As we inch closer to Black History month I have pondered whether or not we were worth the lives lost in the struggle for civil rights . There have been countless martyrs in the fight against injustice. When discussing the blood shed we often use the word “sacrifice” to describe the murdered. The public slaying of activists such as Medgar Evers, Fred Hampton, Malcom X, and Martin Luther King Jr have been deemed as necessary evil to lead to the incremental change that has happened since these giants walked the earth. But as I dive deeper into books such as Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, I realize these deaths were warnings to the most marginalized communities to never ask for too much. A whole generation of leaders was systematically targeted and removed and this was not for our benefit, but to fracture a movement of liberation that has not been the same since.
There are many critiques of the rising movements of my generation, but it is crucial to understand that in many ways we are starting over. There has been a huge misunderstanding of the difference between equality and equity and many leaders are still figuring out which is more important. Before Trump took office , many tried to push the idea of a United States free of bigotry until the vitriol of the far right put a spotlight on a well known menace to society. Our country was born out of the sins of men that lived long ago but their demons will plague us as long as we continue to find the easiest way out.
Martin Luther King Jr states in his book that:
“Freedom is not won by a passive acceptance of suffering. Freedom is won by a struggle against suffering. By this measure Negroes have not yet paid the full price for freedom. And whites have not yet faced the full cost of justice.”
What are you willing to relinquish in order to right a wrong?
We look to King as the epitome of using God’s love to create beloved community …
but love inevitably leads to sacrifice and for the American people that may mean dying a thousand deaths to be born anew