In the United States, our belief in a penalty driven justice system, we imprison more of our population than any other country on earth. Mixed with our difficult history of racial inequality, this means the people of color in our communities are incarcerated far beyond the numbers of caucasians. Recent events, like the death of George Floyd, the citizen shooting of Ahmaud Arbery and even events in the past like the beating of Rodney King or the unjust arrest of Sandra Bland that led to her jail cell suicide point to systemic issues in our law enforcement and legal justice system that we must address.
And addressing that issue starts with me and you!
The people of privilege in our communities, regions, states and country must stand up and say “ENOUGH” before these systemic issues will ever change. That’s why, at NPE, we’re asking you to pledge to Take1Step to fight racial, social and financial inequality.
How do you Take1Step? It’s easy, just commit to one step in your life to educate yourself, get in proximity to and take action in areas of inequality in your community. We’ve provided some suggestions below. Then after taking that step, take another, and another and the impact you can have on this terrible issue in our country CAN and WILL make a change.
But only if enough of us care to make a change in ourselves first. Will you Take1Step?
Also, don’t forget to save the meme at the top of the page and put it on your social media and challenge your friends to join you in Taking One Step to fight inequality in your city.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Some steps I would recommend would be for you to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Talking to Strangers” to learn more about the environment that allows racial bias in law enforcement.
There are two great podcasts that impacted my view of racial bias and our criminal justice system: “Mass Incarceration” from NPR and the New York Times 1619 podcast series. These will change your life.
In Fresno, CA, we have a local curriculum that teaches about the history of racial inequality in Fresno called Vision22. Get a group together and go through the curriculum together and listen to the five podcasts. This is all linked below. Are there others ways to Take1Step to fight inequality? Click on the Events/Contact link and let me know — Paul Swearengin, NPE Host, Author
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO FIGHT RACIAL INEQUALITY:
- Pledge to learn, grow and be active and place the NPE Take1Step meme on your social media to tell others
- Choose a way to get educated
- Choose a way to get into proximity of those who suffer from inequality
- Choose a way to be active in fighting inequality in your area