A great man once said, “Never focus on the words of our enemies, but focus intently on our silence when we are presented with the opportunity to speak in our behalf.”
Has there ever been an occasion when you have left a meeting or just a discussion with someone where you generally just listened, but afterward you would chastise yourself by saying “I should have said…” What about those conversations? After they have been concluded you say, “I wish I had said…”
Throughout the course of my life I have been involved in untold numbers of general conversations or meetings—formal or informal—where a brother or sister would sit at the table. I can count on one hand the number of people who have made a comment suggesting that I might have some valid points, in fact, they were unusually quiet even when I made a point that would benefit them.
I have witnessed White politicians vilify Black politicians in front of their colored staff when White politicians were just as guilty, and these people remain absolutely silent. There was a time that I would get angry about this overwhelming silence but two young men said, “Mr. Hop we agree with you, but we must work; we have families and need our jobs.”
There are many situations where I still get upset, but I have become more understanding. I hear comments made, 99.9 percent second hand, by people who have jobs or titles [not positions] that their fathers dared not dream about, and these people state that people of my generation never did anything of any substance. These same people, when you are present in the corporate office, sit there occupying the role of the spook that sits by the door. If they speak at all it is in total support of the company’s negative practices when it involves Black personnel. In the streets they state, “I need my job.” That’s valid, but at what price?
Please remember, if it hadn’t been for those who spoke up and spoke out you would still be riding in the back of the bus, and worse.
It was brought to my attention by several different people that some younger brothers have stated they are not intimidated by me or the truthful columns I write, and I laughed it off. However, the other day I ran into one of them and shook his hand and said to him, I don’t attempt to intimidate you or your friends, and please do not deny you said it. I said to him I have written repeatedly that I welcome a public debate about any issue of your choosing and the funds go to charity. I was not surprised he declined.
Please remember Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)