A MESSAGE FROM THE PACK
We abolished slavery with the 13th Amendment in 1865 after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Racial rights activists celebrated too soon; there was still much to be done.
In 1964, after a century of Jim Crow and the peaceful uprising led by Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin through Congress.
Again, there was rejoicing, but it was still too soon.
In 2008 the United States elected its first African American President. “We are, finally, on the other side of our racial struggle,” we thought.
Today, America convulses like a patient reeling from a poison she thought she had already rid from her system. We can pretend that we judge people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. But Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd are tragic reminders that we don’t really.
Reality is the safest place to be. We can expose reality and act on it, or we can pretend.
If you choose to act on it, the first step is to ask yourself: “Is there a little bit of Amy Cooper in me, too? Am I the post-racial idea of me, or am I something else?” These aren’t easy things to confront for all of us; yet we must.
The second step is to shun silence. You can’t really know what it’s like to be Christian Cooper or the millions of black people who experience what he experienced in Central Park every day.
But you can stand up and be counted. You can let your friends, family, and colleagues know that there’s work still to be done, and you’re not going to pretend otherwise. You can let black and brown people know that, while you can’t possibly know their pain, you recognize it.
We don’t need more death to prove that Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others didn’t die in vain. What we need is to renew our vow to justice, fairness, and equity. Not the Hollywood façade versions, but the deep, fully actualized versions of those principles upon which our country was founded 250 years ago.
We can recognize that we live in a more just, more inclusive country than the one Abraham Lincoln saved, but with open eyes still recognize that we’ve got a long way to go. For those of us blessed with privilege and opportunity, we resolve to use it to drive the change we want to see. Together, we can, and we must.
We are just getting started. Motherwolf will build an anti-racist culture. Because being not racist is not enough.
The Motherwolf Family