I OWE IT TO YOU: WHY NEVER FORGETTING THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS IS IMPORTANT

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“For those who died, I thank you.”


As a young man born in the year 1987, I did not experience those turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. Now my parents on the other hand saw the tail end, and there’s of course the generations prior. So as a child, I grew up going to school, eating where I wanted, and using public restrooms. Not once did I understand how I got to that point. All I knew is that when someone needed to go to the bathroom, you went. But what I didn’t know until my mother sat down and talked with me, is that it was not always like that in America. And that I should never forget why I am able to do what I do.

And she reminded of this because for the longest there were not only demographics of citizens, but an entire systematic push to keep me from having the basics of necessities. So as I went to school, I always performed well academically because she reminded me at one time how illegal it was for me to go Image result for white onlyto the schools I went to in America. Whenever I used a restroom, she not only told me, but we watched the video footage of Black men and women being attacked just for trying to consume a meal or urinate at public rest stops. So my reason for not getting into trouble is not mainly because of the enforcement of the judicial system, but more so by way of these men and women who died. There are unmarked graves of countless Black people who gave their lives, a lot of which you will never know their names.

So now as an adult, I do so much because they really didn’t have to pave that way. Still today, some of those individuals from that time period are here with us. People who were either teenagers or adults in the fight. And even at times when I see things differently than they do, I can never hate. I can never hate those who Image result for civil rights movementsacrificed so much for me. And no, these men were not the reason I got into my college of choice or landed a job I wanted. But it was because the pressure they placed that made companies even look in my direction. America didn’t want me to have those rights, and had it not been for these men and women, how long would Jim Crow have really lasted. 90 years,  100 years, 200 years; when was the appropriate time to end segregation.

We all would like to think that those types of events had to end, but why? If not for fighting for rights, whose to say? You have of course the critics, yet their voices are to a great degree irrelevant to me. A country tells you to go fight and defend your country, but when you return don’t sit at this table counter. Then you can’t Image result for al and jessesay my country, because in my country you eat where you choose. Otherwise it’s your country, and if I am the lesser, then why are you depending on a lesser to fight for what is yours. So thanks to the men and women who challenged the ideologies of what I am and what was expected of me. For it was you who reminded me before you’re Black, you’re a man, and before that you’re human. You weren’t fighting for my freedom of speech, but my freedom to exist. You did in the past, and still in the present. So despite what the critics think and feel you have my love and respect.

In the end, I dedicate this life of mine to you. Those who fought who are still alive and to those who died in the struggle: Al Sharpton, Alex Haley, Andrew Young, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Barack H. Obama, Bobby Seale, Booker T. Washington, Cornel West, Denmark Vesey, Dick Gregory, Dred Scott, Eldridge Cleaver, Elijah Muhammad, Fred Hampton, Frederick Douglass, Gabriel Prosser, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Harry Belafonte, Huey P.Image result for black historyNewton, Ida B. Wells, Jackie Robinson, James Baldwin, James Meredith, James Weldon Johnson, Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown, John Lewis, Kathleen Cleaver, Louis Farrakhan, Madam C. J. Walker, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, Maya Angelou, Maxine Waters, Medgar Evers, Muhammad Ali, Nat Turner, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Stokely Carmichael, Thurgood Marshall, W. E. B. Du Bois, and many others who were lesser known or even unknown, yet gave their lives for me. I love you, “WE” love you.


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MEMORANDUM: WHY WE SHOULD APPRECIATE OUR TROOPS

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“Stand with them, not just for them.”


Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which is the celebration for our men and women who wear the uniform of our armed forces. The men and women who perform a thankless job for protecting this country. Those who are called to war, not because we tell them to do so, but because they feel it is their core belief. And like I said before, a thankless job. Whenever a professional sports team win a championship, there is a celebration in the streets. Yet when our armed forces return home, it’s usually a family member to greet them. We rarely celebrate their coming home, why? Why do we just take it for granted?

When these men and women return home we look at them like, “Oh, that’s what you’re supposed to do for me.” “You’re supposed to want to die for me living in the comforts of my living room.” All the while, they are being shot at in some foreign country they’ve never been to; on terrain they’ve never seen Image result for troops homebefore. But nonetheless, they do their duty and come home. We give them half off on a Memorial Day brunch and say we did our part. But what about a little more. Why not take this time instead to push for programs that will aid in their matriculation back into society? They most likely have spent time, for the ones who fought, shooting and killing. Now they’re supposed to come back home and live a normal life.

How do we expect them to live normal if we don’t assist? Their duty has been to fight, but what is ours? If someone is willing to say, “I am fighting because it’s my duty.” Why not help them out with something? I’m not saying it necessarily has to be of monetary value. I’m talking more of Image result for homeless troopspsychological treatment. Because if their minds are right, then they can earn their own livings and live a normal life. If any candidates are qualified for free health care it should be armed forces who fought in foreign wars. And that help should be mental. Or better yet, someone who lost a limb and is now disabled. They walk the streets, and people stare, not knowing what they sacrificed.

And the other reason why they deserve it is because we spend so much money on foreign aid to other nations. Yet we let the men and women who give their lives fighting for us nothing.  If a hurricane wipes out a village in some foreign land we hold telethons and major events. But none of the like when troops come home from war. So, in the end, we should take care of our own before assisting others. In America unless there is a draft, you have the freedom to join willingly. That shouldn’t mean, you join, it’s your problem. Why do we treat it like it’s a punishment instead of something to commend. It not only should, but must change. Otherwise we lose a piece of our identity as a nation.


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