Thank you for the article about the Martin Luther King Jr. event, and its one or two highlights from the generally disappointing speeches. I’m not surprised, since most of the speakers were elected officials running for office.
I liked Oliver Baines’ call to self-reflection of ways we continue MLK’s work to combat racism and prejudice. I hope the other officials realize policies that redirect resources from low-income neighborhoods to affluent areas create systems of injustice.
I disagree with Henry Perea that using “A Tale of Two Cities” created injustice in our city. It’s like arguing that the word “racism” perpetuates it and its effects. No, language didn’t cause this, and language won’t fix it.
The main cause is fear. We have segregated communities because people fear neighbors who are different than them. This is exacerbated by officials who support segregation by turning fear into policy.
If we want to fight against injustice, we need to be honest and move beyond fear toward love for our neighbors. As Rev. King said, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate. … Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Neva Popenoe, Fresno