Dr. William A. Jones’s Media White

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Dr. William A. Jones made his transition on this past Saturday in Brooklyn.  He was the pastor of the historic Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, the headquarters of Black activism in the tri-state area. Like with all other human beings, his verdict must be based on the entire record and not on a single event.

I am perturbed that both the Black and white media gave his transition short shrift. While the white media gave substantial attention to the deaths of Al Lewis and Betty Friedan, over the weekend, no white media mentioned Dr. Jones including WBAI-FM. 

In emphasizing that President-select George Bush was the commander-in-chief, Carl Redding called KISS-FM’s “Open Lineâ€? and mentioned Dr. Jones’s death.  Rev. Jesse Jackson failed to mention it on his Sunday morning program but it was discussed on “Sharptalk.â€? No Black leader has attacked the white media. 

The U.S. Constitution devalues Black life. Every Black person has a continuing obligation to resist white supremacy. Real resistance for Blacks can only come through a political party established to address Black grievances. Every social change that has occurred in the United States has come through political parties.  See, for example, the Free Soil and Liberty parties and, also, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Blacks are powerless politically because we lack a political organ.

Revisionist history teaches us that “Bloody Sunday� in March 1965 was the focal point for the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Historical revisionism allows for the creation of new heroes and diminishes the roles of racial pioneers. It was actually Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which put President Lyndon B. Johnson in a cold sweat. Selma was emphasized to misdirect Blacks away from the significance of a third party in the Black struggle.
United African Movement will be meeting on Wednesday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. at 1068 Fulton Street (bet. Franklin & Classon) in Brooklyn. On February 15, Dick Gregory will be the keynote speaker at the same venue. Your support is essential to restart a historic institution. In addition to forming a third party with official ballot status this year, we will also be memorializing Dr. Jones and seeking a donation for an expression of sympathy for his homegoing services on Friday at Bethany Baptist Church, 460  Marcus Garvey Blvd., in Brooklyn.

UAM was born out of the Brawley struggle. Its original venue was Bethany against great opposition.  One of the most significant events of the twentieth century was Bethany Baptist Church sheltering Glenda Brawley as a sanctuary against law enforcement. 

Dr. Jones substituted actions for his convictions. He would often say that if you eat the king’s meat, you must do the king’s bidding. Without his leadership, many movements would have never gotten off the ground. We must not allow the white media to rewrite our history.

Your support and presence on Wednesday is critical for UAM having a significant, donative presence on Friday. If Dr. Jones could stand up for Brawley, and so many other Black causes, you can certainly show up for him. If I were wealthy, I could make an independent contribution to cover the Black colony. If UAM were an organization, with a definite community spirit and a mutual aid society, this request would also be a done deal.

Similarly, I also hope to see you at City College on Saturday morning. This is a critical fund-raiser for UAM to get started again and to advance critical thinking. An independent organization, without white control, is needed in the Black colony. Virtually every Black leader is on the take. If UAM eats the king’s meat, it must do the king’s bidding. Whites will take credit for financing our oppression or we will have to finance our freedom.

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