By: Charles Blatcher, III Chairman
National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations
Email address: email@example.com
Release date: July 7, 2020
In a conference call attended by Leaders of Black Veteran Organizations, representatives called for support of the current Civil Rights Movement and a stop to Black on Black and Brown Crime. Representatives in attendance included Richard Kingsley and Shedrick Jones from NABVETs, Michael Theard, The 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Association of Washington, DC, Howard Jackson, National Minority Military Museum Foundation and Holbert Maxey, National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations.
Black Veterans applaud and commend those who have taken to the streets in the protest around the country. While we do not condone the destruction of property, we understand the frustrations that leads in that direction, too often. As ones who respect science, we would prefer they move pass the street demonstrations. The young people these days are computer savvy. They can organize a flash protest and boycott by computer. They have shown their organizational skills. And, I have heard some very articulate young spokespersons for the cause. They need not be in the streets now to be effective. They have declared July 7th as “Blackout Day” asking the Black public to refrain from shopping. And, I am sure there are more Blackout Days to come. As Black Veterans, we will support their efforts.
Let me give you a some background on the nature of this Article. I ran a paid Ad through Golden Buffalo Publication Face Book page promoting the International Court of Justice Petition for a Hearing regarding Human Rights violations in the United States. On the Face Book page, I asked people to sign the petition and encouraged their dialogue pro or con on the subject. As of today, the page has generated over twelve hundred comments. I have made a diligent effort to respond to each. The comments and running conversations generated on the page are insightful.
It is an interesting pass-time responding to the Face Book queries and comments. (Laugh Out Loud). The Ad has reached over twenty thousand people. In calling for an end to police brutality and Human Rights surprisingly, I been called everything but the “N” word. I have been called a Racist, a Marxist, Communist, Socialist, a Globalist and according to some worst of all, a Democrat. On the strength of my personality, the names did not better me. I took solace in knowing most did not know the meaning of the names they were calling me.
A side from the name calling, it has been an interesting conversation. I have been asked a few great, questions. Great questions because it was obvious that I could not point to anything highlighting Black Veterans involvement in the current Civil Rights Movement. Questions that remains unanswered. Where are the Black Veterans in this Movement? Black Women, especially our Mayors are holding their ground making their presence and feelings known. They are all doing an excellent job functioning sometime under unreasonable limitations. The second question is: “If Black Lives Matter why do our people keep killing each other?” The weekend body count coming out of Chicago is reminiscent of the body count on the nightly news during the Vietnam Conflict.
I recall seeing an interview of Mayor Lorie Lightfoot from Chicago not long ago. She told the interviewer her mornings beginning getting the death count from the overnight shootings and from the pandemic. Hard way to start a day. She could use some help. The struggle for civil rights has been an on-going battle for Black Americans. The battles have been fought on the home front and foreign soil and in the courts for centuries. As a Veteran, I know we cannot win the war against racism with our youth at war in the inner cities against one another. Chicago is just one example. It is happening in urban cities nationwide. Our national leaders have disregarded mention of this segment of our population. I believe Black Veterans can be effective in helping to fill the void in reaching out to this segment of the public.
Let me comment briefly on “Why” I believe Black Veterans are the appropriate body to address this subject with our youth. Others have spoken up regarding the problem, to little or no result. I know some would say under normal circumstance when you bargain for cooperation, you should have something to give in return. What we bring as a quid pro quo to this conversation are the show of concern and love. I believe they will listen out of respect for our status as Black Veterans. I believe they will respect that we care enough to break our silence. I cannot recall a time in contemporary history when Black Veterans have taken a national position on anything.
We are working on developing a promotion campaign, Black Veterans against Black on Black & Brown Crime. The primary target audience is minority youth in the urban communities nationwide. The outcome we seek is to influence a change in mindset. We are considering going into the communities and meeting with the youth and gang members to express our concerns about them. Simultaneously, we need stress to our youth that their cooperation is essential in winning the war against racism. There are some Cities that have multiple Chapters of Veteran Organizations. We are asking that those organizations join to address the issue as a Unified Body. The objective is to seek a truce between the factions. The daily shootings are claiming innocent lives and causing distractions from discussions that should be focused on other subjects. Subjects like the pandemic, racism, police brutality and Human Rights violations.
Will the effort succeed? Success can be measured in different ways. Will the message resonate and cause a change in the behavior pattern? I cannot answer that question. But I know we have a better chance of succeeding by trying something as opposed to doing or saying nothing. It would be an automatic success in demonstrating to the public that we (Black Veterans) have interest and a voice.
We are inviting individuals and Veteran Organizations to become involved as community ambassadors. We are calling for an immediate moratorium on “Black on Black and Brown Crime.“ We plan to counsel with veteran organizations to coordinate a national response. We will follow up with more information in the coming weeks.
For additional information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org