Guest Column: Columbus NAACP – If Not Now, When?

If Not Now, When?

Dear Community:

Never before in recent history, have we witnessed the resurgence of the rapid number of Hate Groups as when our 44th President was elected into office.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the Number of Hate Groups and other White Supremacy groups now total a startling 917, in 2016 as many of us sit complacent and put our future as a people at risk.  However, the ideology of our 45th President is a new challenge and dilemma.

This current Administration has a willingness to create and implement policies, to turn the clock back and to set us back as a people, while fighting for 718 Statues and Monuments to remain in place all across this country.  Protecting statues and monuments that were erected well after the civil war and in the height of Jim Crow that were designed to send a message to us as a people, yet we sit by and our collective voices remain silent.  I do not believe our Jewish Brothers and Sisters would tolerate living in a nation that they built, where Anti-Semitic statues and monuments were erected to Adolf Hitler without speaking up.  When you hear of rising Anti-Semitism, please know the Jewish population stands united, ready to fight and say “Never Again.”  Even in Iraq, the very first thing they did was dismantle statues and monuments of Saddam Hussein, yet statues and monuments that represent slavery, oppression, murder and the brutal treatment of our people are being fought for to allow to remain in place in this land.

We sat in disbelief and watched the march on Charlottesville, Virginia as the bold, young unmasked faces of the “new” Ku Klux Klan shouted “Jews will not replace us” and the commentary that flooded the news media was primarily about the anti-Semitic rhetoric being displayed in the streets of Charlottesville and across the nation.  I guarantee our Jewish Brothers and Sisters are organized and stand prepared to fight the onslaught of this attack that is brewing underneath the surface of this country.

Yet, when you ask Black Brothers and Sisters in this city to stand up and align themselves with the oldest Civil Rights Organization in the Nation (The NAACP – established in 1908) for a mere cost of $30.00 a year, an organization that stands everyday on the frontlines and deep in the trenches ready, willing and able to advocate for them collectively, our people remain silent and when you ask them to join, they look at you with a blank stare.  I ask myself, why do we as Black people historically continue to work against our own best interest?

Most of you don’t know and may never know the countless hours spent daily in Government Buildings and Municipalities here in Columbus fighting everyday on your behalf.  Have you ever considered that someone is behind the scenes, behind closed doors standing up and fighting daily for you and your right to exist? They are fighting for you to have a seat at the table and to be treated as Men and Women with fairness as a human being and a Taxpayer.

Yet, the actions of today in this city and in this country have not awakened our people into the new realities we face in 2017.  I often ask myself what it will take for black people in this city to wake up.

If not now, when?

Please support the continued advocacy of the NAACP in this City and across the Nation, by joining Local Chapter #3177 for the membership fee of $30.00 a year so we can continue the struggle for fairness and equality and to fight systemic racism wherever it exists. You can join online at http://www.naacpcolumbus.org/

Sincerely,

The Columbus Branch NAACP – Unit 3177

The Oldest, The Boldest, The Largest, and the Oldest Civil Rights organization in American

Published in OhioMBE – Nov. 15, 2017 – pdf