I wanted to take a moment today, on this annual remembrance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to share my favorite of his quotes:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
To me, this quote is the very definition of what it means to be an ally. When allies are witness to injustice, oppression and prejudice, we make the conscious decision to act and be a part of the solution. Sometimes it’s tempting to sit back and wait for someone else to respond. Sometimes I think, “I don’t always have to say something…” I know that if I do not speak or act in that moment, I am a part of the culture of intolerance. Being an ally means that I am willing to be viewed as “that crazy lady,” eccentric, deluded, etc. if it means that I am actively communicating my support for people who experience oppression and making an effort to show bigots that people who may look or identify similarly to them do not all agree with their thoughts and actions.
What does being an ally mean to you?