March a chance for cleansing, not hatred

Let me ask you a question.

If I came into your house and told you I did not like your furniture and thought you should change it, would you think I was overstepping my bounds just a little bit? I did not suggest to you that different furniture might enhance the color scheme of your house, but instead I gave you a million reasons why I didn't like it and the furniture I have in mind for you would be so much better because it fit my taste. What would you think?

How about if you had a problem and the only way to fix this problem was to go to an herbalist who could possibly deliver a cure for your ailment. What if I was adamant in my opinion of this particular herbalist and I didn't think you should go see him? What would you think? I know you're not well, but because I do not care for this herbalist I insist you not see him and take your chances with another one, preferably someone I approve of. Wouldn't you think that I didn't care if you got better or not? You probably wouldn't, and you more than likely would think twice about our friendship. I pose these hypothetical situations to you because it seems some people do not want other people to get help because of the solutions they choose to use.

Months before the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., I began my plans to attend. My mother was helping to organize the event so she insisted that I be there. I wasn't sure what the march was all about, but hey, I was getting a free round-trip ticket home and that was cool.

As I talked more with my mother, she explained what the event was about and how important it was for me to be there. I was thinking of all types of excuses not to go, i.e., I might have an exam that day, etc., but as always, mom won and I'm glad she did.

So, I started to plan for the trip. I made sure that if I had an exam that day I could take it before I left or make it up. I also made sure I didn't have to work that day. While I was taking these precautions, people were asking me what I needed time off for. When I explained, they said "Oh, that sounds like a good idea." Nothing negative was expressed. Weeks before I was to leave, everything was still pretty quiet as far as the march goes. The O.J. trial was wrapping up and everyone was preoccupied with that.

Then, out of nowhere, the media started to express itself. I didn't have a problem with that First Amendment, you know. What did puzzle me and bother me was the fact that most of the opinions flowing through the electronic media were from non-African Americans. They were asking questions like: Do you think this is a good idea? How is it going to affect them? Will they be able to gather without any violence? What about the leadership of the march do you think they are the right people to lead it?

I didn't see any African Americans on these panels until later, and then the ones who did appear were in accordance with the panelist. I called my mother and asked her, "isn't this supposed to be a gathering of black men so we can come up with solutions to our problems?" She affirmed my question but my anger started to swell. I couldn't believe all the negative rhetoric I was hearing because of the march. I couldn't understand why there was so much questioning of why black men would gather at the request of Louis Farrakhan. I couldn't believe that our intelligence was questioned when it came to whether or not we could gather peacefully. What are we, wild animals who cannot come together without our trainers?

So what if Minister Farrakhan called for the march? Does that mean we are going to take up arms, shoot first and reason later? Do they really think a man who supposedly preaches hate could gather over a million men, and do they think we would actually travel thousands of miles to hear a plan on how to eradicate the white man and keep women in the kitchen and bedroom? Don't be ridiculous.

Why must we receive so much negativity when we try to do something to improve this country which we all share? The feminists believe it was anti-woman wrong. The anti-Farrakhan supporters believe it was a ploy on his part to gain more power wrong. The far right conservative Negroes believe it is a tactic to keep their assimilation process from continuing wrong again. It was a large house cleaning. Our furniture didn't match the color scheme, and an interior decorator with positive insight gave us ideas.

What's up? Is America so ashamed of her past sins that when some of her children decide to straighten up and fly right, she thinks they are plotting against her? Mother America, we all love you and we forgive you your past, but we will not forget the past and we will not continue to be drawn into a whirlpool of deceit and destruction. The only way we can do this, Mother America, is to be able to take the time, come together and cleanse ourselves. Don't worry your adopted children are not turning against you. We are only trying to keep the whole house of America intact.

Anthony Pinkins is a psychology junior.

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