LMOC 018: Rights

In 1860 there were 31,183,582 people in the United States 3,950,528 were slaves. 8% of American families owned slaves, and 12% of the population was made up of slaves. Over the next five years a brutal war would be fought which by the end of saw these slaves granted their freedom. However, it would be another one hundred years before they were legally treated as equals –even one hundred and fifty years later black Americans are not treated with the same respect as white Americans. The final fight for equal rights can be found in the decade of 1960.

In 1960 alone there were countless marches, protests, and demonstrations to bring attention to the “negro condition”. Police, and angry white people beat many. The Klu Klux Klan threatened lives. There was immense sacrifice made to force a national conversation on equal rights. A hundred years early the Civil War had been fought between brother and brother, in 1960 a different war was being fought between blacks and whites: a war for equality. A war for rights.

January 21, 2017, over three million people marched across the United States to protest the Presidency of Donald Trump. This was the largest protest in the history of the United States, and the marchers in D.C alone outnumbered those who attended the inauguration of the 45th President. Clearly the sheer numbers are enough to sway the country towards dumping Donald Trump as president. However, this is not how change works. Here is a comparison of Ashley Judd’s speech and one of Malcolm X’s more controversial speeches:

Our pussies ain’t for grabbin’. They are for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be — our pussies are for our pleasure, they are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud — Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it — for new generations for nasty women — so if you, a nasty woman or you love one who is, let me her you say, “Hell, yeah! Hell, yeah! Hell, yeah!”

-Ashley Judd

“We’ve got to change our own minds about each other. We have to see each other with new eyes. We have to see each other as brothers and sisters. We have to come together with warmth so we can develop unity and harmony that’s necessary to get this problem solved ourselves.”

Malcolm X

Women are treated less equally then men. They enjoy the same legal status, but like black Americans they are treated inferior when it comes to rights. The Women’s March had a chance to start an avalanche of change for women, but came crashing down with its lack of vision and discipline. Many black men and women spent unjust time in jail, or at the opposite end of a billy club for their belief that they should be treated as an equal. No women is going to suffer that kind of physical violence for their cry to equality, but they will need to make sacrifices, and it is clear that the events of January 21st were just angry people ceasing an opportunity.