brandon kearns


Be That Person


Today, is the day that we take time to honor the legacy and contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Perhaps, you had a day off from work (I did not) or did not attend class today. In any case, your world is better than it would have been without the vision, struggle and teachings of MLK and the millions of fellow freedom fighters the world over. I can think of no better way to honor that work than to continue it. To suggest that we have fully overcome the structure that was put in place is to concede to that very structure.

We still have work to do.

You may think, as I often do, that there is simply too much to be done for one person to go against the heavily weathered grain. There are opportunites everywhere, though. Microaggressions are real. You have either experienced or committed them. And as the social climate facilitates more self-expression we have to think about intersectionality and how it plays into the struggle. This is a lot, to be sure. And it only scratches the surface but change is never easy. It is up to us to have the courage to call to attention the behavior of our often well-intentioned friends, relatives, colleagues and, yes, ourselves. None of us is beyond reproach.

Many of us balk at the idea of standing - often alone - on the side of progress when there is strong short-term incentive to uplift the status quo.

"I don't want to be that person," you tell your friend over coffee.

What person do you want to be, then? Because that person you don't want to be is exactly who we need.

Please, be that person.