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A Different Mirror

A ​Drink Offering

Learn How to Live a Healthy Spiritual Life

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Ready to fill your mind with interesting information about Spiritual Wellness? Discover a wide range of good reads here at A Different Mirror! Choose from the different articles on this page!

Enough – Time for Transformative Change

By Felicia P. Wiltz, Ph.D.

We have every right to be angry: angry at our country that refuses to acknowledge, recognize and atone for the centuries of bondage and continued persecution it has committed against us; angry at the continued slaughter of black and brown people at the hands of those who devalue our lives; angry at the laws of this land that continually excuse the behavior of some officers who find no worth in the “protection and service” of black and brown citizens; angry at the injustice of institutional discrimination so deeply ingrained in our society that it has left many of us behind in education, health, employment, income and wealth, housing and many other areas of our lives; angry at the complacency of too many in the face of our suffering. We are all tired of being pushed down, put aside, left behind, shut out, and ignored! Transformative change needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

During recent Boston demonstrations, I heard a young woman tell a news reporter that [paraphrasing] in order to build we must burn what is here down; we can’t build something new on an unjust and corrupt foundation. She is absolutely right! We do need to destroy the current foundation. We o need to build anew. In our anger and despair, the first inclination is to strike back – that is understandable. But this is too limited in its impact. Tomorrow, next year, ten years from now, what do you want to see changed?

We need to destroy the real foundation – not stores, buildings and vehicles. We need to strategize and destroy, to burn down, the very systems of oppression that fuel our anger. It is time to channel that anger into strategic activism. It’s time to strike where and in a way that results in real change. We need to play the system against those who wish to keep us suppressed. For instance (and this is a short list):

  •  Far too many black and brown folks do not vote. While it may feel like it does not count, collectively it does and it has power. Hold our elected officials accountable to all of us, not just a select few.
  •  As a black community, we have tremendous buying power. Use that power to get the changes we need. Stop spending our money where we are not valued and in places that uphold the systemic white supremacy and oppression we seek to dismantle.
  •  Build up and fortify our families and our communities. Work to establish and grow outlets for our youth to develop into strong, self-assured men and women. Revitalize that village that it takes to raise our children.
  •  Rebuild our educational institutions to ensure access to quality education for all and that each child is educated on racial literacy.
  •  Gain the education that gives us economic power and takes us into places of power where we can make those changes a reality.
  •  Push for real change in the ways in which our society provides and values our physical and mental health care, providing access to quality care for all.
  •  Advocate for better job opportunities within our communities and living wages and adequate benefits in the very jobs that many us work.
  •  Fight for an overhaul of our criminal justice system, including the mass incarceration of black and brown citizens. Fight for successful processes of reincorporating returning citizens into our communities, particularly in terms of housing, employment, and education.
  •  For those white and other non-black allies who stand with us: have meaningful conversations within your communities about the ills of white privilege, racism, the embeddedness of white supremacy in our country, implicit bias, etc. and how they damage our country as a whole, as well as why they need to join this fight for change.

I realize this list does not encompass all of the many elements of our fight for transformative change and there are so many I have not listed. This is just a start. Together we can transform our society. This fight will not be easy. It will be long and hard. We will be met with persistent resistance, because we are trying to change centuries of deep-seated systemic injustice. But we must stand firm and we must prevail. The task is large, but together we are well able to accomplish it.