Ambiguity is guile. Stand against racism.
We’ve lost our moral compass
Racism has no grey area. There is no middle ground. There is cause today for extreme angst.
The vile cockroach of white supremacy has emerged from the shadows. And it must die and never return. This is the duty of all those who value human life, and democracy: to once and for all destroy this plague from among us.
From Warsaw, where far-right insects have emerged from Holocaust ashes, to the blood-spattered streets of Charlottesville, and in online chambers across the globe, the moral ground on which we stand is shifting. We should be alarmed and afraid.
In the face of this plague ambiguity is guile. To be quiet is to scream. We must unequivocally name that which led to 60 million rotting bodies. That slaughtered six million innocent people; women, children, men, snuffed out. And before that, 15 million by the hands of Americans. Which now threatens our neighbors, friends, family, loved ones, us.
Racism. Say it.
Republicanism, Christianity, America, became synonymous with this term in some circles because a hard line was never drawn. There was never a distinction made. The cockroaches were allowed to live beneath the floorboards, out of sight, while guests sat in love chairs above drinking fine wine.
That line must now clearly and deeply be drawn. It’ll be drawn by you.
I recognize that many guests were well meaning. They never meant harm; tried to change the world even. But they became infected by association.
The bugs skittered into shadows in the 1960’s, the Civil Rights era, but they didn’t die. In the dark they reproduced tenfold, twentyfold, a hundredfold. Spread disease among the guests above once healthy, salmonella, gastroenteritis, among others. But these contagions were kept hidden beneath expensive clothes when the guests departed for the night, masked with the perfume of strong economics, a thriving nation, self righteousness.
And so it spread, passed from one to another. Always there, hidden in monuments erected during the days of Jim Crow. Hidden in church pews and hymnals, declarations and politics. It became an epidemic, a systematic disease that attacked our social structure. Always growing, but hidden from those wealthy enough to buy nice clothes.
Now the cockroaches have become bold, a crawling mass of black hearts entangled in hatred emboldened by one equivocal leader. We can’t help but see them. They’re creeping into the light of tiki torches. Listen to their feet in the next room. See their eyes flicker in firelight.
Complacency gave rise to what is now. Destroy complacency. This is not OK.
A health emergency
In light of this shocking emergence we must declare a health emergency. We who are infected need a cure; need to purge this disease from our blood before it spills in death. And those who are still healthy don gloves, gowns, and with mercy help others who are sick.
Those who follow Jesus, Easter people, listen to these words from the prophet Micah I plead with you: “(God) has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?”
Be “harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice,” as put by the great abolitionist writer William Lloyd Garrison. “On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation.”
Elsewhere Garrison said, and I raise my voice with his: “I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
In all of this look toward heaven. Strive to mimic Jesus, who linked arms with the oppressed and stood in the streets, defiant to those who’d rather hurl stones. Stand up, even if you’re not affected.
TAKE A STAND
Open your mouth and condemn racism. More than that, recognize that it’s in our society, crawling beneath the floorboards. It might even have taken root in your heart. No one is an exception; I count myself among those who must self examine.
How many lives might you save by speaking out? Take a stand, peacefully. Find your moral compass damn all. Do not be a bystander to this epidemic. This is an emergency message. Storm clouds are gathering.
I leave you with these words by Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”