By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader
This is a message for those who believe that the recent election was a mandate to nullify African Americans. To you we say, you are dead wrong. You must not know that Black folk have never been scared of hard times.
If you thought that those embracing bigotry and intolerance would deflate our ego or drain our will and determination, you have sorely miscalculated the resiliency, resolve and resourcefulness of Black Americans.
First of all, we believe in a God who can make a way out of no way. Do you have any idea how powerful of a concept that is? That means when you’ve thrown your best punch and we appear to be sprawled on the canvas, we refuse to be down for the count and instead spring back to our feet swinging.
We believe in a Savior who teaches us that greater is He within us than within the world, that no weapon formed against us will prosper, that we are more than conquerors, that our enemies will be transformed into our footstools and nothing is impossible.
I could go on, but you get my gist. It’s not who we are, but whose we are that fills us with confidence and faith and joy and praise even in the darkest hour.
You also need to know that the resistance goes well beyond our Christian faith. Thanks to your tyranny, the coalition includes lots of “ands” again from Muslims and Buddhists and Jews, to non-denominational believers and atheists and agnostics and intellectuals who just don’t care. Their common denominator is opposition to your will.
This new movement consists of gays and straights, young and old, degreed and uneducated, affluent and impoverished. For the first time in a long while, Blacks of every strand are convening across the nation on virtually the same page.
The young African Americans that you chose to label as thugs because they wear hoodies, enjoy hip-hop and speak a language different than you and yours are joining hands with Blacks you’re more comfortable with who wear suits, drive nice cars and live in lavish homes. You won’t be able to tell freedom fighters just by looking at them.
Only your vitriol could have drawn us together. Without a doubt, the recent election may turn out to be the single most unifying force for Black America since the Selma march. You have united masses by giving us a clearly defined common enemy.
And just as in the case of Selma, suppressed people of African descent are being joined in their struggle by Whites, Latinos, Asians and every other ethnicity and nationality raising a voice to decry tyranny, bigotry and inhumanity. This marvelous militancy looks and feels like the rainbow and will cut like a knife.
It’s heartbreaking to see children harassed at school in the wake of this election with no repudiation from local authorities or national leaders. There have been more than 300 “reported” instances of hateful confrontations and assaults since Nov. 8th. While that may get worse before it gets better, know that we will fight back.
Those who celebrate the election with confrontational ‘in your face’ bravado had better slow down. After the middle passage, slavery, reconstruction, domestic terrorism of lynching, constant harassment, police brutality, institutional discrimination and Jim Crow – Blacks are up to the challenge.
We will forcefully take our legitimate discontent to the media, to the work place, to the boardroom, to the classroom, to places of recreation and leisure, to the sanctuary, to the market place, and most certainly to the street.
As said at the outset, Blacks don’t embrace hard times we endure them. And just as what merely appears to be a worthless lump of coal can be pressured into a priceless diamond, so will African Americans respond to this latest round of oppression. We’ve been here before, so there is no need to panic.
Those who are trying to destroy or negate us better sleep with one eye open because we will retaliate by any means necessary. Over the next four years, the power structure will realize that the oppressed won’t simply go quietly into the night.
And if it’s a fight they want for freedom – then a fight is exactly what they will get.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.