MLK day: About more than diversity

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It's a day we celebrate and remember the struggle for civil rights of the black community in America. This fight continues to this day and we must all do our part to educate ourselves and be vigilant in our struggle against oppression. 2020 has stood as a valuable reminder of how we treat minorities in this country. It's not enough to simply celebrate diversity a few times a year and pretend as if the injustices felt by minorities in this country don't occur every day.

This year we have watched as black communities around the country have protested for their right to simply exist. We have seen black men and women be shot and killed not just in the streets but in their own homes. We have seen their murderers be given leniency and grace, while they offered their victims none.

Through out the year, the ACL has joined other organizations in Lubbock to protest the discrimination happening around our country, and some have pushed back. With dissenters asking "Why it is the place of an Atheist organization to protest for Black Lives Matter? This is not inherently an atheist issue and it should not be something we are involved in."

This kind of thinking is exactly why when we look at the atheist community nationally we see a sea of white male commentators. As a movement, we have struggled to serve people from all walks of life, and we need to be honest with ourselves about why.

When we make a commitment to focus entirely on injustices that are exclusively of a religious nature, we are not communicating to black and brown communities that we care and are invested in their struggles. We can not simply "invite" them to be part of a movement has been created by and for a majority white base. We must evaluate what we are doing to actually offer value, and support to these communities who have not traditionally been well served by our activism.