Racially-Motivated Murders In Jacksonville, Attack On Black History: Why King’s Dream Remains Unrealized 60 Years After March On Washington

On this day 60 years ago, Atlanta native Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech that changed the world. The date was Aug. 28, 1963 when over 200,000 converged in Washington, D.C. for the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

In what became a symbol for the fight for equal rights, King delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. The 16-minute speech resonated throughout the nation and helped to serve a catalyst for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. 

However, 60 years later, the progress made is being challenged by right-wing extremism and racial terrorism.

On Aug. 26, thousands celebrated the anniversary of the “March On Washington” in Washington, D.C. Around the same time of the gathering, a racist terrorist shot and killed three Black people in Jacksonville, Florida. The suspect initially went to Edward Waters University, an HBCU, where he was stopped by security who called authorities. Before he could be arrested, the suspect killed three Black people at a Dollar General with an assault rifle before killing himself.

It’s not a coincidence that the shooting took place in Florida, a state that has a governor who embraces racial ideologies. Gov. Ron DeSantis has ended diversity and inclusion policies in the state and has found ways to ban Black history in the classroom. Creating a path for school textbooks to claim that slavery benefited Black people and the false notion that racial massacres were perpetrated by Blacks. 

DeSantis would make an unannounced visit to a vigil that took place to honor the victims of the shooting at Dollar General, only to be met with loud boos before and after his short speech. 

But DeSantis isn’t the only governor who is seeking ways to erase Black history in schools. In Arkansas, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denied credit for all AP Black History classes in the state. 

This comes a month after the right-wing leaning Supreme Court put an end to race-based admissions at colleges, only to ignore the how white students overwhelmingly benefit from legacy admissions. 

Most of the recent racially-charged issues in America can be traced to the election of Donald J. Trump. A grifter who used the White House for his own personal gains, Trump embolden white supremacy with his rhetoric against diversity initiatives. Calling racist who rioted in August 2017, “fine people.” He found ways to attack Nikole Hannah-Jones’ “1619 Project” which revealed how racial systems have impacted America since slavery. Trump’s administration countered by creating the 1776 commission to teach “patriotic education.”

His administration would also lead the charge to dismantle critical race theory, a course only taught in colleges. However, misinformation has caused a fight to erase Black history classes across the nation, but mostly in Republican-led states. 

Even in Georgia, the birthplace of King, the Lt. Gov. Burt Jones recently cut spending on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

The diabolical plan to erase Black History and defund diversity and equity programs seeks to create a future where the reality of institutional racism is forgotten. If the next generation is unaware of its past, it will be bound to repeat the atrocities of the past.

So as the nation celebrates the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, his dream is inching closer to a nightmare by the policies enacted by right-wing extremists. 

 

 

 

 

 

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