”I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
In about three months, we will once again celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at a time where it seems the nation is splitting itself down the middle.
We in the Pikes Peak region and the state of Colorado are experiencing what appears to be an increase of white supremacy activities. White supremacist and neo-Nazi propaganda in the form of flyers, stickers, and graffiti have recently been spotted across the region. I was once asked if America was on a collision course with a civil war and my belief on Dr. King’s thoughts on the era of Trump.
I quickly quoted Dr. King, “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” I can still remember as a child, the word “hate” was never allowed to be spoken in our home or any home in our African American community. But in today’s environment, it appears to be spoken daily.
I think Dr. King would be saddened on how that word has gained such traction these modern days.
As our conversation continued, I asked who would be the winner of this civil war, would it be the Democrats or Republicans?. Would it be blacks or whites? Rich or poor? North or south? And what would winning look like? We could not agree on a conclusion, and I believe neither would the rest of the country.
Growing up in the rural south, I witnessed the effects of racism and hate. It left an unforgettable mark in my mind. I remember when black citizens would not be allowed be enter a business open to whites and would suffer the yelling and screaming in their faces to prevent entrance.
I’ve watched news on television as across the nation’s blacks were attacked in the streets with dogs, water hoses and heavy-handed law enforcement. During those occurrences, we looked on in horror and fear as these injustices where committed against black citizens, yet today most stand in silent and support when an elected official advocates for violence against fellow citizens because of political difference. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
As the hate and mistrust grips this nation, I can only imagine some of these behaviors comes straight out the supremacist’s playbook. I believe there are no longer boundaries in the display of hate against fellow citizens. In quoting the words of Dr. King, “Black Supremacy is just as worse as White Supremacy. When it was decided to bring a chapter of an organization organized and led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to the Springs, I considered three of the six principles of nonviolence as a reason this community needed this chapter.
First, I find peace in placing my community first and foremost, the beloved community is the framework for the future, the nonviolence concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationship among people to heights where justice prevails and person attain their full human potential.
Secondly, we as a community attack the forces of evil, not persons doing the evil. The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental condition, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.
Thirdly, we as a community avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign. It provides a mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large. Specific activities must be designed to help maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.
I believe if we are to survive and make a better place for our future, we must make a commitment to share the philosophies of Dr. King not only in January but a lifelong commitment of saving our community and our country.
Henry D. Allen Jr. is the president of Pikes Peak Southern Christian Leadership Conference.