“March Madness” is in full force and most of Tallahassee couldn’t wait to see how far the Seminoles would advance in the NCAA Tournament that will determine the collegiate National Champion.
But I don’t like March Madness. The basketball tournaments are fine but I don’t like the black community’s march madness.
March, march, march! Every time people in the black community seek to address a community concern, someone will call for a march. The same Tallahassee with the winning basketball team is probably the world leader in staging marches.
There are student marches, church marches, school marches, Black History Month marches,
Veteran’s Day marches, Easter marches, Christmas marches, marches on the State Capitol and other marches or so-called parades.
White folks saw what a great time black folk were having walking for miles in 100-degree heat or 30-degree cold and they decided to stage marches on their own. It is not unusual to see a labor union march or law enforcement officers walking or riding in a staged march.
Your leaders, the leaders that you and your local white newspaper picked, are trying to deal with 2012 problems by using 1950 strategies.
Nothing has changed after any recent march. If there had been a change, you wouldn’t have to continue to march.
When people tell you that you need to join a march, can they tell you what the goal of the march is and what the march will result in? No. If you do attend the march, can you speak about your personal concerns or the concerns specific to your neighborhood and your community? I doubt it.
A hot march now is the legislative march. Every week — some weeks, every day — some group converges on the Capitol and marches around with signs trying to influence legislators on the day a controversial bill is supposed to appear on the House or Senate agenda.
If you don’t know it, by the time any legislation is put on any agenda for a vote, the minds of the legislators have been made up far in advance of any consideration. If legislative leadership thought that a march could change a legislative outcome that he or she desired, he or she never would bring the bill up for a vote.
Friends and neighbors are quick to tell me, “Martin Luther King marched and you should too.” And I respond, “Jesus got nailed to a cross so I guess you want to get that done too.”
I don’t want to discourage anyone from participating in a parade or a march. An occasional parade, especially those with children participating, should be supported and enjoyed.
But those aimless, reactionary, shameful Black History marches benefit the white podium guests who get to speak about how much they love Negroes more than the marches benefit you.
I know you won’t say it but you have to agree with me. If I hear closet Klansmen, Nazis and rednecks sing We Shall Overcome one more year, it will be one too many.
No, I don’t want to march arm-in-arm with people with devilish behavior and intent. I don’t want to march in a march with no purpose, no power and no possibilities.
No, I don’t have March Madness.
Lucius Gantt is a consultant based in Tallahassee and author of the book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing. He may be reached at allworldconsultants.net