A Day of Hope for the Child in America - by Eddie Griffin, BASG
Maybe this is why an old Negro like me can ride a parade float down the Main Street of Fort Worth with hope that the day dreamed about may be a day come to pass.Already I have sent too many of my kids off to war, and some have never come home. Although I knew better and should have warned them, I would rather let them die still believing in the future of America than to remind them of our grim past. Maybe this is why I will not tell all these beautiful innocent children how Martin died, except to say he died that we might be free. In the meantime, I will let their school teachers tell them the myths. Until they are older, I will continue to say, “Yes, there is a Santa Claus.”Why destroy their bright-eyed hope? Life is cruel enough as it is. It is not necessary to tell them that Barack Obama is a black man. This they can see. But telling them what it means to be a black man in America is a story, in a different chapter, in an altogether different book- except now, there may be a different ending.After the parade and a couple of hours of thawing out, I had a chance to visit a different group of young people- a group of black teenagers who live in extremely impoverished conditions. They, too, had a message on this particular holiday. Their message was also of hope.“I will graduate,” they declared, to a church audience of about 300 people. “I will succeed.”The audience, filled with dignitaries, educators, parents, pastors, and community volunteers, listened intently- some with skepticism. We had all seen and heard it before, only to be disappointed by the statistics of declining graduation rate.Wallace Bridges, the program coordinator, blared out the number of at-risk kids “missing” out of the school system. He literally screamed out his feelings for the many kids who sought refuge in his home, some sleeping on the floor simply because they had no haven to shelter them from the harshness of poverty and broken families. By the time he recounts the ones who dropped out and wind up in prison, he is in tears. The church audience is also in tears.“Don’t nobody care,” Bridges relates one boy telling him. “If somebody cared I would go back to school.” But the child never went back, Bridges said. Today, that child is a statistic among the incarcerated.
Maybe this is why I wore my Obama ’08 button to the church. To declare, there is hope, and maybe Obama is that hope. Who knows? But should I let hope die, simply because “nobody cares”?
People can say what they will. They can tell me everything Obama is not. But none of the naysayers can give me words of hope. And, if they cannot convince me, how can they convince my kids?
Clinton 12 Delegates