RiseMagazine | Sarasota

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine of Florida's Black Communities

Room For Progress…

More Than A Day at the Park

by Michael Paragon

(Sarasota, FL – January 16th, 2012) Looking in hindsight at a day of celebration that was only enhanced by beautiful weather, peaceful gatherings, great food, enlightenment and fellowship, we need to reflect on the actual accomplishment of the event. We came together to honor the memory and legacy, the achievement and the un-flinching dedication to doing what’s right for the sake of doing what’s right! But did we?

Sarasota has never been renowned for its lavish, extravagant parades and gatherings. We’re not known for drawing in mega-stars nor overwhelming throngs of participants and onlookers that literally shut down a city. No, this city is celebrated for its quiet, laid-back and relaxed lifestyle. The ease with which we can stroll down a shell-strewn beach or meander through downtown streets without fear or angst. Sarasota is simply “chill like that”!

But, when the atmosphere is one for celebration, we can party with the best of them! Just as rowdy, just as ruckus, just as raw! Fortunately, the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday called for none of that. It was a day of respectful reflection at this man’s committment to issues larger than self. To issues that went beyond generations but, addressed the core of this nation’s values and beliefs. Those same beliefs are being challenged to this very day, right here, right now. As you read these words, trust that someone in Sarasota (probably more than a few!) is speaking negatively about “that Black president and his policies”…not just the president. Someone somewhere is criticizing the fact that even in honoring Dr. King, Jr., this country chose a Chinese sculptor to create his likeness. Weren’t there any qualified Black sculptors? Even bigger than that, weren’t there any qualified AMERICAN sculptors!?

As this society has swung from being one in which what you knew was most important to one in which what you possess has taken precedence, our values have sorely back-slidden. The poison has always come from the inside, with school teachers reinforcing the minds of our little ones that they were worthless…best suited for wait staff and janitors. Dr. King reminded us that if a janitor was to be your role in life then be the best janitor that anyone had ever seen! But the focus today is set on high-priced cars, wheels, paint jobs and trappings. Material things don’t make lasting foundations for the next generation. Stop brain-washing your kids to become bigger consumers without showing them how to build businesses and make sound investments first! Buy that Bentley with your first dividend check, not the last 8 checks from your part-time job at Checkers!

Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and even Beyonce would inadvertently blind our princesses that Jill Scott told them first that they were Golden…not plastic! Our young Black men remind themselves of the slave mentality by wearing sagging pants and shorts…not realizing that as they shuffle along with those same pants gripped in their hands they mimic the footsteps of slaves or prisoners in shackles…voluntarily! Even the lies of history through school – telling us that slaves were brought here from Africa! Those who were enslaved were doctors, scientists, engineers, psychologists, chemists, farmers, lawyers and obviously, kings and royalty! Hardly slaves but, definitely enslaved!

This is a time to look back on the events of yesterday. To make plans for a bigger and better next year. To determine if you may have had a more profitable day of business in the park or along the sides of the thoroughfare… There’s still room for progress Sarasota…there’s still room for progress Newtown!


One comment on “Room For Progress…

  1. dragonlady75

    OUCH!!! You keep steppin’ on toes and the whole of Sarasota will be hoppin’ instead of walkin’ pretty soon! Keep it up Mr. Paragon, keep it up!!

    Peace & Blessings!

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