Monday, April 16, 2007

...And Equality for All.

Sunday, April 15th, I went on 900AM WURD. I would like to thank both the host, David Barnes, and the people in the studio for being so great! They were wonderfully polite people and I have to say, it offered me some new insight into my current platform! I always love hearing new ideas, and I heard some good ones yesterday. Congressman/Mayor Candidate Chaka Fattah was supposed to be in the studio with me, but instead phoned in. I would like to extend my gratitude to Congressman Fattah for being part of the show. It was nice to hear from him again!

But I must publicly state that I am displeased with a comment that was made by one of the callers, Queen Nzinga Ratibisha Heru, International President of The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, or ASCAC. While she made some great points and comments, namely about focusing on helping the poor and the youth by giving them hope and a chance, something I agree with and consider a cornerstone of my platform, the Imus controversy was brought up. Along with the fact that she felt felt bad about the comment Imus made, she said this:

"...this brings to light that, deep down, all white people feel this way."

I asked her, "Did you basically just say that all white people hate blacks?" "Well, " she replied, "I'm sure you could play the tape back, but yes, I do believe that."

Let's all just stop and step back for a moment and reflect on how I felt when she said this. I'm 1/4th white. The bassest in my band is white. Some of my best friends are white. But all that aside, more importantly, the people who support me includes whites. To say something as hurtful, mean, and ill-informed as "all white people feel this way," that they all hate blacks... that is highly disrespectful! Not just to me, my friends, or the people I know and love, but also to all the people, no matter what race, who support me.

I am 100% in favor of trying to have more African-American / Black studies in school and to integrate them with overall high school curriculum. If high schools wish to have African-American / Black History courses, I believe they should. I don't agree with it being mandatory because we live in an age where we strive for equality, and to integrate it with the rest of the history courses does allows all of American History to be taught. But I can not believe that this is what the leader of this organization truly thinks about whites! It is racist, bigoted, and shows a lack of respect, let alone tolerance, towards whites and possibly other races as well.

I will never demand an apology for someone using their god-given right to express themselves and I do not want an apology, nor do I speak for anyone other than myself (right now; when elected, I speak for the people of Philadelphia), but I am asking that she resigns as International President of the ASCAC for her comments. How could someone who wants to promote African American History make her point or further her cause when she does not show toleration for other people's history's and culture's?

This is exactly the type of thinking that made me want to run for office in the first place. The antiquated ideas that one race is better than another is another example of how those of our nations past simply wish to stay content with the way things are and, despite cries for progress, would rather see things remain the same. We need to look forward and realize that if we are to move ahead that instead of focusing on our differences, we need to all focus, instead, that the future of not only Philadelphia, but our country, depends on being able to work together towards our goals instead of constantly fighting amongst ourselves.

I'm asking everyone to contact this organization and tell them how you feel:

ASCAC Contact Page
E-mail Nzinga Ratibisha Heru Directly!