While having dinner with my daughter the other day and wanting to know what life on campus was like, she let me know that there are some racial issues that are in the midst of being addressed by way of a "community discussion" at Wake. My first thought was great! This is a good opportunity for you to sit in on these meetings and learn how important it is to speak up on social justice. Whether you are new to the campus or not, this subject is not new. I also shared with her that because part of Wake Forest's legacy is steeped in the legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou, a woman who loved diversity on every level, this school owes it to the students who walk this campus every day and to her memory, to work hard at making Wake a landscape of equality.
You see, it would have been easy for her to go to a school where everyone looked like her and shared her same opinion on social justice and equality, but what change in the greater world would that bring? For this child of mine, who loves culture and language and wants to travel the world, this is the place to begin her journey. She told me that she had a great time one evening, sitting around talking with other girls from different parts of the world: "It was the most diverse group that I've been with so far and I really liked that." This is the mindset of a young woman of change, no matter how subtle her personal forum may seem.
I have to admit that I believe we have failed this generation in huge proportions after the 60's and the 70's. Decades beyond the protests and landmark decisions that would hope to make great strides to afford everyone having "a place at the table", we have gone backwards in this arena at light speed. It seems that the goal is to stay in your own lane and be as safe as possible from anything that would threaten us. It seems that "turn the other cheek" has been substituted for turn a deaf ear to the ills of society today. The radical Jesus who hung out at the beach with everybody, has been substituted for a safe, American conservative who can only relate to his own kind. How did this happen? And why is radical and accepting always tied together with the sinful mindset of this world?
I'm hoping that this generation will do much better at not just crossing racial lines,but erasing them altogether. I'm hoping that universal interest take precedent over one country's opinion of the world and its unquenchable thirst to be number one.
I'm hoping that we can start understanding that being globally minded doesn't necessarily mean in entirety extending benevolence to third world countries and the locally poor, but extending interest about the lifestyles and cultures of all people everywhere...just like that radical Jesus guy.