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Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
The Christian Recorder News Break – August 28, 2013 - 50th Anniversary Joint Resolution of “The Beloved Community”
The March on Washington
*Proposed 50th Anniversary Joint Resolution of “The Beloved Community”
WHEREAS The United States Congress found that approximately four million Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the colonies that became the United States from 1619 to 1865, and
WHEREAS The United States Congress found that from 1789 through 1865, the Government of the United States constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned the institution of slavery, and
WHEREAS The United States Congress found that the slavery that flourished in the United States constituted an immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans' life, liberty, African citizenship rights, cultural heritage, and
WHEREAS The United States Congress found that constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned practices denied free Africans of the fruits of their own labor; and, neither sufficient inquiry nor repair has been made to reverse the effects of the institution of slavery on living African Americans and society in the United States, and
WHEREAS The United States Congress found that the crime of lynching succeeded slavery as the ultimate expression of racism in the United States following Reconstruction; and
WHEREAS The 109th CONGRESS, 1st Session, S. RES. 39 resolved to apologize to the victims of lynching and the descendants of those victims for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation, and
WHEREAS lynching was a widely acknowledged practice in the United States until the middle of the 20th century; and
WHEREAS lynching was a crime that occurred throughout the United States, with documented incidents in all but 4 States; and
WHEREAS at least 4,742 people, predominantly African-Americans, were reported lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968; and
WHEREAS 99 percent of all perpetrators of lynching escaped from punishment by State or local officials; and
WHEREAS lynching prompted African-Americans to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and prompted members of B'nai B'rith to found the Anti-Defamation League; and
WHEREAS nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress during the first half of the 20th century; and
WHEREAS, between 1890 and 1952, 7 Presidents petitioned Congress to end lynching; and
WHEREAS, between 1920 and 1940, the House of Representatives passed 3 strong anti-lynching measures; and
WHEREAS protection against lynching was the minimum and most basic of Federal responsibilities, and the Senate considered but failed to enact anti-lynching legislation despite repeated requests by civil rights groups, Presidents, and the House of Representatives to do so; and
WHEREAS the publication of `Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America' helped bring greater awareness and proper recognition of the victims of lynching; and
WHEREAS only by coming to terms with history can the United States effectively champion human rights abroad; and
WHEREAS an apology offered in the spirit of true repentance would have moved the United States toward reconciliation and may become central to a new understanding, on which improved racial relations can be forged. However, enduring effects of the practice of slavery and lynching continues to threaten the life, liberty and economic security of African Americans in the 21st Century: and
WHEREAS, homicide is among the leading causes of death for people aged 15 to 44 years worldwide; and
WHEREAS, many more people die from homicide than from war; and
WHEREAS, worldwide for every death due to war, there are three deaths due to homicide; and
WHEREAS, African American males between the ages of 18 and 35 have a 40 to 50% chance of dying or being incarcerated by their 36th birthday as a result of a shooting, violent crime or murder; and
WHEREAS, while African Americans comprise 14% of the United States population, 43% of all murder victims in 2007 were African American, 93.1% of whom were killed by African Americans; and
WHEREAS, a 2007 U. S. Department of Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study concluded that the leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 is homicide; and
WHEREAS, the same study concluded that the second leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 1 and 4 and 10 and 14 is homicide; and
WHEREAS, behavioral and mood disorders of perpetrators of violence, are critical aspects of the violence that leads to homicide; and
WHEREAS, the resulting psychological and physical impact on victims and their families, leading to mental health issues, requires the immediate attention of the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, the effects of violence extend far beyond the impact on individuals’ health and livelihoods – they shape the well-being and social fabric of families and communities, and can have a negative impact on a city’s economic prospects; and
WHEREAS, each year, nearly $4.5 billion is spent nationally on healthcare related to violence, including burial costs, counseling services, healthcare costs, property damage, lost jobs and lost industry; and
WHEREAS, alcohol and drug addictions significantly contribute to the commission of violent crime; and
WHEREAS, though violence is pervasive, evidence suggests that the factors that contribute to violent responses – whether they are factors of attitude and behavior or related to larger social, economic, political and cultural conditions – can be changed, and that violence can be prevented; and
WHEREAS, Economic Security is the ability of a nation to follow its choice of policies to develop the national economy in a manner desired by its citizens. Characterized by multi-national agreements, mutual inter-dependence and availability of natural resources, Economic Security today forms, as important a part of national security as military policy.
WHEREAS The President of the United States established that no issue is currently more important to this country than restoring economic security for all families in the wake of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
WHEREAS The 113th Congress of the United States, evinced by its reluctance to develop the national economy in a manner desired by its citizens, failed to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, and in its failure allowed for the past practice of lynching to re-emerge in the form of state-sanctioned Stand Your Ground law, and
WHEREAS it is the duty of every elected official of the United States of America to protect American lives, and
WHEREAS, the killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American youth was evinced to be justified in the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman denied Trayvon Martin the basic human right to life and violated his constitutional rights as a citizen of the United States, and
WHEREAS sufficient evidence exists in the reality of a MINORITY population within American society that the Congress of the United States has failed in its constitutional duty to develop the national economy in a manner desired by all its citizens, and
WHEREAS the U.S. Congress has enacted no TREATY ON THE FINAL SETTLEMENT WITH RESPECT TO AFRICA on behalf of historically disenfranchised descendants who are citizens of the United States.
BE IT RESOLVED that the failure of the 113th Congress to execute its constitutional duties, directly compromised the National Security of the United States of America. Economic Security for historically disadvantaged Americans has yet to be equitably achieved. Financial capability is especially low in certain populations. Young people, low-income households, Latinos and African-Americans show particular vulnerabilities in financial capability. Approximately 1 in 3 African-Americans are unbanked and nearly a quarter approach retirement with less than $1,000 in total net worth, excluding pensions and Social Security. Compared with U.S. national averages, young adults (ages 18-29) are more frequent users of non-bank borrowing (including payday loans and pawn shops), more likely to pay the minimum payment only on their credit cards, and more likely to be unbanked.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an emergency ECONOMIC SECURITY initiative be advanced for the purpose of saving more lives and preserving the economic wellbeing of American families with increased emphasis on reversing generational effects of constitutionally sanctioned slavery and lynching on historically disadvantaged Americans, and that investments in ASSET-BUILDING be directed toward equitable valuation of America’s children.
RESOLVED, THIS THE 26TH DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2013.
* Attached is a copy of the resolution YouthUSA drafted for consideration by NBCSL/CBC/NPA on behalf of “The Beloved Community.”
In addition, this AMWS multimedia article highlight’s your exclusive interview with Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King: