Now Is the Time

Column by Rev. Dr. Mark Sandlin on 29 February 2024 0 Comments

“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” If you did not know already, it will not surprise you to know that quote is from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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"If God loves all of us indiscriminately, why was there no great desire to communicate "His" words to all from the very beginning?"


Dear Reader,

Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

We must heal the "isms" we intentionally and unintentionally carry within us, and we must do that by looking inward and outward. We can't heal the world until we heal ourselves. In other words, it is not enough to talk about institutions, workplaces,  universities, and churches that fracture and separate people from one another based on their race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation and not also look at ourselves. We must look at the ways that we uphold these bigotries and biases in institutions, workplaces,  universities, and churches made up of people like you and me. In other words, these places are broken, dysfunctional, and wounded in the same ways we are. They become mirrors of who we may not want to be but who we really are.

For example, racism did not just situate itself unabashedly in the South; it also tainted life in the North for African Americans, albeit differently and less visibly.

Cambridge, Massachusetts,  my community is not immune. Cambridge, proudly dubbed "The People's Republic of Cambridge," is ranked as one of the most liberal cities in America. With two of the country's premier institutions of higher learning -- Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- that draw students and scholars from around the world, Cambridge's showcase of diversity and multiculturalism rivals that of the UN.

Cambridge is no doubt a progressive city. However, when you scratch below Cambridge's surface, there is also liberal racism that is as intolerant as Southern racism. Just like Southern racism keeps blacks in their place, liberal racism does, too.

For example, Cambridge's liberal money class maintains its racial and economic boundaries not by designated "colored" water fountains, toilets, or restaurants but rather by its zip codes: 02138 - which is Harvard's -  where few blacks and people of color reside.

Major street intersections are known as squares, like the renowned Harvard Square. The residential border areas are designated numbers like Area 4 (now known as the Port), a predominantly black poor and working-class enclave. The biotechnology and pharmaceutical boom have now gentrified it. Cambridge's liberal money elite exploit these tensions by their claims to not see race until, of course, an unknown black man appears in their neighborhood.

For example, in 2009, an unarmed black man was arrested for breaking into a residential home in the Harvard Square area. The unarmed black man was the renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. Also, Gates is  known for his nationally acclaimed PBS special "Finding Your Roots." The home happened to be his.

To communicate God loves all of us indiscriminately, we must heal our bigotries and biases within ourselves and where we reside to dismantle all existing discriminatory laws and practices that truncate the full participation of all of God's children in the fight to advance democracy.

~ Rev. Irene Monroe




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