“Can I Help You With That?”

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“Can I Help You With That?” An Invitation to Hold Each Other Under the Crushing Weight of the Universe’s Moral Arc

By Delma Thomas-Jackson

“We have fought hard and long for integration…But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house…. Let us not stand by and let the house burn.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“[I]f the Masters house caught on fire, the House Negro would try to put the fire out. On the other hand…the Field Negro would pray for a strong wind to come along.” -Malcolm X

Exactly one year ago, I gave an MLK address titled, “Make America Great Again for Whom?” The title, obviously a play on Trump’s campaign slogan, begs questions as old as the country itself—namely: which America do you experience? Is your America a meritocracy, wherein hard work alone shapes the destiny of citizens? Or, is your America a kleptocracy, wherein the elite grow wealthy by gorging on the productivity of the proletariat? Is America a “city upon a hill,” protecting freedom and democracy all over the world? Or, is America a global police force, simply promoting its political interests?

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