With the Georgia General Assembly ending its 2023 legislative session on Friday, amid tensions rising nationwide, a group of resolute Atlanta-Georgia leaders are holding a stand-alone event across from the Georgia State Capitol. With no legislative recourse offered this session, these critical human rights/conflict management stakeholders -- joined by three elected officials at local, county and state levels-- will highlight known victims slain by Georgia law enforcement with Proclamations and Declarations in a "Say Their Names Day" event this Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 12noon on Liberty Plaza greens (262 Capitol Ave SE, Atlanta 30312). (See flyer below)
"The needs of these victims' families are not being met," emphasizes LaQuana Alexander, President of the Georgia Streetgroomers, a major organizer for the "Say Their Names Day" event. "As much as we are working to ensure they are supported, what is needed by these families will take altering our current silo systems that keep those of us in the community separate from the criminal justice system, the health and wellness system, and the government decision-making system."
These facts and recommendations were presented by Streetgroomers' then-spokesperson Al Bartell in the fall of 2021 before the GA State House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
During this past legislative session -- and during the previous 2022 legislative session in Georgia -- none of these recommendations took hold. No legislative bills have been introduced to address them.
Bringing sharp attention to racism against the Black man – terming it “a war being waged on Black men in Georgia”, former Independent Georgia gubernatorial candidate and now-Chairman of the World Human Rights Network Al Bartell sees the only recourse is to approach the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety.
“The groundwork being laid for establishing an essence of peace, in dismantling the framework of violence in Georgia – and in America – is at its core human rights-driven. The violent deaths – and assured violent outcomes for the Black man in Georgia -- is the brutal human rights issue at hand. It permeates every aspect of our lives."
If Black men are to come out and vote, Bartell communicated during the 2022 elections, they deserve to have a platform where they can also express their communication of exclusion from the governmental decision-making process – and the brutality of their exclusion from human rights justice in their daily lives. It's why Bartell says the time is right for an Independent movement – one that will not only stand for Black men, but that will stand for the voice of the American public as a whole.
"An American President is being tried by Congress and the U.S. court system for an action that occurred in the State of Georgia," Bartell points out. "The general consensus is that regarding 11,500 votes, that was the tipping point for one American President losing and for another American President being installed. That small margin is a reflection of the percentage of voters that may or may not come out to vote in 2024, depending on whether they are experiencing being included in the decision-making process of government."
The critical issue in the background of all these situational events is addressing violence, including those at the level of the global African Diaspora, Bartell recently noted, in accepting his appointment as Grand Chancellor of the Numi-Numidia African Diaspora Kingdom.
"The human relationship to violence for centuries was/has been to use violence to address violence," Bartell further elaborates. "The most comprehensive example of this principle in the 20th century was called the 'Vietnam War'. What made it more comprehensive in the view of the general public is, for the first time in history, mass media put mass violence on display, for direct human connection. That direct human connection, so to speak, caused a conversation to emerge to withdraw the use of deadly force in the 'Vietnam War', that, in turn, called forth another language known as the 'Vietnam Conflict'.
"This tipping point ushered in a new, alternative approach -- other than using violence to address violence -- that had us as humans consider using the approach of conflict management to address violence.
"The question becomes: is there a public policy leader in Georgia that was a critical stakeholder in the 2020 elections, the 2022 elections, and the Vietnam era that has communicated a conflict management approach as a relationship to violence?"
Arguably, the 21st century of governance has been polarized the most by the fallout between a brutality of power that gives rise to pay-offs, and a kind of conscience-based power that gives rise to shared power -- and by the people/leaders who have personally benefited from pay-offs or shared power.
Then there are people/leaders who did not/have not benefited from either pay-offs or shared power in the 21st century of governance. A group who did not/has not benefited from pay-offs -- or shared power -- are those who are called human rights/conflict management stakeholders.
In the tensions rising nationwide, a development is slowing unfolding, independent of the current power structure of our nation, government and corporations. Another era of leaders and leadership is taking hold. New leaders that are lazer-focused on what did not take place in the 20th century -- and what has not taken place thus far in the 21st century, including the most recent election cycles. New leaders that are effectively utilizing technology to grow and expand networks, helping to accelerate an independent movement in the U.S. -- and worldwide.
Human rights/conflict management stakeholders and leaders are among that new leadership. The culture of new leadership in the 21st century may well find expression in the platform of an independent movement, with the potential/capability of dismantling the current framework of violence in America, and around the world.
The "Say Their Names Day" event -- and the expression of new leaders/new leadership in human rights/conflict management -- may well forward that movement, starting from the state of Georgia, at a time 55 years ago that Dr. King would have been delivering his last sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. : "Remaining Awake During A Great Revolution".