James Meredith: Sono George Floyd

James Meredith è un veterano della US Air Force, il primo laureato nero dell'Università del Mississippi, e l'autore di “Tre anni in Mississippi” e il libro di memorie, “Una missione di Dio,” scritto con William Doyle. Venticinque anni fa, when Doyle read the Rev. Dott. Martin Luther King’sLetter From Birmingham Jail,” he was struck by the passage, “One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, courageously and with a majestic sense of purpose facing jeering and hostile mobs and the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer.He sought out Meredith and the two have been discussing American history and race relations ever since. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the authors. Visualizza di più opinions alla CNN.

La morte di George Floyd last month set us on an entirely new path of history. Perhaps it will lead to the beast of white supremacy, which has cursed this nation since before its history began, finally being conquered.

James Meredith

William Doyle

Black people have always known how powerful and dangerous white supremacy is, but now the entire world is on the march, detto: We’re not going to take it anymore. This may be the greatest thing to ever happen to America, and I think it will change the destiny of our nation for the better.
When I was a boy, my father told me that I was on a mission from God to destroy the system of white supremacy and to uplift black and brown people to their proper position. I took his challenge very seriously.
    Nel 1961, as a 28-year-old Air Force veteran of the desegregated military, io sued the state of Mississippi, which was at that time a neo-Confederate, terrorist police state, for the right to get my education at the University of Mississippi. I forced the President of the United States and the Supreme Court to back my rights as an American citizen, and the federal courts ordered me into the university.
    In risposta, the state of Mississippi rebelled and started an insurrection, blocked me and my federal escorts from entering the school, and became a breakaway republic on the issue of race.
    UN bloody riot of some 2,000 white people ensued.
    Il presidente John F. Kennedy sent in thousands of combat troops to crush the rebellion, and the gates of higher education in the United States were opened for all Americans. This victory for me and for the US Constitution shattered the system of state-sponsored white supremacy in Mississippi.
    Nel 1966, while a student at Columbia University Law School, I began a one-manMarch Against Fearthrough Mississippi to inspire black people to vote. On Day Two, ero shot by a sniper, filling my body with pellets that remain under my skin today. Martin Luther King Jr. and the leaders of the civil rights movement came to Mississippi and took up the march, which attracted thousands of people and inspired thousands more to vote.
    Federal voting registrars followed in force. C'era no turning back. The floodgates of voter registration were opened for all Americans.
    Over the years I’ve made speeches, traveled the world, written books, opened and closed businesses, been a liberal, a conservative, a farmer, marito, father and grandfather. Nel 2002, I watched with pride as my son Joseph received the Outstanding Doctoral Student Achievement Award at the University of Mississippi business school.
    Nel 2013 I was awarded the Harvard Graduate School of Education Medal for Education Impact, the highest honor given by the school.
    And I’m still here, ancora vivo, still going strong, still taking a power walk every day, even through the pandemic.
    But when I see people across America — e in tutto il mondo — peacefully marching for racial justice and honoring the memory of George Floyd and other martyrs like Medgar Evers, my best friend and brother-figure from so long ago, I am filled with both joy and hope.
    White supremacy may be the most evil beast that’s ever stalked the halls of history, and today it may finally be mortally wounded. This happened for two reasons. For the first and only time in my life, society was shut down by a pandemic, which prepared the people for an explosion. And then the video of Floyd’s death was seen by countless people the world over. Without that video, white supremacy in America might have remained nearly as powerful as it’s ever been for the past 500 anni.
    That video, vedi, reveals what my life is all about. Sono George Floyd. As a black man growing up in Mississippi in the mid-20th century, I was stripped of all the rights of American citizenship. I was subject to being beaten, tortured or lynched at any moment by a white person who had little reason to fear punishment. I’ve devoted my life to destroying that reality, and to the idea of honoring the full citizenship rights of every American.
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      Oggi, black and brown people are inspiring the world with their strength, determinazione, and willingness to see the struggle through to total victory.
      I believe that this global uprising will never stop, and it will move into every heart, home and community on Earth, until the day when all people are treated with the dignity, respect and love that God intends for us. I believe that on that day, white supremacy will finally be buried forever.

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