Only days ago, a brilliant young life was egregiously snuffed out by a manwho claims it was self-defense while on a normal neighborhood watch patrol. Since that day, people all across the nation have been sounding out and voicing their opinions about guilt and innocence of both the young man, as well as that of the man who shot him dead. Also since that day, there have been many people who have taken the opportunity to show support for the family of the slain young man throughout ought various acts of solidarity.
The word solidarity is defined as, “unity of attitude or purpose.” For as much as I believe that this incident has been poorly handled by law enforcement and continues to bring light to racial inequities on so many levels; I also find that I have issues with how many have chosen to show solidarity. If in fact, the word solidarity means, “unity of attitude or purpose,” where is the purpose to be found in wearing a hoodie or changing one’s Facebook profile picture?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t do these things. I’m not saying that nothing should be done. Edmond Burke once said that, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” What I am saying is that we really need to take another look at what we are doing in the name of solidarity. If you’re going to make a statement, it has to be purposeful, and it has to accomplish something other than evoke empty conversation.
Solidarity is about standing together. Make a mark and a difference. The whole point of solidarity is that you have a mass of people coming together with one voice. The whole Civil Rights Movement was about people of every walk of life coming together to bring light to a wrong. But don’t think for a moment that just because segregation for the most part has ended, and there have been great strides made in bringing equality to many minority groups, that the work is complete. Recent events have proven the opposite is true. Want to show true solidarity?
- Stand in the Gap: Be present, like so many will be. Your presence always speaks volumes when it comes time to deal with the injustices that have occurred. Where would we be today if people had not marched and boycotted and sat in for Civil Rights and other movements. Standing in the gap is real demonstration of connectedness.
- The Mighty Pen: If you can’t be physically present, that doesn’t mean your voice cannot still be heard where you are. The saying that the, “pen is mightier than the sword,” is still true. Blog something, write an editorial, write your elected officials as well as those officials where the injustices have happened. Don’t forget the power of your vote.
- The Social Network: There is more power behind social media and your ability to social network than simply changing your Facebook profile. When Adam’s son Abel was murdered, the bible said that his blood cried out from beyond for justice. Your voice can powerfully convey the message as loudly as the Kony 2012 viral video.
There are a countless number of things that can more effectively be done to show true solidarity than just wearing a hoodie on a hot day, or wearing the picture of the young man who was killed. These things change nothing. Make your show of solidarity purposeful. Don’t let it become a senseless act.
QUESTION: Are you committed to showing purposeful acts of solidarity? What does it look like?