The darkness of racism, xenophobia, and hate is casting a wide shadow and causing tremendous harm. In spite of a global opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to recognize our oneness, interdependence, and capacity to help one another, many are turning to fear, hatred, and separation.
But we know there is a better way.
Racism is a deadly pandemic. Everyone who has embraced love for the whole of humanity and has witnessed the flagrant racism in recent events is heartbroken. Everyone’s pain is clearly different, depending on our level of privilege, particularly racial privilege, but we are all deeply affected. I pray that we face the pain, stare it in the eye, see the generations of violence that has caused it, step up, and speak up out like never before to rectify, change, and heal.
The Tahirih Justice Center is an anti-racist organization. We actively seek to dismantle attitudes and systems of oppression – in our justice system, in our communities, within our organization, and within ourselves. All aspects of our work to end gender-based violence examines the intersection of racism and other forms of oppression for our clients, our justice systems, and ourselves.
We call on the whole Tahirih community to engage in work that transforms our current flawed systems into ones that ensure justice and dignity for everyone – not just for those with privilege.
Today I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” The light of justice will end the darkness of injustice. I have faith in that, but the work that must be done to achieve it requires each one of us, no matter who you are or where you come from.
And that work can’t wait any longer. It’s time to rise up, support, advocate, witness, change, and heal.