Happy MLK Day

I know there will be a lot of socially conscious posts today. Add mine to the list I guess. But I promise it will be brief.

Without the civil rights movement I’m not sure that I would be here. I’m biracial, and because of my parent’s ethnicities, I’m reminded today that their relationship was taboo. Not in another time and another place like the 60’s in Birmingham, Alabama. But in the 90’s in a small town in west Texas. Yes, racism still existed, and still exists, but it was, and is, no longer against the law to marry someone of a different race. So they did. And I’m very glad they did. And maybe they weren’t arrested in the middle of the night like Richard and Mildred Loving, banned from their home state, publicly ridiculed and denied basic rights. But the stigma was still there, a tangible thing I didn’t really realize the gravity of until I was an adult and could examine the past through an unfiltered lens—every subtle exclusion hinting at some inherited ignorance, some inherent prejudice.

I like to think of my generation as being much more open-minded and accepting of one another’s differences. But unfortunately, an older, more conservative generation is still making decisions for all of us—in our local and federal government, as patriarchs of our families, in our churches, and schools. And they’re ruining it for all of us. Because, despite the progress we’ve made, people are still fighting for equality—in classrooms, in the workplace, in their communities, in their personal relationships. As a country we’ve clung to these ideologies that exclude rather than include and we continue to perpetuate these traditions that don’t lend themselves to the richly diverse world we live in. Every political slogan and new year’s resolution touts some kind of change or some movement forward but the truth is that having good intentions is only half the battle. Because, very simply, if we are not moving toward love then we are not moving at all.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

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One thought on “Happy MLK Day

  1. indytony says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I chose to blog today on my encounter with the racism that was and still is prevalent among Midwestern whites. It’s called, “Was He Only Dreaming?: Hoosier Perspectives on Martin Luther King, Jr.” I’d love for you to check it out and comment.

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