By Cheryl Smith
These are the times that people will be talking about for centuries to come. Just know, these times shall pass but for those who live through them; times will never be the same. Some don’t want the times of the past. They aren’t wishing for the “good old times.” And there are some who say, “good riddance!” Which brings me to my truth. I want a better time, a time when we value ourselves and we value one another — a time when racism is not tolerated or accepted. There was a virtual unity rally on July 2. Now the idea of unity sounds like a nice concept, albeit difficult for a society that can’t seem to unify around the best way to protect everyone from COVID-19.
Still, we have to believe in something so the Texas NAACP, The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the Houston Area Urban League commemorated the anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Joined by Texas State Sen. Royce West, LULAC National President Domingo Garcia, President Texas NAACP, Gary Bledsoe, Houston Area Urban League President, Judson Robinson III and NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, this rally focused on key issues including racism, new legislation, and overcoming barriers to voting during the current health and economic crisis.
The headliners also included Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. Lending their voices to the call for unity were Olympic Gold Medalist Michelle Carter, former NFLers Derrick Johnson, Greg Ellis, and Tim Brown, star of the hit TV show Black-ish, Anthony Anderson, and actor/comedian George Lopez. Texas State Reps. Toni Rose and Victoria Neave joined other elected officials. The moderator was radio personality Jamie Goodspeed, 97.9 The Beat (Radio One), Pastor Richie Butler, Senior Pastor of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church opened the rally with prayer, and Lola Wilson sang the Negro National Anthem.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark of civil rights and labor law that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations. This historical legislation provides hope for the future and a path toward equality that can no longer be denied. We must seize this opportunity and hang on until we achieve our goal. We have to make sure this time is more than just another time!