“But It Wouldn’t Be Nothing…”

We have lived through an era where the fight for equality seems trite and passé. From Boomers to Gen Z, generations are protesting in the streets in the same way that War Babies did in the mid-1950s and 60s. The current phrase is that we need to “normalize” this and that. Normalize having feelings; normalize no glass ceiling in business; normalize police accountability. All these demands are valid, necessary, and overdue. However, there are actions that also need to be normalized, too.

One of the main attributes of the past, which doesn’t need to make it into the present, is any type of violent act towards women and girls. This has always been a certain contradiction that did not make sense. How can you love and cherish Black women and at the same time belittle and raise your hand to them? It baffles the mind that even if you saw this behavior among your loved ones that you would be inclined to repeat it. Violence against women and girls was wrong then and it is even more wrong now, period.

The main mission of the Charles L. Franklin Associates (CLFA) is to support the women of the NCNW. It goes without saying that we hold them in high regard, we respect them, and we love them. They are our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. They represent all things that are good and right with this world. Without them, there is no us! We are changing so many aspects about the society we live in. Our list of demands for our future and the future of our children is righteous. The eradication of any type of violence, both mental and physical, toward the only entity that keeps alive the race of humanity is harmful and senseless. Our history, which is not lost, but has not been recorded, cannot tell us when we went off course. However, we can choose right now, Father’s Day 2021, to be the time where we steer the figurative ship in the right direction and stop all violence against women and girls.

Many of us have affection for sports that ranges from a passing interest to a borderline obsession. Let us imagine for a moment the interaction with our opposites is a game, a game of love, if you will. There are rules for rewards and penalties just like in the game of, let’s say Soccer (Futbol, depending upon your introduction). While the game is different from the American pastime of Football, there are some similarities. In Football, when you render a negative action, a yellow flag is thrown on the field to signify a penalty. And, in Soccer a red card is used for the same purpose. In either, the player has done something wrong that cost himself, his team, and even his cheering fans. The results are swift, immediate, and long-lasting and the consequences go beyond that moment. So, let us apply this to a more important topic in our lives — the women we love and respect. Anyone who aims harmful words or deeds against women should be warned with a “red card” that expresses disapproval to the entire community, from those who raised them to the children they are raising. We must stop being foul with our words and deeds. And ultimately, we must call out those who insist on demeaning women and girls.

The United Nations and the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN) have come together to take a stand against violence and discrimination toward women and girls because this is not just an American issue, but a global issue. NCNW has partnered with them to gather one million pledges to personally stop this violence. We, the CLFA, pledge to support them in this endeavor. So, we are asking you, like us, to take the “RED CARD” pledge. It only takes a few moments, but it represents a monumental global pivot in the attitude. Below is the link that you can share and fill out yourself. The great James Brown said it best, when it comes to this world, “It wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.”

For Father’s Day, pledge to create a better future. Pledge to talk to our sons about this matter. Pledge to let our daughters know their bodies and minds are safe. We will protect them. Pledge to our wives, sisters and mothers to respect their person, opinion and differences. Take the “RED CARD” pledge to respect, regardless.

Thank you,

Harry E. Johnson, Sr. — CLFA Co-chair
James D. Staton, Jr. — CLFA Co-chair

If you oppose all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, take the Redcardpledge.com and share it with your friends.

The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) mission is to lead, empower and advocate for women of African descent, their families and communities.