Time to 'become intolerant of the intolerance'
We should be outraged about the recent racial incident in New London. We should be saddened by the racist attack against Regina Mosley, the President of the New London Board of Education, and we should be frightened about this horrid display of hatred. What we should not be is surprised.
We are now living in a country where we have seen innocent people unnecessarily killed by police. We are living through a period in time where incidents such as what happened in New London become everyday events. And we are living in a time and in a country where white supremacists are openly involved in an insurrection, including the attack on our Capitol that caused great damage and a loss of lives.
We will continue to see incidents like that seen in New London, and we are likely to see more riots and insurrections by people who have never accepted the fact that this country is biracial and ethnically diverse. They are intent on creating a society that most of us should find abhorrent and frightening, but yet there they are.
So, the question before us: Is social and racial justice just a myth? Is our country an ideal that is only an ideal that can never be achieved? The answers to these questions will be "yes" if we continue to delude ourselves that this too will pass and that once we have a new administration everything will be fine. It will not be fine if we ignore the hatred and racism of those who are amongst us.
It is time − or way past time − for those of us who believe that this country can be better than it is, to stand up and become intolerant of the intolerance. You do not have to go too far back in history to see what happened in a country where the masses stayed silent while the extremists roamed free to eventually bring chaos to the world and death to millions of people. Appeasement doesn’t work with racists and bullies. It never has and it never will.
At Discovering Amistad, we teach students about racial and social justice. We teach them that racial injustice is harmful not only to the victims of racism but to all that witness it. We teach them that they as the next generation need to build a country that is free of the curse of racism that we have witnessed for hundreds of years. It won’t be easy, but if you really believe in what this country can be, then we have no choice but to stand up to those who want to destroy it.
It’s time to be heard, to be seen, and to be counted among those who will not accept the actions of those who attack our institutions and people such as Regina Mosley. And further, we will not accept the silent acceptance of the many who give a wink and a nod to the individuals who actually are involved in those incidents.
We can and must be better. The clock is ticking.
Len Miller is the chair of the Discovering Amistad organization.
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