Peace in our time? I don’t think so.

THROUGH MY EYES

By Ron Edwards

How many times will papers be waved to proclaim “Peace in our time”? What of the Emancipation Proclamation’s “Slavery is over,” or the Gettysburg Address echoing the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal”?

How about “Reconstruction in our time” leading to Jim Crow, or “Civil Rights in Our Time” leading to fewer Black businesses than before the Civil Rights Movement and worse results in education, jobs and housing? And let’s not forget the War on Poverty that led to more poverty rather than “the end of poverty in our time.”

And now a new proclamation: Osama bin Laden is dead, so it’s “peace in our time” again. I don’t think so.

Real peace features equal access and opportunity, equal employment, equal education levels and equal neighborhood quality of life; in a word, prosperity.

President Barack Obama’s proclamation May 1, 2011 that Osama bin Laden had been shot and killed in a private compound just north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad ended one of the great manhunts and vendettas of all time. But it did not end the hunt for peace and prosperity.

One of the more fruitless rhetorical flourishes of the 1930s was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin boarding his plane at Germany’s Munich airport and waving a signed peace treaty with one of history’s greatest butchers, Adolph Hitler, declaring “Peace in our time.” That treaty’s cost came in installments.

The first cost? The sovereignty of Czechoslovakia. A river of costs followed, including eight years of fighting and 100 million deaths. Pieces, but not peace. Posers but not prosperity.
What new papers and proclamations will be waved claiming the end of conflict and poverty, with happy days here again yet without reconstruction, without equal access and without equal opportunity?

This triggers important questions. The answers will greatly affect our future as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. What do we stand for?

Will the billions of dollars spent on the War on Terror be redirected to the domestic budgets of the states, cities and towns? Will over three million jobs be returned to American shores? Will gasoline prices revert to economically acceptable levels for the American consumer?

Will America see its quality of life begin to climb back to the levels of the 1980s? Will there be a commitment and priority given to Black American peace and prosperity, to bringing into the economic mainstream of America those still left out?

The answers so far have not included all.

In 10 weeks or less, the momentary spike in approval ratings and popularity for the president will again fall. Yes, Osama bin Laden is dead and in hell. But it’s still hell right here in Minnesota for too many Blacks denied education and jobs such that Black unemployment is 22 percent while White unemployment is only 6.5 percent — a 15.5 percent gap.

Reality is messy. People and events are rarely all wrong or all right. The truth is somewhere in between, made even more difficult by the War on Terror as solutions are debated and each side accuses the other of violating the Constitution while both parties violate the rights of “the least of these.”

The questions posed in this column are valid. Should Americans be expected to continue to sacrifice for nations that continue bin Laden’s war? Or should we pull out, contain them as we did the USSR, and spend our money on the needs of our people?

Members of the majority media are united in their sense of post-bin Laden unity. But that was not my take. We have long memories. No matter how united the majority media may seem to be today, Black America has a long memory and knows the doctrine that when the Mastah is happy, we should smile too.

Are we now to assume the demise of Osama bin Laden will lead to peace and prosperity in our time, and that again the African American will enjoy prosperity and access to opportunity? Or is this just one more partial process?

Historically, wars bring prosperity, first to both sides (as the House of Rothschild demonstrated for three centuries), then just to the winner. We urge peace and prosperity. Answer this: Why, after a decade of wars, do Blacks have a much higher percentage of unemployment than Whites?

Go to my website for ways to bring prosperity as well as peace. Who will stand up for it? Who will actually act on it? Stay tuned.

Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOn TheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his archive of columns, solution papers and “web log” at www.The MinneapolisStory.com.