“Once we realize the value of our human family, that every one of us is as valuable as the other, and that no one is more valuable than anyone else– whether you’re the president of the United States or whether you’re scrubbing kitchen floors at a restaurant– that every life matters; and when we measure the value of a life; and we look at people that way, then we can’t say that because you’re black you’re not as important; or because you’re an African tribesman living on the edge of the desert making your life in a little village, with little animals, and beautiful crops, and a sweet, quiet life; that that life is less important than the lives of people living in a big city, working at big companies, making lots of money. I think it’s about weighing the value.
Once we understand that we are all significant, that every one of us is important, that we all have something to give, then I think it’s going to be impossible for us to, even more impossible for us, to allow this kind of cruelty; because it means that it’s an affront to every one of us that any one of us is persecuted for what they were born into this world to be.
I think that it’s the job of each one of us, as human beings, to honestly look at prejudices in ways we separate people, and diminish and judge others, and make sure that we’re not making this mistake as well.
Throughout human history, each succeeding generation looks back and says, “My God, how could that generation before me have allowed that? They strung up black people, they hang them in the trees, and took pictures of themselves and sent them in postcards to their family members in America? Oh my God! How could they have done that?” we ask ourselves.
Each succeeding generation is stunned by the cruelties of the prior. This is progress. I worry about what cruelties we withstand today, and turn our blind eyes to today, that our children and grandchildren will be shocked by. This is what also gives me faith. It’s all moving in the right direction, if you stand back and look at it.”
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