It seems this week has been a long, waking nightmare. From the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in St. Paul to the Dallas sniper attack in which five police officers were killed, America seems to be mired in anguish, tragedy and grief.
Decades of strife, animosity and the failure of public policy have simmered to a boil. Areas of concentrated poverty - colloquially referred to as ‘ghettos’ and ‘barrios’ - became fertile grounds for the cultivation of violence and crime. In order to stem that tide, communities enacted much more aggressive policing mechanisms but soon, aggressive became oppressive and relations between police officers and the community they served became strained and the level of trust that once existed broke down.
Almost fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community. The last book he wrote before his death, it advocates human rights, hope and eloquently states:
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Right now, it seems we are being crushed under the burden of hate.
We need to make the conscious decision to choose love. To choose empathy and kindness as it is the only force strong enough to unite and overcome the bile of hatred and violence.
We must choose our communities over chaos to ensure that our children grow up in safe and stable environments. To ensure that our children grow up at all.
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote about this past week’s occurrences in an article entitled ‘A Week From Hell.’ To read his thoughts, please click here.
Community Partners would like to send our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by the heartbreaking tragedies of the past week. We mourn with you and hope for peace.