Today at church, our minister spoke of the darkness and hate that filled our own community’s history. We live in a northern New Jersey town that you often think is free from the ugliness of our country’s past. He reminded us, however, of the legacy that even this town must bear.
The following are two of the shocking facts that he shared today:
As recently as 1945, our town’s realtors operated with an understanding that homes would be sold to only white, Christians. 1945 people. That is not that long ago.
And if you attend the exhibit at our local historical society, you can see a Klu Klux Klan uniform worn by members in a group that existed in our village.
As I sat and listened, I was shocked but also reminded of how full our country is of this history. If this town, fully in the north, bears this type of history, it is painful to remember what was going on to our south.
Our minister went on to remind us that we must remain awake and aware of the social injustices that exist today. He told us that Martin Luther King once said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” King was referencing the Vietnam War when he said this but of course, the message applies to any and all injustice.
So today when we stop to remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, let us remember to speak out in the silence. Only then will the injustice stop.