We cannot get overly familiar with the intolerable images of unarmed African American men dying on flimsy grounds, and in many cases, by the hands of people ordained to protect them. African Americans have suffered disproportionately under the heavy yolk of a partial justice system. The chorus of supplications for a fairer, just and equitable society has often fallen on deaf ears. While progress has been made, more is still needed to reach the “promised land” of a racially just society. But we cannot afford to ignore these death cries any longer. These traumatic events of race relations serve as collective summons for all to move from postures of stagnant passivity and a deadening complacency, to a reasoned determination, needed to bend the “long arc of the moral universe” towards a just society. Racism has for centuries exerted its baneful influence on American society. It is precisely for these reasons that we all need to rally together to urgently extricate the malevolent grip of racism, off the tender neck of America’s race relations.
A moral revolution is needed
A “moral revolution”, as Dr Martin Luther King Jr put it, is urgently needed now more than ever. A collective righteous indignation against racism is needed to safe guard our societies against its corrosive effects. This is the most urgent work of today, or else we run the danger of racial hatred and bigotry being permanently codified in societal institutional structures. We need to forge new beginnings of race relations and strive mightily for a racially just society for all. The hope of America lies in its diversity, as “the land of the free and home of the brave.” In the end, the greatness of America should not only lie in the towering military might, the technological and scientific exploits, but also in an expansive redemptive moral vision that is rooted in the ideals of human solidarity and dignity, which also should be the envy of the world.
By Sula Mazimba MD, MPH