A message of empathy to the far right

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a civil rights march on Washington D.C. in 1963, Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a civil rights march on Washington D.C. in 1963, Wikimedia Commons

Protecting our constitutional rights is the reason given by many different conservative groups today, and for different reasons, but the idea of freedom and rights is strong in all of us, no matter who you are.

Close your eyes and imagine different groups saying that you are not entitled to the rights given to everyone else. They despise you and call you every derogatory name in the book, and they are condescending toward you like you are stupid, while others tell you that you aren’t even human.

To gain their rights as human beings, African Americans, that marched for the civil rights movement, had the courage to stand up against police trying to beat them to death, dogs attacking them, fire hoses trained at them, angry mobs in hooded white robes trying to hang them, bombs placed in their churches, arrests, and murderers of their friends not being convicted and freed from any wrongdoing.

Standing against this abuse and terror, these brave souls marched for their civil rights and they lived all of this, and more.

Imagine what it would be like if you were treated this way while protesting for your rights today.

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial], 08/28/1963, National Archives: 542010.

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial], 08/28/1963, National Archives: 542010.

With all of the calls from many whites saying their constitutional rights are being taken away by President Obama, please understand the differences, and why members of the African American community have a right to scoff at your claims, saying that you are clueless to what it means to having your rights withheld from you.

Your politicians, backing your causes, are now making it harder again for them to vote. You treat the first African American President with such disdain, disrespect and hate that it is unbearable to watch, while some of you are also saying that he shouldn’t be the President and impeached.

Laws are passed allowing police to just throw their heads against brick buildings for doing nothing, and search them as if they are criminals.

Can you ever imagine all this happening to you, or your family, and would you fight against those that are helping this continue? Please try to empathize with the tribulations of African Americans along with other minorities, and acknowledge their history and points of view. They have not forgotten those brave people that stood up and marched for their future.

Saying that your constitutional rights are being taken away, while remaining blind to those rights being taken away from other groups is the highest form of hypocrisy.

You will never be trusted until you realize this.

The words of Martin Luther King ring true today as they did then:

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Let’s hope we never forget them.

—A white southern gentleman that dreams of the solid rock of brotherhood

Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech.

About these ads

5 thoughts on “A message of empathy to the far right

  1. Beautifully written piece, Sir. However, I do have one question. When you said, “With all of the calls from many whites saying their constitutional rights are being taken away by President Obama, please understand the differences, and why members of the African American community have a right to scoff at your claims, saying that you are clueless to what it means to having your rights withheld from you.” Isn’t this a falsely equivalent and reductive argument? It sounds as if you are saying that if one group has it worse than another, it’s OK for that group to minimize the other’s pain, and that just doesn’t seem right.

    So for example, if a Jew says to an African American, “Look. I know you’ve had it tough for 500 or so years, but we have been persecuted through our 5,000+ year history. We were enslaved by Egypt and made to build the pyramids and other structures. We subjugated by the Romans and had our faith stolen from us. And despotic rulers have sought our extinction more times than I can count. So suck it up buddy. We’ve had it just as bad or worse than you, and we’ve suffered ten times longer.”

    Now, I am Jewish, and I could never imagine those words coming out of my mouth; but it seems like you wouldn’t mind if they did. And that is just not the John Cashon I know. As such, I look forward to you straightening me out. :-)

    • Remember that this is a message to the far right, and considering the March on Washington 2013 that is occurring and the voting restriction laws across the country, reminding them of the abuses that happened during the Civil Rights Movement was my goal. There are many more examples that could be used, such as anti-Semitism in America, but I would have to write much more to include it all.

      However, I did say, “Please try to empathize with the tribulations of African Americans along with other minorities, and acknowledge their history and points of view.”

  2. Reblogged this on JCN GokaiNet and commented:
    For those who had thought that the Civil Rights era is long departed, we are sadly being reminded by efforts of creating an artificial voter fraud issues which produced voting restriction laws designed by those government officials who would rather return this country to the Segregation era or much worse, with all other races would land on one of three categories: dead, dying, or enslaved for eternity. This is not what either America & Christianity or both are all about, nor what the American Dream is being limited to. Enriching the already wealthy while being criminally neglecting the poor has never been what Christians like them should do, unfortunately, the Mormon conspirators and the Far Right have essentially hijacked the entire conversation of what made America special. Rather than praising the working family for building this country with blood, sweat and tears, these Confederate loyalists have pressed hard with total privatization of the whole nation, to the point that only the wealthy racists individuals who firmly believe in the false notion of only the Aryan Mormon conspirators and Hitler’s followers deserve to be in God’s Kingdom, all the while they have placed the portraits of Ayn Rand & Adolf Hitler on their walls and proclaimed as God Almighty. What those people really reminds me of? The likes of Koch Brothers, Mitt Romney, and Rand Paul reminds me to those of the Pharisees 2000 years ago, and those two sets of people’s behaviors mirror each other when dealing with the poor, the sick, the elderly, and immigrants from around the world who needs assistance – as in the wealthy cannot stand dealing with the weak and vulnerable. Let me tell you something, Jesus never discriminated any of weak & vulnerable when he walked in this world, nor does the Kingdom of God, so THEREFORE, those who assumes God only cares about the wealthy and pro-Nazis are PLAIN WRONG.

  3. This was one the comments on Facebook that I thought should be seen and answered here:

    “Well, this article is pretty much just a liberal writing about the civil rights movement and saying, in so many words, your rights don’t matter, because you aren’t the great grandchildren of former slaves.”

    When you say, it was “in so many words, your rights don’t matter, because you aren’t the great grandchildren of former slaves,” the only problem is that I don’t remember thinking this.

    As a white southern male, I have encountered nothing compared to the African-American experience. How do I show the plight of those that have had it good compared to another group of Americans that were discriminated against and still are?

    To me, I would feel shallow if I tried to compare my struggles to what they went through, because I empathize with them, and not to those that are blind to it happening again, albeit a new form of discrimination that is not as blatant.

    I felt that it was important to take the time to speak directly to a group that hates me because I am a liberal, but I would do it a hundred times over if I could help initiate a conversation with the far right.

    I choose dialog over screaming at each other, and ‘asking’ for empathy from a group, that is ‘officially’ supporting the removal of rights from another group and saying that it is no big deal, was the main goal of this article.

    I am asking the far right to remember that evil time in our history, and realize how the new voting restrictions being passed as laws today can be seen by those that actually lived it or had family that did.

    I am asking them to see how their portrayal of the first African-American President as an un-American, tyrannical, Kenyan usurper that needs to be removed is seen by this community.

    I really don’t think it is too much to ask for us to find a way to respect each other, but in doing so, leaving out and downplaying the obvious injustices of the past and those happening today, is no way to build a trust that will last.

  4. Pingback: Topic of the Week: Empathy | SnapShotTempo AKA The Mosiac Poet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s