I recently went to see the new documentary film “I am not your negro.” It is a documentary directed by Raoul Peck and written by James Baldwin. It is powerful. Baldwin’s words are amazingly relevant even though he has been dead almost 40 years.
Baldwin has a famous quote that states, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” Ecclesiates 1:18 says, “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (NIV)
Baldwin states in an interview that most whites that he has encountered don’t have a problem with negros. The problem is an apathy of ignorance. They don’t know what is happening on the other side of the wall because they don’t want to know.
In his book “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul” Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. paints a very clear picture like Baldwin of some of the issues we face today in America. I am working to raise funds to bring Dr. Glaude to the area to speak this June.
Dr. Glaude is a professor at Princeton and his message is one we need to hear. His message is not just for rich or poor or black or white. It is a message for all of us.
In an audio clip of Dr. Glaude speaking about people that say they believe in equality he uses a great example to illustrate a point about belief and behavior. He personally believes in climate change.
He points out the fact that based on his house, car and living habits you could not tell he believes in climate change because his behavior does not line up with his words. That is exactly what happens with most people with regards to equality.
Individuals talk about equality and fairness, but their actions don’t line up with their words. Galveston County is a perfect case study for many of the issues Dr. Glaude addresses.
Dr. Glaude’s message is for all people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, sex or religion. Inequality is baked into the DNA of our society. Opportunity hoarding and closed networks limit the maximum potential for society.
The language of inclusiveness and prosperity is overshadowed by the actions of exclusive networks and greed. What are we going to do to make things better? Do we really want to see the very best community possible in Galveston County?
If the answer is yes, then please help us cover the cost of Dr. Glaude’s speaking and travel fees which are estimated to cost $4k. Mail checks to Galveston Island Juneteenth Sesquicentennial Committee (GIJSC), 15 Cadena Drive, Galveston, TX 77554. Donations to GIJSC are tax deductible. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or want to help.
For the event to be successful we not only need funding, but we need attendance at his lecture. Elected officials, citizens, volunteers, foundation and trust board members. Tentative date for the lecture is June 16, 2017.