Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn
February is Black History Month. This is a great time, not just for African-Americans to understand, and celebrate their history, but for everyone in America to celebrate the achievements of African-Americans.
I do believe only those blinded by racism would attempt to de-value the contributions of African Americans to this great nation. If it had not been for African Americans, and what we have contributed, this country would not be what it is today.
Unfortunately, however, some people may look upon this month with disdain, at times, because it focuses on a certain sect of the population. Yet, while some may say it is unfair to do so; I say, show me another group which has been so systematically discriminated against for so long, but still has been able to make amazing contributions to this nation.
In addition, I think that, if our schools would consistently highlight what African Americans have meant to this nation, maybe we would not need Black History Month, because we would be celebrating our achievements all year round.
One of the reasons I have been so hard on Democrats, and their policies, is because the very people African Americans have supported, unwaveringly, have been the same people who have stolen their history.
During the days of the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans would not have been looking for hand-outs from the government in order to get where they wanted to be. They believed in hard work, and had simply been asking for a seat at the table. And, once the playing field had been leveled, those African Americans would have stepped up, and showed they had more to offer than anyone else.
But, today’s Democrats have taught African Americans the government should provide everything for them, from healthcare, to daycare, to cell phones.
This is so sad, and does not represent the proud history we, as African-Americans, have created.
Democrats have continued to advise African-Americans to hate the “white man,” and Republicans, while the true enemy has been right in front of us, getting our votes year, after year, after year!
How is it that African Americans have consistently voted Democrats into major offices, in our urban areas, and yet they still suffer from the same plights which have plagued African Americans for years? I would submit that is because we have not learned our history, and we have refused to demand what we need from those to whom we continually give our votes.
Understanding the power we yield would make a world of difference, if we were to agree on the issues, and all come together in support of them. During the civil rights movement, African Americans knew the economic clout they carried. The reason the bus boycott worked was because companies realized they needed African Americans’ revenue. When you hit someone in the pocketbook, you can effect real change.
How much economic power do African Americans possess today, that we do nothing with?
We need to remember the backs upon which we have stood, and the fact that those backs have many scars on them.
We are a proud people, with a rich heritage, and one that has always wanted to earn what we’ve obtained. During the Civil Rights Movement, we did not want to be discriminated against, nor did we want a hand-out. We wanted to teach our children to work hard, and to do well, so they would be rewarded with their slice of the American dream.
We are not a people who should grovel for government hand-outs, and rally against those who have worked hard to achieve what they’ve strived to obtain. We must break out of the mindsets Democrats have pushed upon us for so many years.
They have not offered freedom, and real change. They have offered only bondage, and more of the same.
One does not need to take my word for it. They can just look around the neighborhoods of Rochester, look at the Rochester City School District, and look at the number of African Americans who are unemployed.
If the Democrats who control the city council, city school board, and the mayor’s office were really about change, we would have it by now, after all the years they’ve been in office.
We need to remember where it is that we come from, and regain that proud heritage which helped us build a great nation, based upon the values, and work ethic, of a great people; African-Americans!