Posted on January 22, 2014
As Americans, most of us took a few moments to reflect on our day off about the legacy, dream and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As people of color in America, Dr. King’s dream of a color-blind society is particularly poignant for us. Nearly 50 years have passed since his assassination and there are still many racial divides that need to be mended.
Notwithstanding the fact that we have a half-black President, America still is not a color-blind society. Race matters and racism is alive and well in America. One only needs to point to the recent case of cyber bullying that singer song-writer Lorde and her Asian boyfriend James Lowe endured recently. [Read more here]
As Robert F. Kennedy stated, “what we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”
Kennedy made those comments shortly after Dr. King’s assassination at campaign rally in what is now considered to be one of the great public addresses of the modern era. Kennedy began: “I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.
We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.”
In remembering MLK, let’s remember the words of Bobby Kennedy, “let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.”