Once again I recently read what has become for some, the solution for dealing with matters of race in America. The suggested solution is a very simple one. It is something that those who agree with it’s premise are confident will be the game changer to improve race relations in America. The train of thought is that if we could all just get on board with this particular suggested solution. Then surely greater days are ahead for us to finally resolve and overcome the festering cancer caused by issues of systematic racism that have continued to weaken our great union.
So what is this simple suggested solution that touts such possibility of positive change? (Imagine the sound of a drumroll here). The suggested solution that promises to remove and possibly eradicate racism in America is for us to (are you ready?) Ok, here it is…“Just stop talking about it!”And there you have it.
I remember writing about this a couple of years ago in a 7 part blog seriesabout ways we could all take action in regards to helping to heal the gaping wound of racism that is so deeply embedded in the American culture and society. In one of the posts I had referenced a clip from a 60 Minutes interview between Mike Wallace and Morgan Freeman.
At one point in the interview Mr. Freeman was asked about his thoughts regarding Black History Month. His immediate answer was that it was “ridiculous”. He then went on to explain his reasoning.A little later he was then asked the question of “What are we going to do about racism?”Again his immediate answer was “Stop talking about it!” He explained how it could start by people discontinuing to refer to others in regards to the color of their skin. He said how he’d stop referring to Mike Wallace as a white man and Mike Wallace could stop referring to him as a black man and so on.
What jolted my memory about this interview was a recent comment on a fb post I read on a friend’s page. Her posts was referencing two incidents that when displayed side by side showed yet another example of the racial disparities that remain present in our current criminal justice system. Almost immediately one commenter shot back at her to say that her posting such articles is the real problem.And that she should stop posting so many things about race and racism.
He went on to say how the post was negative and how continued posts about race and racism do more damage than good. And that posts such as the one she shared only causes grief to the viewers of such posts. To cement in the minds of those of us reading his comments and to support why his viewpoint was right. He then copied the link of the 60 Minutes interview of Mike Wallace talking with Mr. Morgan Freeman.
Of course he pointed out how Morgan Freeman also shared his view about the effective way to deal with the matters regarding issues associated with race and racism in America. And that once again, the solution is to “Just stop talking about it.”
Now although I admit that I am one of those people who love simplicity and keeping things as simple as possible. And although I do certainly believe that there are times when silence is good, wise and necessary. However, when it comes to this matter of race and racism in America. I unapologetically have to disagree with this silence strategy of “Just stop talking about it.”
I do of course realize that this commenter (and Morgan Freeman) are not alone in this silence strategy viewpoint. There are many, many, many people who wholeheartedly believe that issues related to racism will improve in America if everyone would just make the choice to “Just stop talking it”. If everyone would just stop bringing issues (such as the one my friends’ post confronted) to the forefront of our daily conversations. If everyone would just “be quiet” about it. Then it would surely be better (or at least way more comfortable) for some of us rather than having a constant reminder of how we as a country need to do better.
It’s as if that some believe that applying the idiom that “silence is golden” would make not talking about racism in America the silence that will bring forth the gold treasure of a racism free America. If it were only that simple. But the reality of the matter is that it is not that simple.
And because it is not that simple. There will always be a segment of our population who will never remain silent about such issues. (Needless to say that currently, I too subscribe to this group.)
So in honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King holiday. And in honor of those of you who have resolved that when it comes to matters of race and racism in America that you will not be silent. But will instead, continue to use your voice. Then here are 5 Martin Luther King Jr. quotes to both encourage and remind you to continue to speak up and speak out no matter what. And to have the courage to keep doing it until we arrive at time in this great American experience when doing so is no longer necessary. Really no longer necessary!
Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes
1.”In the end we will remember not the words of our enemy but the silence of our friends.”
2.”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
3.”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
4.”Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”
5.”There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic,nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”