Ernie McCray: #DearCongress

Ernie McCray

Ernie McCray

EDITOR’S NOTE: Former Tucson High School and University of Arizona basketball standout Ernie McCray is a legendary figure to Tucsonans and Wildcat fans. McCray, who holds the Wildcats’ scoring record with 46 points on Feb. 6, 1960, against Cal State-Los Angeles, is the first African-American basketball player to graduate from Arizona. McCray, who now resides in San Diego, earned degrees in physical education and elementary education at Arizona. He is a longtime educator, actor and activist in community affairs in the San Diego-area. He wrote a blog for before the site ceased current-events operations earlier this year. He agreed to continue offering his opinion and insight with about Arizona Wildcats athletics. McCray also writes blogs for

Al Jazeera America inquired “If you could ask Congress to take on one thing – one policy, one issue, one bill, one idea, one principle – what would it be and why?” They then recommend that contributors start their “one thing” request with: “#DearCongress…” and submit a picture of themselves holding the message.

So I sent:

#DearCongress, I want you to simply, in a spirit of human decency, act as the hope inspiring heart and soul of our democracy.”

But I’d like to say more to Congress. I’d like to say, “Look here, you guys. All I’ve asked of you, and all I would ever ask of you is, as our ‘representatives,’ represent us. Serving, We the People, is, theoretically, your reason for being so I just want you to go about that with love of country and all the people therein, guided not by the irrationalities in our society but by what would truly, in all honesty, cater to the social needs of us all.

“If you did that you would never have to campaign again because we’d vote you in, as a way of life, because then you would be providing us the means to respect and appreciate each other, something we’ve never done since our country began.

“You would, perhaps, be setting up the pathways to making gay citizens feel all the way free (so many still remain closeted) to just be who they were meant to be – themselves, you see.

“You would empower us to look at ways to take care of all the homeless and impoverished and neglected and abused and used and single-parented and bullied and overly obese and mis-educated and mis-directed children in our country – rather than
acting like we really care about children with our empty anti-abortion rhetoric.


“You would help us learn to be compassionate, to embrace human beings who have risked their lives, crossing deserts and mountains, for better lives, oftentimes leaving behind conditions that were energized by our country’s shenanigans in their countries. Your doing so would help us understand the concept of causes and affects.

“You would, in that regard, help us sit down as a nation of people and consider looking more to the sun and winds for energy; looking at fossil fuel as finite, looking at climate change as a game changer when it comes to ‘The World is Coming to an End’ kind of thinking.

“You would enable us to see that we dare not lose our social security, that the rich have a responsibility, directly due to fairness and their economic ability, to pay a fair share of taxes, as ‘trickle down’ theories have no more credibility than a fairy tale.

“You would allow us to look more critically at our fascination with guns, with our turning our backs to the murder of so many black youth (no matter who is doing the murdering), with the mowing down of children as they sit in the library or the cafeteria or in the classrooms of their schools.

“You would help us say ‘No!’ to the New Jim Crow, to the over-incarceration of youth of color and ‘Yes’ to better education and more opportunities for them.

“You would, more than anything, help us to be good citizens, protectors of liberty, in a place called ‘The Land of the Free'”

This Congress? Oh, I’m such a dreamer.

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