Steven Wittenberg Gordon
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.[i]
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Every King Holiday has been a national “teach-in” on the values of nonviolence, including unconditional love, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, which are so desperately-needed to unify America.[ii]
--Coretta Scott King
In Ferguson, Missouri, a policeman judged
a Negro criminal by the content of his character
Instead of thanking the policeman
for protecting their community,
the Negroes rioted in the streets
committing acts of violence and vandalism,
theft and intimidation,
arson and attempted murder.[iii]
In Cleveland, Ohio, a policeman shot and killed
a Negro child who was brandishing in a crowd
what by all accounts appeared to be a loaded gun.[iv]
The gun turned out to be a toy,
the child innocent.
Instead of offering unconditional love and forgiveness
to this devastated policeman
who had acted from a place of love,
misguided though it turned out to be,
Though peaceful, the climax of one protest came
when the demonstrators laid themselves down
on the ground for four minutes,
protesting the time that it took
for first responders to arrive to help the Negro child.[v]
The average response time is six and a half minutes.[vi]
Where are tolerance, forgiveness, and reconciliation?
Where are impartial judgment, non-violence, and unconditional love?
We are all still waiting,
and Dr. King