A large banner with a quote from Frederick Douglas was hung in the Martin Luther King Jr Civic Park, reading “those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are people who want crops without plowing and want rain without thunder and lightening.”
In the last few weeks, multiple cities across the nation have become the site of extended white-supremacist revival meetings. Insisting that hate speech is free speech, they took to the streets, ready to fight anyone who crosses their path. This wasn’t the first of such white-supremacist rallies, and it likely won’t be the last. It is our civic duty as citizens of this country to educate and be educated on how to combat hateful ideals in a peaceful manner, and how to stand up for economic, political and social inclusion, and equity.
It’s not enough to follow the news and express concern. These are days that require collective analysis, reflection and action. Which requires organization. We need to champion our collective capacity for thoughtful, organized action in the face of increasing expressions of supremacy and hate. We can each find a local organization to join, make contribution, share your strengths, resources and time. Creating serious organizations requires engagement from mature, thoughtful individuals.
Collective responsibleness is key to our capacity to confront maladies of our social common good. Before the rallies that took place in the San Francisco Bay Area in the last weekend of August, media outlets were calling off the marches, saying that organizers had canceled and no one was to show up. As Frederick Douglas wisely said, do not be scared to stand up when all the system wants is for you to sit down. It’s time to be very creative about how we come together, and #GetCivic.