“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God– what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
~ The Apostle Paul, Romans 12.1-2, NRSV
Liz Kreutz asked in a recent article, “50 Years Later: What would you march for?” She asked respondents to answer the question using social media and the hash tag “#IMarchFor.” My initial reaction was to begin thinking of worthy causes for which I would commit my body to the prescribed distance and high temperatures. I didn’t think long. I didn’t have to.
The March on Washington on August 28, 1963 is a significant, historic and iconic one. One of the speeches given by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been described as the greatest of the 20th century. A large crowd had gathered and resounding applause followed at the revelation of his dream. Afterwards, persons talked about how they had been inspired, how the words made them feel and began to make plans as to the changes that they would make when they returned home. I am sure that similar responses to today’s celebration fifty years later will be no different though President Obama has commented that his speech “will not be as good.”
But, I’m not in the crowd. I’m not even watching it on television. The reason for which I would march probably won’t sell t- shirts or call for star- studded appearances by the elite in entertainment or politics. But, I’m marching. I’m marching for and against me. While not done in celebration of or preparation for an anniversary as significant as the March on Washington, it is no less important. Perhaps, fifty years ago, those persons should have begun such a march, not against the unjust laws of society but those we create in our minds and secretly pass in our hearts.
Today, I’m marching up and down the streets of my mind. I’m not concerned about the temperature but my temperament as it relates to all things race- related, not the distance to be traveled on the Mall but how far I need to go on the inside of me. I am marching, protesting, demonstrating against the hatred that I harbor, the prejudices that I hold dear and the stereotypes that I still believe to be true.
I’m marching for the renewal of my mind and against conformity to this world and its racialized reality. I’m marching for unity and against racial categories. I’m marching for unconditional love and against tolerance. I’m marching for you even if it means that I have to march against me. #IMarchFor