the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act provided legislation that outlawed specific forms of ethnic, racial and
religious discrimination against minorities and women.
The year before this landmark legislation was passed, an event called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” occurred. The event was organized by various religious and civil rights groups. It was designed to reveal political and social obstacles faced by African Americans in our country.
The “March on Washington” became a defining moment for civil rights in our country. The pinnacle of this event was the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech "I Have a Dream" which stressed the need for racial equality and justice.
King believed in non-violent activism and was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's teachings. In King’s speech, he said, “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of
dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence … militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their
presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny…we cannot walk alone.”
Unfortunately, King’s dream has turned into a nightmare.
Today, the torch of tolerance and acceptance has been snuffed by various minority groups – one being the New Black Panther Party, the so called leadership of the black community. The New Black Panther Party (NBPP) is a black political organization created in 1989. They identify themselves with the original Black Panther Party. The NBPP claims it fights the oppression of minorities, in particular black and brown people, recognizing the current issues facing black communities. It is obvious that the NBPP does not share in King’s vision peace and harmony between races.
Khalid Abdul Muhammad, the NBPP’s late former party chairman said, "There are no good crackers, and if you find one, kill him before he changes.” It has been reported that the party’s leadership promotes the idea that blacks are God's actual "chosen people" and that the Jews are not. Revealing its Anti-Semitic nature, the NBPP leadership has also blamed the Jews for the terrorist attacks on September 11th and for the organized slave trade earlier in our country’s history.
In 2012, former NBPP Chief of Staff Michelle Williams said that blacks in Tampa, Florida are "under siege". She promised that “…as long as whites keep characterizing blacks as 'niggers,' her feet [will be] on your motherfucking necks!”
In the same year, the NBPP offered a $10,000 bounty for the "legal citizen's arrest" of George Zimmerman, the accused shooter of Trayvon Martin. In response to Martin’s death, the party believed in "a life for a life". The NBPP is a militant group that uses its power to promote racism and intolerance.
The actions of the New Black Panther Party are misleading to the black community it represents. Their violent and racist behavior is detrimental to the advancement of its constituents. Equality and success will only come from non-violent action and earnest cooperation.
Another influential minority organization is the National Council of La Raza. “La Raza” is a powerful political force which receives millions a year in federal grants for various political reasons, such as get-out-the-vote efforts supporting "La Raza" political positions and housing reform. These non-profit projects are commendable. In addition to these respectable efforts by “La Raza”, there is a less know suspected agenda that drives the organization from the top down.
There are claims that the National Council of La Raza is linked to secondary organizations such as the radical racist group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) and the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan. These are racist, anti-American groups which developed on American college campuses in the 1960s. Their desire is to create a new nation out of the American West. According to 2003 tax records, “La Raza” was actively funding MEChA.
The position of MEChA is clear. In a statement on the University of Oregon MEChA website, this organization claims, “Chicano is our identity; it defines who we are as people. It rejects the notion that we…should assimilate into the Anglo-American melting pot…Aztlan was the legendary homeland of the Aztecas … It became synonymous with the vast territories of the Southwest, brutally stolen from a Mexican people marginalized and betrayed by the hostile custodians of the Manifest Destiny.” This idea is leads to the position to “Reconquista” or re-conquest of the Western states.
Their founding principles are described in “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan”: “…We are a
bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan. For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada” which means “For The Race everything. Outside The Race, nothing.”
These viewpoints come from the official MEChA sites at UCLA, the University of Oregon, Georgetown University, the University of Texas and the University of Colorado, as well as other institutions across the country.
Miguel Perez, a member of Cal State-Northridge’s MEChA chapter was quoted as saying: “The ultimate ideology is the liberation of Aztlan… once Aztlan is established, ethnic cleansing would commence: Non-Chicanos would have to be expelled - opposition groups would be quashed because you have to keep power.”
We do not need racial segregation in this country. However, it is important for us to connect with our heritage – it is a part of who we are. The United States is a melting pot of diverse cultures. She is full of beautiful, hardworking Americans, composed of every race on the planet. Since her beginning, America has welcomed those wishing to assimilate as Americans while remembering their culture. This makes the United States a unique and wonderful place to live. We are all Americans – brothers under her flag of freedom and equality.
Today, there are minority groups that claim to be for their people and interests but mislead their followers with racism and intolerance. Minorities deserve better from their leadership – we all deserve better. We must all share in Dr. King’s dream to effectively eliminate racism and discrimination – through understanding and peaceful, non-violent behavior.