This week the verdict from the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin case was delivered to a stunned, shocked, divided, racially tense Nation, and the verdict was the Zimmerman was found not guilty. It was a trial that captivated the Nation, and had all of the talking heads on TV/radio/internet debating and discussing it for weeks leading up to, and still several days later after the verdict.
I’m reminded of a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr speech in which he gave the “Address at The Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March”. King talked about a lot of similar social and racial issues of the day that were occurring all throughout the Nation, but particularly in the Southern States of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, etc. He talked about what had become the “normalcy” of how the public treated the Negro, but the only “normalcy” that King urged us to accept was:
“The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all of God’s children. The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that allows judgment to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice.”
I love this speech, and feel that there’s so much that we can take from it in regards to dealing with and the healing that must take place in light of the repercussions and heartache of the recent verdict (no matter what side you are on).
I took a moment to clip a few excerpts of King’s “Address at The Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March” dated March 25 1965. Sometimes it seems that “the more things change… the more they stay the same”.
I, like Martin Luther King Jr, believe in the non-violence approach, loving our fellow man and living in a society where we can be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the character that lies within. George Zimmerman shouldn’t be a “marked man”, having to look over his shoulder every day for the rest of his life… that’s not right … that’s not the kind of society that we want to live in,… that’s not how we want to raise and teach our children and the next generation… that’s not being a good neighbor living by the “Golden Rule”. With that in mind:
Enjoy these excerpts from the “Address at The Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March…..
“But I have a message that I would like to leave with Alabama this evening. That is exactly what we don’t want, and we will not allow it to happen, for we know that it was normalcy in Marion that led to the brutal murder of Jimmy Lee Jackson. It was normalcy in Birmingham that led to the murder on Sunday morning of four beautiful, unoffending, innocent girls. It was normalcy on Highway 80 that led state troopers to use tear gas and horses and billy clubs against unarmed human beings who were simply marching for justice. It was normalcy by a cafe in Selma, Alabama, that led to the brutal beating of Reverend James Reeb.
It is normalcy all over our country which leaves the Negro perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of vast ocean of material prosperity. It is normalcy all over Alabama that prevents the Negro from becoming a registered voter. No, we will not allow Alabama to return to normalcy.
The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all of God’s children. The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that allows judgment to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice.
And so as we go away this afternoon, let us go away more than ever before committed to this struggle and committed to nonviolence. I must admit to you that there are still some difficult days ahead. We are still in for a season of suffering in many of the black belt counties of Alabama, many areas of Mississippi, many areas of Louisiana. I must admit to you that there are still jail cells waiting for us, and dark and difficult moments. But if we will go on with the faith that nonviolence and its power can transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows, we will be able to change all of these conditions.
And so I plead with you this afternoon as we go ahead: remain committed to nonviolence. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.
I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because “truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
With all of that being said, nearly 50 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr, let’s heal and pull together like the great people, neighbors and friends that we all can be.