U.S. CONGRESS 2016
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 6
“THE FUTURE CAN BE OURS.”
BLACK LIKE ME by John Howard Griffin was a book I read when I was a
teenager going to Saguaro High School in Scottsdale.
It’s about a white guy who used medication to darken his skin to deep
brown to find out how black people were treated. With his changed skin
color, he went out into the world of the Deep South of the 1950’s as an
unemployed black man.
The racial protests that have happened at the University of Missouri in
Columbia over the past two weeks have brought to light that we still, as a
country, have not succeeded in ending discrimination against black people.
In the New York Times, journalist John Eligon explains it thus: “COLUMBIA,
Mo. — At first, Briana Gray just chalked up the comments and questions
from her new roommate at the University of Missouri to innocent ignorance:
How do you style your hair? What do you put in it?
“But then her white roommate from rural Missouri started playing a rap
song with a racial slur and singing the slur loudly, recalled Ms. Gray, a
black senior from suburban Chicago. Another time, the roommate wondered
whether black people had greasy skin because slaves were forced to sweat a
“Then one day, Ms. Gray said, she found a picture tacked to her door of
what appeared to be a black woman being lynched. When her roommate said a
friend had done it as a joke, Ms. Gray said she attacked the girl and her
friends. The police broke up the fight and no one was arrested. But Ms.
Gray said her view on race relations had been indelibly changed.” (“At
University of Missouri, Black Students See a Campus Riven by Race,” by
John Eligon, New York Times, Nov. 11, 2015).
The racial insensitivity shown by the white student who put up the picture
on the door is shocking. One wonders: Didn’t her parents teach her
anything? What about the schools she attended before she came to college?
Wasn’t there any instruction in diversity and accepting others regardless
of their skin color? Yes, I know my naivete is showing.
According to Roxane Gay, a contributing op-ed writer for the New York
Times who is black: “BLACK children are not allowed to be children. They
are not allowed to be safe, not at home, not at pool parties, not driving
or sitting in cars listening to music, not walking down the street, not in
school. For black children, for black people, to exist is to be
endangered. Our bodies receive no sanctity or safe harbor.” (“Where Are
Black Children Safe?” by Roxane Gay, New York Times, Oct. 29, 2015).
She goes on to describe the disturbing incident that occurred recently
when the deputy manhandled the black high school girl who wouldn’t give up
her cell phone. “On Monday, in Columbia, S.C., Ben Fields, a sheriff’s
deputy assigned to Spring Valley High School, was called to a classroom to
exert control over an allegedly disobedient student — a black girl. She
wouldn’t give up her cellphone to her teacher, an infraction wholly
disproportionate to what came to pass. There are at least three videos of
the incident. When Mr. Fields approaches the girl, she is sitting quietly.
He quickly muscles her out of her seat and throws her across the room.”
Ms. Gay, later on, says: “Time and again, in such situations, black people
are asked, why don’t we mind our place? To be black in America is to exist
with the presumption of guilt, burdened by an implacable demand to prove
our innocence. We are asked impossible questions by people who completely
ignore a reality where so many of the rules we are supposed to follow are
expressly designed to subjugate and work against our best interests. We
ignore the reality that we cannot just follow the rules and find our way
to acceptance, equality or justice. Respectability politics are a
Golly, sounds like what it’s like to be a teacher these days!
Only Martin Luther King, Jr. is great enough to save us at this point. He
said: “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is
devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is
some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we
discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
Thus, going by MLK’s vision, it would seem that there is hope even for
When elected in November 2016 to be your next congressman for District 6,
I will strive to support diversity education whenever possible, such as in
the training of police officers. The dignity and safety of
African-American children must be ensured in every way.
If you would like to contribute financially to help me reach my goal of
representing you, please go to my website at
www.williamsonforuscongress.com and click on “Make A Donation.” Via
PayPal, you may make your transaction safely and securely. If you wish to
mail in a check, please send it to: WILLIAMSON FOR U.S. CONGRESS, 7349 N.
Via Paseo Del Sur, Suite 515-233, Scottsdale, AZ 85258.
I’d like to thank very much those who are lending a hand in funding my
campaign. I appreciate how you have broken your financial silence and
shown your faith in my Democratic candidacy. After all, as MLK once
observed: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the
bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Thank you for your support and if you wish to respond to this e-mail,
please feel free to do so. Remember, THE FUTURE CAN BE OURS.
W. John Williamson