It took a public outcry for Hollywood to finally succumb to pressure and do what was right: Honoring the victims of Selma and the civil right movement as a whole. At several occasions last night, there was a flashback in honor of the civil right movement. Finally, Common and John Legend performed “Glory” for the Selma movie soundtrack. “Glory” has become a media sensation and last night was declared the best original song for which each star, John legend and Common, received an Oscar under a shower of applauses. They rose from their seats and strolled up the stage to receive their award. Each then delivered an indirect “fatal” political blow to the president of the United States.
John Legend closed his remarks with these terms: “The struggle must continue because……… there are more black men under correctional today than there were under slavery in 1850.” According to LA Times, Legend’s words are holistically in sync with that of Michelle Alexander, a distinguished scholar and lawyer, who published in 2010 The New Jim Crow, “a blistering critique on the modern day prison system.” (LA Times)
Politifact, the fact-checking service, which also analyzed Alexander findings in 2013 after a college student quoted her at a public forum, found them to be true. According to Politifact, which researched the 1850 census, there were 872, 924 male slaves over the age of 15.
This number is comparable to 526, 000 in prison by the end of 2013. Adding to this, there are 877, 000 on probation plus 280, 000 on parole. The total amounts to 1.7 million black men under correctional control today than there were enslaved African-Americans back in 1850, more than 150 years later.
That line must have resonated deep into Barack Obama’s heart. He is no “black president” in the historical sense of the term. With all intellectual probity, he is a president who happens to be black. But he is black anyway, and his blackish follows him everywhere—the cause for many misinterpretations every time he speaks on the issue of race relations in America. He’s been president for 6 years, now. What have you done to correct this injustice, Mr. President?
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is Chief-Editor of CSMS Magazine. He is a novelist. His latest work of fiction, titledMidnight at Noon, is a critically acclaimed and powerful novel that describes horrific tales of raw exploitation in Haiti and what can be done to rescue Haiti from the brink. To order a copy, click here: Midnight at Noon. Dr. Isma is also a scholar who teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at UNF. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/csmsmagazine