Thursday, June 12, 2008
TNT THURSDAY EDITORIAL IS ON POINT ON RACE/POVERTY IN AMERICA
Picture of poor families who participated in the Poor People's Campaign in Washington D.C. This campaign, which was led by Reverend Ralph Abernathy and other people close to Reverend Doctor King began June 19th, 1968, one hundred and three years after slavery had official ended in the state of Texas, and three months after Reverend Doctor King had been assassinated in Memphis Tennessee... what happened to the hopes and dreams of those time (Are they still blowing in the wind?)
Let me begin this post by sharing with you the editorial by Leonard Pitts which was published this Thursday, June 12, in the Tacoma News Tribune, hard copy and website editions:
One of the gifts I get frequently as a chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital is the opportunity to listen to poor people of very race who comes there for help...
Frequently they share with me stories about gender/race/economics effects their lives...
Often, as I reflect on the struggles and triumphs of the lives of the people who tell me their stories, I find myself recalling Martin Luther King and his dream for the Poor People's Campaign... that we would see that we were all members of God's Beloved Community, placed on this earth to support one another in leading healthy, happy lives.
Dear, dear Revered Dr. Martin Luther King was killed just before he was going to lead another March on Washington where the concerns of poor people of every race would be highlighted.
When I first read King's reflections on the Poor People's Campaign in 1976, something inside of me said that Revered Doctor Martin Luther King was right on the money.
Here is a picture of Reverend Ralph Abernathy setting up a tent in Washington D.C. during the Poor People's Campaign... he appears to be hopeful in this picture... I am saddened how his last days ended... (Is that the way the lives of all of those who try to help us grow closer to one another finally ends... bitter and broken}
As I have watched my poor, beautiful, wonderful country battling so very hard to keep people like me materially satisfied, I have often looked at the people we were battling throughout the world, I have seen children and poor people being killed.
I have listened to sincere Americans who have come back from various countries and, to a person, those who have had spent any time with ordinary people on the streets (not on post, embassies, leaders, nor with the economically well off of those countries) have told me:
1. Americans are held in high regard
2. The poor are confused and disappointed by the ways force is being used to keep them from gathering together to get their needs met
3. They need our support to have those needs met
I think the more we come together honestly, humbly, and sincerely with all the members of our rural and urban communities to address our common needs for food, shelter, safety, and respect, the more we all shall find, together, that we shall choose to live simpler, happy, and peaceful lives...
What do you think?
Here is a section taken from the documentary, Eyes On The Prize, where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King reflected on this focus of his life, ministry, and work..
It is long and moving...