So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. — Matthew 20:16
This has been such a different spring, in fact, it is our most unusual spring of the century. Our last pandemic was more than 100 years ago. For those of you who are earning your undergraduate degrees, or graduate and professional degrees, I’m fully certain that the COVID-19 spread has caused quite a disruption in what your final special semester would have been under normal circumstances.
Each of us has had to successfully navigate many challenging situations in our lives, and while this pandemic is historic, we will continue to be a resilient community that perseveres. Learn from this experience. Indeed, we all have learned a lot from this extraordinary challenge.
In the meantime, remain focused on a strong finish, and allow your mind to make the necessary changes to your future goals based on what happens around us.
For example, last week on MSNBC, Velshi met with Blacks from Minnesota on a segment titled “How a Conviction Impacts Direction of Racial Justice.” He had a conversation about the Derek Chauvin trial and verdict. Listening to each person, they all talked about how they feel compelled to alter their lives. The young college student by the name Mohamed Mohamed broke down and cried like a baby. He said, “I couldn’t even watch the 9 minutes and 29 seconds of the knee of the neck of George Floyd. It was such a horrible thing to watch, I just couldn’t watch it!” He cried. This young man is graduating but his life will never be the same, hopefully will be another one of God’s chosen ones. Not only is he dealing with the pandemic, but he is planning to do something to help Black people in America, he said.
Did we turn back the hands of time to 160 years ago, during the American Civil War? Back then, Americans were fighting among themselves, the North against the South, and yet Black people were in the center of it all, just like today — Confederates wanted to keep slavery in America.
They wanted to continue hanging Blacks, beating them, treating them worse than animals, making them work for free, selling them to make a profit, disrespecting the women, using them for sex anytime they felt like it, whether they made babies or not, then sell the babies for money!
When President Barack Obama won the White House twice, it was a bit much for those on the opposite side. The Klan has infiltrated police departments, on purpose, with cops who are there to kill off Blacks by the day.
Comedian W. Kamau Bell, as part of his CNN documentary series “United Shades of America,” met with the KKK Imperial Wizard, International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who said, “the KKK will continue, and only whites can become members, no Blacks, no Jews, no other races, only whites.” While wearing his hooded outfit, he also said “many KKK members have signed up to be policemen.”
According to an Aug. 27 Brennan Center for Justice report, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement”: “Since 2000, law enforcement officials with alleged connections to white supremacist groups have been exposed in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and elsewhere.”
“Research uncovered law enforcement officials on every level, participating in racist … social media activity … but only result in disciplinary action or termination if they trigger public scandals,” the Brennan report said. “Few law enforcement agencies have policies that specifically prohibit affiliating with white supremacist groups.”
Progress was made in removing explicit racism from law enforcement since the civil rights era, when Ku Klux Klan-affiliated officers were far too common. But as Georgetown University law professor Vida B. Johnson argues, “The system can never achieve its purported goal of fairness while white supremacists continue to hide within police departments.”
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.