The positive leadership, example and life of Dr. Martin Luther King helped me to find resourceful ways of dealing with anger and shame as an adolescent.
My family moved a lot, and I was always waiting for the jokes to start coming , because we lived in areas where no one looked or smelled like us. My Brother and I would throw punches on the first week of school to solve our problems and avoid being laughed at for a whole year.
That violent energy shifted with many practical interracial interactions in classes and on the sports ball field. A lot of personal biases fall away when you are proximal to “the other”.
MLK’s words are memorable, and have a universal, tone to them. They cause a shift in perception, and can ring right through one’s being.
My favourite MLK teaching is to look at a Man or Woman’s character, and actions, while seeing right past their skin color and cultural tendencies. This has helped me, so much.
We must now embody this teaching, and avoid the path of the oppressed turning into the oppressor. In race relations, NOW, we can make a leap forward or take a huge step backwards, the choice is ours.
In my exploration of reality I have found that a small part of racism is inside of of our DNA, because of the “in group-out group dynamics” that existed throughout our evolutionary history and path to the present. I have concluded that education and intentional engagement melts racism, while accusatory tones in language, fuel it. This is why we must be very careful about where we are today.
So much progress has been made and we must protect these gains while working towards even great improvement!
We must work together.
Thank You MLK