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“FREE AT LAST!”, “FREE AT LAST”

Free at last! 

After 7 days of this madness, I sit here and think about the murder of George Floyd, and the riotous aftermath.  Strangely a great feeling of joy has come over me.  Yes, joy!  I promise you that this article is going to piss some people off; it’s going to resonant with others, and hopefully; it will enlighten those who understand it’s meaning.  

First, I need to tell you a small part of my background.  I was raised in Canarsie, Brooklyn. At the time, it was a mostly Jewish and Italian area.  As time went on, the neighborhood started to change (please give me some latitude on that statement only because that statement, being part of the racial problem, was what it was referred to in those times).  My parents decided to move to the suburbs in New Jersey and they needed to sell the house in Brooklyn.  At the time, Canarsie was a tinderbox of racial divide.  The local real estate office was actually “blown up” for selling houses to blacks.  All of this was strange to me as a child.  I even went along with the racial jokes and slurs because everyone else did it. Not that it is any consolation, but we made fun of everyone, Blacks, Jews, Gays, Italians, and so forth.   

As I stated before, my parents wanted to move us to the suburbs.  The biggest reason was that I, the oldest, was about to enter high school.  South Shore High School was the school I was supposed to attend, and my parents wanted me to have NO part of it.  This school was full of racial divide. The year before I was supposed to go, it had 3 murders during school hours! I was also beaten by a mob of black teenagers, when I was asked to give this gang a quarter and I said, “no”.  To clarify, they got the quarter and I got the bruises. 

So, my parents put the house on the market. They signed an offer.  The buyers are a black couple and the neighborhood finds out.  Before the closing, the neighbors started to get together and join forces to stop this sale. My house was graffitied, my parents were threatened, and the windows were broken.  This was an intimidation method to keep us from selling. In fact, I was told to tell my friends that we were no longer moving, and that the sale was off.   

The day comes to move, and we literally packed up in the night, and drove off to our new home.  Our plans were to start our new life in East Brunswick, New Jersey.  Days later, we hear rumors of some of our old neighbors stalking us.  My parents tell my brothers and me to be careful and report back anything weird.  

About a month later, a notice was put in every mailbox for about a half mile from our new home.  This notice told the residents of our new neighborhood that we were traitors and sold our house to blacks. It stated awful things about us as people and neighbors.  All of it in retaliation because my parents sold to blacks!   

This was the start of my feelings towards bigotry and hate.   I never wanted to be treated like those assholes who retaliated against my parents and I never wanted to be like them either  

Now that you understand a little about my background, I want to go back and tell you why a feeling of joy has overcome me during this horrible time. 

Black people, which by the way, I never use that term. In fact, I despise that term.  To me everyone is just people! Some are good and some are bad, but I must use the term to describe what I have seen in the past 50 years. To continue… 

Black people have been fighting for equality for hundreds of years.  The slavery times is definitely a horrific and disgusting time of our history of America. We should be ashamed of it.  The times after were equally embarrassing, and up until the 60’s, it  had us using separate rest rooms and even hotels.  They pushed the “coloreds” as they were called, onto the back of the bus. This and so many other horrible mistreatments of (black) people were just disgusting.  

Race riots in the 60’s and 70 ‘s also ensued, and in these riots, it literally was blacks against whites.  White cops with water cannons and riot gear attacking black rioting protesters.  The Black Panthers was the sworn enemy of the state and considered a threat to the American Way. Martin Luther King Jr. was the sound of reason and started to make a difference. However, he was also hated by white America. Like today, pictures of these riots were on the news. Now we have Facebook and other video, but the idea is the same. Suddenly, Dr.King was assassinated because he was a threat to “White Normalcy”.   

In Brooklyn, as a child, I watched this stuff on TV because my parents watched it. As a 5-year-old when Dr. King was assassinated, I really didn’t understand what was going on and just enjoyed being a kid. I did notice my grandfather and other adults use racial slurs. Schvartze and Nigger were often said, and frankly I hated those words.  I don’t even know why I hated them as a child, but I just knew they were bad.  I didn’t even feel comfortable writing them just now.  

I know, I know, I went off on a tangent, but it’s important for my point so I will get to it. 

 The biggest fact is that all the black community wants is to be treated equal!  

 In fact, MLK said these words, I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.” He also said, I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. And, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

I get chills when I hear the recordings of these speeches and I have written before that Dr. King was a great influence in my life.  He is the first motivational speaker I ever heard.  

So, what is all this leading up to?   

I will tell you and you may disagree, but the black community has accomplished what Dr. King dreamed about!  If you are pissed at this moment shame on you and keep reading!  

He dreamed “that one day right here in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers”. Proudly, I have witnessed this.  Even better, I have witnessed blacks and whites being married, being cousins and being REAL families.  I have seen blacks and whites working together, never thinking of their skin color or nationality, or anything that makes them different except for their very soul!  Look at the protests for example!  I have seen racial equality protests that include blacks, blacks and whites, and even just whites.  They are all protesting for racial equality!  Dr. King’s dream is almost complete! He even said this, we cannot walk alone.   And we aren’t!  We walk with you as a united front, not as black and white, but as Americans!  

I hear conservative radio hosts blasting this cop who violated the law and disappointed his oath to protect people. This was unheard of just a few years ago. They say this cop killed a man. A man whose death will not be in vain! A man whose may help everyone understand that we are equal as one. No more black or white Americans, but just Americans.  

Dr. King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Recently, it was reported that black unemployment was the lowest in history.  I don’t care what the reason, or who the President was, or is at the time, just celebrate that it was at the low. That is equality or at least a sign of equality. I see people embracing each other for who they are, not for the color of their skin.  I see humanity in a world of inhuman humans.  

Dr King also said, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last! 

Let’s do that! Let’s Sing that we are free!  “FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST”  

If you forget the speech, go back and read it again. Honor Dr. King by praising his words and thanking God, the God, he believed in and prayed to, that his dream is a reality! 

Yes, some asshole cop killed a black man but look what has come from that! Riots and more killing.  Is that the way to honor progress? I say, “no way”!  

But the fact that black and white marched together is more proof that Dr. King’s dream is being realized. 

Yes, I know there will always be those who hate just to hate.  Don’t be mad at them. Instead Feel sorry for them. They will never understand the joy of love for their brother. The joy of love for their country, or the joy I have felt knowing that I will leave this planet with the greatest revenge on those who tried to ruin my family so many years ago. Dr. King has won, and the time is now to celebrate!  

 We are “FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST” 

Are you free?  Can you release your hate and celebrate with me! 

Say it, “FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST” 

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See him recite his speech here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP4iY1TtS3s 

You can read it here https://www.archives.gov/files/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf

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