Black History Month…
Okay folks, its February, so that means its Black History Month. Let’s dust off those grainy Martin Luther King “I had a dream” videos, and be pleased with ourselves for the state Black-folk find themselves in, all these years after the Civil Rights Movement.
Let us ignore the on-going racialization of poverty in this country – and the fact that 4/5’s of white university undergraduates will find jobs before 1/5 of Black undergraduates will.
Let us forget that young Black men will be stopped by the police at a rate 50x’s that of young white men.
Let us forget that the urban poor are composed mainly of “people of colour”, shunted into closed neighbourhoods where only our police forces will have to bear witness to this sad fact.
Yes, things are so much better than they once were. (But then again, the bar had been set so abysmally low.)
But is there anything in King’s speech that does not still apply today?
I am amazed that Black community leaders and Aboriginal community leaders do not communicate more. For they have so much in common.
Imagine the Idle No More movement if it became about poverty instead of just about “Aboriginal” issues (so easy to marginalize when thought of this way), and all of Canada’s marginalized peoples stepped up for their economic rights? For their Human Rights?
Then we would have a movement – a real movement.
Good thing that poverty pits cultural and racial groups against each other (as we all fight over the crumbs). Otherwise, things could get freaky.