Got an invitation to "The Civil Rights Presidential Inaugural Ball” today, not from the party I have supported for decades obviously. No, this one came from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. What I have done to merit such a distinction, I don't know. Tell you the truth, I'm tempted. What better place to dance the night away and mark the historic occasion?
I'm actually quite touched, but I must send my regrets, not for the reasons you might believe. As a minority myself, I can begin to appreciate what the swearing in of an African-American president means to many, many Americans. In fact, it is the only saving grace of the moment.
No, I must demur because not too far away, there are many, many human beings of African descent who live under conditions that would make the Jim Crow South seem idyllic. Yet I have never ever heard a single African-American Civil Rights organization voice even the slightest protest at the treatment of their brethren in Cuba. As a matter of record, with the exception of Al Sharpton, many of the most strident voices for civil rights in this country, many who denounced Apartheid in South Africa, have served as apologists and/or willing stooges for a regime that oppresses its brothers and sisters.
When the NAACP launches a campaign to publicize the plight of Cuban political prisoners, and the SCLC expresses its solidarity with Elias Biscet, stands in support of Antuñez, Coco Fariñas and others, then I will gladly celebrate their moment of triumph. Until then, I must regretfully decline their gracious invite.