OPINION: The battle for true equality for blacks is far from over
On March 18, 2006, the undersigned invited a few friends and associates to meet at the Ypsilanti District Library on Whittaker Road to discuss the situation of African-Americans, primarily, and other minorities.
Statistics during the last 40 years had remained the same as it related to the disproportionate black incarceration rate, the K-12 school achievement gap between Caucasian and black students and overall economic disparity between the majority and minority people. The reaction of nearly all of the 15 persons who attended indicated that no entity was addressing the aforementioned issues effectively.
The purpose of the Loyal Opposition to the Status Quo, Inc. is to advance the social and economic life of African-Americans and other minorities, through education, communication, rational thought, leadership and community attitudes.
“Education” connotes the idea of learning. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines education as “the action or process of educating or of being educated.” This includes learning about the world from all sources, having an intellectual curiosity and possessing the energy, intellect and desire to be informed about everything that touches one’s life. Education does include, but is not limited to the topics that are covered in school settings, such as the humanities, visual and performing arts, the sciences and mathematics, and business.
The element of “communication” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a process whereby information is exchanged between individuals through a system of symbols, signs or behavior.” Empirical facts indicate that there is a less than a desired amount of communication among peoples in our country. This includes a lack of communication between and among the races, classes and casts. The members of the LOSQ are of the opinion that increased communication between and among these groups is essential for the advancement of all people.
The third element of the LOSQ’s purpose is “rational thought.” This refers to the ability to think and react based primarily on facts versus emotions. This requires a minimum amount of education and the ability to communicate with others. One goal of the LOSQ is to promote intelligent and humanitarian thought that will assist the development of the entire community.The forth element of the LOSQ’s purpose is “leadership;” which is defined as the ability to manage other people. It can be embodied in individuals or groups. Desired leadership requires a good education, the ability to communicate, caring rational thought and hard work. The final element of the LOSQ’s purpose is “community attitudes.” The basic purpose of the LOSQ is to advance the social and economic standing of African-Americans and other minorities. The NAACP, The National Urban League, every national black Greek fraternity and sorority, all historically black colleges and universities, and other organizations have existed to address this goal.
While the LOSQ was started to address minority issues in general, its primary -- but not its exclusive purpose -- is to address the plight of the descendants of African-American slavery in the United States.
Our country was founded with a significant number of black slaves who contributed to the economic growth of the United States. When most African-Americans were freed by the 13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1865, they continued to add to the economic growth, power and prestige of America; however, full citizenship did not come with their newly pronounced liberty. After the Civil War until today, African-Americans have not attained the attributes of full citizenship. The “Badges of Slavery” remain as a significant reason for our second-class status.
It is the LOSQ’s position that the institutional social and economic condition of the descendants of American slavery will not begin to improve in any significant manner until the community attitudes of America changes to accept the premise that all of its citizens are entitled to realize the same hopes and dreams that our country professes to endorse.
It is this writer’s belief that only an infinitesimal amount of Americans -- black, white and other -- truly believe that Americans of African descent are equal in every aspect to other groups and have the capacity and right to share fully in the American dream. It is the goal of the LOSQ to address these issues of inequality primarily through education and the other four components of its purpose.
Raymond G. Mullins, of Ypsilanti, is president and founder of the The Loyal Opposition to the Status Quo Inc. He is an attorney in private practice.