20th Century, African American, Black History, ekklesia, History

“Muffle Your Rage”: Civil Rights Leader Roy Wilkins

Roy Wilkins postage stamp, ame-sac.org

April 1955 to August 1977
“Saint Paul’s Roy Wilkins becomes a national leader in the civil rights movement during its most turbulent and productive years. In April 1955, Wilkins is named executive secretary (the title was later changed to executive director in 1964) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He serves in that position until August 1977.
Wilkins participates in the March on Washington (1963), the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965), and the March Against Fear (1966).
In 1969 President Lyndon B. Johnson will bestow the Medal of Freedom on Mr. Wilkins, the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States.” *

Roy Wilkins landed in Saint Paul, Minnesota circa 1906 after losing his mother. Raised by an aunt and uncle, he attended an integrated school, (much to his pleasure), and grew up happy in a blue-collar neighborhood. After high school, Roy attended the University of Minnesota gaining a degree in sociology with a minor in journalism. His articulate writing led to multiple positions as a journalist reporting for: “Minnesota Daily”, “Kansas City Call”, “St. Paul Appeal”, and “The Crisis”. ,*

Returning to Missouri with his bride Minnie, his birthplace, Mr. Wilkins noted the atmosphere of racism surrounding Kansas City. To use his own words, “…even good manners could be a crime for a black man.” ** Such experiences made the Wilkin’s family take note of differing treatment of African Americans regionally, and so moved him to join the NAACP where he served his community continuously from 1934 until 1977.

What one finds most characteristic about him in the era he led the NAACP, (1955-1977), is his model of peaceful dissent. He wanted to exhort and persuade society, and make legal changes following a Constitutional process. In the words of the NAACP,
“Wilkins strongly opposed militancy in the movement for civil rights as represented by the “black power” movement.” *** In agreement, the Black Heritage Commemorative Society stated the following about Executive Director Wilkins:
“…the militant “black power” movements of the 1970s, including the Black Muslims and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, faulted Wilkins and the NAACP for failing to take more direct action. Wilkins held unswervingly to the principal of democratic processes within the legislative system, saying: “Muffle your rage. Get smart instead of muscular.”” **

How did Roy Wilkins sum up his life’s work? Again, we let the man speak for himself.

“Without us, without our struggle, the country would have floundered in moral emptiness long ago. We must never lose faith in the justness of our cause and the certainty of our success. We have tried to create a nation where all men would be equal in the eyes of the law, where all citizens would be judged on their own abilities, not their race.”
-(Excerpt from “Standing Fast: The Autobiography of Roy Wilkins” by Roy Wilkins and Tom Mathews, 1982.)

With these words ringing in our ears, we turn to the Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, how proud we are of Your commitment to all of Your human family throughout history!
We remember this song of David to You; Our Dear One.

“When they were few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in the land,
they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.

He let no man oppress them;
He rebuked kings on their behalf:
‘Do not touch My anointed ones!
Do no harm to My prophets!’

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Proclaim His salvation day after day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but it is the LORD who made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy fill His dwelling.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name;
bring an offering and come before Him.” ****

Eternal Father, how fitting this song is for the life of Roy Wilkins, and his tireless advocacy for African-Americans! He followed Your example, but instead of rebuking kings he challenged the Presidents of the United States. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter all listened to his message to: impute, assign, attribute, evaluate, and pass fair judgment on Americans of African descent.

We see such powerful examples of Your masculine strength of love in his determination. Again, we also see Your strength under control in his actions; though he had reason to rage, he put it away. He communicated deliberately, continuously, and took the painful slow path to persuasion and success. How grateful we are to You for his message and methods to convey it!

We acknowledge to You: by the Cross of Christ, by the blood of Christ, by the Resurrection of Christ, and Your unchanging Word, the bitter root judgments and curses made against Roy Wilkins, Black citizens of Minnesota, and Black America in his era. We name names of only some of these generational root sins: enslaving Africans, transporting Africans to America against their will, embittering their lives with hard labor, judgments based in ethnocentrism of their: appearance, lifestyle, culture, dreams and abilities, that all dark-skinned people think alike and share the same culture, judgments stemming from their participation in the Civil, Spanish, WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, judgments made on their Republicanism, judgments made on their Democratism, judgments made on their acceptance of the New Deal, FERA (Federal Relief Emergency Administration), judgments made on their acceptance of welfare: Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Housing Assistance, and Food Stamps, and finally the political judgments made upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and denying the Image of G-d in His Black peoples? Will You take this pain: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Conversely, will You forgive the counter bitter root judgments of African American culture of Wilkins era against their non-Black neighbors in Minnesota and the greater United States? We name names of only some of these generational root sins: ethnocentrism against the: appearance, lifestyle, culture, dreams and abilities of non-African-Americans, that all light-skinned people think alike and share the same culture, their Democratism or Republicanism, and denying the Image of G-d in His Non-Black peoples? Will You take this pain up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

By the Authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Cross, His Blood, His Resurrection, and His eternal word we announce His forgiveness of these bitter root judgments, experiences, and curses of Minnesota and the greater United States during the decades of Director Wilkin’s career with the NAACP. Will You breathe life into his wisdom for all of us to; “Muffle our rage. Get smart instead of muscular.”?

Will You give us impartations of love to see Your Masterpiece: the African-American human being before us? Will You give us favor, Holy Spirit to see Your Masterpiece, the non-African American human being before us? May we “Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations” the dignity and beauty of His handiwork both in the present and until He returns! By the Authority of the One existing before all races, and for whom all races exist! Amen!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** From “Black History Now”, an excellent source of biographies for heroes of the Civil Rights movement. http://blackhistorynow.com/roy-wilkins/
*** https://www.naacp.org/naacp-history-roy-wilkins/
**** Excerpt of I Chronicles 16:19-29. https://biblehub.com/bsb/1_chronicles/16.htm

“Black History Month: Roy Wilkins. City of Saint Paul Minnesota Media Services. 2005.
“Roy Wilkins: The Right to Dignity”. Public Resource Org. ARC Identifier 2546045 / Local Identifier 306.289. 1982 – 10/01/1999
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20th Century, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, Uncategorized

The Indian Reorganization Act

unknown

https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2015/11/30/indian-new-deal/

June 18, 1934

“Congress passes the Indian Reorganization Act, sometimes called the “Indian New Deal.” The legislation reverses the Dawes Act’s privatization of Indian lands, and allows for a return to tribal sovereignty, or local self-government.” *

To get better acquainted with the moment in time, we need to know something about Commissioner Collier, his policies and motives.

 “John Collier’s appointment as Commissioner of Indian Affairs by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 marked a radical reversal—in intention if not always in effect—in U.S. government policies toward American Indians that dated back to the 1887 Dawes Act. An idealistic social worker, Collier first encountered Indian culture when he visited Taos, New Mexico, in 1920, and found among the Pueblos there what he called a “Red Atlantis”—a model of living that integrated the needs of the individual with the group and that maintained traditional values. Although Collier could not win congressional backing for his most radical proposals, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 dramatically changed policy by allowing tribal self-government and consolidating individual land allotments back into tribal hands.” **

Next come the question of how these goals are established legally, and who gets to make the choice.

“The bill seeks to consolidate Indian-owned land into tribal or community ownership, while retaining individual use thereof and inheritance rights, but would prohibit sale. It provides for buying additional land, so that, eventually, all Indians desiring it will have some land for their own use. It would permit Indians to organize into self-governing communities under Federal supervision, with extension of responsibility as Indians show capacity for self-rule.

In the words of Commissioner Collier, the bill “strikes a double blow at the two fatal weaknesses of Indian administration across a whole century: first, the dissipation of the Indian estate and the progressive pauperization of the Indians, and, second, the suppression of Indian tribal and social and religious institutions and the steadfast failure of the Government to organize any effective plan of collective action by which the Indians could advance in citizenship and protect their rights.”

Yeshua, thank You for the life of John Collier, and the impact that it had on our state. We remember both his successes and failures to You. Perhaps he was too idealistic and impatient for change? Will You forgive where he offended You, or his neighbors’ conscience, by moving too fast? Will You forgive where he sought to right an offense through legalistic counter-offense? Will You forgive where he fell prey to vanity, thinking his vantage point was unassailable, and resistant to listen to his critics?

Conversely, we bless his successes in shining a light on the usurped lands and unalienable rights of all Native Americans. We thank You that he was willing to push back on the excesses of our capitalistic system, and the offenses of its oligarchy of key players and their companies? We believed in the false gods of progress as defined by Minnesota and its’ economic masters to the exclusion of the 10th Amendment rights of our tribal brothers and sisters; have mercy! Will You bless those like Collier that are the whistleblowers of our collective state conscience?

Further, we have forgotten the benefits and benefactors of our nationhood and its laws. We have forgotten how the best minds of France and England, Greece and Rome, Egypt and Israel gave shape to our laws that have given previously unheard of rights and privileges to common human beings.

We have forgotten that our statehood has, somehow, almost miraculously allowed myriads of cultures and sub-cultures to unite as one people. Though Native systems had their successes, we have since created a place that can incorporate hundreds or even thousands of religions, worldviews, ethnicities, cultures, tribes and languages to co-exist where there had previously only been primarily: Chippewa, Lakota, Nakota, Dakota, Sioux, and Ojibwe. 

We have failed to practice gratitude, both in the era of the Indian New Deal and the present, the equilibrium achieved over thousands of years of balkanization and racism precisely through the laws of our nation-state!  Master, we have thought too long and too much of our own race and too little of the honor You bestowed on all Your children! Have mercy on our arrogance!

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:38

Though this verse points us to Jerusalem, we welcome when Your justice is established across all the families of the nations of the earth! We look forward to a dominion when land and law are apportioned according to Your economy. We invite You, Holy Spirit, to the political state of Minnesota, and to the First Nation’s that occupied these lands before it; come and sort us out? May we be faithful stewards of these, Your Lands, that we temporarily occupy during our brief life spans. May “Mni sotah” truly be a reflection forever of the clear blue waters of human relationships with You, (and each other), made right!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5059/

*** “A New Deal for the American Indian,” Literary Digest, 7 April 1938, 21.

**** Schwartz, E. A., “Red Atlantis Revisited: Community and Culture in the Writings of John Collier”. American Indian Quarterly.Vol. 18, No. 4 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 507-531

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1185395?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

Jun 18, 1934
Congress passes the Indian Reorganization Act, sometimes called the “Indian New Deal.” The legislation reverses the Dawes Act’s privatization of Indian lands, and allows for a return to tribal sovereignty, or local self-government.*

To get better acquainted with the moment in time, we need to know something about Commissioner Collier, his policies and motives.
“John Collier’s appointment as Commissioner of Indian Affairs by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 marked a radical reversal—in intention if not always in effect—in U.S. government policies toward American Indians that dated back to the 1887 Dawes Act. An idealistic social worker, Collier first encountered Indian culture when he visited Taos, New Mexico, in 1920, and found among the Pueblos there what he called a “Red Atlantis”—a model of living that integrated the needs of the individual with the group and that maintained traditional values. Although Collier could not win congressional backing for his most radical proposals, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 dramatically changed policy by allowing tribal self-government and consolidating individual land allotments back into tribal hands.” **

Next come the question of how these goals are established legally, and who gets to make the choice.
“The bill seeks to consolidate Indian-owned land into tribal or community ownership, while retaining individual use thereof and inheritance rights, but would prohibit sale. It provides for buying additional land, so that, eventually, all Indians desiring it will have some land for their own use. It would permit Indians to organize into self-governing communities under Federal supervision, with extension of responsibility as Indians show capacity for self-rule.
In the words of Commissioner Collier, the bill “strikes a double blow at the two fatal weaknesses of Indian administration across a whole century: first, the dissipation of the Indian estate and the progressive pauperization of the Indians, and, second, the suppression of Indian tribal and social and religious institutions and the steadfast failure of the Government to organize any effective plan of collective action by which the Indians could advance in citizenship and protect their rights.”

Yeshua, thank You for the life of John Collier, and the impact that it had on our state. We remember both his successes and failures to you. Perhaps he was too idealistic and impatient for change? Will You forgive where he offended You, or his neighbors’ conscience, by moving too fast? Will You forgive where he sought to right an offense through legalistic counter-offense? Will You forgive where he fell prey to vanity, thinking his vantage point was unassailable, and resistant to listen to his critics?

Conversely, we bless his successes in shining a light on the usurped lands and unalienable rights of all Native Americans. We thank You that he was willing to push back on the excesses of our capitalistic system, and the offenses of its oligarchy of key players and their companies? We believed in the false gods of progress as defined by Minnesota and its’ economic masters to the exclusion of the 10th Amendment rights of our tribal brothers and sisters; have mercy! Will You bless those like Collier that are the whistleblowers of our collective state conscience?

Further, we have forgotten the benefits and benefactors of our nationhood and its laws. We have forgotten how the best minds of France and England, Greece and Rome, Egypt and Israel gave shape to our laws that have given previously unheard of rights and privileges to common human beings.
We have forgotten that our statehood has, somehow, almost miraculously allowed myriads of cultures and sub-cultures to unite as one people. Though Native systems had their successes, we have since created a place that can incorporate hundreds or even thousands of religions, worldviews, ethnicities, cultures, tribes and languages to co-exist where there had previously only been primarily: Chippewa, Lakota, Nakota, Dakota, Sioux, and Ojibwe. We have failed to practice gratitude, both in the era of the Indian New Deal and the present, the equilibrium achieved over thousands of years of balkanization and racism precisely through the laws of our nation-state! Master, we have thought too long and too much of our own race and too little of the honor You bestowed on all Your children! Have mercy on our arrogance!

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:38
Though this verse points us to Jerusalem, we welcome when Your justice is established across all the families of the nations of the earth! We look forward to a dominion when land and law are apportioned according to Your economy. We invite You, Holy Spirit, to the political state of Minnesota, and to the First Nation’s that occupied these lands before it; come and sort us out? May we be faithful stewards of these, Your Lands, that we temporarily occupy during our brief life spans. May “Mni sotah” truly be a reflection forever of the clear blue waters of human relationships with You, (and each other), made right!

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5059/
*** “A New Deal for the American Indian,” Literary Digest, 7 April 1938, 21.
**** Schwartz, E. A., “Red Atlantis Revisited: Community and Culture in the Writings of John Collier”. American Indian Quarterly.Vol. 18, No. 4 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 507-531
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1185395?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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