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  • Daryl Johnson

Real Legislative Change Matters

Updated: Sep 29

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg died. It was my fervent prayer that she live beyond January 21st 2021. Her death increased the likelihood that our country could go back to the overt discrimination of the 21st century, oops, I mean the 1950’s. Her death could mean that the 1950’s could be with us through three generations. Her death could mean that so many people will live a life that they could believe is normal but it is in fact subservient. They could grow up believing that to take a Black life is just fine because the Supreme Court allows it without recourse. They could grow up believing that White is right and Black has to get back. They could believe being White means never having to say you’re sorry.

Whatever happens in the upcoming election won’t be the test of how America handles the racism pandemic. What should be most important to all Americans is how can we change our hearts and minds to follow the ten commandments. How do we learn to love each other as human beings.

As for me, I want to see REAL LEGISLATIVE CHANGE that is fair. I want to see our Democracy continue even in its flawed way, for us to become, a more perfect union. I want to see Hate in the rear view mirror. So tell me, what do you want to see?

In our world today here in the USA, we find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. A small portion of our society wants to go back to the 1950’s or earlier. Well I was born in 1956 and back then many Black Americans experienced racism on a daily basis. At a young age, many of us didn’t recognize it because it was such a part of our daily lives. I can remember like it was yesterday, going to get ice cream at a place called Two Bears which was located on a main thoroughfare in Memphis Tennessee which is now Elvis Presley Blvd. When I ordered the ice cream, the white man behind the window asked me why was I ordering from the front window. Well “that’s where I saw the other people order.” He told me Nooo, that I had to order from the back, but this time he would take my order but I must pick it up from the back window. As a child, all I could think about was getting my ice cream cone. I can still hear the screen door open up as he gave me my chocolate ice cream cone from the back of his business.

I didn’t realize at the age of about 9 or 10 that I was being discriminated against. I didn’t realize that the color of my skin meant that I was being treated differently. It wasn’t until I was almost out of high school that I realized that the ice cream incident was racist.

So many Black Americans have experienced racism and not even known it, because the norm for White America is not the norm for Black America. The Malcolm X’s and the Martin Luther Kings of the world helped us to know, reject, and rise up against the unfair treatment we were subjected to being Black in America. Some of us decided to show White America that we are just as American as they are. Our attempt to integrate into the mainstream meant giving up some of our cultural norms and adopting or trying to live in a White culture. By doing this, White America could see that we were just like them. Our blood was red too. All in all we just wanted an equal opportunity at living the American dream. We were believing the creed that all men are created equal, that we ....have ...unalienable rights as written in the constitution some of which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So now at age 63, I hear my friends say they are tired of believing that justice will prevail.

And then, the Grand Jury for the Breonna Taylor case spoke. Not one person charged for

‘her death.’ I too am tired of trying to show white folks that we belong in this country. I too am tired of all the images of Black people continually dying in the hands of police. I too am tired of turning the other cheek. Now when something bad happens to a white police officer and Black folks are cheering, its because so little justice has been done or is being done, that it is as close to justice that we can get. It’s because until we see real legislative change we will continue to push the same human rights agenda that we’ve been pushing for 50 years and find a bit of joy when a brother strikes back at a White officer for his little piece of justice.

For me, I don’t know what kind of person I am for feeling like I do but I know that if you ask my neighbors, church members, school mates or friends I grew up with, they will tell you that I am a good man, a family man with a good heart that does good for ALL people not just Black people. They will say, he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Well, I too am tired! RU? Black Lives Matter!

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