by Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, Programs Director

You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression. There comes a time my friends, when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November. There comes a time.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches”

For many of us in the United States we have just experienced a deep cold weather pattern with a wind chill that was beyond extended endurance.  We were warned by meteorologists and medical professionals alike how dangerous it was to be exposed to this cold for prolonged periods of time.

What do we say to a people who have been left standing amidst the piercing cold of oppression, humiliation, hatred and indifference caused by institutionalized systemic racism in the United States for far too long?

As we celebrate the life and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 15-16, can we re-commit ourselves to the warming and welcome of our attitudes towards communities of color?  Can we see the strong link between the African American struggle for liberation and that of the Central American and Haitian communities who will no longer we welcomed in this country within the coming year?

Dr. King ends the above quote with “There comes a time.” Is that time now?

Photo by Alan Kotok