By Kelvin Sauls
Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
The conservative Christian nationalists have shown us over and over who they are: disruptors of reconstruction towards racial equity and destroyers of multi-racial democracy to maintain the big lie and heresy about white supremacy. It’s about time we believe them.
An unwillingness to do so is to enable whitelash and justify fragility to further an agenda of structural otherization and systemic discrimination. It’s one thing to be eternal optimists. It’s another thing to be in denial about the commitment of Christian nationalists to adapt and advance a violent vision of dominance through legislative coercion, judicial repression and religious manipulation.
Recent rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court are reminders that elections matter. Especially the 2016 election. Moreover, the rulings sends a loud and clear message that when we fight to achieve freedom and progress, we must fight to advance freedom and progress.
Angela Davis was right when she declared “The struggle for freedom is constant.”
We must continue to fight the dangerous trifecta of complacency, cynicism and indifference. These attitudes and actions betray previous generations and put at risk future generations.
The time has come and it’s now for us to heed the ancestral call of Coretta Scott King, “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”
The decisions by the Supreme Court this time around are a clarion call for us to join Sweet Honey in the Rock in singing “Ella’s Song” while we continue to reimagine our resistance because “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes…”
We must remain resolute and deliberate in our commitment to inclusion and progress. Moreover, we must be determined and unapologetically radical in our solidarity toward more just and fair communities.
While we need to continue organizing, stategizing and mobilizing responses to the profoundly hypocritical and treacherously regressive rulings, it’s critical that we step up our advocacy to urgently expand the Supreme Court in the current presidential term, stand firm in fighting the coordinated onslaught on voter supression, show up and show out at every election to deploy your power and share responsibilities of mutual accountability in maintaining a vital multi-racial democracy grounded in mutuality.
As the Supreme Court concludes a term that is both ignominious and disingenuous, the time is always right to reset and reposition ourselves to get back on track and bridge boldly towards becoming an audacious society characterized by contagious equitable belonging.
Rev. Kelvin Sauls is the former pastor at Holman United Methodist Church in South Los Angeles. A senior fellow in racial equity with the Atlantic Institute, he lives and works at the intersection of South Los Angeles and South Africa.
We must remain resolute and deliberate in our commitment to inclusion and progress … and unapologetically radical in our solidarity toward more just and fair communities.