As we leave the month that we celebrate the life and historical legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and enter Black History Month, hate-related tragedies involving beatings, death, violence, hatred, and other injustices conducted by citizens and law enforcement continue to fill the news. Every day, we must put on our amour of justice and fight for our lives and the lives of our neighbors, regardless of their race, sex, ethnic background, or heritage. We continue the struggle not only for ourselves but everyone in need.
Yes, the hill we climb is steep and tall because of the damage inflicted upon our humanity over hundreds of years. But we are not alone in this struggle, this Movement, and we must not and cannot fight this fight alone.
By standing up for the rights of all marginalized groups, we can help to break down the systems of oppression that affect all of us.
The Los Angeles Urban League stands against hate and injustice for all of humanity. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Racial discrimination and inequality not only harm those directly affected but also undermine the strength and stability of society as a whole. The Civil Rights Movement is about fighting for the rights of Black Americans and creating a more just and equitable society for all people. If one of us hurts, we all feel that pain. Martin Luther King Jr. said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” because he believed that all forms of hate – injustice, discrimination, and oppression are interconnected. If we tolerate or ignore injustice in any form, it undermines the fight against injustice everywhere. Our struggle for racial equality is part of a larger struggle for human rights and social justice. As Rev. Dr. King, Jr. urged us, we must recognize the interconnectedness of all forms of injustice and work together to create a more just and equitable society for all.
By standing up for the rights of all marginalized groups, we can help to break down the systems of oppression that affect all of us. Racism and prejudice are not isolated issues but are deeply intertwined and mutually reinforcing. The history of anti-Asian racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Black racism and discrimination of other people of color and ethnicities are closely tied. We are not alone in our struggles and cannot ignore hate or injustice anywhere. By working together, we can defeat our common enemies of racism, discrimination, bigotry, and hatred.
Whitney M. Young Jr., the president of the National Urban League from 1961 to 1971, also recognized that the fight for racial justice was not limited to only Black Americans and that other racial groups were also facing discrimination and injustice. He worked to build coalitions with other civil rights organizations to combat discrimination and injustice faced by all marginalized communities. The Los Angeles Urban League continues this work today to bring our communities closer and to encourage and facilitate open dialogue and communication.
We must stand up for Asians, Jews, Hispanics, immigrants, and all people because oppression and discrimination are interconnected and knows no boundaries. Solidarity and coalition building are essential, and we cannot ignore or focus only on our struggle when hatred or violence befalls one of us. The fight for racial justice is not just about the rights and equality of one particular group but about creating a more just and equitable society for all people. If we want to achieve true racial equality, we must stand with and combat discrimination and injustice faced by all of us.
Still I Rise BY MAYA ANGELOU You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise" from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.