~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait
It is strange to me that we have not seen beyond race, that it remains the supreme way in which we understand ourselves and each other. I cannot believe that after nearly four hundred years of this theory, we have not thought about ourselves differently. I am perplexed as to why we are seemingly unable to identify ourselves apart from the social coloring of skin.
No new sight or vision and likewise no new hope or expectation of our humanity, believing that we are racial beings presents no challenge. It does not call us to see beyond our society and our skin. A racial identity requires no deep thinking, no soul searching, no spiritual energy for you are what you see and what society says.
It is an identity handed down, a prepackaged way of being one’s self. But, it is time for us to look again, to see ourselves without the mirror of race, without the social prescriptions of prejudice and stereotypes. It will require courage and curiosity, desire and passion. We will have to want to know who we are– not because it is popular or predictable but because it is unknown, because we are inspired to. We will need to be self- discoverers, walking and making a path, drawing a map while knowing that the X is under our feet.
Yes, we must know that we already are, that we exist and belong right here and now because we have been created. But, it will require us becoming “creative extremists.” We will need to become zealous about our being, our awakening, our newness in Jesus Christ. We must accept the newness that Christ offers whether society sees it or not.
We will need to take extreme actions like dismantling race and starting a protest within ourselves. We must start to take down the signs of segregation in our minds that cause us to divide our relationships and our reasonings into us and them. If we are to live at all, with any measure of consciousness, it will take creativity and extreme dedication not to paintbrushes but to the Truth.
Lies have reigned long enough. The possibilities of your true self, your new self is running out of days. This is why you can’t wait.