Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Black Community and Our Culture Has Lost Its First Love

 

I grew up in Pittsburgh. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”, and other speeches were part of my high school curriculum. I married a Southerner in 1987. I was shocked to hear that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not a part of his high school curriculum. I entered a different world, a world where in his growing up years, hired help was mainly black, maids, landscapers, and hardscape contractors. I began to see and hear of a South that was not part of my upbringing, but only depicted in movies like “Gone With the Wind.” However, I experienced more racism in the North than I ever did in the South.

Entering high school a naive 13-year-old, it was a landscape ripe with violent protests, riots, marches, Vietnam, Women’s Rights, Black Power. I was a kid growing up in a raucous world, but raised by a generation who grew up under a different tyranny. Being Polish and Ukrainian descent, my family came to the U.S. with nothing and created a home for me. They fled the Communists, Nazism, and Russian repression. They lived through the Great Depression. The women in my family suffered abuse as I learned, going back generations, as men from that era were angry, harsh, and even depressed. That led to drinking and fighting. Fortunately, my dad and my aunt who raised me were nothing like that. I was raised with a respect for law enforcement, the Church, and my elders. Step out of line and I got whooped, which I did quite a few times.

When I married into the South, bits, and pieces of my husband’s history gradually emerged. We moved to North Georgia, and I was stunned to see slave cabins preserved. My father-in-law told me they were preserved for future generations to understand and contemplate. While my in-laws were part of a generation that built railroads, served in the military, and farmed, I never heard an ill word about those from the black communities that helped build the South in those capacities.

My aunt, (growing up in Pittsburgh) who raised me, once told me a story. This was during the race riots in the 1960s and 1970s and she was fearful, because my uncle was a cop in a volatile area, and my other uncle, her husband, who was like my second dad, was a conductor on the railroad. Cities were on fire, and violence erupted, just like today. That’s when she shared that her first marriage was to a very abusive and philandering man, where she found him in a bar with a woman on his lap. They had been married for less than a year. She confronted him and he threw a knife at her. She fled, and he chased her down the Hazelwood/Glenwood District of Pittsburgh, where many immigrants settled. She said that a couple of black men surrounded her, and accompanied her to safety, and confronted her abusive husband. She told me she had nothing against anybody of a different race, and she divorced him soon after. I remembered that because in my tender years, it told me that anyone could be a good person or a bad person – it was a choice.

I say the Black Community and our American culture, in general, has lost its first love, because all of the above, the flight from communism and Nazism by my family, racism and the upheaval of the 1960s, a “United” States in the midst of great change, once was led by faith. This faith was rooted in a foundation that couldn’t be shaken. It sustained the Founders as they journeyed to a new land and established our founding documents. The old Spirituals of the black community, sung in solidarity amidst persecution, strengthened them against their oppressors.

Pope John Paul II stood up against the oppressors of freedom, in the same manner that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did. With a pastor leading the charge, without firing a bullet or setting fire to a church or trashing a business, King preached a message that changed our country and the world, through non-violence and strong faith. Pope John Paul II brought down communism in his homeland of Poland and pushed back a Russian invasion brewing on its borders without firing a shot, through non-violence and strong faith. The speech that President Trump gave in Poland echoed this message.

We can’t save ourselves. Snapping a picture of the tragedy that took George Floyd’s life and sending it viral, unraveled, like a loose thread on a precious tapestry, all the good that came out of the struggle against this insidious virus. Businesses were set to open, the economy poised to resume and spirits were hopeful. No one seems to be around to snap a picture of the countless officers responding to community unrest, or domestic violence, or gang and drug infestation, that never seem to improve in the inner cities, despite eight years of a “seasoned” community organizer at the helm. President Trump’s inner-city investment program was on the way to changing that. Inviting black leadership and clergy to the White House for dialogue, along with others from countries under persecution, opened a door to new communication and finding solutions. Yet we have forgotten the good that has been accomplished.

If we learned anything through the COVID-19 virus, it is that the deepest recesses of the human spirit are good, and will rise to the challenge of any crisis, if we hold to the messages that brought down communism and racism, and we can do it again.

 

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  1. RightAngles Member

    …that never seems to improve in the inner cities, despite eight years of a “seasoned” community organizer at the helm.

    Probably because he did his level best to make it worse on purpose.

    • #1
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:53 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Jules PA Member

    Does it go like this,

    I long for the day when my children will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. 

    I don’t recall ever being taught a specific lesson on the man, but, Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King rolls in his grave over the bastardization of his good intentions, life’s work, and martyrdom. 

    For shame. A disgraceful shame and a stain on his legacy. 

    • #2
    • June 1, 2020, at 6:08 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Does it go like this,

    I long for the day when my children will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

    I don’t recall ever being taught a specific lesson on the man, but, Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King rolls in his grave over the bastardization of his good intentions, life’s work, and martyrdom.

    For shame. A disgraceful shame and a stain on his legacy.

    Yes – thank you – I added the you tube video to the post. We had to memorize the speech in high school!

    • #3
    • June 1, 2020, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. PHCheese Member

    Great post FSC. Go Steelers!

    • #4
    • June 1, 2020, at 6:54 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Henry Castaigne Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    …that never seems to improve in the inner cities, despite eight years of a “seasoned” community organizer at the helm.

    Probably because he did his level best to make it worse on purpose.

    I don’t see why it’s so hard to believe that he a mush-headed lefty with good intentions. 

    • #5
    • June 1, 2020, at 7:20 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Dave of Barsham Member

    As a born and bred Southerner I agree with your experience. I won’t pretend that there aren’t racists here, but nearly all the ones that I know are old family members. Even then, as a personal anecdote, my wife and I adopted three children from Hungary that are “Roma” in ethnicity, darker olive skin, dark iris’s and hair. Their new great grandfather, who we were worried would disapprove, couldn’t care less. They are his grandchildren. He’s already taught them how to use a slingshot and handed out “toys” that were collectibles in glass cases at his house. The old hatreds are often completely removed by “kin” and circumstance. Even that great grandfather, with his own eight decades of prejudice, would be utterly incensed if a black man’s business were burned down in their small town due to the insanity going around. He wouldn’t see a black man, he would just see a man robbed of what was his. That American spirit of making something of one’s self is still there, it just has to be cultivated.

    • #6
    • June 1, 2020, at 7:28 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Dave of Barsham (View Comment):

    As a born and bred Southerner I agree with your experience. I won’t pretend that there aren’t racists here, but nearly all the ones that I know are old family members. Even then, as a personal anecdote, my wife and I adopted three children from Hungary that are “Roma” in ethnicity, darker olive skin, dark pupils and hair. Their new great grandfather, who we were worried would disapprove, couldn’t care less. They are his grandchildren. He’s already taught them how to use a slingshot and handed out “toys” that were collectibles in glass cases at his house. The old hatreds are often completely removed by “kin” and circumstance. Even that great grandfather, with his own eight decades of prejudice, would be utterly incensed if a black man’s business were burned down in their small town due to the insanity going around. He wouldn’t see a black man, he would just see a man robbed of what was his. That American spirit of making something of one’s self is still there, it just has to be cultivated.

    Loved that story – thanks for sharing it. My friend adopted two, a brother and sister from India (she is half Indian) against her family’s suggestions, saying it would be difficult since she would be a single mom. She went ahead and they are the love of the whole family now. It’s made everyone closer and they are amazing kids, and she’s an amazing mom!

    • #7
    • June 2, 2020, at 5:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
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  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Christians — of all colors — built this culture. The secular Left is trying to destroy it because they “are as gods” and they think they’ll build something better from the ashes. Damn fools.

    • #8
    • June 2, 2020, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Jules PA Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Christians — of all colors — built this culture. The secular Left is trying to destroy it because they “are as gods” and they think they’ll build something better from the ashes. Damn fools.

    The left are like toddlers who want the building blocks, and will kick down whatever another has established, to claim the blocks.

    The left are juvenile children, having a tantrum and needing significant parental intervention. 

    • #9
    • June 2, 2020, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Trajan Thatcher

    I am thinking about King and the summers past, past for him as well as I remember clearly his getting shot in April 68. And I remember thinking, man, we are going to need another one of him, badly.

    And speaking to that, and April being a very bad month, my Co. lost 22 KIA and 74 KIA taking Hill 881S…..in Chicago this weekend 5/31/20-they lost 24 killed and 67 wounded.

    Somehow, if he had lived, I don’t think we’d be parsing the insanity of these comparative numbers.

    • #10
    • June 2, 2020, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Trajan (View Comment):

    I am thinking about King and the summers past, past for him as well as I remember clearly his getting shot in April 68. And I remember thinking, man, we are going to need another one of him, badly.

    And speaking to that, and April being a very bad month, my Co. lost 22 KIA and 74 KIA taking Hill 881S…..in Chicago this weekend 5/31/20-they lost 24 killed and 67 wounded.

    Somehow, if he had lived, I don’t think we’d be parsing the insanity of these comparative numbers.

    You’ve been around these parts since 2013 but I don’t recognize your handle. I am also not understanding your comment – could you spell it out for me – I am blonde………..I apologize because it sounds very serious…….

    • #11
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. PHCheese Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Trajan (View Comment):

    I am thinking about King and the summers past, past for him as well as I remember clearly his getting shot in April 68. And I remember thinking, man, we are going to need another one of him, badly.

    And speaking to that, and April being a very bad month, my Co. lost 22 KIA and 74 KIA taking Hill 881S…..in Chicago this weekend 5/31/20-they lost 24 killed and 67 wounded.

    Somehow, if he had lived, I don’t think we’d be parsing the insanity of these comparative numbers.

    You’ve been around these parts since 2013 but I don’t recognize your handle. I am also not understanding your comment – could you spell it out for me – I am blonde………..I apologize because it sounds very serious…….

    I believe he is referring to a battle in Vietnam.

    • #12
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Trajan (View Comment):

    I am thinking about King and the summers past, past for him as well as I remember clearly his getting shot in April 68. And I remember thinking, man, we are going to need another one of him, badly.

    And speaking to that, and April being a very bad month, my Co. lost 22 KIA and 74 KIA taking Hill 881S…..in Chicago this weekend 5/31/20-they lost 24 killed and 67 wounded.

    Somehow, if he had lived, I don’t think we’d be parsing the insanity of these comparative numbers.

    Trajan – I don’t think we ever got “another one of him” in your reference to King. You are right. I also thought about that all these years, and if we ever needed another Dr. King, it’s now. He never preached victimhood, but lifting up.

    • #13
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. Henry Castaigne Member

    Dave of Barsham (View Comment):
    Even that great grandfather, with his own eight decades of prejudice, would be utterly incensed if a black man’s business were burned down in their small town due to the insanity going around. He wouldn’t see a black man, he would just see a man robbed of what was his.

    I notice this in alot of old folks too. What’s more, I see this in old Chinese folks who were Maoists in China. Back in the days of Mao, people didn’t steal stuff. They didn’t lie to each other and they had a strong sense of community. 

    • #14
    • June 5, 2020, at 12:03 PM PDT
    • Like