I once attended a workshop conducted by Rev. CT Vivian, a Civil Rights worker and Freedom Marcher who marched at the side of Martin Luther
King doing the late fifties and sixties. Rev. Vivian is noted for his stance on Civil Rights. Because of pioneers like him, the walls of segregation in the south came tumbling down. It was a great experience.
I was able to talk with Rev. Vivian and get to know him as best one could, from a two day seminar. The seminar was about race and the powerful impact that prejudice has on our society in the late eighties, and more surprisingly even today. Without a doubt it was a powerful seminar. Rev. Vivian’s sole intention was to draw out the admission of racism from the inner core of the seminar’s participants. It was shock tactics gone wild. Rev.Vivian was literally in the face of participants, and it was a total shock to us all.
We have progressed mightily since those days, however we are often left to wonder have we really progressed? Given the rampant racism the President Obama was forced to deal with doing his campaign for the White House and doing his campaign to win re-election. Rev. Vivian’s tactics were forceful and some would say laced with what some would call reversed racism. The tactic was to simply draw out racism at it’s core through confrontation. It was a powerful and overwhelming seminar on race and its affects on how we view one another. It could be even more effective even today.
Take a ways from the seminar included the reality moment that minorities cannot stop racism on their own. The Majority race has a responsibility to stop it whenever they witness it. Why because they have the power to do it. The first step is to admit you are prejudice. No one wants to admit this, it is sickening and certainly not something you would want others to know. Then you must understand where prejudiced thoughts and behavior came from and allowed to nurture, grow in one’s mind. Once you understand you are prejudiced then you have the courage to think where it originated, only then can you take the necessary steps to rid yourself of prejudice