Even since before the Civil Rights Movement officially began, hundreds of African Americans were being persecuted for the smallest of reasons. As mentioned in class, the other day, “the point was, there was no point” in the killings of innocent African Americans. One could spend countless hours researching the miniscule actions that African Americans had to pay with their lives. Sadly, these trends did not die out as the Civil Rights Movement began to pick up. African Americans ranging from young children such as Emmitt Till all the way to important leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, were murdered simply because they posed the threat of change. In a notion, it can be assumed that the deaths of these figures did not come in vain as the Civil Rights Movement eventually ended with a successful conclusion. However, the idea that such noble and innocent human beings were being killed simply because they believed in change for a better world is quite haunting. Imagine if this were a reality in today’s world. Unfortunately, this reality is closer to the truth than what most people think.
On January 20, 2009 Barack Obama took his role as the President of the United States. During his campaign journey to assume the role as the first African American President, Obama emphasized that “It’s Time for a Change”. This would become the official slogan for his run to become the President. As America grew to learn more and more about Barack Obama, the parallels to previous civil rights leaders became apparent. Just as Dr. King and Malcolm X were young African Americans leaders striving for a change, Obama was also fighting for a change in the direction that the nation was going. However, the positive parallels were accompanied with the negative. Obama’s opposition was quick to turn back to the old ways, as supporters and Obama became targets of threats and discrimination. In the news article below, MSNBC reported numerous incidents such as the burning of crosses and nooses being hung from the trees of Obama’s supporters. Perhaps one of the most frightening of these reported incidents was the story of Denene Millner. Millner’s daughter was told by another student riding the bus, “ I hope Obama gets assassinated.” Later that night a relative of Milner’s house found her signs supporting Obama trashed across the lawn accompanied by two boxes of pizza full of feces. With events like this taking place, the fear of an assassination attempt on Obama proves to be quite a concern. Will the fate of young Obama become the same as his predecessors? I would hope that after the perils seen during the Civil Rights Era, situations such these would cease to exist. But living in a world where most people fear change, it is sad to say that this idea is not out of question.