Title

Identify, Reflect, Choose to Act

Authors

Malika Carter

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-15-2012

Abstract

Identify, Reflect, Choose to Act

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The legacy of Dr. King informs who you are and who your ancestors were. As the nation takes pause Monday, January 16, 2012, individuals can take the opportunity to acknowledge what they have done (or have not done) and what their ancestors have done (or have not done) to inform present socialization in the year 2012.

The choices we continue to make on a daily basis (speak up for a marginalized community, choose not to walk across the street or hold your belongings close to you when a person of color joins you on the elevator, speak loudly, instead of more clearly to persons with physical or mental disabilities – that one has never made sense to me, or saying the tired phrase “I don’t see color when I look at you” – only people who are medically color blind can reserve this excuse).

My hope for the community of humans nationally and internationally is that we challenge our private and public thoughts and behaviors, take ownership of world change from our respective places and stations in the world, use the privileges that we have within institutions (which are created to serve people), and think about all of the human ancestry (in addition to Dr. King) that have actively resisted bias toward the betterment of the human race.

Who will you reflect upon?

Thích Nh?t H?nh,the peace activist, teacher, author, and poet that Dr. King patterned his work after?

Will you reflect upon the hurt that you or others have received over a lifetime due to historically marginalized identities such as non-fertile/infertile, Jewish, dark, working class, person of color, female, non-European aboriginal, persons with disabilities, etc.

Will you seriously consider using your realm of influence to make positive change for all people across identities?

Whatever you choose to do, please choose to reflect and take positive action toward changing what you don’t like. Who would Dr. King have been had he just seen the situation and merely disagreed publically to a few friends?

King patterned his work after one other man who said: "You must be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948).

Identify, Reflect, Choose to Act

Malika Carter

Interim Director, Era Bell Thompson Multicultural Student Center

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