Abolitionists like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman fought to end Slavery during the 1800s. Martin Luther King fought to end Jim Crowe Laws, which was the American equivalent of Apartheid. August 2014 was when The New Civil Rights Era truly began.
This is one of the leaders of The New Era at least for right now. The comparisons being made between Pastor Bryant and Dr. King have been going on since Monday though it looks like the media hasn’t picked it up yet (no surprise). Dr. King started out as a small town pastor and ended up becoming the face of the Civil Rights Movement not by design but by necessity. He came in at a time he was greatly needed to bring calm and to help (then) young people channel their energy to bring out change by using peaceful methods.
Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were supposed to carry the torch in the 70s and 80s but they were proven to not be up to the task. The movement needed a strong voice willing to talk not just to the black community but to the world.
It finally came this past week when Pastor Bryant announced he would be doing Freddie Grey’s funeral. On Monday he came out in front of the media and called for calm on the streets of Baltimore, telling young people to come to his church so he can teach them how the protest peacefully. Yesterday, he was instrumental in bringing rival gangs together and become a part of the solution, not part of the problem. Last night, he held a town hall meeting at his church for the public to talk about their concerns and their issues with the police.
Like Dr. King, Pastor Bryant didn’t ask to take on the role he is now in. The people of Baltimore will be looking to him for guidance. Let me pause and set something straight: I’m not saying he’s the new Dr. King. Only he is stepping into a role very similar to MLK.
Democratic Presidental Candidate Hillary Clinton made it clear in comments she made this morning the system is broken and is stacked unfairly against African American men. President Obama said in comments yesterday federal legislation needs to be passed to stop the cycle. The Left has been loud and clear. Other than Maryland Governor Larry Ford (Republican), the Right has been silent. Governor Ford moved his office from Annapolis to Baltimore in 2 days’ time so he can better help its citizens. Major props for that.
No surprise. When it comes to Civil Rights, the Right has always been reluctant to act. Lyndon B. Johnson waited until Bloody Sunday in Selma to pass voter registration laws. Abraham Lincoln waited until the Civil War in a stalemate before he freed the slaves. So yeah. If the Right wants any hope of improving their image, they know what they need to do. As a reminder, this is HISTORY being made. The last thing they want is once again being recorded as being on the sidelines. They need to get out there and show they can be a part of the solution.
…I will grade the media’s coverage so far in a separate post.