I would like to respond to the article written by Pastor Owens (Their View) on Wednesday June 3, 2015.

The article clearly indicates Pastor Owens does not know the history of African-American people in America. He apparently does not know about the “Peculiar Institution of Slavery” African-American people were subjected to here in America for almost 300 years. He doesn’t know African-American people continue to be effected by reminisce of slavery even until this day. If he did he would understand why we have to continue to remind America that “Black lives matter.” If he knew the history of African-Americans in America he would not wonder why we can’t be like other so called ethnic groups (Mexican-Americans, Italian-Americans, etc.) in America. African-Americans didn’t immigrate to America; we were brought here in the hull of ships to be slaves.

Since we know that “Knowledge sets you free” Pastor Owens, I would like to give you a brief history lesson so when you stand before a congregation you will do better.

Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

First of all, “Desperate people do desperate things.” African-American people are a desperate people here in America. You, Pastor Owens might not think we are but make no mistake we are.

Read Dr. Claud Anderson’s book entitled, “300 Years of Free Black Labor and White Wealth.” Think about that.

Read about Willie Lynch who told the White slave owners the way to control their slaves was to teach them to “Fear, Envy and Distrust” each other. Pastor Owens, are you still a victim of Willie Lynch, speaking out against your own people?

Read “The Dred Scott Decision” when in 1857 U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney said, “There is no law in America that a White man had to respect when it concerned a Black man.” Chief Justice Taney went on to say when the Constitution was written Dred Scott and all other Blacks in America were three fifths of a man. Therefore the line in the Constitution that says “All men are created equal” did not pertain to the Blacks who were slaves in America.”

“The founding fathers wrote the principles of White rule into the US Constitution. “We the people of the United States,” meant the free White people, and the free White people only. The Constitution guaranteed rights and freedoms for everyone but blacks. The Black man could not assimilate. He was permanently nailed to the lowest rung of the social ladder. Neither freedom nor good work could force Whites to recognize him as an equal human being.”

“Black lives matter”, Pastor Owens.

“By the early 19th century dominant White society had enacted an endless number of laws, ordinances and public policies designed to keep black children non-competitive with White children. Black children were to be an illiterate or semi-skilled, menial labor force for the personal comfort and wealth building of white society. Consequently, White society sought to shut schools for free Blacks as soon as they opened. Many who profited from Black suffering and planned illiteracy, followed the social policy that “no light was to enter the brain of a Black child.”

“Black lives matter”, Pastor Owens.

“In the 1860s, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted to give Blacks due process rights. Yet, for nearly a century (100 years) afterwards, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against every due process rights case involving Blacks.

“December 24, 1865, the day before Christmas, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was organized in Pulaski, Tennessee, to resist Reconstruction and bestowing of civil rights on Black ex slaves.” The Ku Klux Klan continues to exist until this day, for whatever reason.

“The two most recognizable African-American images on products are Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben.” They are still selling products for the so-called master.

When Woodrow Wilson was campaigning for the presidency of the United States he stated to Blacks, “I want to say to you that should I become President of the United States, you may count on me for absolute fair dealing for everything by which I could assist in advancing the interest of your race in the United States.” However, after he was elected, the little power or voice that Blacks had was stripped from them. All sorts of schemes kept them from voting or having their cries of pain heard. While his African-American supporters were being killed and abused, President Wilson failed to issue a single-word in their defense. Like so many “great White leaders” before him, President Woodrow Wilson became just another “Great Deceiver.”

“In 1861, the Secretary of the Navy stipulated Blacks could enter the Navy, but they could achieve no higher rank than “boys” at a compensation of $10 per month and one day’s ration.”

In 1860, Black Americans owned and controlled approximately only one-half of one percent of the nation’s wealth. By 1990, Blacks owned and controlled only one and one half percent of the nation’s wealth.” Today (2015), Blacks own and control only two percent of the nation’s wealth. They have no land and no resources and no power.

What do you think about that, Pastor Owens? This is more than one hundred and fifty years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Whites demonstrated their life and death control over Blacks through cruel and excessive punishment of slaves, especially the lynchings of Black men. Up until the late 1930s, at least one Black man was reportedly lynched every day in the year, most charged with “raping” a White woman. The word rape was broad and ambiguous. It included any and everything from sexual contact to “reckless eyeballing.”

In 2008 an Africa-American man (Barrack Obama) was elected to the Presidency of the United States by and overwhelming majority of votes. He was re-elected for a second term in 2013. And yet until this day the Republican members of congress are opposing his every effort, even though he might be the smartest President to have ever held the office.

That is racism that hurts all of us Pastor Owens, especially African-Americans.

“Being Black in America means higher mortality rates, lower levels of education, lower levels of occupational status, lower income, lower levels of wealth, lower levels of health, poorer housing, fewer two-parent households, higher unemployment, greater contact with the criminal justice system and higher levels of marital disruption than the White population. This report suggested that socioeconomic conditions among Blacks, to a large degree, stemmed directly from the structural economic and social inequalities produced by centuries of slavery, Jim Crowism, and benign neglect. Since the Black man is the primary target of racism, this report explains, in large measure, why Black men are disproportionately burdened with health problems and the shortest life expectancy of any race or gender.”

Yes, Pastor Owens, there are more African-American men in prison than there are in college. I suppose that is their fault also. No Pastor Owens, it is the results of the institutionalized racism African-Americans have been subjected to over all of these years. But are you still blaming the victims, Pastor Owens? Or do you know now why we should be hollering at the top of our voices, “Black lives matter?”

Fredrick Douglass said in 1857:

“Our destiny is largely in our own hands.

If we find, we must have to seek.

If we are to succeed in this race of life

It must be through our own energy and our own exertion.

Others may clear the road, but

We must go forth or be left behind in this race of life.”

We, Pastor Owens, we…..

Edward Faison, Jr.

Clinton, N.C.