Celebrating Martin Luther King


( Chicago Tribune historical photo / August 5, 1966 )
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is protected by supporters after being hit with a stone during a housing march in what was then the all-white Marquette Park neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest Side. King marched to protest housing segregation and inadequate housing for minorities. "I have seen many demonstrations in the South, but I have never seen anything so hostile and so hateful as I've seen here (in Marquette Park) today," King said.

In 1966, I, along with a few friends went to Marquette Park. Martin Luther King was attending an open housing rally in the south side park.

Marquette Park is also the name of the neighborhood surrounding it. In 1966, the neighborhood was inhabited by eastern Europeans, mostly Lithuanians and Polish.

Before Doctor King arrived, the crowds were already enormous. Hatred was on full display. Fulminating, rabid, ferocious hatred.

The kind of hatred that would shock the conscience by today's standards. The kind of hatred that sows evil.

That hatred is still prevalent, more so today than in 1966. It is not just racism. The hatred is based on mere disagreement over political, social, and moral issues. You see it all over the bathroom walls of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.

You see, read, and hear politicians and their minions spewing hatred. Some in the news media aid and abet hatred by repeating it as if it were gospel. They call it editorial reportage.

"Nuts". It is the perfect word to describe the insanity in our social and political world. Left wingnuts and right wingnuts. No one is thinking because everyone is thinking alike on each side.

Each side believes their way of thinking was handed down in gilded golden scrolls written by wise monks in high places. From the hatred spewed, the scrolls were probably written my high monks in low places.

There is no room for intelligent debate, common sense thinking, or intelligent compromise. You must hate. There is a wave of degeneracy in public discourse.

Lost in all this is one simple message. We are all human. No one is superior to another. We all put our clothes on the same way.

Many ways to celebrate Dr. King's legacy are promoted yearly. Some are ridiculous. Some are ludicrous. Some have nothing to do with Dr. King or his legacy.

If you want to celebrate Dr. King's legacy with any meaning, stop hating. Start thinking, critically thinking. End the warfare of disagreeing by being disagreeable. Debate or argue intelligently and realize the other side has valid points.

That takes character. Another of Dr. King's tenets. Character is sorely lacking in the public discourse, the ebb and flow of ideas. Character is also missing in politicians, reporters, editors, media personalities, and others spewing their "informed" hatred.

Dr. King knew one thing. Hatred will eventually destroy us. The evidence of our destruction is being proven in the 24/7/365 cycle of news and social media.

The evidence is in the news media, on television, on editorial pages, in our politics, by our politicians, and all over the internet.

If you want to truly honor Dr. King, stop hating and start thinking. Disagree with out being disagreeable or distasteful. Listen or learn before you flap your soup coolers or pound that keyboard. Be a reasonable intelligent human being. Learn the art of compromise.

Life is not warfare. It is living together peacefully and civilly.

No person, party,news  media, or other entity should tell you what to think. Your mind belongs to you. If you need to be told what to think, you are not intelligent. You are not human. You are sheep and cattle being led to slaughter.

Maybe intelligence, reason, and logic are too much to ask in this age of outrage.

Maybe Dr. King's message against hate was wasted on a population bent on its own destruction.


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