by Dr. E. Faye Williams, attorney (ret.)
TriceEdneyWire.com — It’s a good thing in many ways that we Americans tend to believe in hope, but if you are truly listening to the Republican leader who is trying to get back into the White House, there is no doubt that he is getting more air time than the law should allow. As I talk with friends, many tell me they have to turn off their televisions during the day because of all the negative messages glaring at them.
The Hamas-Israel War is one event taking up so much time and is offering so much pain on all sides. It’s very concerning that so many people could die with the end of the tragedy being nowhere in sight. Nobody I know started this tragedy, but we’ve been forced to suffer from what we hear on the news in a play-by-play repeat that seems to force all of us to have a front-row seat at the tragedy where we are a part of the tragedy. You can’t help but feel the pain on all sides—yet feel helpless to do anything about it.
When it’s not Hamas and Israel, we’re fed the Republican clown show in Congress where its leaders seem to care nothing about those for whom they were elected to serve. They care more about the one-up-man-ship game they’ve been playing for many months now. Their biggest concern seems to be how to hurt President Joe Biden and his family which leaves no time to do anything that helps our people in need of basic help.
I’ve visited Israel and Gaza three times. I’ve had friends in both places. My heart bleeds for what happened in Israel on October 7. Since that day, whatever blood I have left, also flows for the people of Gaza. At the risk of being criticized by one side of the tragedy or the other, it’s painful to see progressive friends being called anti-Semitic just because they can’t agree with Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to innocent Palestinians who had nothing to do with what happened October 7. Jewish people and several of their organizations in America have been there for Black people during the Civil Rights Movement—and we’ve applauded and thanked them. As well, some have been there to hurt us—but we haven’t blamed all of them for their acts. My heart breaks to see so many Black candidates already being targeted for defeat just as I once was without cause.
I hear the concern about anti-Semitism around the world. I am equally concerned about Racism and other hate-filled treatment. When this Hamas-Israel War is over, we need to go to the table with the goal of ridding our country of anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab racism. All are troublesome. They make no sense. We’ve worked together before and we can do it again. We also can’t do it without friends who experience hatred, too.
Right now, we’re facing the potential of having to deal with authoritarianism in America. Our energy should be focused on resolving problems to protect our democracy.
There’s no joke about having rights our people have worked long and hard for being taken away. We’ve been warned if we elect someone who has already promised to come down hard on the media, to punish those who disagree with him and people who’ve not supported him in his hate-filled campaign.
In our community, no matter how we’ve been treated, we’ve always held onto that upward force of buoyancy. That’s what we are holding onto now—hope that we can solve the problems dividing us. The buoyancy of hope is what brought my people through some very hard times.
(Dr. E. Faye Williams is president emerita of The National Congress of Black Women and current president of The Dick Gregory Society.)