|Vol. 13 No. 21
OCTOBER 15, 2018
by Jonathan Gramling
by Heidi M. Pascual
Columns & Features
We’ve Been Here Before
by Jamala Rogers
One of the biggest honors that I have received in recent years was being asked to be the emcee at this year’s
NAACP Dane County Freedom Fund Banquet held September 28th at the Concourse Hotel. What made it even
more meaningful was that Hilary Shelton, the director of the NAACP’s Washington, D.C. office was the keynote
I rarely write my remarks down before I speak because I want to be engaged with the people I am addressing and
not focused on a piece of paper in front of me, although I must admit I wrote down some bullet points for my
remarks in case I faltered speaking at such an important event. The theme of the banquet was Defeat Hate! Vote!
And so I tried to set the table, so to speak, with my opening remarks. What follows is an approximation of those
My thoughts tonight are with the 20 families whose lives were shattered this past week with the ICE raids in Dane
County and elsewhere. Many of them are breadwinners for the family. And even though the children are reassured
that it won’t happen to them because they are U.S. citizens, still they worry because as they rub their skin, they
ask, ‘But what about the color of my skin?’ These are indeed frightening and troubling times.
But we’ve been here before!
Back in the end of the 1960s at the end of the Civil War, Congress passed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to
the U.S. Constitution that ended slavery and gave the recently freed Africans who were slaves the rights of
citizenship including the right to vote. And under the watchful eye of Federal troops stationed across the former
Confederate states in the South, African Americans embraced their freedom and democracy. And participate they
did. -- READ MORE