We applaud the many past and present VISIONS clients for the messages of support for black lives that we have seen from them over the past two weeks! Now is the time to let go ANY form of by-standing (avoidance of contact; denial of the significance of difference)! All of us who believe in the right of each person to a safe and prosperous life, must make our voices heard.
From our large corporate clients, to our smallest non-profits, there is a united voice - the legacy of racism that has surfaced since the 2016 election (and the exposure of the dysfunction in our congress), has been with us. We must not let it destroy the ideals built into the fabric of our country. For yes, there is a faulty foundation of exploitation of Native people and black and brown people. This foundation is being held up currently in many ways, most significantly evidenced through an unjust state-supported criminal justice system and an unfair health system.
There is also a legacy of freedom and democracy (from the Declaration of Independence):
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (people) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men (people), deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
The protestors are exercising their constitutional rights. In September 1967, Martin King spoke to the American Psychological Association. On the topic of urban riots (the Watts riots), he wrote:
Urban riots must now be recognized as durable social phenomena. They may be deplored, but they are there and should be understood....A profound judgement of today's riots was expressed by Victor Hugo (over) a century ago. He said, 'If a soul is left in the darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.
I am continually inspired to keep up our fight for justice for all by the responses of the hundreds I have worked with since 1984, when as a young adult I dared to dream of a better world for my children and the communities in which all children of color grow up. As VISIONS re-invents ourselves for the next 25 years, I am proud to be in the number with so many of you.
This is a moment to move on our ideals and to realize that "we the people" will need to lead!