Solidarity, persistence needed to overcome hate, inequality
While we continually need to grow in our cultural/racial sensitivity and competence, we must always be ready to act in solidarity with Black and Brown brothers and sisters to end racial violence, injustice and inequity in our community, society, nation and world. We need to be aware when white supremacists infiltrate police and take over streets as armed militia, taking racism to a new level.
Racism impacts everyone.
Now is the time to pull together and not let power politics divide us. We need to be empowered voices in a movement.
Each generation must learn and seasoned anti-racists must be vigilant, never assuming racism is completely overcome. Extremists are around the corner, in institutions and in our communities.
Recently white supremacists have sought to disrupt and discredit peaceful Black Lives Matters protests. It's part of a propaganda power play, the age-old "divide-and-conquer"of authoritarian power seekers.
To keep themselves visible in media, politicians may play for media attention to win elections, knowing news is about the unusual, conflict, violence, celebrity sex and sensation. A "bully and bigot" pandering to racists creates incessant noise that makes news and sells newspapers. More journalists do see and challenge that trap, but more need to recognize it.
We need to see racism and hate. The Inland Northwest had a reputation as a hotseat of white supremacy from the 1980s to 2001, when the Aryan Nations had an enclave north of Hayden. While it was less reported, the region was the center of human rights efforts to overcome that through the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, NAACP Spokane, the Spokane Ministers Fellowship, Martin Luther King Center, the Peace and Justice Action League, faith communities, nonprofits, businesses and community leaders. We now have the Human Rights Education Institute, Gonzaga University's Institute for Hate Studies, and teach about the Holocaust and hate in schools, but there's more to do to challenge racial disparities in criminal justice, housing, jobs, education, income and opportunity.
Marches remind and educate the community that Black Lives Matter, that the names of streets, schools and mascots need to change. The toll of uranium mining on the Spokane Tribe still needs to be addressed. There's so much to do.
Already Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute has been renamed Mukogawa U.S. Campus. Soon Fort Wright Dr. may be Whist-alks Way, after an indigenous woman who stood up to Wright. A name change has been in the works since 1993.
We need to persist to progress into our multi-racial, multi-colored, multicultural present and future, not just as a vision or words, but as a reality we embrace.
As I write this editorial, I don't know election results, but I know we must neither just sigh in relief nor give up in despair.
Every day we have responsibility to work toward being a nation of, by and for the people of all races, religions, cultures, politics, economics and realities.
It's our responsibility as people of faith to carry on, aware no candidate is a savior, but we are the ones to act in faith, faithfully.
Mary Stamp - Editor
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, November, 2020