“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, January 15th, was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. In the United States, this civil rights leader is commemorated every year on the 3rd Monday of January with a federal holiday. But a just and open society for black and racialized people is far from reality. The protests and events of this last year call on our attention and action. There is a movement afoot by the Anti-Racism Coalition in BC to designate today as “Black Shirt Day”. For some, this could be merely a day to add another colour to the shirts or ribbons we wear (think pink for anti-bullying, orange for remembrance of aboriginal residential school victims or red for World AIDS day). But drawing visibility to this pressing issue in our society opens up opportunities for us to dialogue and examine our place in systems that perpetuate privilege for some and denial of rights and opportunities for others.
As an act of love, I invite you to wear a black shirt today and consider what it is like to judge and be judged by the colour that people see on the outside. Maybe this small act will help you get a conversation going.
Our Church has ongoing education on race and privilege through “Dismantling Racism” workshops and a new pilot project I am taking part in called “Building Bridges, Building Community” facilitated by Natasha Aruliah. I’d love to hear what you are doing to help drive out hate and how we can support each other in community.