I have been thinking for several days about what I should, or could, write to commemorate today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I’ve spent hours and hours reading books about race and racism in the United States, past and present. I’m part of an online discussion book group to critically analyze and apply what I’ve learned. I follow activists on Twitter and when they tell me to Do This Thing, more often than not, I do it. (Call someone, sign something, promote something, share something.) But I still feel like the powers we are fighting against are so strong, so prevalent, so violent, and I feel like they are winning.
I know, of course, that there are thousands of people like me, thousands more who are far more involved than I am, and even thousands more who are the leaders of the movement I’m trying to understand. But so often it feels like we are so few, and despite fighting the good fight, despite all our calls for love and respect and change…so often the results are, at best, disheartening, and at worst they turn my stomach.
People can be so noble and kind, so self-sacrificing and generous and determined. And people can also be the absolute worst part of this planet. The range is truly astounding.
I wish I knew what else to say, I’m struggling to string together my thoughts in any kind of meaningful way. I feel like I’ve learned so much, but the more I learn the more I realize I know so little about it. So, I keep reading, I keep learning, and I keep sharing what I learn with those who may not know (or care) about what I’ve learned so far. I keep hoping that, week after week, conversation after conversation, year after year, even my seemingly small contributions will make some impact. I also hope that as I continue to learn and my opinions continue to grow that I can take larger steps forward. I want to be part of that dreamy place where all men and women are seen, treated, and celebrated as equals.