Let me set the record straight. There are some that believe that activism is a vocal activity. When you look at our protest tactics this may seem true. However, the annals of history do not encompass the full justice league of civil rights icons, rather it leans towards the spokesmen of the movement. We forsake the innumerable figures that moved in silence.
Long before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., arrived to close out the 1965 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Bayard Rustin used his logistical skill to organize it. Without people like him, we would have lacked a fitting platform for the clarion call of the drum major for justice to be heard throughout time.
Action within political realms is not always verbal. We are all called to some distinct place within the structure of society that will lead to liberation and enlightenment. Some to the church, others to the academy. A few to the arts and others to the economy. A group for the streets and a crew for the governmental chambers. At each point on this spectrum we are making equal contributions. We often neglect vital elements of the construction process, leaving a faulty foundation for our children’s future.
In light of the recent march in DC tagged #justiceorelse, some absentees may conclude their presence was not felt. My goal is to irradiate this type of thinking. Marching is an outward sign for a greater truth. Marching is about putting your body in the space where society has expelled it. Protest is a formal or informal objection to oppressive structure. Therefore, at your university, you are engaged in frontline protest whether you know it or not! Your walk across the campus is a march against a system that was created to keep you ignorant and illiterate.
Quite frankly, I believe that our world has an overabundance of language and vocabulary that have sadly drowned out the silent voices of political engagement. I charge us to move by all means, whether in silence or in vocalic.
I know we as nation and as a community will be in the words of K.dot “alright” because we have people who are operating behind the scenes. Thank God for all of you making the sacrifice to move in silence to ensure a better America and a better world.
Kendrick Lamar “Alright”
“I’m mf’n gangsta in silence for the record”
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