I was a junior in college, going about my normal attend-class-take-notes duties when I got the word that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. That was fifty years ago today.
Having been in high school when John Kennedy was shot, I was somewhat aware of the depth of the tragedy that had just taken place. Furthermore, I immediately thought about my brother Larry who was a senior that year at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, the same city where King had been killed. I prayed that he would be safe.
Much has changed since 1968. Sadly, much is still the same. In our world hatred has continued; so has racism. Just think about the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia last August!
Racism dies hard. Perhaps it is fear that causes people to criticize other races, ethnic groups or religions. Often it is lack of first-hand knowledge of others. Sometimes people feel they will somehow lose their own sense of self if others are accepted.
On this anniversary I will do two things: a) examine myself and my own words and actions regarding others; and b) pray that we can all accept one another and thus become a stronger society because of our diversity.
“I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”