My response to the racist-in-chief’s contemptible language toward my African and Haitian brothers and sisters

My heart is broken as we begin to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The president has defiled our nation and our ideals. While it breaks my heart to see that some neither deny nor condemn his statements – it does not break my spirit.

Fifty years ago, our nation embarked on a war on poverty, not a war on the poor.

People of good will of all nationalities, creeds, and religions stood side by side fighting for racial and economic equality.  But we forget, and gloss over, that each step forward was bitterly fought against by merchants of misery – racists and bigots who believed in violence and hatred.

Yet, we moved forward.

I have betrayed you, if I led you to believe that America’s march towards freedom, justice and equality has been steady. It has not– each step has been a hard climb up the rough side of the mountain.

We are #JusticeWarriors chosen for this moment, for this movement. We must stand boldly against hate, and we must speak truth to power.

To our friends who remain silent, Martin Niemöller reminds us:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

With this in mind. We must stand unapologetically against racism whether it is in the White House, state house or courthouse. We must reject all attempts to pervert our nation’s core values and hold in contempt all who would come to bigotry’s aid.

“Justice Justice we shall pursue!”

NCRC

Stella Adams is Chief of Equity and Inclusion at NCRC.

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