Where Will You Stand? Rev. angel Kyodo williams in Lion’s Roar
Categories: Society & Politics
In the wake of last week’s horrific events, we at North Atlantic Books wish to express our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and our deep sadness at the senseless deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, in addition to the five officers killed in Dallas. During times like these, words can feel woefully insufficient, and yet, they remain one of our most powerful vehicles for change: words can unite us, inspire us, drive us to action. We are fortunate to find ourselves in the midst of some incredible thinkers, writers, and activists here at North Atlantic Books, including Reverend angel Kyodo williams, co-author of Radical Dharma.
In Radical Dharma, williams presciently notes that “as a society, we are in danger of needing larger and larger social wake-up calls and shocks to the system. At a socio-global scale, this translates into more strident demagogues; more desperate and deeply fundamentalist takeovers; massive cultural disruption and human displacement; more vicious, faceless wars; and literally larger openings in the earth to swallow us up.” Her warning bears weight not just in light of the recent deaths of Sterling, Castile, and the Dallas officers, but also outside of the United States with the most recent attacks in Nice, France, and the feverish growth of nationalistic, anti-immigrant sentiment. We are at a pivotal moment. Now, more than ever, we must engage in challenging dialogues, acknowledge difficult truths, and begin taking action. It will not be easy; it will be uncomfortable. But uncomfortable is the point. If we neglect to face these issues head-on, with radical honesty and piercing introspection, we will fail to resolve them. We can’t continue business as usual while the Black American community continues to bear the brunt of hundreds of years of physical and institutional violence.
In her recent article in Lion’s Roar, williams calls this “the ‘back of the bus’ moment of our time.” She continues, “If you have ever wondered how you would have shown up in the face of the challenge put before white America when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, upending the accepted social order, now is when you will find out.
“Collectively, we must kick the habit of racism, cultural dominance, and the upholding of oppressive systems. More poignantly, our challenge, our responsibility, our deep resounding call is to be at the forefront of this overdue evolutionary thrust forward. Why? Because we choose to position ourselves as the standard-bearers of an ethical high-ground. And we have the tools and teachings to do so.
There is no neutral.”
So, where will you stand?
Read the full article, “Where Will You Stand?”, in Lion’s Roar.
Tags: Social Change Reverend angel Kyodo williams