Million Man March 2015 revisits unresolved issues critical to Blacks

Participants in the Million Man March on the Washington Mall on October 16, 1995.

Participants in the Million Man March on the Washington Mall on October 16, 1995.

By Carmen Glover

Twenty years ago on October 16, 1995, my brother Paul, was an engineering student at Howard University in Washington, DC. He heeded the call by the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrrakhan and Former NAACP leader Dr. Benjamin Chavis, the national director of the March, to show up at the Washington Mall in support of the Million Man March and the organizers’ goal of addressing the issues which caused Black men to be viewed as “an endangered species.”

A sea of Black men and boys gathered peacefully to address issues critical to the Black community.

A sea of Black men and boys gathered peacefully to address issues critical to the Black community.

Dubbed “The Million Man March: A Day of Atonement and Reconciliation,” the event was targeted to Black men, who were charged with cleaning up their lives and returning to home to offer hope, love, strength, healing and skills to improve and strengthen their families and communities.

“Standing on the mall, looking out, was a sea of Black men and boys. It was a powerful feeling to be a part of that,” said, Paul, now a successful entrepreneur and CEO of the engineering firm Complete Development Solutions (CDS). “I am glad that I went.”

The Million Man March drew a dedicated mass of Black men and boys.

The Million Man March drew a dedicated mass of Black men and boys.

As participants return to the mall this Saturday, October 10 for the “Justice or Else Rally” to re-assess the state of the Black male condition, the decline in Black communities, Black disenfranchisement, Black voter suppression, and a host of other issues relevant to the Black experience in the United States, one question will resonate: What has changed since the Million Man March was held 20 years ago?

Unarmed Black men are still being murdered or brutalized by renegade police officers, without provocation while Black women have now joined the ranks of those being preyed upon by law enforcement officials and regular citizens; Black children are losing their lives in greater numbers due to gun violence and Blacks, especially in the south, are being disenfranchised at the voting booths, with states such as Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina instituting repressive laws and initiatives designed to make it difficult or impossible for Blacks who are poor to vote, as is their right.

Million Man March.

Million Man March of 1995 is revisited on Saturday, October 10, 2015 to address unresolved issues and concerns in the Black community.

While the mood 20 years ago was described as one filled with hope and unity, this time around the mood is expected to be sprinkled with the anger and disappointment born of unfulfilled dreams and expectations. In 1995, Min. Farrakhan referenced Malcolm X and the struggles that the fiery civil rights leader experienced in resolving inequalities in the Black community. Today, police brutality, the Supreme Court’s destruction of key portions of the Voting Right Act and the plight of Black families will all be given attention at the “Justice or Else Rally,” which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.

In 1995 and today, many unresolved issues plague the Black community. While the “Justice or Else Rally” will not answer all questions related to the Black condition, its impact is expected to be just as significant as that of the Million Man March 29 years ago. The “Justice or Else Rally,” is organized to be a solid reminder that consistent action is necessary to effect the positive change that is needed to improve opportunities and outcomes across the USA. If you can make it to Washington for this historic event, go and let your voice be heard.–


Gun control debates take the place of concrete action


As yet another mass shooting took place on American soil, the debate continues to rage about the merits and limitations of gun control measures.

On one side of the debate are members and supporters of the National Rife Association (NRA), who are vociferous and dogmatic in their advocacy for freely available guns of all kinds, in celebration of the right to bear arms, regardless of the escalating devastation caused by improper gun use.

Homicides in G8 Countries.

Homicides in G8 Countries.

On the other side of the argument are President Obama, legislators, survivors and family members of gun violence as well as concerned citizens who wait with dread for the next instance of atrocity committed with a gun, fearful in the knowledge that the attack can occur anywhere, at anytime.Brady-anti-gun-campaign-poster

As the debate swirls around us, however, one thing is clear: supporters of a gun utopia where every one is armed and ready to fire, are only inclined to see the other side of the situation if their loved ones lose their lives in a hail of bullets. Only then, when the tragedy becomes personal, will the message hit home that nonexistent gun control laws compromises the safety of every individual, not just the poor, but every one who calls the USA home–

Carey Gabay, Gov. Cuomo’s aide, has died after Labor Day shooting

Garey Gabay, First Council for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was shot in the head and seriously hurt in pre-West Indian Day Carnival shootout.

Garey Gabay, First Council for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was shot in the head after being caught in a gang-related crossfire  in pre-West Indian Day Carnival. He died on Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

By Carmen Glover

Attorney Carey Gabay, 43, the accomplished son of Jamaican immigrants, and an aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, lost his valiant battle for his life on Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

Gabay was hospitalized in a coma on Labor Day after he was shot in the head when rival gang members shot in a crowded street of pre-parade revelers. Gabay, who, with his wife, was expecting his first child, succumbed to his injuries and will never experience the joy of seeing his child smile. He was declared brain-dead and subsequently taken off life support.

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His distraught family issued a detailed statement, which appears in full below:

“We are saddened to announce that after an arduous week, Carey Gabay, our husband, son, brother, uncle and friend, has been declared brain-dead as of late Tuesday,” the statement read. “There are difficult decisions we will face in the coming hours and days as our family struggles to process what this means for us. We ask that our privacy be respected during this difficult time.

“Many have come to know Carey through professional life, but he is also a kind-hearted and selfless soul who has touched the spirit of everyone he’s met. His zest for life speaks volumes.

“Carey has been fighting bravely surrounded by the loved ones to whom he has brought so much joy with his jovial nature, generosity of spirit and enduring smile.

“Our family is grieving that a man in the prime of his life who has impacted so many lives could be struck down by such a callous act. Carey embodies the American story. A son of Jamaican immigrants, he rose from Bronx public housing to earn an undergraduate and law degree from Harvard and then went on to a distinguished career as a lawyer in private practice and well-respected public servant.

“This is a nightmare that’s shaken our resolve and tested our faith. As we continue to try to make sense of this tragedy, the family would like to extend its thanks to all those who have supported us. We also extend a special word of thanks to the doctors and staff at Kings County Hospital Center.

“We ask that anyone who may have information related to the criminal case contact law enforcement as they conduct their investigation.––