In the midst of hateful name-calling, bullying, and divisive words from the POTUS these past months, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. a man who walked the walk of peace, stood up to oppression and injustice, and died much too soon.
Celebrate this day by demonstrating compassion, be kind, share peace. Wherever there is an injustice, use your words to speak up, to write an email, or to sign a petition for justice.
Be of service to others, refuse to give up hope, and work to make our community and nation stronger.
United We Stand: How do we get through the difficulties that threaten to tear us apart?
This was the topic of Sunday’s service at the church which I attend. Although it’s part of a series titled “Family Stuff,” it’s also appropriate for what’s happening during the post-Trump election.
Biblical scriptures are great like that, showing us that many ancient words still pertain to current circumstances.
The scripture used this past Sunday was Philllipians 1:27:
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
These words reminded me that Jesus was himself a social activist. Anyone familiar with the bible knows the numerous stories of him speaking and fighting against injustice. What is amazing is that he did so in a non-violent manner.
It has grieved me to hear about the racist incidents happening all over our country. Time magazine cited several. A compilation of Tweets enumerating hundreds of incidents on Day 1 in Trump’s America began.
Reading the tweets may anger you. The hatred is real and so is the pain. Don’t let these hateful things break your spirit.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has counted more than 300 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the five days since Election Day.
“They’ve been everywhere — in schools, in places of business like Walmart, on the street,” SPLC President Richard Cohen said Monday.
I’ve heard stories, from parents in my own city, that racist comments have been made in elementary school classrooms. That breaks my heart.
My comment to the parent was to report all incidents and ask the administration to gather an assembly, reaffirming that hateful speech and bullying isn’t allowed whoever the POTUS is.
I read this report today from a Latino legal civil rights organization.
MALDEF STATEMENT ON REPORTS OF POST-ELECTION BULLYING AT CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS
November 10, 2016 LOS ANGELES, CA – In the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, reports have surfaced of problems at schools, including anti-immigrant bullying. MALDEF calls on local and state officials to move swiftly to address any incidents of uncivil discourse in our schools.
Please attribute the following statement to MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz.
“Every public school in the state of California is obligated under both state and federal law to step in to prevent and address bullying or harassment on any prohibited basis, including on the basis of actual or assumed immigration status or on the basis of race or ethnicity. These obligations are grounded in the federal and state constitutions; they have not and will not change regardless of who has been elected president or who is serving as president.
MALDEF calls upon school superintendents, principals, other administrators, and teachers to act promptly to address any bullying or harassment tied to the Trump campaign’s regrettable rhetoric around immigration and to take proactive steps to prevent such activity. MALDEF will not hesitate to take legal action against any school that fails to comply with its constitutional and legal obligations with respect to any such conduct.”
Now, I know all Trump supporters aren’t spewing racist remarks towards others but to those who believe electing their candidate gives license to their hate speech, they’re wrong and we have to combat these incidents.
On Nov. 9th, I took to FB, as many of us do to share, comment, vent, and lament.
“My son, in Denver, said people cheered in the streets last night, people wearing White Pride shirts. He’s uncomfortable, angry, and sad, like many of us. Fear ruled the night. I woke up needing to process the choice most Americans made and began my day like all the others, reading my devotional. Psalm 39:7 appeared. It’s about hope. Those of us who don’t like the choice will grieve but please continue to do the work you’ve always done for a better America, for all people. Do not let fear and hate destroy that work or dictate the next four years. Let hope rule the days to come.”
What can you do? What can I do?
Hope is what I will embrace. And don’t get me wrong, hope isn’t only a noun. Hope is a verb, too. Hope as a noun is a feeling of expectation but as a verb, it is a desire for something to happen. Hope in action is significant.
Hope is not passive. I’m reminded by numerous scriptures that Jesus was not a passive man, or apolitical. He confronted injustice, railed against tyranny, and engaged in ‘civil disobedience.’ Be involved with the communities that are hurting.
There are hundreds of things you can do as an individual or family to confront racist incidents. Start with your own family and talk about social justice in your home. Join a civil rights organization, participate in a local or state protest, talk to your kid’s teacher, confront hate, listen to others pain, demonstrate kindness and compassion.
Yesterday morning, CNN broadcast the first service at the Emanuel AME church. The Rev. Goff said:
“The blood of the Mother Emanuel Nine requires us to work until not only justice is served in this case, but for those who are still living on the margin of life.”
His quote is an attitude of love in the face of hatred.
The gunman said he was going to start a “race war,” to which the Rev. Goff addressed in his sermon:
“Lots of folks expected us to do something strange and break out in a riot,” Goff said.
“Well, they just don’t know us,” he said, as the congregation stood and cheered.
The tragedy of the Charleston shooting remained in my thoughts and showed up in a poem during the dead of night.
The Insanity of Hate
Hate is an acid
dissolves innate morality.
eats away reason
from the slow drip of racism
fed by stereotypes
begat by fear, blame, otherness.
Hate eats the heart
throws up paranoia
irrational rationalized thoughts
Hate takes a gun
commits violence, destroys
turns world's upside down.
Hate is a four letter word
so is LOVE,
motivated by HOPE,
fueled by WORK,
for an end to violence.