Posts tagged with "Dr. Steele"

Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine, BLM, black lives matter, protests, marches, change

SCLC Leadership Summit

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), announced today that the civil rights organization is organizing a major summit of leaders to help America find a cure for racism.

Dr. Steele, who heads the legendary civil rights organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said the SCLC will be calling on members of Congress, the leaders of major corporations, including those in health and science, as well as social justice leaders, religious leaders and people of wealth and influence, who have voiced support for reform in America’s law enforcement agencies and other major departments in Washington and around the nation that have been vestiges of racism.

The summit, he said, will follow the blueprint set by Dr. King, whose leadership was key to the successful civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. The date, for the summit, has not been determined, but Dr. Steele said it will take place this summer.

This call to action, Dr. Steele said, stems from the tragic and unjustified fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks Friday night in Atlanta by a policeman. Brooks, 27, was shot in the back as he walked away from officers who were called to the scene of a Wendy’s restaurant where he had fallen asleep in his car.  The arrest allegedly turned into a scuffle. Minutes later, Brooks was dead. The killing, Dr. Steele said, is another vivid example of the entrenched institutional racism within law enforcement and other systems in the United States that have oppressed blacks and other people of color for four centuries. The fact this senseless shooting occurred while the nation is still healing from social unrest from the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last month is mindboggling, he said, and American must address racism just like it is attacking the deadly coronavirus.

“Until we cure this disease of racism, there will be more Rayshard Brooks, George Floyds, Breanna Taylors, Laquan McDonalds, and Trayvon Martins,” Dr. Steele said.  “The killings will continue to occur, because people of color, particularly African Americans, are under siege due to racism. Just like we are searching for a vaccine for Covid-19, we must find a cure for racism. This is dangerous, not only to America, but the world is looking for the United States to lead the way for freedom. You look at the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, South America and Japan, and the people are marching for their societies to respect and protect black lives. We need to find the cure to eradicate racism in society. We must convene leaders to the table to address this disease now. We will do our part to start this conversation and present solutions.” 

He added, “If we don’t find a cure for racism, our world will be destroyed. Like the virus, it will spread and consume all of us, and we will experience our world coming to an end.”

America, Dr. Steele said, has failed to weed out racism, because the nation was built on racism. It started with Europeans taking over the American soil from the natives. With illegal slavery, he added, it became a part our institutions and every aspect of society.

“Individuals have this virus,” Dr. Steele said. “It has spread heavily within law enforcement. It is a part of our communities, and it comes in all forms of discrimination. The impact is not always physical like police brutality. The system is killing blacks and other people of color by denying them access to capital. If you do not have access to money, you will eventually do something wrong. You will either destroy yourself with violence by committing some criminal act, or you will starve to death. You will have a domestic violence case within your family. It comes down from the federal government and is now institutionalized within our society. It has been designed to keep people of African American descent and other ethnicities at the bottom of society.”

Dr. Steele said America should have solved this problem in the 1960s during the turbulent civil rights era led by Dr. King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

“Wisdom comes from history,” Dr. Steele said. “Wisdom comes from learning from our mistakes.  We made a mistake in 1960s when we did not include measures outside of integration. We did not include access to capital. We did not include reparations. We must have reparations with the understanding that African Americans have always been behind the eight ball. We are playing on a football field, and we cannot get beyond the five-yard line when white society is scoring touchdowns from the advantages they received from starting with free labor for centuries. We are on the field, but we cannot advance and catch up with the current system in terms of economic empowerment and economic development.”

With leaders in business, politics, sports, and entertainment calling for reform at all phrases of society, Dr. Steele said maybe we have a chance to get it right this time.

“I see hope with the marches, but we must move beyond marches and promises from corporate America and others,” Dr. Steele said. “Now, we have to get to the table and make concrete changes. But no changes will happen without a concrete understanding the history of how we received the freedoms we have today, which are constantly under attack with the current Supreme Court and other institutions, which have gutted civil rights laws and progress made over the past 50 years.  As a society, we are better off than we were 400 years ago when blacks were shackled down in slavery, but we have a very long way to go, and we will never eradicate this disease I call racism until we rebuild the structures that continue to oppress us and keep blacks and people of color at the bottom. We must reform agencies like the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S Business Administration, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and all the policies that allow racism to spread and take the life out of our society. If we do not address this now, we will not have a strong American society.”

About the SCLC

Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. For additional information about the SCLC, visit HERE.

Donald Trump × a “March on Washington”

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), is calling on “all people of good will”, who are outraged by President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies, to join the SCLC at its 60th Annual Convention July 12 -15, 2018 in Washington, which will focus on the current conditions of global racism and poverty. Dr. Steele, who heads the organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., believes the people’s desire to send a strong message about immigration, poverty and other critical matters in the U.S. could lead to another massive March on Washington like the historic rally inspired by Dr. King nearly 55 years ago on August 28, 1963.

“We’re witnessing partisan political gamesmanship when we should be talking about protecting children,” said Dr. Steele regarding President Trump’s most recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has spark hundreds of demonstrations across the nation. “Separating children from their parents at the border is an abomination! This is a humanitarian disgrace.”

Dr. Steele, who has been actively involved with The Civil Rights Movement for more than 40 years, says he is hopeful that President Trump can find empathy for the thousands of immigrants affected by his policy.

“I recommend that the President considers the human aspect of this tragic situation and not merely the politics,” said Dr. Steele. “Immigrants are trying to get to America because they’re being terrorized in their own homes. They’re faced with daily violence, poor living conditions, and their human rights are being threatened every day.”

Dr. Steele, who is in Brazil examining the international concerns of poor people, added, “I will get a global perspective on the problems afflicting the poor and really highlight their concerns at this year’s conference.”

The 60th Annual Convention will also have a heavy focus on mobilizing large groups of people of color to “get out and vote”. There will be various workshops and panels on the power of voting.

“People are mad, people are moved, and people are fed up. It’s time to use this energy in a constructive manner,” said Dr. Steele, who believes if the people unify around another SCLC- inspired massive rally it can surpass the 250,000 who gathered in Washington in 1963.

The SCLC Convention will run from July 12 to 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C, 999 9th Street NW. For more information about the 60th Annual SCLC National Convention, please visit their website at nationalsclc.org.

ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.