Sellouts have plagued the black community since our departure from our homeland into American slavery. These sellouts are black people who have found it necessary to side with their oppressors against their own people. Ignorance, fear and greed have trapped these people in a permanent position of subservience.
However, over the course of time there have been those who chose to stand up and speak out against their oppressors. One of the most memorable of these brave people is the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
In a commemorative breakfast honoring the legacy of King, Gov. Jeb Bush, a man who I consider to be one of the most racist governors in Florida’s history, was invited to be the keynote speaker.
To my colleagues and me this was the equivalent of inviting a Nazi general to a bar mitzvah. What shocked me even more than this insidious action was the fact that the sellouts who attended the meeting prostrated themselves before Bush and revered him as a god.
I wondered if this was the same Bush who said that he would do nothing for black people in Florida?
Could this be the same Bush who refused to give the Black Caucus an audience and was caught on tape telling his assistant to kick them out?
Then to make matters worse, Bush was exalted and referred to as the future president of the United States.
For the first time, I felt ashamed to be a Rattler. I could picture King turning in his grave while a live minstrel show was displayed for the governor’s entertainment in celebration of his birthday.
When Bush approached to speak, a group of students abruptly stood up and left the room refusing him an audience, just as he had done those members of the Black Caucus.
Although it was a small backlash in comparison to the blatant racism Bush displayed with his audacity to seek political favor at FAMU, it was a well-organized nonviolent assault at racism in a way that honored the memory of King.
Bruce Strouble is a senior African-American studies student from Pasadena, Calif. Contact him at email@example.com