July 27, 2020
It was a bold move when the YWCA National Convention adopted the One Imperative: To thrust our collective power toward the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary. It was 1970. Protests against the war and demonstrations demanding racial justice were happening all across the country. That the YWCA stepped up to address the war and racial injustice was not a surprise. That they invoked the language of human rights activist Malcom X was provocative. By any means necessary.
As we stand on this threshold of civil war, that language is again becoming part of the narrative. What will be necessary?
Holding the light so that others may find their way back to it is essential. Yet in this time and at this threshold there is an urgency that has us asking what else we can do. Because it does seem that more is necessary. Many are participating in the protests and they send a vital message that we the people will no longer tolerate injustice and fascists in our community. But this is a war that will not be won in the streets alone. In this war for the very soul of our nation, we must win minds and hearts if we are going to emerge with any kind of unity to find our way forward. And each of us can do this.
Yes. I fully appreciate there are those in our nation and our lives who are not of an open heart or mind. But there are many who are. And it is those we must reach. Perhaps not by any means necessary but by any means we have at hand. I write. It’s one thing I can do. And we all have something we can do even from a place of quarantine. Perhaps it’s yet another conversation with someone we know. Perhaps it’s opening up a conversation around what we share in common rather than our differences. Perhaps it’s reaching out to our neighbors. We all have tools to use. And now is the time to use them as if the future of our nation depends on it. Because it does.
By any means. It’s beyond necessary.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org