In light of the fallout from our recent election, and the rise of racially motivated acts of violence in our country, I have been deeply pondering what action to take? In my quest, I reread a passage written by my Buddhist teacher:
“There may be times when, confronted by cruel reality, we verge on losing all hope. If we cannot feel hope, it is time to create some. We can do this by digging deeper within, searching for even a small glimmer of light, for the possibility of a way to begin to break through the impasse before us. And our capacity for hope can actually be expanded and strengthened by difficult circumstances. Hope that has not been tested is nothing more than a fragile dream. Hope begins from this challenge, this effort to strive toward an ideal, however distant it may seem”. - Daisaku Ikeda - Hold Hope, Wage Peace pg. 21-22
As these words began to reignite my sense of hope and determination, they also reawakened a deep-seated childhood dream. Being of bi-racial descent, my mother is African-American and my father is Slavic, I have always felt the importance of creating bridges of dialogue between different cultures, and now more than ever I am motivated to do so. Therefore, my action has become clear, I want to start the conversation about launching a national movement entitled UPROOTING RACISM.
What would it take to unite the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ Movement, Women’s Rights Movement, Environmental Rights Movement, The Muslim Rights Movement, The Latino & Immigration Rights Movement, and the Indigenous Peoples Movement?
This newly elected President!
We have an opportunity to come together like never before, as a united people for the equality and justice of all people and the planet. We have the opportunity to demand an end to the racist, sexist and bigoted rhetoric, and to act as one united force in the likes of which our country has never seen. The times demand us to be more organized than ever before, transcending race, gender, and socio economic lines. The times are demanding for us to Wake Up!
History has shown us time and again how the ones in power always pit “the people” against each other because it’s the easiest way to divide and conquer. However, these tactics are not new, and they are precisely being used again because the conditions and the level of desperation in our society has been at an all time high, allowing for a certain group of people to be seduced and seemingly given permission to act out in outrageously disrespectful and despicable ways.
I keep thinking about Dr. King and the civil rights movement. I have been especially pondering when Dr. King expanded the movement into the Poor Peoples Campaign, and that’s exactly when he became even more dangerous to the people in power because that’s when the movement focused on economics and the equal rights of all people.
It seems we maybe facing a similar time, especially when I recently read that the newly elected President, (elected by the archaic electoral college) wants to continue his rallies throughout his presidency. This struck an alarming chord in me and scenes from rallies in Germany began flooding my mind. It’s as though a darkness, hatred and racism has been unleashed, (which unfortunately is and has been America’s illness) but now is blatantly raging so much so that we have no other choice but to face it and address it.
I would like to propose that we create a national movement against racism. Let’s create strategies that address racism at the root and transform it in order to create lasting change. I would like to propose a name for this national movement, “UPROOTING RACISM”.
Together I know we can make a lasting impact, one that will create real change. However, everything we do will depend on our commitment, and our wise committed action.
I truly look forward to hearing your thoughts, contributions and ideas on creating the national movement “UPROOTING RACISM”.
In Peace, Justice, Friendship, Love and Hope,
Actor, Singer-Songwriter, Writer, Producer