In 1974, the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce, the black chamber was incorporated as a 501-4 non-profit organization. The lack of diversity and opportunity for black businesses to participate in the economic boon in what was then Dade County. It was apparent to David Fincher, who along with several businessmen and women, the likes of Willard T. Fair, Ron Frazier, and M. Athalie Range, to name a few understood the need to advocate for equality, inclusion and the ability to create wealth for the black community, thus creating the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce, long before there was a Miami-Dade County in name.
Fast forward to 1980 and the McDuffie riots, eighteen deaths, over four hundred and fifty injuries, countless businesses destroyed because of the acquittal of four Dade County Police officers. Fast forward to March 3, 1991, video of the brutal attack of Rodney King, beaten for approximately fifteen minutes, one year later April 1992 South Central Los Angeles was ablaze.
America is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Black America, Brown America, Yellow America, Red America and thank God some of White America will no longer allow the status quo to be the status quo. George Floyd is the straw that has broken the proverbial camel’s back, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no returning to the status quo.
Young black men and women, young white men and women, will no longer tolerate the injustices that have plagued the black community. Protest around the world are taking place, no longer will we be beaten, no longer will we allow you to crush our necks beneath your knees, no longer will it be yes Masa, no Masa, whatever you say Masa.
Covid-19 peeled back the societal ills that continued to plague Black America, disparities that we already knew, but continuously swept under the rug. Everyone accept the black community in shock and disbelief of what we already knew. Covid-19 peeling back the economic reality that the black community remains at the bottom of the barrel, the last in the line, the left behind.
“Rome is burning,” history states that in 64 AD, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city, leaving half of its population homeless. History continues to say that Rome’s Emperor at the time, Nero, “fiddled while Rome burned.” History also states that he was an ineffectual leader, one of history’s cruelest and sadistic leaders. I am reminded of a man who used police and national guards to disperse peaceful protestors so that he could walk across the street and have a photo op with a bible. By the way he, Nero blamed the Christians for the fire, and had many arrested and executed. Does this remind you, of “when the looting starts, the shooting starts?”
Until white America owns up to its sins, until white America stops asking why are black people so mad, why are black people rioting and destroying businesses that they will no longer have jobs to go to. Well guess what white America, you see the pictures, you see the news, it’s not just black America, it’s not just brown America, it’s your sons and daughters, your nephews and your nieces who have embraced black America. Your sons, and daughters, who embraced Jay Z, and Beyonce’, Snoop, and Rihanna, LeBron, and Drake. Who have embraced black culture, who have embraced our struggle our fight, who have said, enough is enough, as they embrace, protest and riot.
White America you owe Black America an apology, you owe Collin Kaepernick an apology. You see when we have tried to protest peacefully you kicked us when we were down on our knee. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there, maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.” President Donald Trump.
From Emmet Louis Till, to our forefathers before him, those who have died from not only police brutality, who have died in the hands of the KKK, to Black Wall Street, in 1921, to Trayvon Martin, and the endless names that we will never know, because there were no cameras. To George Floyd who’s death will not be in vein, for our pandemic is real, and has been real since 1619. When you thought it was right to own a man, to beat a man, to rape a woman because you preached that it was your God given right. That you killed us if we learned how to read, that you killed us if we looked at you wrong, that you beat us if we drank from your water fountain.
The onion has finally been peeled back, the economic disparities can no longer be the status quo. Miami Dade County can no longer allow the disparities to continue, we can no longer wait, for Rome is on fire.