Page 6 - The Fayetteville Press Newspaper May/June 2021 Edition
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Page 6                                                                                 The Fayetteville Press May/June 2021 Edition

                      Andrew’s Hands                                                                existence without committing a sort of larceny.” Andrew’s hands were on the steering wheel.
                                                                                                        He also says “the Negro has even lost ownership of his person, and he cannot dispose of his own

                                                                                                        De Tocqueville further states “The Negro makes a thousand useless efforts to introduce himself into
                                                                                                    a society that repels him; he bows to the tastes of his oppressors, adopts their opinions, and in imitating
                                                                                                    them aspires to intermingle with them. He has been told since birth that his race is naturally inferior to that
                                                                                                    of the whites, and he is not far from believing it, so he is ashamed of himself. In each of his features he
                                                                                                    discovers a trace of slavery, and if he could, he would joyfully consent to repudiate himself as a whole.”
                                                                                                    Andrew’s hands were on the steering wheel.

                                                                                                        In another place he says, “the surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint,
                                                                                                    but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through.”

                                                                                                        They took control over him, killed him and are now conspiring against him to prove that Andrew was
                                                                                                    wrong. Andrew Brown Jr’s hands were on the steering wheel. He could not overcome the crippling legacy
                                                                                                    of bigotry and injustice. Andrew could not contend with the duplicitous demagoguery of a disingenuous
                                                                                                    democracy. Despite the 13 , 14  and 15  Amendments and equal protection clause, he literally had no legal
                                                                                                    standing in this land.
                                                                                                        But I want you to know my Father’s children, that although the lives of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis,
                                    By Reverend Dr. T. Anthony Spearman                             Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard
                Perhaps the unnecessary death of Andrew Brown Jr. will be message enough to all the African American  Brooks had no legal standing in this land, they all had legal standing with God. Although the water in Tamir
           fathers, step-fathers, and mothers who had to be fathers that it is time that we take a long hard look at some of the  Rice’s water gun condemned him, Tamir had legal standing with God. Although George Floyd, tried to make
           old faithful lessons taught to our black children especially our black sons. Around 1967, my daddy taught it one  ends meet with a counterfeit $20 bill George had standing with God. Although on the way to death, the
           of them to me, then around 1988 I taught it to my oldest son, in 1996, to my youngest son. My daughter, wife and  young Fred Cox, depicted as a gang member, saved two lives, Fred had legal standing with God.
           I taught it to my daughter’s son in 2005. My son and I taught it to his oldest son in 2011, to his next oldest son  Although Daunte Wright had a warrant, Daunte had legal standing with God and although Andrew
           in 2017 and his fourteen year old is due for his routine teaching in 2022. All black fathers know the lecture like the  Brown had an outstanding warrant, Andrew had legal standing with God.
           back of their hand.They can pull it up like clockwork; it is rote memory that lights the corners of our minds that  Andrew Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel but they still accounted him as a sheep to the
           each of us can recite in one of its iterations. I’m talking about the one that goes, “Son, if you are ever stopped by  slaughter and snuffed out his life.
           the police, pull over to the side of the road, keep your hands on the steering wheel and look straight ahead.”  On the day Andrew was brutally murdered, the eve of my 70th birthday, most likely in beautiful
           Philando Castile reminds us we must reorient ourselves. Caron Nazario’s traumatic experience was a vivid  coincidence, I found a poem by the Afro-Brazilian poet Ifadeyin Fakolade, written in honor of Nana - the
           reminder that it is time to pivot. Andrew’s death is proof that the teaching is no longer effective. We cannot  swamp mother, who gathers each of us in death and returns us, eternally, to life. The poem loosely translated
           depend on it anymore to save the lives of our sons. It will not sustain them or help them overcome the crippling  reads,
           legacy of bigotry and injustice.
                Andrew’s hands were on the steering wheel, murdered by a bullet to the back of his head by at least three    Lady of the deep waters of consolation.
           men whom the system calls law enforcement officers within a system replete with legally sanctioned discrimina-
           tion, deviously codified within its founding documents, with the intentionality of keeping the black man in his         Good death of the Blacks;
           place. Andrew’s hands were on the steering wheel.                                                                    Candelária of the comfortless…
                More than 190 years ago, a Frenchman by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville, came to America to study its  You are the old mirror of the waters that sing still
           prisons but he returned with a wealth of broader observations and compiled them in a book entitled “Democracy    The throat of caves that whisper silences.
           in America” and although written that long ago, it is filled with wisdom that can protect our sons. For the         Mud medicine that heals the sick!
           grandson due for his teaching in 2022, I will be replacing the now ineffective “hands on the steering wheel”
           lecture with sound bites from de Tocqueville’s text.                                                            The thin rain that renews my tired body…
                                                                                                                              The cowries that keep eternal secrets,
                In it he said, “the most dreadful of all the evils that threaten the future of the United States arises from the  Time protecting the traditions;
           presnce of blacks on its soil. When one seeks the cause of the present troubles and future dangers of the Union,   The memory of the womb of the earth
           from whatever point one departs one almost always arrives at this first fact.” Andrew’s hands were on the  The lap of the ancient mother, in which life and death nest in peace.
           steering wheel.

                    A HOUSE DIVIDED…                                                                                           placed himself in a position to be heard. Referencing Mark

                  Often, we define our language literally; meaning exactly                                                     3:25 Jesus states, “And if a house be divided against itself,
           what is most familiar to us. As you read the title of this editorial,                                               that house cannot stand.” When I drive down my street,
           one would immediately and most commonly think of the late Presi-                                                    three signs posted in yards resonate with me: 1) “DRIVE LIKE
           dent Abraham Lincoln. He was not yet a United States President.                                                     YOUR CHILDREN LIVE HERE!”, 2) “WE ARE STRON-
           He was a congressman. Our Union was facing problems that af-                                                        GER TOGETHER!” and 3) JESUS IS REAL! I agree with all
           fected humanity (the way we would continue to live; slavery).                                                       three.
           Multiple questions surfaced as to how society would handle, lead,                                                       SPECIAL PEOPLE
           and fathom some type of equity to our countrymen. Roy Basler                                                            Special people often say specials things;
           (2018) wrote: “On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates                                                               Special people often tend to look different.
           met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican                                                         Abraham Lincoln was very tall and very thin,
           State Convention. At 5:00 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln                                                               He was a candidate most likely not to win.
           as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Demo-                                                           His victory was not on his time.
           crat Stephen A. Douglas. At 8:00 p.m. Lincoln delivered this                                                            It was set on God’s watch to unwind.
           address to his Republican colleagues in the Hall of Represen-                                                           Special people often have special voices;
           tatives. The title reflects part of the speech’s introduction, “A  By Dr. Mary J. Ferguson, Assistant Professor         Many of them have no idea that they are chosen.
           house divided against itself cannot stand,” a concept famil-                                                            Special leaders make special choices; they open doors,
           iar to Lincoln’s audience as a statement by Jesus recorded in  for government offices. His famous words, “A house        notclose them.
           all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke).” This House  divided cannot stand” holds true to this day. If gov-    Then the voices of their critics begin to cave in…
           was our government.                                           ernment  continues  to  disagree  and  not  agree  to     When Lincoln spoke, he often paraphrased passionately
                  Today we are faced with regressive government divisions  disagree…we will continue to have major problems. For    in  Biblical scripture,
           among our nation’s parties. So troubling, so disturbing, so much  a personal example, many couples seek counseling be-  He knew that Devilment was rampant in dividing
           like the diligence and disarray which historically took place during  fore they marry. If you are deemed not yoked, it is ad-  the House.
           Biblical times; these times laid the foundation of our government.  vised to come together and agree on the issues which  When Lincoln led, he had a spiritually veiled vision,
           Our laws, leadership, and many of our beliefs are based on Bibli-  can cause future problems. Another cultural example is  He wanted to stop a premonition of continuous slavery
           cal events (whether one proclaims Christianity or not). Men came  that if parents disagree on discipling, finances or wor-  division.
           together and reached a consensus that much of life is lived suc-  shiping (to say the least), the division can begin with a  Casting out problems can begin with each and every man,
           cessfully based on common sense. We learn during our formative  hairline crack which festers into a crevice. Some would  If we do not know ourselves, we will never begin to
           years that division means to break apart and multiply is a fancy  say that it is their ‘inalienable right’ to live as they desire;  understand.
           way of adding. During this time, it was difficult for me to master  the downside of this is, where is the consensus in com-  So, it is Biblically true that ‘nothing’s new under the sun’.
           division.                                                     munal life?                                               So, each day must begin with a sincere focused diligence,
                  Literally, our existence is broken. Now the time is up to us  We all need one another (whether we accept this    If we expect to get anything peacefully and
           as individuals to personally mend; then we may be successful in  or not), it is common sense. I project that year 2022 will  constructively
           coming together. Areas which face major division and commonly  be more of a time of conscientious and personal deci-     done.
           affects all of us can be noted in education, government, churches,  sion-making. Do we continue to mask? Do you trust   It is true what has been said,
           homes, healthcare, and relationships. Daily headlines support evi-  the vaccine? Are you returning to church or prefer to  ‘A house divided can never stand’.
           dence of our broken existence. In order to repair these multiple  be online? Will you give-back to your community?      The division will certainly continue to multiply,
           fractures, one must accept the backlash of repercussions. Speak-  Do you trust on-site education or will you keep your  If man certainly continues to live a lie.
           ing against the grain has never been a popular or comfortable po-  children home? Will you seek feasible employment?    It is true what they say that man can always be healed.
           sition for leaders or observers to stand. Unrest is at an all-time  Will we care more about one another post-pandemic?  All we have to do is stop and pray,
           high. Many times, I have been known to respectfully ask ques-  Will we seek more understanding or be more misun-        ‘Peace, please be still.’
           tions in the workplace that would challenge the leadership. Many  derstood? Some issues are out of our control; we can  Special traits are in all of us,
           people (especially our single female workforce) are known not to  only work on ourselves within reason.                 No one is better than the other.
           inquire. Why? Fear of losing their jobs. This is understandable. I   Lincoln felt an urgency to act and speak on the    It is time recognize that we are all special sisters and
           have lost or walked away from jobs but continued my profession.  issue of slavery before it was too late. He was veiled  brothers.
           There is a difference…                                        with a vision to warn the people. He became popularly                                             -Mary J. Ferguson (2021)
                  Abraham Lincoln was infamous for ‘stirring the pot’. He  unpopular for doing so after he had accepted his party’s
           was highly intelligent and continuously defeated during his quest  nomination for the U.S. Senate. Lincoln strategically
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