In all the years of my writing and speaking, I can’t recall my ever using the word, “never.”

Why? Our parents and church had instilled in the family a sense of conviction that there were no obstacles that we could not overcome. On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I was extended five minutes on KDKA to address how I dealt with racism on a personal level, not governmental level.

My response was that I was raised by my parents to prepare myself mentally and psychologically so that when the opportunity was available that if Mr. or Miss Racism would challenge us with those words NOT QUALIFIED, we then would be able to refer them to governmental agencies.

My rationale for stating that racism will never cease is that it has an unimaginable number of faces and voices. A voice calls you Mr., Mrs., but see you as boy, girl, Ni___er, monkey, hoodlum, or an undesirable person. The voices of politicians who we give our votes to each and every election say all of what we perceive are the correct statements, but never the appropriate actions that go along with their words. Look around your home, neighborhood; there are unbelievable unemployment numbers, lack of affordable houses, drugs, and violence still terrifying our families. Potential employers accept your job application, and don’t ask if you have a police record, but they check anyhow. Then there are those who believe that one political party loves us and the other does not care, but if you look at every major city that has a substantial Black population with all of the negative factors, the city has been governed by the same political party for 50 to 80 years.

There was a period of time that Black persons were supposed to receive their fair share of contracts, but then our supposed political friends changed the term from Blacks to minorities, veterans, handicapped veterans, etc. These actions widen the gap between minorities born in third-world countries and Blacks born in America. There are great differences between Blacks and minorities from across the oceans; we were descendants of slaves, faced bigotry, hatred, lynching, served in the military (every way), and upon returning home, still faced bigotry and hatred. We were denied employment, insurance, burial in cemeteries, buy a house, public employment, and contrary to what people believe, these atrocities existed in the North and South.

There was a period of time that the state of Pennsylvania had more KKK chapters than Alabama and Mississippi combined.

To those of you who often state your parents were born in Italy, Germany, Poland, Ireland, etc., they had as many difficulties as any Black. The biggest lie ever told is they were presented with the opportunity to become everyday White persons by just changing their names to Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones, Mr. McGregor, etc. etc. etc. They did not have Black faces.

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)


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