“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Clearly the United Sates of America as a nation has been asleep, passively disengaged, or intentionally oblivious if its people are at all surprised by where we find ourselves right now in this moment of outrage and shame. The racial, economic, and gender divisions that have recently festered and boiled over into this so-called “moment of national reckoning” are all too familiar to those of us whose lives are impacted each and everyday by the institutional policies, practices and procedures that make our racial identity, gender and sexual orientation, or the specific location of our economic and class alignment a threat to our ability to pursue the American Dream of “…equality and justice for ALL.” I don’t know for a fact what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say at this moment where, as a NATION, we find ourselves, in a valley where there is an abundant deficiency of “Moral Courage.” But if his legacy were to speak for itself, Dr. King would be calling on all of us to STAND UP, to STOP Bending Over, and to SPEAK OUT against the fundamental ignorance, complicity, and intentional oblivion that we are experiencing right now. He would not condone the apparent lack of Moral Courage evident in our political leadership and exhibited by the Faith Leaders in our Communities who have been hauntingly silent on these issues. There is an enormous cost that comes with leadership and a responsibility that cannot be denied. Real leadership requires sacrifice and a commitment to work on behalf of others ahead of your own personal enrichment, convenience or comfort.
People fleeing religious persecution and authoritarian rule, and those seeking liberty, freedom and autonomy, founded this nation. (That said, we must Not ignore the truth of stolen lands, enslaved labor and attempted Genocide.) We cannot ignore or deny that White Supremacist Ideology is a foundational tenet in the underpinning of “America” as well. The idea that is the “United States of America” is an ever evolving and transformative process. There will continue to be hills to climb and valleys to endure but we cannot honor the Life and Legacy of Dr. King if we remain silent in the clarion call of this moment. There comes a time when one MUST take a position…that TIME is NOW. Not because it is comfortable or convenient, but because it is RIGHT!