From the Office of Veteran activist Mark S. Allen

Everything about this recent Zimmerman verdict points to the fact that the Black community in particular has not taken voter education seriously.  That lack of real voter and civic education in the Black community in particular has bitten the Black community in the foot and it hurts.  We must take this Zimmerman verdict as the most recent wake up call to get the core Black community working seriously about  the fact that the Black community in so many urban areas across this country has not engaged in a real year round civic education campaign to keep grassroots voters connected to all aspects of the electoral process.  The Black community cannot use this latest Trayvon Martin tragedy as a new "paralysis of analysis" moment of a real and sustained voter education movement.  The plan of action in response to the Zimmerman verdict and the targets will not be successful with a massive voter registration and voter education campaign. Only registered and educated voters are going to make a difference with the local, state, and federal elections that establish the public policy for the judges who are elected; the officials who are selected and manage the staff of The Justice Department and other levels of the electoral process that so many say failed us with this Zimmerman verdict. This is a modern day Emmit Till pain that has to be translated into a sustained empowerment movement - a movement that was needed before Trayvon and now so much needed after Trayvon.This Zimmerman verdict and analysis I have watched gave me flashback when I was traveling as a Field Director with Rev. Jesse Jackson through Florida and and other areas where Rev. Jackson used to ALWAYS remind the crowds that jurors are selected from the rolls of registered voters and here we are today with Blacks complaining about the lack of Blacks on juries when in Florida there are over 300,000 UNREGISTERED Blacks!! So this Zimmerman verdict is a major VOTER EDUCATION/CIVIC EDUCATION  moment in that you cannot have over 300,000 unregistered Blacks in Florida! You cannot have all these urban cities with millions of unregistered voters who won't wake until until times of crisis but to stay protected one must be actively and systematically STAY engaged in this electoral process BEFORE it offends you and not AFTER!! So I am not moved by WORDS that are not going to followed with people ready to WORK on a massive voter registration and voter education drive!!

Of course there is also the observation of so many that WHY does it take a White man killing a Black person to get the Black community into this kind of organizing and direct action frenzy in ways that did not happen as these same communities in Chicago and other urban areas have not bee able to do in response to the lives lost from Black on Black violence. Isn't fighting for Black life just as important when unjustly taken at the hands of another Black person as we are now mobilized when a Black life unjustly taken by a White?  The same voter education/civic education vehicles that are being organized now after Trayvon tragedy must be sustained in Chicago and other urban cities.  And from The National Black Wall Street Black economic perspective this kind of movement must also be sustained from a core Black community now being projected as controlling almost a trillion dollar consumer spending power.  Much of the violence and injustice in Black and Poor communities would not have happened if we had sustained the community economic campaigns of the Nationalists who followed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Nation Of Islam or the Christian community at the core at the core of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. King.  Despite the differences in Nationalism or Civil Rights, both movement still had a core belief that the Black community would be better served if it used its own economic power to create, sustain and increase the Black communities own community businesses, jobs, and institutions. And from that economic power would be the capacity to sustain the political empowerment movement.  That "operational unity" is what is needed right now to make this a sustainable movement.

There is too much at stake. The Black and poor communities have been suffering from the lack of a sustainable voter education/civic education campaign that would direct an urban political and policy policy campaign. The tragedy of Emmit Till's murder set the stage for the Civil Rights, Economic, Political agenda yesterday and the tragedy of Trayvon Martin murder should the vehicle to launch our modern day Poor People's Campaign, which is also in time as a natural extension of the 50th Year Anniversary of The historic March on Washington.

Chairman & COO National Black Wall Street Chicago
(Rev. Willie T. Barrow Consumer Education and Consumer Action Project)
Founder/Lead Organizer, Illinois Voter Restoration Civic Education Project
Chief of Staff to National Chairman, National Black Wall Street USA
"And The Ordinary People Said" News Blog, www.chicagonow.com
Chairman, Community Reinvestment Organizing Project
Listed in 2012 Edition Who' Who In Black Chicago
4655 South King Drive, Suite 203
Chicago, Illinois 60653
(Office) 773-268-6900 or direct 773-392-0165
The Rev. Al Sharpton calls Mark Allen "one of Chicago's legendary political activists and one of the best organizers of his generation"



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