“WE SHALL OVERCOME BECAUSE THE ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE IS LONG BUT IT BENDS TOWARD JUSTICE”
Today, this statement by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr continues to offer hope and to drive us as we individually and collectively work towards the day when racism no longer defines the choices and outcomes of the lives of people of color in America.
As we are daily assaulted by what feels too often as steps backward, Dr. King’s words remind us that what we do today may feel small or futile in the struggle for racial justice in America but what we do today is one more step toward that future.
As we reflect on Dr. King’s words and life today, we must remember that the work he championed and the dream he shared will only be achieved through individual and collective actions.
In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance by the perpetrators, the public and — worse — the victims. Community members must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.
Since 2010, law enforcement agencies have reported an average of about 6,000 hate crime incidents per year to the FBI. But government studies show that the real number is far higher — an estimated 260,000 per year. Many hate crimes never get reported, in large part because the victims are reluctant to go to the police. – Southern Law and Policy Center
For White people, we have a responsibility to stand up and work toward racial justice, to examine our histories and our privilege. Here are ten simple ways White people can step up and fight everyday racism in America. These include:
- Honor the feelings of people of color in the discussion.
- Educate yourself about racism as much as possible before asking people of color for help.
- Listen when people of color talk about everyday racism and white privilege
- Challenge other White people in your life to think critically about racism.