I was thinking about the anniversary of the death of MLK all day.
While we are farther along in many ways in this country. We still have so far to go on his dream. We have even farther when we recognize that the dream is even bigger than his words.
The level of hate in our country these days pains me. Obvious discrimination and subtle biases abound. Violence against people of color and intersectional minorities continues to grow. The statistics are staggering.
I recognize that I have privilege because of the color of my skin. I walk this world with it. I know that it has shielded me and protected me at times.
I am a part of the LGBT community and have felt the pendulum swing back and forth in our country against each of those letters. I vividly remember moments in my life where I feared for my safety. I forever remember one evening where I knew my life and the lives of two people I truly cared about were at risk. And yet, it is now just a memory because I was able to leave. To get myself free from the very real threat of violence.
I also know that those letters don’t even encompass our entire community. That I should be typing LGBTQA+. We are all creatures of habit. . . and some of those habits are built upon years and years of socialized biases. Even when we are inside the minority lens.
I was raised Jewish in a predominantly Christian suburb. As I was about to write this paragraph, I decided to look that up to see if my memory of childhood religious difference was more likely a reflection of reality or perception. I found articles by parents of kids currently in the public-schools using phrases such as, “It’s far better than it was 10 years ago.” And, “It depends where in town you are asking about.” I’ll consider that confirmation that my memories have a basis in reality even if they were skewed by childhood perception.
I have experienced some prejudice in my life. I experienced fear for my physical safety because of living fully as myself in the world. I also recognize that I live in the world with great privilege because I am fully able bodied. I am Caucasian. I am neurotypical. I walk through this world with not all doors opening for me, but far more than many who live in constant struggle.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., I made a small donation this evening to three organizations working to protect, preserve, and expand human rights through legislative action, legal support, advocacy, etc.
If you don’t know these three organizations, follow the links to learn more.
339 Days to go.