In recent months, many of us have been talking about racism. We find ourselves in discussions inspired by the tragic and complex situations in Florida and Oklahoma.
I was 4 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, and I came of age during a time when people talked about racism. That talk led to important societal changes. Talking about racism is messy, hard, painful, enlightening, and good. I liken this dialogue to the act of baking a cake.Martha Stewart knows a good cakeneeds the best ingredients, and the baker must exhibit the skills of discipline, attention to detail, understanding, and patience.
King, the patron saint of modern race dialogue, knew that to achieve even the most basic of civil rights we need different ingredients based on history, love, and injustice… but we need to employ the same bakers’ techniques to have a good dialogue. The fact that we are talking about racism again is good and necessary, and we will need to arm ourselves with all our best cake-baking skills. But let’s keep talking. The more we talk about racism, the better. It will be uncomfortable, messy and confusing. But it may also lead to wonderful moments of enlightenment and connection where we can understand where racial differences limit us… where we can overcome those differences… how our races make the world, yes, a beautiful, beautiful place!
And like a great cake, what we gain later may be well worth the sweet indulgence.
Bake the rainbow cake using Martha Stewart’s recipe. While you’re waiting for it to rise, check out Taylor Branch’s remarkable trilogy documenting Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. Then invite your friends over to eat, talk, question, listen, laugh, and understand.
Tags: George Zimmerman, Martin Luther King Jr., racism