I have been inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, legacy since my childhood. Ever since I was taught in school about who he is, what he believed, and what he accomplished in his life, I have felt a calling to pursue his same dream. What this pursuit looks like for me is complicated. It’s hard to cope with the reality racist cultural programming as a white person who strives to act against racism. For a long time, I believed that I was different and stood apart from my cultural programming, but racism is endemic and affects everyone. I confused racism with prejudice and became angry when African American activists accused me of being a part of the racist system. I wanted so badly to prove them wrong.
I began to focus on unity, and the more I focused on unity, the more modern segregation became apparent to me. Popular culture still seeks to segregate us. It seems that any people of color in the media are stereotyped or white-washed, as though to convey that the only way to be accepted by mainstream culture is to become a parody of one’s heritage, or to try to be white. In response to this I seek to recognize the stereotypes and white washing, and actively seek out positive examples of diverse cultures that stand strong in their truth.
Now, I seek to stand in solidarity with others. I strive always to embrace the differences that make us unique and live in radical acceptance of others no matter their religion, ability, creed, color, background, sexual identity or orientation. We are all Divine.
Martin’s Big Words, written by Doreen Rappaport:
“I Have a Dream” by Yarden Children’s Choir
If Martin Luther King, Jr., were a Tarot card, I would place him as the Hierophant because he represents the ideal form of religious authority and how spiritual figures can inspire others to walk in righteousness and speak truth to power.