Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed 44 years ago by an assassin’s bullet, but his legacy lives on in his words and actions. Now more than ever, Dr. King’s message of nonviolence is a powerful one that still resonates today. The past year brought many challenges to our community. Violence is a part of everyday life for so many young people. But after a recent spike in violence in our neighborhoods, people have organized to say “enough is enough”. I want to add my voice to the rising chorus of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, clergy and politicians who say let us work together to stop the violence – now.
As the father of five young adults, I know firsthand the fears and worries when my kids are out. When I read that it’s safer to send our young men to the battlefields of Iraq than the streets of Los Angeles, I think back to the words of Dr. King, who said:
“It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.”
Dr. King believed in empowering all people and challenged them to help their neighbors and communities do better. We must find new ways to combat the violence in our communities or we will lose more of our children. We must promote love of our fellow man. We must make sure our public schools educate every child, and that our businesses provide opportunities for young people.
Let’s use this day to keep the dream alive. Let us put Dr. King’s words into practice by promoting peace and non-violence in our homes and in our communities.