Viewpoints: Some South Carolinians reflect on their trip to DC for anniversary march

August 28, 2013 

Some South Carolinians who attended the anniversary march on Saturday, Aug. 24, sent in thoughts about the experience. Here are a few.

Wanted: Solutions

Submitted by Joi Green

As I traveled through the metro line, there was an air of excitement. The crowds were full of people from near and far. Union people, young people, elderly people, people from every walk of life.

I wondered if the excitement I felt at that moment was the same 50 years ago.

Upon arrival at the Lincoln Memorial, I was surrounded by a sea of people. Unfortunately, how I dreamed I would feel once I got there never came. Some volunteers were rude, and senior citizens were treated haphazardly. For example, they had to wait extended amounts of time to be transported to their desired destinations.

The speakers spoke on relevant topics such as, gun control, violence, and equality for all. These topics were discussed, but few if any solutions were rendered.

Fifty years ago, Dr Martin Luther King spoke of his vision on how to make this world a better place. If only I could have heard more about ways we have followed his dream and continue to live out his teachings today.

Instead I was left feeling disappointed.

Hopefully by the 100th anniversary we as a people will realize:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Alabama 1963

Righting wrongs

Submitted by Beverly Frierson

Official name of Saturday’s march: "The National Action to Realize the Dream."

It will require a coordinated national plan to address the injustices of 2013. The Justice Department must be aggressive in protecting Voting Rights.

I like the emphasis on "Realizing the Dream."

Dreams are for inspiration: Without a plan, a dream can become a nightmare.

Trayvon and the march

Submitted by Beverly Frierson

I saw Trayvon Martin’s parents as we marched in Washington. I had already written an editorial about the case. Here are excerpts and revisions that explain how I feel.

My sister put a pair of her high-heeled shoes in front of me and told me to try them on. I didn’t understand why. Still, Delaine kept saying, “You can walk in those because I can.”

She was trying to illustrate how absurd it is to assume anyone knows how someone else feels unless he or she has walked in the shoes of the other.

Yet, throughout the trial of George Zimmerman, lawyers and some commentators tried to convince us that what they believed is what we should believe. Crazy stuff like: race does not matter.

The term “racial profiling” was not allowed to be mentioned, yet profiling was used. Zimmerman’s characterization of “punks” who “always got away with it” became synonymous with young African American boys.

Trayvon was returning home after purchasing Skittles and Arizona Tea on a dark, rainy night in February 2012. What was Trayvon’s crime? Walking while black?

As a nation, we cannot afford to flounder around in the darkness of ignorance, pretending that race does not color our perceptions and decisions.

Mentoring

Submitted by Beverly Frierson

I was delighted to see the Rev. Joseph Lowery and Julian Bond at the march!

Why?

Both of these elder statesmen mentored me. One is probably aware of his positive impact on me and countless other students; the other man does not know me from Adam’s Housecat.

You see, I attended Clark College, now Clark Atlanta-University, and the Rev. Lowery was my minister at Central United Methodist Church. I faithfully attended Sunday worship service, and I loved participating in the Young Adult Fellowship.

The Rev. Lowery’s “songbird” daughter, Karen, and I were members of the Philharmonic Society.

As for Julian Bond, Clark College allowed positive people to speak to students vis a vie in the parlor of my freshman dormitory.

Monday, August 26, I celebrated my 62nd birthday. Although I don’t remember the content of our conversations, I assure you the substance was nurturing.

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