the new poor.

We are at war. We don’t know why but we do know that we are paying an extremely high price in dollars and more importantly lives. We saw what hate can do in the slaying of the Emanuel 9. We see the difference in how police handle stops or confrontations with blacks in the gunning down of Walter Scott which brings me to other systemic inequities. When Blacks are passed over for jobs that they competed fairly for and the jobs are awarded to persons less qualified, you are taking opportunities away; and, the lack of opportunities drive people to drink, drugs or suicide. When you refuse to offer affordable or free health care to those in need, you deny treatment and medication necessary to sustain life; and, a vote to deny free health care kills those who are at risk.

Big Dog, this is for you! When you stick your nose in other folks’ business, don’t be surprised if you get your butt kicked. Why trouble the waters in the Black community (little dog)? Why not China (big dog)? China has publicly acknowledged that they have nuclear capabilities. They are all but saying, bring it on. We got something for you America. Don’t stick your nose where it does not belong. Does anyone know what type of capabilities America has? So, why is it that we know everybody else’s business but no one knows ours? As Americans who once lived our lives in peace, we now live our lives in fear.

This year, my resolve is not to be intimidated by the Big Dog. I will continue to fight until “justice is served”, prejudice becomes tolerance and children have equal access to an excellent education.

So, what are you waiting for? Do not be afraid of the Big Dog. Be like the little mutt and bark loud. Sometimes you have to bark louder than the Big Dog to get his attention. Don’t let the Big Dog chase you onto the porch. If you are on the porch, get your butt off and resolve to make a difference in 2016. Hold your head up and strut your stuff as you walk by the Big Dog. Are ‘ya listening?
 

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