Will You Perpetuate the Darkness or Shine A Light?

Will You Perpetuate the Darkness or Shine A Light?

The wave of racism that washed across this nation last week was too dangerous to ignore. Certainly, most Americans have grown accustomed to the nationalist, xenophobic and racist rantings of Trump, but last week it took on an added resonance. 

He let go of efforts to bound his racism in the loose wrappings of immigration laws to justify the inhumane treatment of those seeking a safe harbor at our borders. He didn’t bother to pretend the only cause for his disdain was disrespect for the national anthem and by proxy the nation as he had in relation to athletes who knelt in protest the indiscriminate killing of Black men and boys, and the list goes on. 

No, in contrast last week, his messages last week were clear and unambiguous—dark people whether citizens or not—have no right to criticize this nation and do not belong in this country according the president and his supporters. He gave this nation a 21st century example of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meant when he referred to someone “having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification.”

For those apologists who argue Trump’s verbal assaults on four women of color who happen to be congressional representatives was  just one of the president’s many distractions to keep the nation from focusing on how he is destroying the environment; selling the country’s national resources and control of services to the highest bidders; gutting the institutions that keep this country and its people safe; and baiting the country into war—I agree; but such efforts are not mutually exclusive to his other primary goal—furthering the vision of White nationalists to reign supreme over the nation’s dark skinned people.

The four congresswomen are emblematic of all of us whose skin color makes us targets of his wrath; they are also emblematic of all women regardless of color who stand in their own power, strength, truth and understanding that women are not second class citizens as ‘they hold up more than half the sky.’ 

For those who continue to sit silent as he cages and kills children, destroys the environment, denies the reality of global warming, insults women, disparages dark people and treats the nation as a personal piggy bank that he has broken open for the benefit of his family and friends—it is time for you to find your voice. 

For the Republican elected officials who represent this region and do not have the courage to speak out against him—your lack of courage says to many of your constituents, “that you do not represent us.” And, as a result, we are committed to working to remove you from office. 

Census projections indicate by 2045 White people in America will be the minority. If America is the true democracy it professes to be—then the color of your skin should not matter if you become the minority in a nation that prides itself on “one person, one vote.” In other words, whether this country is majority White or majority Black, Brown, Red and Yellow, it should make no difference—but to White supremacists—it does—remember the souls who hallowed the ground at Gettysburg.   

Despite the president’s inclinations and those of his supporters—most Americans have no desire to return to that era nor are most Americans interested in becoming South Africa during the era of Apartheid—we are unwilling to acquiesce to either possibility. 

America is not perfect and there is still much work to do regarding equality in several arenas—in the arc of history this is a young nation and as such, remains a work in progress. 

As the president seeks to pull this country back into the dark tunnel of its racist past, most Americans have their sights on becoming a more perfect union. As a result, good people of all races must resist the dangers of this moment. Everyone must find their voice and speak out, stand up, get ready to vote for change.

In his seminal work Les Misérables the French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo highlighted the importance of showing love and compassion when confronted with issues related to social justice and human rights. He challenged those who would sit silently in the dark shadows of the moment, to shine a light. He wrote, “If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed.” We see that happening under Trump’s leadership today. But Hugo lamentation did not end there. He continued. “The guilty one is not he who commits the sin,” he warned, “but the one who causes the darkness.”   

All of us must have the courage to shine a light in any and every way that we can. It is written that the greater the darkness the brighter our light must shine.    

Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.

S.E. Williams

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