Y’all know I can get started without giving my lil girl a plug. Please take a read of my oldest’s blog at http://maige23.wordpress.com/. Great inspirational reading from a young lady who brings it everyday. Now on to the reading.
Once again, I am back home in NC but this trip is way different. Instead of hanging at home with my parents, laughing and catching up with my folks in the den of the house, I am in a hotel room. As many of you know, my home, my parents’ home was flooded a couple of weeks ago. My folks lost everything in the downstairs of the house, but upstairs was untouched. So they are living upstairs in the house. Mind you there is still no A/C and no hot water in the house. Plus they have to boil the well water for drinking. Thus it leaves me to my accommodations for this trip. Trust me when I say, this will not become a habit. I digress…
I have been in TX full time since 2001, and I know that every time I come home I feel more and more like a tourist. But I am still an NC kid. My love for this state runs deep, and I try to keep up with things as best as I can. The direction that the leaders of my home state is trying to take in the state is disturbing at best. I will concentrate on one aspect of these massive changes, and that is the voter ID law. Yes, I have some issues with the ID part of it, especially the idea that the student ID that was issued at one of the 16 state supported schools doesn’t qualify. That some of the board of elections officials in counties that are heavily populated by college students is trying to suppress the college vote. Even when that US Supreme Court took a stand on that in 1979. I know I am just scratching the surface of this law and of the ramifications to it. But this effects all college students in the state of NC. 16 state supported schools, which include 4 or 5 HBCUs that are state supported. Then numerous private colleges and universities. With what I am reading with this suppression of the college vote, it reminds me of 1992 at NC State.
In 1992, I was a sophomore at NC State. In those days, NC State could have been classified as the largest HBCU in NC. We had more African-American students than any of the HBCUs in the state. Anyway, 1992 was important because the African-American students on campus saw issues and wanted them addressed. Issues such as NC State Public Safety officers putting up “WANTED” posters of African-American males on campus to help fight crime, the low number of African-American tenured faculty, the racist reporting of Technician (NC State student newspaper), the lack of representation at the college radio station, funding cuts at the African American Cultural Center. The list was very long. We wanted answers. Also at that time, football players at UNC started a movement to address issues with the African-American Cultural Center that was being built at UNC. The movement at UNC grew to also address other racially tinged issues on campus. NC State’s National Pan-Hellenic Council held a town hall meeting with all students of color and invited the folk from UNC to the meeting. Now black students at both schools were united to get the many issues addressed at both schools. The power of united activism. All of this happened at a time where the students and the Hip Hop Nation truly exercised its voice.
With 3 paragraphs written, this brings me to the concentration of my feelings on all of this. With everything that is going on in our community, there is a couple of voices that are notably absent. First I want to address the voice of the Black Church. I would like to thank those clergy who have been instrumental in the fight during the Moral Monday protests in NC. These brothers and sisters of all ethnicities are standing for the rights of those who are the least of these. But where is the rest of us? With the history of social justice that the Black Church has stood for, where is the rest of us? Back at our churches, patting and swaying? Back out our churches entertaining ourselves? Back at our churches celebrating another year of having our “ghetto superstar” as our pastor? It is ridiculous to see our kids fighting for their basic right to vote and we sit by. It is amazing that we aren’t pushing for an ecuemenical attack of this foolishness from the brothers and sisters of the faith. The time where we ned to be in the forefront, we cower down and hide. Bottom line is this. Church as usual WILL NOT CUT IT. The church has to become a church of action, not a church of silly “programs”, silly services and silly dialogue. We have to be at the center of the fight and at the table for the battle of our rights. More on this in a later blog.
The second voice that is missing is that of the Hip Hop Nation. Back in 1992, this was the heyday of Hip Hop’s embrace of its blackness. The message of not only who we are as a people, who we need to be and the true love of ourselves helped propel a movement of change on campuses all over the country. Now, that energy is not there from the Hip Hop Nation. The elder voices have been muted in place of some of the most ignorant music in a generation. Mainstream Hip Hop has become loaded with industry minstrals who are hoping to cash in. How could you figure a Lil Wayne, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane or anyone of these jabroins to speak on the fight of keeping the right to vote when they can barely provide an intellectual thought in their music or they are an attention diva? These current stable of clowns have the power of the mic but they ain’t saying nothing. Their music doesn’t move the crowd, doesn’t move the club, and certainly doesn’t move a generation. All it does move is people to think how they look and how they speak is the in thing to do. All the while, basic rights are being taken away without a fight.
I truly believe that this current generation of kids would be on the front lines in this fight if they truly understood what was at stake and understand what investment they have in the game. They have only us from Gen X and older to provide the info. Yet the tools that many of us mid 30’s-early 40’s folk had, is not available to our current warriors. It is way past time to educate and get our kids up to speed. Everyone has skin in this game….It is high time that we act like it and be about our business. 50 years since MLK spoke about having a dream…It is still a dream and the fight continues. Just my .02 cents worth…..