Saturday, June 20, 2015

On Behalf of the Passive Majority Who Have Stood By Too Long in the Face of Racism....I'm Sorry and Here Is My Proposal For Change

This article is reprinted with permission from the author. 

On Behalf of the Passive Majority Who Have Stood By Too Long in the Face of
Racism....I'm Sorry and Here Is My Proposal For Change

by Rev. Linda Schiller-Hanna 

    I'll speak for myself, but suspect this will resonate to many others who concur and share a certain privilege by having been inexplicably blessed to be born with fairer skin:

      I'm Sorry!

      Yesterday's killing of nine  Bible Students in Charleston, SC is beyond heartbreaking
and utterly destructive to the efforts of others who have worked tirelessly to bring healing, understanding and oneness to our world. 

        The mindset, which was undoubtedly taught to this man during his upbringing,
either in home or community, does not represent the feelings of the majority of us.

         All of you who have been routinely victimized throughout your lives and have accepted it as "the way things are".....have every reason to be angry and frustrated to the
maximum degree.

          The downtrodden have experienced things on a nearly daily basis that those of privilege could never imagine.

           The electing of President Obama was a significant shift in race relations in America.   He has become the "lightning rod" for many folks, and polarization (buried and secret) has surfaced to a greater extent.  He has stood valiantly and bravely through it all.  He is our political Jackie Robinson. 

           There is a catharsis going on.  Even as the gay community is emerging in strength and stronger voice, the empowerment of minority races is gaining stature.

           Unfortunately, this  growing power threatens  the cowards who have no inner awareness of our universal God self and oneness.  They only see with surface views and ignore our essential brother and sisterhood.

           We of the privileged group must take a stand and not just sit silently by again,
whether there is "strange fruit" on a hanging tree, "red-lining" of home buying, voting, or job opportunities, or unfairness in our courtrooms.   We must offer our friendship and warmth to all we share our world with.   

           I invite, implore, beseech and beg each "person of privilege" to individually and openly express your sadness, outrage and heartbreak to each and every person of color you that there is a positive shift that speaks louder than any horrendous
gunshot sound in a beautiful Charleston church.

           During Hitler's reign of terror,  he demanded that the Danish  Jews begin wearing yellow stars on their clothing the next day so that they would stand out.  The King of Denmark said, "then we will all wear yellow stars,"  and he wore one too.   Everyone, Jew and gentile alike, wore yellow stars and breached  Hitler's purpose.

            Maybe its time for all of us to wear "yellow stars" so that everyone will know that
we are not the silent majority, but that we also deplore this violence as much as those marginalized by archaic and fear-based behaviors.  Its time to speak more openly and harshly against the few who shatter the safety and respect of the masses.   That shooter did not just hit the black community.  He hurt all of us by  trying to increase the divide and awkwardness most folks still feel in close encounters with other  races and cultures.

               If you hate racism , take a stand, openly this time, and show your solidarity with those who are being terrorized in America.  Like it or not, acknowledge it or not, admit it or not, there is a  continuing pattern of systematic violence, marginalization, and actions of  terrorism against at least 10% of our national population.  The perpetrators with a identifiable face could not continue without the silent agreement among the passive supporters who won't  stop it or say "no" in any way.

               Horrible things continue to happen when good people do NOTHING.

               Good people, its time to stop doing NOTHING.

               I was around in the l960's when thousands of us stood in anti-Viet Nam War rallies.  I experienced the emergence of the feminist movement while living in northern California...the heart of it all. 

                This event must be a watershed of consciousness lifting for all good people to
say:  Stop, Enough is Enough!

                 Those of us who care can do something simple and symbolic TODAY.
Buy a cup of coffee or cold drink for a minority person in your daily life.  Hand them a flower, a smile,  a handshake, a job, or share a hug.   You, dear one, person of consciousness who is still reading this and deeply cares...YOU reach out. You go first!

(c) 2015, Linda Schiller-Hanna

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