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50th Civil Rights Commemoration Must Include Mothers and the Unborn

Dr. Alveda King
Director, African American Outreach

May 21, 2014
The recent 2014 Civil Rights Summit missed a historic moment to acknowledge the most important civil rights struggle of our time — securing the rights of those alive in the womb.
Seven men, four U.S. presidents, and three civil rights icons offered presentations at the summit. Yet when it was time to discuss civil rights in the 21st century these men made no mention of the fact that America still discriminates against the unwanted — and that today the unwanted are the unborn.
Ambassador Andrew Young, Past NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, and Congressman John Lewis were part of a summit panel titled “Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement: Views from the Front Line.”
It would be good to think that the introduction of the panel by King Center CEO Bernice King was intended to recognize women’s participation in the struggle for voting, housing, and other rights; yet where were any women on the panel? Believe me, we did march; some went to jail; and some women and children died.
My friend Day Gardner, founder of the National Black Pro-Life Union, said of the event, “Someone at the summit should have acknowledged that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s ‘beloved community’ is inclusive, but that American law still segregates — regarding babies in the womb as separate and unequal.”
Gardner added, “While there was lip service to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, four of the holders of America's highest seat of power never spoke of the sanctity of human life in the womb. While President Carter did address human trafficking from the perspective of sexual slavery, no one spoke to the truth that America can never truly be the leader of the ‘free world’ until the dignity of every man, woman, and child — born and unborn — is protected.”
Remarking on the progress of civil rights since the 1968 enactment of the law, and going back as far as 395 years ago when slavery came to the Americas, the Rev. Wayne Perryman remarked as follows.
“While there have been many some positive inroads during the past 395 years, some things have not changed. One interesting enigma is that while science and theology both point to the truth that there are not separate human races, only one human race, the lie of racism is still perpetrated in America.
“In addition to the 365 years of African Americans in America, 50 years have passed since the passage of the “Civil Rights Bill” in America, promising equality for black Americans. And yet, in 2014, 365 years or 50 years later, depending on the perspective, African Americans still do not comprehensively experience the liberty and freedom that other ethnic groups enjoy in America.
The Rev. Perryman continued: “Tragically, after 395 years of living in America, helping to build this great nation, having literally served this great nation, African Americans, in some isolated cases, and in some more blatant situations, black Americans are still often treated as second-class citizens.
“The significant role that blacks have played and continue to contribute in the success of America — the unique giftings and talents — their contributions in various fields are seldom ever included or valued in regular American history classes or substantial historical documentaries; all of which perpetuates negative racial stereotypes. African Americans started working and contributing the moment they stepped onto American soil in 1619 and have been doing so ever since. Unfortunately most Americans are not aware of their contributions. 
He concluded: "Based upon the generally noted founding of America in 1776, America is 238 years old this year. Notably with the advance of the transcontinental slave trade which began in 1619, the contributions of African Americans began 157 years earlier. Together, the sum of these years brings us to this 395th anniversary of black oppression in America."  
Day Gardner and I are both members of the National Black Prolife Coalition. We agree with the Rev. Perryman. There is still inequity among blacks and other Americans. Day and I remain concerned about all injustice, all inhumanity among humans. That is why we are working to expose the impact of abortion on the African American community and all of America.
We are also working to expose the role of Planned Parenthood in the decimation of our communities. Yes, as Rev. Perryman says, we acknowledge some “inroads in race relations,” yet lament that many liberals still ignore the rights of 55+ million aborted babies since Roe vs. Wade.
It has been 50 years of civil rights struggles and 395 years of oppression against blacks, and still today in the 21st century the babies are not free and the wombs of women are still endangered. Let our people go!

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