Julian Bond: A Giant of Justice
Posted by Albert Sykes on Aug 19, 2015 - 01:39 PM
As you may or may not have recently heard, yet another tall and strong tree has fallen in our civil and human rights forest, Mr. Julian Bond. We here at IDEA are sending our condolences to his immediate family, friends and to his brothers and sisters in struggle. Mr. Bond was an outstanding example of how one should live their life in service and in the unabashed pursuit of justice.
Julian Bond was an activist, father, grandfather, lawyer, leader, mentor and man of service. In watching him and learning about him from his peers as well as the history books it is clear to me what his greatest example ever was. It is an example of understanding victory and committing and recommitting one's mind, soul and one's body to the struggle for true and everlasting Freedom.
Mr. Bond was A SNCC man, a person who was able to harness his energy toward righteous causes in his youth in such a way that it propelled him forward in the pursuit of a more perfect world for the rest of his life. For every victory he was a part of orchestrating he also understood that the victory was not the end, it was only the beginning of the next round of the fight. 50 years after one the most sweeping and assured allowances for minority political participation, which he played a big role in securing, we find ourselves in a country that has begun a backward lurch as proven by the gutting of those rights and continued state-by-state efforts to further rescind those rights in the most insane ways. Education, one of the issues that Julian Bond fought so hard for, as well as housing rights and the elimination of poverty, racism and hate are still some of the playgrounds where the rules still aren't fair or just.
The massive amount of blood of Black bodies of all identities spilled in American streets at the hands of law enforcement today by bullets and batons mirrors exactly the same flow of Black blood spilled 50 years ago by bullets and batons. It is our new Red Sea and it must be parted! If we owe anything to Julian Bond's legacy and to that of any of our other elders and ancestors it is to keep pushing the bounds of freedom and victory until they are fully recognized for this nation's most socially displaced people. They waste away in our jails, they rest in the bottom quartile of our education system, they cross borders to find better lives only to be prosecuted and dehumanized, they claim their identities as they define them with the utmost pride and yet they increasingly die at the hands of those they should be able to trust to help protect their right to live. We owe Julian Bond because he paid his dues and the dues he paid went towards the deposit on a better life and a better future for all to come after him.
Former SNCC president Chuck McDew frequently tells the story of the bombing of the SNCC office in MCComb, Mississippi. McDew talks about showing up to the burnt out office to see a sign that said "SNCC done snuck". Little did Mississippi know, SNCC had snuck alright, it snuck deeper into the creases of changing the state and the nation. In true SNCC fashion Julian Bond has "snuck" for sure, right into the sacred realm that houses the elders who watch over us.
There is no better set person, mentor and sound example of a meaningful life to make this well earned transition. We are sad to see one of the heroes and stalwarts go but we know that he goes in Justice. He gave his all until all he had left to give was his very soul. We should want to live like that. I hope to find the Julian in me and fulfill it, I wish the same for you.
IDEA Executive Director