Check back on April 14th!
In 1996, Scott served on Governor Ryan’s Commission on Capital Punishment. Scott studied the issue of Racial Bias and submitted this report. The implication of the report was that racial bias could never be removed from Capital sentencing procedures and thus, the Death Penalty could never be fair and the potential to execute innocent people would persist. The only logical conclusion was to end the Death Penalty.
From 1994 to 1996, Scott was volunteer President and one of the founders of the Friend’s House Neighborhood Center for Creativity & Non-Violence.Scott lead the development or the center which provided afterschool and Summer programs for adults and children, including arts & crafts, community gardening, employment, computer classes, and more.
Check back on March 24th!
As a social worker, we help those oppressed by unjust systems. In this case, I worked together with a reporter, Brian Prater and a high school friend, Kenny Chandler to expose the horrible conditions of a slum landlord’s apartments on a disenfranchised section of our town. He owned dozens of properties and they were in shambles. No heat. One had running water that emptied into the basement. If a tenant wouldn’t pay the rent, he would remove the front door. We worked with other local agencies to help find new housing for the tenants. Prater kept Chandler and my name out of the article to avoid retaliation since we did a lot of work in the neighborhood. One of the slum landlord’s homes was a drug house. I remember being very nervous about approaching it to view the property, but they weren’t threatened by us. This is another of thousands of examples of why we need strong government regulations, so we can protect people and keep neighborhoods healthy and safe.
In 1992, I went to Washington D.C. to see the AIDS Memorial Quilt unfolded in its entirety at that time. All the names of those in the quilt were read aloud. A friend’s brother had died from AIDS and his quilt was there. The song Patchwork Quilt by Sweet Honey in the Rock captured the mood of the event.
“Your lives had meaning and your lives had joy.You touched so many people, many more than you will know.”
The grief in the air was profound.I can feel it even today.
NEW: Watch Brief Video to Learn the Trust About the GND
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Martin Luther King, Jr was nothing less than a great inspiration to anyone interested in fighting for equal rights, equal pay, equal economic opportunity, personal and civic freedom, and equality under the law, and many other important causes, such as protesting an unjust and calamitous war, Vietnam.
Today I hope we all take a few moments to reflect upon the sacrifice of Dr. King to the struggles that remain so common in our world today, and continue to be a struggle right here in America. The struggle for equality for Black Americans is as real today as it was in 1863. There is an enormous amount of data that demonstrates and illustrates how Black Americans remain discriminated against in our society, but two numbers stand out to me: in 1863, Black Americans owned about 1% of the nation’s wealth, and in 2019, 1.5%. Aside from so much other data, such as incarceration rates and infant mortality rates, we should all understand that the basis for poverty of a singular group is no doubt based in discrimination, and we need to ask ourselves, where has progress been made?
In his excellent book, The Ethnic Myth, Stephen Steinberg wrote that Black Americans are America’s most loyal and dedicated citizens. For who among Americans have endured so much pain and suffering from discrimination than they, and yet, every day, Black Americans continue to attend school, go to work and enlist in the country’s armies as if everything is okay, from the Revolutionary war, to WWI and WWII, to Vietnam and America’s wars in the middle east, Black Americans have disproportionately given their lives for our county – without justice or equality being realized. How is it that White American political leaders have not fought for Black Americans as they have for America?
And here we are today, in the year 2020, some Whites are traveling to Virginia to start a race war. They should know this: You cannot start a race war with another race that is not competing with you for superiority. Today, Whites traveling to Virginia intent on a race war are suffering from their own terrible delusions of racial superiority; delusions that are from the darkest sides of human nature; delusions that were perpetuated by English, then American, and later German leaders in order to divide and conquer and justify horrors of slavery, genocide, or modern economic inequality.
Irish Americans should remember that they were once called the “missing link” by the English, and the prideful symbol of Notre Dame was a derogatory symbol of a drunken Irishman picking a fight at a bar before being hauled off in a “Paddy wagon” for the night. Italian Americans should remember that one President publically said was a “good thing” that 11 Italians were hung in Louisiana in 1892 after being falsely accused of rape by Whites looked at Italians as less than human. “We assimilated” and “pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps” is how Irish, Italians, and others explain their economic and civic progress in America, implying that if Blacks would work harder and become more White, then they too would be better off. But we know this to be untrue. We know that Blacks remain discriminated against regardless of how many college degrees they have, the clothes they wear, the car they drive, the house or neighborhood they live in, or dialect they speak. We know that we can do better than assimilation. We know that ethnic diversity enhances our lives from food to music and clothing to dance and general creativity to happiness. We also know that Irish, Italians and many other ethnic groups who have assimilated look back to their ancestry in later generations to form their identity today. Slavery denied that ability for Black Americans.
Ending racism and discrimination requires a conscious effort on every level of our society, from the individual to the US Congress, from our parenting and teaching, to our daily conversations and social life. Dr. King’s dream should be shared by all of us for all of us as something we aspire to in our lives, daily.