Thursday, August 25, 2005
The Millions More March.... Just one more reason not to go.
I missed the first one. Not just because mid-terms were a couple of weeks off and leaving Boston would have been a bad move, but I didn't feel like me or any of the men in my life had anything to publicly atone for. In a country that still refused to acknowledge the injustice done to my ancestors or at least acknowledge that there would be no America without them, I had no desire to make a haaj to the nation's capitol to fellowship with a bunch of brothers whose time would have been better served doing something productive in their own neighborhoods. Yet I still showed love to those brothers who felt they had to do it. I have always been aware that a great deal of black men are in turmoil and searching for a sense of purpose. I hoped that some would find their focus, but I was doubtful. Even then, I was aware that the purpose had to come from within and it didn't require a trek to DC. It couldn't possibly make me more aware of the struggle than I already was. I saw the whole thing as a day of pontificating. The speeches were certainly well-delivered and in some ways enlightening, but C-SPAN did a very good job of making me feel as if I were on the mall with the throng. So much so that at the end of the day when everyone dispersed, I felt the same way I would had I been there... that I should have studied for the spanish test I had on the next day. And I was still disturbed that women were asked to stay home. I felt that they needed to be present because disenfranchisement knows no sex. The exclusion of women reeked of the eurocentric patriarchal ideology that fueled the strong black man image that continues to set us up for failure.
I see the upcoming march having the same problem especially with the concerns being raised by same gender loving individuals of African American descent. On more than one occasion I have read in the media that Black gays and lesbians are being shut out of the day's events, which is why I was surprised when a gay male acquaintance told me that he had already made his reservations and was looking forward to the trip. When I asked why he was so intent on going to an event where he was clearly not going to be celebrated, he replied, "I'm going for the nightlife." He is going simply for the potential dates that will be in the city and I realized that he is not alone in that purpose. It is no different from the women that I knew who ignored the request and went 10 years ago just for the promise of finding a man. One of my female friends actually met her husband that weekend and they will celebrate their 10 year anniversary on New Year's Eve.
Everyone has their own agenda and that is one of the reasons why that weekend will find me far from DC. I support the call for unity, spiritual values, education, economic development, political power, reparations, freedom from prison, healthcare, cultural development and peace, but I don't believe it will be found in DC. It has to start in our own communities with our local leaders. Going to Washington will not place our concerns any higher on the national agenda. What we need to do is take our asses to the polls to effect the legislation that we need to bring about change. Another reason I'm staying home is paranoia. I know that the last gathering was peaceful and without much incident, but that was 10 years ago. Folks are just a little more angry and frustrated. Anything can happen. All it takes is one nut.
For all those that choose to go I wish you Godspeed. I will be with you in spirit.
Posted by Rodney ::
7:25 PM ::
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