Today's Date: May 11, 2021
Miami Based Black Advertisement Agency Receives Multiple 27th Annual Communicator Awards From the Academy of Interactive and Vis   •   Susan G. Komen® Welcomes Eight New Leaders in Healthcare, Marketing and Business Operations to Board of Directors   •   Commvault Celebrates Inclusion of 16 Global Executives to CRN's 2021 Women of the Channel List   •   AEO Inc. to Report First Quarter 2021 Results on May 26th   •   Cadence13 Partners with Globally Renowned Thought Leader, Bestselling Author, and Activist Glennon Doyle for First-Ever Podcast   •   Joint statement on the 5th anniversary of Canada's full support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous P   •   Accenture and Shiseido Establish Joint Venture to Accelerate Shiseido’s Digital Transformation   •   Unilever's Second Annual Day of Service Gets Sweeter at Vaccine Locations Across the Country   •   Statement - Minister of Veterans Affairs marks National Nursing Week   •   Student-Led Startup Skin Releaf Takes USD 25,000 Top Prize in Standard Chartered 2021 Women in Tech Incubator Competition   •   Wells Fargo Joins OneTen Coalition to Hire, Upskill and Advance Black and African American Talent in the U.S.   •   Leading DTC Bridal Brand Azazie Launches Size Inclusive Shapewear   •   Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation Gets Support From MISSION BBQ American Heroes Cup Campaign   •   National Geographic Documentary Films Partners With Acclaimed Director Dawn Porter in Search of Justice and Peace 100 Years Afte   •   MAËLYS Receives Significant Investment from Norwest    •   Survey Reveals 8 Out Of 10 Asian Americans Say They Are Discriminated Against And 77% Do Not Feel Respected In The U.S.   •   BlackNorth Initiative Sponsoring Lori-Ann Green-Walker, Part of the 6th Cohort of the ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program   •   Indigenous Services Canada announces 2021 recipients of the Awards of Excellence in Nursing   •   EquityPlus Completes "4% Floor" $16 Million Bond Sale To Finance Senior Citizen Affordable Housing And Community Wellness Center   •   Paway Celebrates Dog Moms Throughout The Month Of May With Their "Best Dog Mom Challenge"
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Black Caucus Chair: The 'Ought' Vs. The 'Is'

By Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus

WASHINGTON - "Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Milestones in our lives, such as birthdays and anniversaries, automatically propel us into a state of reflection. We look back and take inventory on our progress, growth, change or lack there of. On the 25th anniversary of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, marked as a national holiday, we as a nation reflect on the progress we have made racially and civilly.
I fondly remember my days in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organizing tent cities, protesting the exclusion of African Americans in an affluent part of Kansas City. From the picket lines to the first African American in the Kansas City Mayor's Office, and now serving as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 40th Anniversary, I reflect on this holiday with a heart full of praise, gratitude, and commitment, even though we are still trying to fulfill what Dr. King called the “agonizing gulf between the ought and the is.”
As we honor the life, legacy and work of Dr. King in our own way this holiday, the “ought” is still out distancing the "is." I wonder how he would judge our progress as a nation today? Together we have made great strides in making the promise of America the practice; however, to say that we have a long way to go is far beyond the obvious. King’s holiday looms under the shadow of an earth shattering tragedy: the Arizona shooting. Nineteen people shot and six killed. My dear friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to make monumental strides in her recovery after she was shot in the head at point blank range.
Dr. King’s holiday – champion in the non-violent movement – has come at the right time. As we begin the healing process as a nation where mass shootings and random acts of violence are becoming all too common, it is critical that we ask ourselves: How did we get here? Regardless of the varying motives of the Tucson shooter, our rhetoric and discourse as a society has been rapidly declining for the last decade.
Words indeed do have power. And eventually words turn into actions. Individuals, including members of Congress, have carried on dangerously close to the edge. Names have been called. Americans have been riled up, and people including national political figures have lashed out uncontrollably, with unnecessarily brash remarks – even towards the president of the United States. We have played Russian roulette with the American people, abandoning realism, respect and civility. Without fully acknowledging the dark place where we have drifted, our nation will continue being impregnated with political tribalism, giving birth to acrimony.
While some shy away from acknowledging our reckless discourse I remember these words of Dr. King:
"On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' And Vanity comes along and asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But Conscience asks the question 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right."
What is right? Fact based debates. What is right? Respect and civility among colleagues. What is right? Disagreeing without being disagreeable as Speaker Boehner commented. What is right? Addressing one another in a way that heals, not wounds, as President Obama recently stated. This is what we “ought” to do. It is time to take responsibility for our words, our tone, and our actions.
So in the power of the dream Dr. King described, and the mountaintop we are all desperately trying to reach, let us take this time to reflect upon his life, legacy, and current state of American politics in order to correct the mistakes we have made.
While we prepare to re-enter into the debate that sparked many deep and powerful emotions on health care reform, let us enter cautiously, with civility on the forefront and reflections of the man who set this nation's heart aflame with his dream.



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