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I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent racist words from the 45th president of the United States.

I’m also thinking about how few of the men at Golden Globes used the opportunity to do more than wear #TimesUp lapel pins.

And, here on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, I’m reminded of one of his most powerful sayings:

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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

We have a chance today to stand up for our friends and allies. In New Orleans, the events celebrating what would have been the 89th birthday of this great civil rights leader begin at 9am at A.L. Davis Park (2600 Lasalle Street). Check your local news for events in your area.

Why should white people and especially white women go to these events? Because when we stand together, we live our commitment to community. If we have any hope of building trust and having credibility, we must show up for our brothers and sisters of color.

Standing up for justice removes all doubt you have in the content of your character. Being silent in the face of injustice, bullying and harassment is the first step in diminishing self-confidence. It is incrementally detrimental and the next time, you might not be able to act at all. We judge ourselves by our actions and, even though our voice might shake, we must speak out anyway.

Later in the month, on January 20th, there will be Women’s Marches across the nation. Here in New Orleans, we will gather at Duncan Plaza for step off at noon.

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I hope to see you out there protesting, marching and, someday soon, celebrating. Taking our activism to the streets reinforces our collective power and reminds us of what all we’re fighting for.

Be mindful of keeping our focus on fighting the power, not each other. We must lift each other up if we are to raise the nation from this quagmire.

After the March is over, don’t forget what that solidarity felt like. Use that energy as you persist to resist.

And, never be silent again.

 

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