“A lot of the issue in our public life isn’t about which facet is correct in any given debate, however the truth that we’re not even speaking in regards to the issues that matter to the people who find themselves hurting essentially the most,” stated Barber. That features matters like well being care, voting rights and the continued results of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated.
However one other essential half to attaining King’s dream is dismantling three large myths about race, stated Ben Jealous, former nationwide president and CEO of NAACP.
The primary fable is that racism solely hurts Black folks and folks of coloration.
“Should you settle for that racism is used to divide folks, then it follows that it hurts everyone trapped in poverty as a result of if they’ll’t unite, they’ll’t change their place,” stated Jealous, writer of “By no means Neglect Our Folks Had been At all times Free: A Parable of American Therapeutic.”
“There’s nearly twice as many whites trapped in poverty than Blacks,” he added. “Ergo, it hurts numerically much more whites than Blacks within the largest manner, which is to impoverish folks for generations.”
The second large lie, he stated, is that solely white folks have paid for discrimination. In reality, Jealous stated, Black People misplaced hundreds of companies and houses when segregation ended.
The final lie, Jealous stated, is that division between races has all the time existed in America.
“The notion of race that we grew up with, as a coloration caste and a vestige of an previous colonial order, was created within the early 1700s,” Jealous defined. “The Virginia Colony was began within the early 1600s. The American Experiment had been going for 100 years earlier than we switched from a really previous definition of race, which mainly meant tribe, and utilized it to this coloration caste system.”
As Jealous explores in his ebook, when European indentured servants and African slaves have been rebelling collectively, race turned a solution to divide the servants and enslaved folks.
Nonetheless, Jealous acknowledges these truths could be onerous for some to just accept, notably as challenges are underway in state legislatures throughout the nation about what will be taught in colleges.
“That is American historical past and all of us must know our historical past,” stated Jealous. “It is very important the little kids of confederates to grasp the total historical past of their ancestors. It’s essential to the little kids of slaves to know the total historical past of our ancestors. And it’s particularly essential that we perceive that our ancestors understood they have been a part of the identical household. It affirms Dr. King’s assertion that we’re all one American household.”
Barber added that as a way to really honor the Kingian custom this weekend, the aim shouldn’t be to seek out methods to pat oneself on the again.
“As an alternative, as King stated, we should [be] dissatisfied till justice rolls down like water and we’re one nation beneath God indivisible with Liberty and justice for all.”