March On Washington: 50th Anniversary – Stopping Institutional Racism
March On Washington
This recent March On Washington more than reminds us of the March on Washington that happened fifty years ago, it brings to light that the African American community, other minority groups, and women today face discrimination today as real as what was faced fifty years ago.
The advances that were made by African America people, minority groups, and women in the U.S. are being attacked today, and it is apparent that people are trying to erase those advances.
Our rights to vote are being attacked, rights that were made possible because of the civil rights movement that was spearheaded by the March on Washington.
March On Washington: Rights To Vote Being Attacked
The Supreme Court struck a blow to the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by striking down a key part to the Act making it possible for nine states states, in particular with a history racial discrimination in the voting process, to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
The law had applied to nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia — and to scores of counties and municipalities in other states, including Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
The argument was given that “Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”
Soon as the key provisions were struck down states like North Carolina instituted a law voter identification law that had been previously blocked by the provisions of the Voters Right Act. North Carolina also instituted cuts to early voting and same-day registration, and added new prohibitions on registration drives. These limits disproportionately affect minorities, the poor, and the elderly.
March On Washington: Stop And Frisk
Civil rights, constitutional rights. “What is that?” That might be the question the NYPD might ask you if you tell them they are violating your rights. Federal Judge Shira Schendlin’s ruled that the “Stop And Frisk” policy is unconstitutional and the NYPD deliberately violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with its Stop and Frisk policy.
Even so, the judge did not order an end to the practice, but instead appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to the policy.
March On Washington: Stand Your Ground
The implementation of “Stand Your Ground” law is likened onto lynching and the racist hysteria associated with it. As the president questioned, if the Travyon Martin variables were reversed and it was a Black man who shot and killed an unarmed white boy, would the not guilty verdict have been accepted so easily?
The current March on Washington and many more marches will be needed because even though we have made strides since the “March on Washington” fifty years ago. There are people and parties at work to remove the advances made as a result of the civil rights movement and the March on Washington. We have to keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground and maintain our awareness of the mechanisms at work to bring back the overt racist policies of yesterday.
This week a South Carolina restaurant ejected African American customers when a white person felt threatened. Really? Can this happen in 2013? Apparently yes it can. So what is the difference between this happening in 2013 and 1963? None!
The group of African American customers had been waiting peacefully for two hours to be seated and when a person in the party took out his cellphone and began recording the conversation between a person in the group and the manager, the manager told them she had the right to refuse them service and she would refuse them service.
Keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground and stay aware of what is going on. The March on Washington was needed fifty years ago and it is needed today also.