First of all, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone that participated today. Thank you, giving your time to, just allowed us to give voice to this and also thank you to Tom and Zack and Kathy for putting all this together and I want to leave you all with something and you know, for those of you who helped me out, those several 100 people here but, those of you who know me and know my personality, I'm a pretty, kinda chill kinda quiet guy. You know, I don't really like to be out there so much but this is kind of beyond, this is beyond me and I'm going to just kind of use my family to share, you know, my family's is a typically, it's a typical family, you know, typical American family. And I'll talk about myself, my mom, my dad, my parents, and my mom's mom, and then her dad. And there was my great-grandfather.
And my great-grandfather was born a slave. He was emancipated when he was 9 years old and he loved ducks. And so he didn't like the name that was given to him and his father was a slave owner. And so when he was emancipated, he named himself Duck, Duck(indistinct) And, you know, born in bondage, the US government considered him three fifths of a person, so 60% of a human being. And it was hard for him, it was rough but he rose up, he did what he had to do to make things better for his child, which is my grandmother.
And my grandmother, she was a seamstress and she was living in a small town that was completely segregated and grossly underpaid. I remember as a little boy going to the house and it was kind of like a shack on blocks and I didn't quite understand how everything was so old and I would ask my mom about it but, she did what she had to do for her children to make things better for her children. And then my mom, she grew up in that same town. Her school was completely segregated, she used to tell me that, you know, they would only get the books that were old from the white schools and the desk and the chairs were the old desks and chairs. So say you have 30 kids but only 10 desks so you had to stand up or sit on the floor if you had to share books.
But she did what she had to do. She was the first person in her town, black person to go to college. Then so she got her doctor's degree when I was a teenager and you know, she strove and did things, made things better for me. And my dad, he went to an all-boys, all-black military school, St.Elmo's and then after that he went to the army but there were certain jobs that he couldn't do. And even in the army he just finished basically training, three of his fellow soldiers through (indistinct) or just got out of basic training, they're all in uniform and, you know, they wanted to get a soda and they went to a diner.
Well, my dad and other two black soldiers, they couldn't have anything to drink. They had to wait outside or have to get in the back. But my dad was like, "Hey, I'm in uniform. I'm, you know, the Korean war started, we're shipping out, we're taking our orders and, but yet he still went above that, you know as a child he said, you know, during world war II, he saw a diner and he saw German soldiers get off of, I mean German prisoners of war get off a bus and go into the diner and eat. And he was shocked to, he didn't understand why the enemy can eat there but he couldn't.
But through all that, through all the stuff they had to do, my parents, my momma told me she used to do marches back in the late fifties and through all that, they rose, they made things better for me. But even me now, it's better, but I still gotta deal with stuff that they dealt with way back when. So better is not right. Better is not perfect. Better is not correct.
You know, we, this country, we have the most powerful document on the planet. We have the constitution of the United States and it's a shield to make sure that everyone has liberties and justice. There should be protection for everyone under this document. And it's so powerful and so wide but, does it work for everyone? Does it work for one group 100 percent and then another group, it's like, "Kinda, you know, maybe, you know, when it's a little tough and it's inconvenient, it may not work completely." You gotta ask yourself, "How strong is that document?" You know, we're telling the world, right now there are people on this call from all over the world and they hear about United States.
And we say, "We are this or, you know, now is that time." This is the time because, okay in the past we didn't have all this. We didn't have technology, we didn't have video. We didn't have the internet to get information. Now we can educate ourselves, we can understand, we can see with our own eyes. And, now there's no excuses.
I told my colleagues, everyone, that presented today when we had our Zoom meeting, I'll share this with you guys. We're talking about what we're gonna do, what's the purpose of this and whatever, and, again I have to kinda, I told them, I was like, "Hey guys, I'm a guy that doesn't like to make waves, I like to ride them. But today, I gotta make everyone uncomfortable, and kind of tell them the reality. So just like Brent was saying earlier, this can't just be... (indistinct) If this dies out and then we get a rebound effect like we did with the presidency," you know, I told the whole group, I was like, "Okay guys, you guys are fine. Me and Brett, our life just sucks.
Our lives are gonna be difficult. Our lives are gonna be very, very... It's already all the stuff we gotta do now, if this just kind of goes away and there's a rebound, it's gonna be hard." And so now there's no excuses. Now this is the time for us to not just do better, to not just make it just a little bit better. Yes, it's better for me than it was my parents, but it's still not right.
And this is the time to make it right. And I can't do this by myself. We, as my culture, we can't do this by ourselves. This is a collective problem. And this is something that everyone needs to address.
And everyone needs to work on to get solutions for this. And this is our chance right now to, okay the past is the past, we need to know it, we need to fully understand it. But, now it's like okay, we don't need to do better, we need to get this right. And, this cause, I mean, it's kind of a no-brainer. I mean, this, to do the right thing is, it should be easy.
This is a righteous cause. This is something that is good and it's just simple, good and evil, right and wrong. And there are those out there, they strive for superiority but that's not, this is not us. We are demanding equality. And I just want you guys to take that with you because, we have the power to do this.
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