marginalized

Posted on December 13, 2012

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Every person on this earth comes here with what I call birthright gifts. Image
Using those gifts gives us purpose and meaning in life.
This world suffers when even one person is
denied the opportunity to use their gifts
to make a difference.

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Full inclusion, meaningful participation, and active citizenship in a community require equality;

not just words but the feeling of being equal.

Inequality is what creates the illusion of privilege and power.

Inequality is what marginalizes and oppresses people.

The problem is that our society has inequality so deeply embedded that it is

invisible to the majority of us;

leaving those that we have marginalized

invisible to the majority of us.

Inequality of any kind, but especially

of the subtle magnitude displayed in our communities,

is a form of violence more pervasive and destructive than war.

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So if we can’t see what is invisible, what would equality look like?

Equal access to opportunities.

Equal access to education.

Equal access to resources.

Equal access to support networks.

Equal access to information.

Equal access to influence.

Equal access to being heard.

Equal access to expressing ideas.

Equal access to creating.

Equal access to innovating.

Equal access to all… for all.

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Out of sight, out of mind is what we do to things

we don’t like to deal with, like pollution.

Out of sight, out of mind is the essence of

the marginalization of human beings.

If we see something we do not like, we make it invisible;

like magic… out of sight, out of mind, not my problem.

We have become so good at it

that it is not only invisible (out of sight)

but also forgotten (out of mind).

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What? I don’t marginalize people.

When is the last time you talked to (or thought of) an ex-convict, an addict, a pusher, a prostitute, an individual with a disability, or a person of a different race or different religion or sexual orientation?

We don’t like what we don’t like, so we get rid of it, and live our illusion.

We marginalize those that look different

We marginalize those that act different

We marginalize those that smell different

We marginalize those that think different

We marginalize those that believe different

We marginalize those that make us uncomfortable

We marginalize those that disagree with us

We marginalize those that push us

We marginalize those that challenge us

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In order to maintain our own personal peace, security, and certainty

we create an illusion of out of sight, out of mind.

We create an illusion that I know and they don’t

We create an illusion that I have power and they don’t

We create an illusion that I am educated and they aren’t

We create an illusion that I am privileged and they aren’t

We create an illusion that I deserve this and they don’t

… and we remove them from our lives

… invisible

… insignificant

… gone

Throw away people

Out of sight, out of mind.

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Equality and diversity are necessary for the success of our communities and the survival or our species:

“The really serious innovation comes not from the middle of the mainstream but from the outliers.” (Harvard Business Review)

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)

“Diversity is a necessity and key to survival of life on planet earth… The more diverse a system is, the more resilient it is and the more able it is to withstand stress.”  (Anders Vesterberg)

“I believe that those we most often exclude from the normal life of society, people with disabilities, have profound lessons to teach us. When we do include them, they add richly to our lives and add immensely to our world.” (Jean Vanier, Becoming Human, p. 45)

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