best casino bonuses australian online casino au dollars trusted online gambling internet casino download old information online us casinos las vegas best online casino craps flash casino games mac play online vegas

Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: blakc

Retired FBI Official Kevin Kendrick: ‘Taking a Knee or Locking Arms During the National Anthem is Their Way of Saying Freedom Isn’t Being Afforded to Everyone’

The writer, a native Detroiter, graduated from Cass Tech and Wayne State University. He was as assistant special FBI agent in charge of the Detroit field office from 1999-2002 and retired in 2006 as head of the Charlotte Division in North Carolina. He recently moved from Michigan to North Carolina.

By Kevin Kendrick

What does freedom mean to you? One dictionary I recently referenced defined it as this: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Of course, inherent in the definition of freedom is the right to interpret the word yourself. Attendant with that however, is the understanding that your definition and my definition may be different. And that’s o.k.

When I look at incarceration rates for young black men in my country I am appalled. Sentencing data helps to inform me that disparate treatment is still occurring.


Kevin Kendrick: “Segregation and separation were a part of my life.” (LinkedIn photo)

This is part of the reason why we see people challenging the status quo of criminal justice in our country now in the way that they do. Taking a knee or locking arms during the National Anthem is their way of saying freedom isn’t being afforded to everyone on an equal footing in America.

It may not be your way of expressing and it isn’t my way. I prefer to use the very valuable lessons history has shared with us to show how illusory freedom can be, how very different it can be for all of us.  But the very word, freedom, affords them the opportunity to do that.

Isn’t that what ultimately, this is about?

Freedom Looks Different

Freedom does in fact, look different to different people. As an African-American, I am never too far removed from the reality that my freedom is something that’s very different from that of white Americans.

My freedom wasn’t actually realized until December 6, 1865 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It wouldn’t be until 1868 when the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing equal protection under the laws among other things, would be ratified. And in 1869, a new Amendment, the 15th, guaranteed all American citizens the right to vote. By all appearances, blacks in America would have equality . . . freedom.

Unfortunately, those appearances were exactly that. Reconstruction in the South came to an abrupt end through a seemingly never-ending succession of laws passed by various states aimed at restricting the rights of blacks, the “Jim Crow” laws as they were known, succeeded in making freedom elusive for most people of color.

Lynchings were carried out on a frequent basis and became almost carnival-like with large crowds gathering and hawkers present. Post cards of lynchings including photos of people who were literally gutted and burned alive were popular and often used to show friends and relatives in other places what might lie in store for blacks who dared to violate any of these Jim Crow norms.

Freedom for my ancestors at that point meant simply existing to the next day and trying mightily not to offend anyone. Voting was certainly something most blacks in the South couldn’t do because of contrived poll tests. Segregation became the law of the land, including the North, after Plessy v. Ferguson and black freedom meant knowing your place…and staying in it.

Segregation and separation were a part of my life from the very beginning. I was born in a hospital designated for blacks because in 1956; my mother wasn’t welcomed in hospitals for whites.

Read more »