“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble”
Representative John Lewis
Former Freedom Rider
Last week, the scab of racism and bigotry was opened up and we have responded with peace, violence, and with incredible pain and uncertainty. This is not a new challenge for America but one that has been passed to each of us from generation to generation.
In 2016, within our own city, we witnessed a murder because of ingrained hatred and ignorance. Afterwards, people gathered together, in churches and colleges to express shock and to ask “what can we do?” And we talked, and talked, and we talked…a lot. As a community, we talk well. Listening, with visible results, not so much.
It is time to make some noise and get in good trouble. Good trouble will ruffle feathers and make some people angry and that’s okay because out of anger some people can learn and be called into action. We must be the noisemakers our community and its leaders need. As Representative Lewis says, this is the struggle of a lifetime and it is required of all of us—black, white, brown, yellow, LGBT, Republican, Democrat—to come to the community table and get to work. Self back-patting, false enlightenment, and name calling on social media will do nothing.
It is time for us to put aside the feel-good half measures of the past and commit to the hard work ahead of us.
I’ll see you there.