This week, as we lead up to the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., several writers and friends from the PNW have joined together to share their personal letters to King in the style of Bishop Woodie W. White. White annually pens his “Dear Martin” pieces that are deep reflections on the state of race relations in the US. For our writers, these short messages reflect the impact that MLK has had on each of their lives and ministry.
In today’s installment, Jesse N. Love shares how he first heard of Martin Luther King, Jr. and how times have changed, yet stayed the same. Tomorrow, check out The PNW News Blog for our next installment of letters to MLK.
Dear Dr. King,
When I was in kindergarten, my teacher taught us this song:
Martin Luther King
Was a mighty, mighty man.
He was a preacher
And a teacher
And a man of God
And he loved you and me
And me and you.
Decades after your passing, I am fascinated at how you worked toward equality for all people. Freedoms I take for granted today are fruits from the movements you and others were called to dedicate your lives to.
I can sit at a restaurant with friends who are of different ethnicities – free from segregation.
I utilize my education and God-given skills in a career, free from being relegated to a job based on my class or skin color.
Young and old have access to learn about diversity, free from limited understanding that breed intolerance of one another.
Sadly, we have ways to go. Yes we’ve progressed, but like a dormant virus, the sin of hate lives – infecting the misguided and fearful when communities are at their weakest.
This spiritual void exists in the justice system – pitting authoritative power against the weak through profiling to excessive force.
We still judge based on the color of our skin (and our class, our sexual orientation, or our nationality) but not always on the content of our character.
Teacher, how can we live into a new reality of healing, understanding, and love for one another?
I dream that I can help improve the lives for future generations as you have for me.
Happy New Year and have a blessed birthday!
Jesse N. Love