Auset Marian Lewis

Auset Marian Lewis

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"5707","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"220","style":"width: 209px; height: 220px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"209"}}]]Auset Marian Lewis is a writer living in Baltimore.


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As Americans commemorate the historic March on Washington by marching once again, we not only wax nostalgic on Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream and congratulate ourselves on electing the first African American president, we also acknowledge what Langston Hughes called “a dream deferred” with economic justice stuck in ‘60s disparities and a Supreme Court and Republican party hostile to minorities’ voting rights. As right wing political leaders take every opportunity to obstruct and delegitimize President Obama, they stir the bubbling pot of bigotry in a country still very racially divided.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the North American Board Meeting for the Union for Reform Judaism on May 31, 2013, in New York City.  Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images. Photo source:

It is poverty that kills. But Mayor Bloomberg, defending his stop-and-frisk policy that was shot down by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin as racist and unconstitutional, would have us believe it is blacks and Latinos who are the murderers. While claiming to be protecting black and brown people, Bloomberg drags them out as the bogeyman in the stop-and-frisk controversy to scare whites. His words sully minorities, but the numbers don’t lie.

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As they try to roll back rights for women and people of color, these former Dixiecrats are not the party of Abraham Lincoln. The good news is that this lunatic fringe can no longer openly lynch people in the daylight of a Sunday picnic. But as the sun goes down on the Republican Party, the 21st century rope has become a shiny Frederick Douglass quote and a Martin Luther King platitude thrown out to lure us to a very old tree.

Saturday, July 20 rally to “end the senseless violence, to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, to focus on healing, to honor the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King and to seek a brighter tomorrow.” Photo by Bill Hughes.

I would think that white people would not want to bring up the subject of violence to African Americans whose ancestors were slaves. Black on black crime? Really? That subject is the popular go-to issue that stalks the Trayvon Martin tragedy like a cowardly, failed martial arts student stalks his victim – with a gun. Since the George Zimmerman controversial verdict that has galvanized civil rights activists and even moved the most dedicated couch potatoes out of their barcoloungers, that’s been the buzz. Many people, including the president, are calling for an honest, serious conversation on race. Is that what the race conversation consists of, putting the worst of the “least of these” under indictment? Do we really want to put a bull’s eye on the poorest, most underserved segments of the population and take aim?

Voter ID Laws. Photo from:

Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” On that note, the myth of widespread voter fraud is streaking across America while the truth of minority voter suppression is just stringing up its Adidas.

It is more likely that someone will be struck by lightening than lose an election by voter fraud. That’s the truth.

Joe Burbank/Getty Images: George Zimmerman, right, talks with attorney Don West during a recess in his trial.

If you have a black friend, can you be a racist? Or as white anti-racist lecturer Tim Weis offered, if you are married to a woman, can you be a sexist? The answer is a resounding, yes. That is not just the conjecture of liberal-minded, loopy thinking “race baiters”. That is the finding of sober and scientific study.

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The notion of the scary, criminalized black man who couldn’t walk with impunity in white people’s neighborhoods did not begin with Trayvon Martin. It didn’t begin with young Emett Till pulverized by grown white men for whistling at a white woman. It went before scary black Nat Turner left the plantation and dared to defend himself against slavery. I cannot think of a time that the white man was not afraid of this proud African man as he terrorized him and his family in unspeakable ways to bend his mind and body into submission. When he stole, not only his freedom, but his right to be a member of the human race.

Protesters gathered in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. to protest the verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman. Photo by Allie Morris/PBS NewsHour

This is a day not only to mourn Trayvon Martin, but justice in America, as well. George Zimmerman was not the only one on trial. America was on trial in that southern courtroom. The black hoodie made famous by Trayvon’s supporters, becomes a shroud because justice was buried in that “not guilty” verdict. Even the shiny words of a black president, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin” could not uphold the fantasy of a “post-racial” America in this Jim Crow flashback.

Trayvon Martin In Post Racial America by vagabond ©

This sick American behemoth, pronounced post-racial by the Roberts Court, can’t lick its addiction to feeding our jails with young black males while at the same time enriching the coffers of the prison industrial complex. The Trayvon Martin Case is just the shiny tip of a very large iceberg that has caught the attention of the media, political activists, and everyday Americans, but this case is by no means unique.

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The word is “transformation.” That is what came to mind after seeing the movie “42” about the life of baseball great Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. It is the reason that people were moved to clap at the end of the film. It is the reason we felt good and wanted to say something to the person of the opposite race as we tumbled out of the theater, expelled from a moment in time that had been precious. We had cheered Robinson together in his darkest moments pummeled by racist jabs. We had scoffed at the "nigger" taunts and "monkey" jokes, marveling at the obscenity of blunt trauma racism in the l940s. We were united in solidarity as our humanity was polished in that special hour.


A Few Bad Apples
Lipstick on a Pig
Separate But Not Equal
Don’t Shoot, I’m not Christopher Dorner
Voting Rights Act Up
Red, White, and Bloody
Rebranding “The Stupid Party”: The Conservative Political Action Conference
Doing the Disenfranc​hisement Shuffle
Dr. Ben Carson: Send in the Clowns
Speaking of Entitlements
Having "The Talk"
Trayvon Martin: Voting Rights Deferred
American Justice System—Verdict: Racist
George Zimmerman Is Not A Monster
Having The Slavery Talk: Do We Really Have To Go There?
Voter Fraud: A Bedtime Story
Black on Black Crime: Really?
Beware the Party of Lincoln
Poverty Creates Crime: Bloomberg Creates Bogeymen
What Happens to a Dream Deferred?