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Our Inescapable Network of Mutuality...


Amidst the cacophony of all that I am reading, hearing, and taking in response to the verdict in the Ferguson Grand Jury deliberation,--which I am, like many of us, just barely beginning to sort through--I have little, if anything, different or new to say.

I do keep thinking about this quote form the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr, "We're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly..." I have been wondering, what does it mean to be affected "directly" verses indirectly," and how do we call into question these very notions, surrendering to this "inescapable network of mutuality" which most of us don't fully experience ourselves as part of, most of the time?

Our criminal justice system in the United States is broken, or perhaps better said; flawed at its core. That it protects some and not others is abundantly clear.If you are a black or brown person living in the United States, particularly if you are African-American you are likely to be affected directly by it; while if you are white or pass as white, you are more likely to be affected indirectly.

We need to reckon with, face that horrifying reality head on, in order to really see the truth. To live as a black or brown-skinned person in the United States is to experience life differently than to experience life as a white skinned person. It is the responsibility of every person who understands and experience themselves as white to acknowledge, excavate, and deeply mine that reality.Things will not change until white people recognize the unearned advantages of our everyday life which make things like sending our children outside to play in public spaces different experiences than they are for black or brown people.

Yet there is a paradox, for at the very same time, if we take seriously King's articulation--

What happened to Micheal Brown's family happened to all of us...At this moment in time we have to live in the terrifying, narrow but endlessly deep cavern of space in between these two realities. Some are effected 'directly' and some are effected 'indirectly.' Yet, at the same time If we live in the United States, whether or not we are citizens, we are part of this single garment of destiny, what effects one, effects all.

So I think we have to find a way to live, work, and organize, find a way to inhabit that liminal space where both realities are true, as if our lives depended on it. Because actually, they do...

(Click here to read the entire blogpost and share your viewpoint.)