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Change is overdue

By AFI PHOEBE
Posted 8/5/20

Reading Wayne local Joe Suhosky’s alleged quoted remarks made me shake my head as if to say “not another fear monger.” Regrettably, there still are far too many Joes who believe in …

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My View

Change is overdue

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Reading Wayne local Joe Suhosky’s alleged quoted remarks made me shake my head as if to say “not another fear monger.” Regrettably, there still are far too many Joes who believe in the hysteria syndrome that expands like a virus. Those quotes are disturbing, to say the least, and reveal inherent ignorance and fear (typical foundations for racism). Those like Joe and his mindset should ask themselves why are the origins of bigotry still alive and growing that result in the need for vocal outcry (in this case, Black Lives Matter) by all hues.

The Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 book entitled “Why We Can’t Wait” says much in the title. I was only 14 years old. The legitimate Black Panther Political Party of the ‘60s, demonized by the media, had origins of Second Amendment rights of protecting the Blacks from police violence in Oakland, CA. Fast forward more than a half-century later. The Joes of today need to explain why such police violence has not stopped but rather increased or perhaps agree it’s fulfilling David Duke’s vision.

The nauseating phrase, commonly murmured in disgust among  African-Americans, “white is right, Black sit back,” only resonates maintaining the status quo, that is obvious to people of my color, that systemic and institutionalized racism is not going to be tolerated by the X, Y & Z generations and go unchecked. Engaging with local political representatives has been a snail’s pace of any success as voices of the marginalized have too often gone unheard. No one cares for destructive violence which comes from waiting too long; the pressures pop and sometimes other, unrelated opportunists taint the true cause. In the ‘60s, we peaceful protestors were met with police violence: German shepherds, baton bashing and water hosing, and the media called us militants. The law “enforcers” were the ones breaking the law by violating First Amendment entitlement of peaceful protests.

World War Two destruction ended in peace; U.S. civil unrest of the ‘60s resulted in Affirmative Action and EEOC. The old guard’s reign is ending. To the Joes, read and absorb this Indian prayer: “Great spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked for a moon in his moccasins.”

Afi Phoebe is a retired English professor, historian, writer, poet, artist and long-time seasonal Narrowsburg, NY vacationer who lives in Queens, NY.

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