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Stop waiting for the torch! Just take it

Casey Thomas | 9/16/2013, 10:51 a.m.
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

I’m not a writer, I just have something to say.

I have been hearing for years now there is a generation gap between those of the civil rights era (the Moses generation) and those of the post-civil rights era (the Joshua generation). That one generation does not understand the struggle, and the other generation thinks the struggle is over. It’s time that we move past this by bridging the generational divide that exists within our community.

I hear many people from the Joshua generation complaining that the Moses generation has not reached back to prepare the next generation to carry the torch. That if they would only step out of the way and let the younger people through, everything would be all right.

While at the same time, the Moses generation makes it clear that no one gave them anything and everything they have they had to fight for. While others were sitting back complaining, they decided to do something about it. They went out and risked their lives and well-being for a better today and tomorrow and the Joshua generation should be glad that they did. If they want the torch, they better come and take it and stop waiting around for it.

While both generations have an interesting point of view, the truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. The Moses generation did sacrifice a lot by making their voices heard against the injustices that were happening in our community. They did stand up for what they believed in. At the same time, the Joshua generation has been told by the Moses generation that they did what they did so the Joshua generation wouldn’t have to. So they could have an opportunity to graduate from high school, go to college and get a good job or start their own business. Unfortunately, many of the same challenges that were faced before integration still exist.

Blacks have the lowest rate of homeownership and the lowest graduation rate. Black wealth is lower now that it has been in decades. There are fewer Black-owned businesses now than in the past. The quality of health of the Black community is worse than in other communities.

It is time that the Joshua generation stopped waiting for anyone to hand them anything. Many, myself included, have gone on to graduate from college, start our careers and own homes that our parents and grandparents would have dreamed to have. We must step up and provide leadership in our community when it comes to helping our children get a quality education, making sure that they have the exposure necessary that will provide them the opportunity to be successful in the future. We must start our own businesses, run for political office, and step up to lead our community organizations and pastor our churches.

We won’t have anyone to blame if the window of opportunity closes on this generation and we have nothing to show for it. Now is the time for us to leave our mark.