By Raynard Jackson
Our nation is about to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the assassination of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968). He gave his life so that we could fully participate in all that America has to offer.
Since his death, America has made major strides towards freedom and equality for all. Blacks no longer face the same degree of racial hostility and hatred from Whites like in the days of old. To that end, Dr. King’s death was not in vain.
But within the Black community, I can no longer say with confidence that Dr. King’s death was not in vain. Many believe that Dr. King’s strong opposition to the Vietnam War was the final straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. We have gone from the Vietnam War to the war of words. The Vietnam War killed many thousands of Americans, but the war of words are destroying the very soul of a people.
Rappers are calling our women bitches and hos. Our athletes and entertainers rarely take a principled stand on any relevant issues affecting our community. Many of our own movies do nothing but show the worst in us.
We justify this behavior with the mantra of “I have a right to do whatever.” Well, along with your right comes a responsibility, a responsibility to show our community that through the sacrifice of Dr. King, we have become the embodiment of his dream.
But, it wasn’t his dream alone. The dream was fueled by the likes of Fannie Lou Hamer, Claudette Colvin, and Rosa Parks. The dream was bankrolled by the likes of Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Jim Brown, and John Johnson.
Johnson died at the ripe old age of 87 in 2005. But his legacy lives on through his two flagship publications, Jet and Ebony magazines. From their beginnings, these magazines showcased the best in Black America.
That’s why it pains me that one of their current employees has brought so much shame and disgrace to the legacy of Johnson.
Jamilah Lemieux, Senior Editor for Ebony magazine brought so much shame to this prestigious publication that Johnson has to be turning over in his grave. Based on her behavior, it is quite obvious that Lemieux has absolutely no understanding or appreciation for the sacrifice that Johnson made to build his media empire, Johnson Publishing Company. The ironic thing is that she is from Chicago, which is where Johnson Publishing Company is headquartered; and she attended Howard University, which has a building and a program named after Johnson (The John H. Johnson School of Communications).
Obtaining a college degree does not mean you are educated, it simply means you passed certain courses. Being educated is indicated by an ability to engage in critical thinking and conversation; Lemieux has proven that she is quite incapable of engaging in either.
Last week she was engaged in a twitter conversation about a new conservative magazine, American CurrencySee, that is being headed up by neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson and Armstrong Williams. I am also one of their columnists.
In her twitter feed she begins to cast aspersions at Dr. Carson. My friend and colleague in the battle for the heart and soul of the Black community, Raffi Williams, sent her a tweet suggesting that she get to know about Dr. Carson’s life, which she stated in no uncertain terms, “I 100% do not want to know more. I wish I knew less!” In referring to Raffi, she continues, “Oh great, here comes a White dude telling me how to do this Black thing. Pass.” I have known Raffi for many years and I know for a fact certain he has been Black most of his life.
Furthermore, his race should have had nothing to do with her response to his suggestion of valuing diversity of thought. Isn’t that central to the whole notion of being educated? Obviously, she failed that course.
You can google Lemieux to read the complete twitter exchange.
Isn’t it amazing that Dr. King died because of racism and now people like Lemieux have become the very thing that King fought against?
Blacks like Lemieux are totally incapable of displaying any intellectual scholarship and engaging in a vibrant give-and-take with Raffi, a rising star in the Republican Party.
Two weeks ago, liberals lost their minds over a statement Congressman Paul Ryan made about poverty. These same critics have yet to utter one word of support to Raffi and have not uttered one word of criticism to Lemieux.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Melissa Perry, Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, where are your denunciations of intolerance. The Human Rights Campaign, National Council of La Raza, Congresswoman Nance Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, could I just one time hear your voice filled with righteous indignation over the intolerance that Blacks in the Republican Party face every day from liberals?
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@raynard1223).