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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Refusing to Remain Silent in Face of Politics of Hate

The world is currently awash in the politics of racial stereotypes, race hatred and fear. I refuse to sit idly by while minority groups of all sorts are tarred for the political advantage of one bigoted candidate or another. I refuse to remain silent and civil while media outlets better described as propaganda machines spew this hatred and these lies for no better reason than to gain a ratings advantage and a bigger share of the blood money pie. This tactic has long been with us. Sadly, this is so because it is so effective among the most fearful people.

I despise watching a political rally descend into a hate-fest that turns violent when anyone has the "temerity" to have a different point of view. I am appalled at the fact that in some cases physical abuse has been heaped upon such demonstrators standing up for their minority group against the lying racial stereotypes presented against them. I'm sick of the results in which bigots feel empowered to spread their hatred as a result.

I will never vote for any candidate who would stoop so low. They have taken an evil path and we must not follow them down that road. To do so leads to ever increasing violence ... and eventually to dirty bloody hands yourself, eventually wondering how you ever reached such a low point or did such an awful thing.

Looking back on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, in which he rakes moderate pastors over the coals for not standing up against violence against African-Americans, what he says applies to all of us today. Two examples of Rev. Dr. King, Jr.'s complaints are powerful and relevant today:
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative. 
You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.
I highly recommend you read the entire letter here:

Do not sit idly by, trying to be civil, while hateful lies are spread, while bigotry runs rampant in the US and around the globe. Let's stop the next round of bloody, bigoted hatred in its tracks now! Do not be silenced by the loud, strident, attacking voices will rise against you. Stand up for those under attack and demand this evil come to a halt.

Another site you might visit is Journal for Preachers and see that over 2400 Christian theologians and pastors are calling for this kind of hate speech, followed by violence, to stop. See:

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