Where is Dr. King’s non-violence position today?
By Rev. William Foutz
Special to the Outlook
The world lost a towering voice for non-violence 50 years ago. Strangely, the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination occurs as school children across America restlessly cry for peace and security against the chaos of gun violence. Sadly, it has become difficult to identify a community in America that is spotless and remains unaffected by senseless violence.
One week before the anniversary marking the 50th year of Dr. King’s assassination who would have thought that children would march upon our nation’s capital demanding relief from out of control gun violence they experienced in schools, neighborhoods and community gatherings. No doubt Dr. King would grieve very deeply with these young people if he were here now.
The eulogies he delivered for four little girls whose lives were cut short by a Sunday morning bombing in a Birmingham Alabama church revealed how deeply he felt for young victims killed by violence.
Violence even in American churches in recent years has been horrifying. We take these sacred places to be off limits to acts of violence. However, several states have felt the immediate pain of gun violence in churches.
However, it is the ever growing run of gun violence at elementary, middle and high schools that has struck the conscience of our nation and has brought us to a crossroad.
Although violence is a critical topic in the life of our nation presently, yet, there is so much good that Dr. King’s life and legacy has brought about to help America make progress at all levels of society.
Dr. King offered guidance and encouragement for our society to not judge people by their skin color but to judge all people on the basis of their character. I am proud of the progress that has taken place in Florida and in the United States over the past 50 years since Dr. King’s death.
Dr. King’s voice reached the masses and politicians. Many states have new policies and public practices to make our society better and more lawful. Regardless of race, color, religion or creed differences we are a better society with greater community tolerance since Dr. King pointed us to a better way of communicating, engaging differences and embracing diversity.
Though he gave us several major points to organize our society around, it was his position on non-violence that we so badly need to remember and practice today.
There is more work to do and room for improving our focus upon helping citizens who Dr. King advocated for tirelessly. It is my hope that we will re-double our efforts to reach even higher ground and achieve a greater American society like the one Dr. King dreamed.
Rev. William Foutz is the President, Southern Christian Leadership Council, Inter-Civic Council