|Come Out With Your Hands Up!
7/8/2015 3:00:21 PM
By Beverly Gadson-Birch
The tragic deaths of the Mother Emanuel 9 keep running around in my consciousness. I cannot process “why”? Why did so many have to die before White America finally “got it” or at least I hope they “got it” and the overwhelming response is not just another “knee jerk” reaction.
Fifty two years ago, America did not get it when four little girls were killed by a bomb in the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. Ironically, their Sunday School lesson that morning was about “love and forgiveness”. Forty Seven years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King was killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee as he was preparing to go to church.
According to Wikipedia, some of the first slaves were brought to America in 1526 to what is now Winyah Bay in Georgetown and later many came through the ports of Charleston and surrounding Savannah. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 some 152 years ago. So, I understand why racism is so deeply embedded in the south and America. It was a way of life for the Whites. They had come to enjoy the privileges that slave labor afforded them but that was then and this is now. We are living in a new south.
It is time to move past our prejudices and class distinctions. Thomas Jefferson had it right in when he and four others crafted the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
It is difficult for me to even mention the name of the young man that murdered the Emanuel 9 in the same article because he is such a contrast to those praying believers at Emanuel who were murdered just because they were black. And, it is mentioned somewhere that it was about black men raping his women and some other misconceptions.
If Black history was taught in Roof’s school, he would have known that nothing can compare to the number of black women and children raped by white men in front of their husbands and fathers who were powerless to do anything. Folks revolted against black history but black history is fact history. You can’t cover your eyes and ears and pretend that hundreds of years of slavery did not happen. It did and Blacks are moving on and so should Whites. It’s healing time. It’s been over four hundred years since Africans were brought to the shores of America and lynchings, murders, and rapes still continue with little or no due process but Blacks are not stuck in a rut. They have moved on toward healing.
Even before the dust had an opportunity to settle, threats were received against at least two Black female AME pastors, two of which resides in Clarendon County according to the Atlanta Daily World. When it seems things can’t possibly get any worst, black female pastors along with their families have received death threats. The AME Church has come under fire.
The pastors of not just AME Churches but black churches in general are beefing up security. The pastors in the churches that received death threats are concerned about their safety but they are moving on under God’s protection. And they have every right to be concerned in light of the savage killing of the Emanuel 9. I am oblivious to just what it is that makes white folks so afraid to bridge the gap between hatred and love. What is it that makes White folk deal with their inner fears and weaknesses? What do you fear?
It’s healing time. It’s time to take the Confederate Flag down. It’s time to confront your fears. It’s time to stop hiding behind two piece business suits and charging blacks more interests on home and auto loans than whites. It’s time for you to stop throwing a brick and hiding your hands. It is time to provide equal access to all citizens in housing, employment and education. It is time to throw out antiquated laws that adversely impact blacks. It is time to meet at the table of brotherhood and stop waiting around dark corners to kill or lynch innocent black folk. It is time to tear down the barriers that divide.
It is time for you to come out with your hands up. It is time to put aside racism and come out with your hands up. It is healing time. It is time to educate your children about diversity so they can come out with their hands up. And for those who say never to racial dating and marriage, it is happening every day so come out with your hands up. Slavery is dead! And, soon racism will be also. Come out with your hands up!