Monday, January 17, 2011

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools - MLK

A young woman is planning the funeral of her fiancé, instead of their marriage. A nine year old girl wanted to be inspired, but now her life has expired. A federal judge will now face his final judgment. These things blamed on what has been called a “senseless” act of violence by a crazed gunman at a supermarket in Arizona. I submit that it was not a senseless act but the inevitable reflection of a culture of hate speech and real violence.  Responsible sense will tell you that hate only engenders more hate. When you attempt to use fear-based rhetoric to gin up the populace you will succeed…and there is always someone unstable enough to embody all the collective vitriol and translate it into absurd and often deadly action. Don’t let it be lost that this is how the great American whose life we honor today lost that life at the hands of an assassin. In his own words:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1/15/29 - 4/4/68
 "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil must be broken or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On this day, as our nation pauses to celebrate the legacy of Reverend King, let us pledge to adopt a more civil tongue, one modeled after his rhetoric which was designed to inspire us to our higher selves instead of motivating through our fears. In the face of ugly discrimination, the debasement of a people and hate spewed at him from every corner, Dr. King spoke of love and brotherhood, of hope and dreams.
Christina Green
 9/11/01 - 1/8/11

Now, in the wake of the tragedy in Tucson the question is being asked: can we come together and change the direction of our discourse in this country?  The cynic in me is doubtful, but the human in me can hope.  Thus, today as the nation celebrates the date of birth of one of it’s icons, let us not forget how Dr. King met his end.  Moreover, let us remember how he inspired with his rhetorical gift and pledge to work to increase the light, increase the love and increase compassion.  At the very least, let us begin to speak with more honesty, integrity and civility, lest we move one step closer to perishing together as fools.



Tony LoRe, CEO & Founder
Youth Mentoring Connection/Urban Oasis


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