Where are we?, by Faye Williams
7/20/2023, 6 p.m.
As children, when my siblings and I did something good, my mother never failed to compliment us. On the other hand, when we did something bad, she never failed to chastise us by providing a bit of corrective action!
Whichever we were to face, my mother did it with love.
At times she would add, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you!” We found that hard to believe; however, we tried our best to do better or make improvements the next time.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our Supreme Court and our politicians did the same thing— make things better?
Some people like to talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. They talk about equality, but somehow forget that our nation has never been equal for many of us. So, just declaring equality does not make it so. Forward positive movement makes it so.
Donald Trump, the twice impeached, several times indicted, once convicted, many times exerciser of super bad behavior, made the phrase “Make America Great Again” famous. My friend, Dick Gregory, always responded with, “You act like America has already been great for some of us!”
Sure, there was a time when many of us thought taking something to the Supreme Court would provide justice for our righteous causes. No longer are we under that illusion. Our only consolation is that we have three of the four women on the United States Supreme Court willing to make America great for all of us. We’re grateful for Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Elena Kagan. But for all their powerful voices seeking justice for all, we need more!
We need a new Civil and Human Rights Movement because those rights we once thought we had are slipping away faster than we’re moving forward in basic rights. The hatred we are experiencing is coming from so many directions. It’s sad to say that too much hate and the blocking of our moving forward are coming from within.
One glaring example of blocking our forward movement is Clarence Thomas. His hatred for us is so glaring that he not only takes advantage of affirmativeactionforhimself, but he votes to deny it for those who’ve come after him.
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that attending Harvard University is any better for a Black student than attending Howard University or any of our fine predominantly and historically Black colleges and universities. Learning to appreciate diversity in this country is not exclusively for Black people. That is the way it is treated, however. So many items that people other than white people have created are used by them, and some, presumably, are used by the Thomas family.
Examples include the blood bank, improved ironing board, home security system, yield traffic light, refrigerated truck, automatic elevator doors, tissue holder, automatic gear shift helping people to drive uphill, clothes dryer, golf tees, lawnmower, and too many things to mention here, but I am sure you get the idea.
My point for mentioning these products that benefit all people is that many of those who invented them didn’t say, “We are inventing these things for ourselves, and for nobody else.” No doubt, they were happy to benefit everybody. Just look at where we are now. Just look at where our Supreme Court is. They seem to be happy to take us back to a day when we had no rights and now they’re taking away others we once had!
The writer is president of The Dick Gregory Society and president emerita of the National Congress of Black Women.