On the last Friday of April, Solid Ground participated in the YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism event. We joined other social justice organizations to gather as a community, to take the time to reflect on the serious challenge of our work to end racism, and to celebrate the richness of our diversity. We took a stand against racism at the same time that many pundits assert that the United States has evolved into a “post-racial” society – based on having elected an African-American president. We know that race still matters and continues to be leveraged by those with power and privilege. We must continue our work to undo the adverse impacts of racism and oppression in order to shape a more equitable and just tomorrow.
Some actively try to turn back the clock of progress, including Cliven Bundy, an anti-federal government property rights activist in rural Nevada, who has become a darling of conservatives precisely because of his anti-federal government principles. Just days prior to the Stand Against Racism, he offered his opinions on “the problem of the Negro” by stating: “…they abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
And on the day after our Stand Against Racism event, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a professional basketball team with over 70% African-American players, told his mistress “…don’t bring blacks to my games.” When she pointed out that he is the owner of a team that is mostly black, he stated “…I support them, I give them food and clothes and homes…”
One hundred fifty-one years after slavery was abolished, we still have persons with power and privilege who not only have a slave owner’s mentality but also the audacity to publicly promote their racist views. These misguided and dangerous people are not only comfortable living in our sordid past – they seem to feel the need to advocate turning back the clock.
At our Stand Against Racism event, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that:
…the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Taking a Stand Against Racism is the voice of good people committed to undoing the negative and wrongful impacts of racism and oppression.
Visit our Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI) webpage for more information on how Solid Ground strives to stand against racism every day of the year.