Exposing the Sickness to the Sunlight
August 17, 2017Share:
In light of the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, America can no longer turn a blind eye to the disease that is white supremacism. When addressing racism, Martin Luther King Jr. often spoke of “exposing the sickness to the sunlight, so that it may heal.” When brown-shirted white supremacists lit torches, we saw their disease. When they marched through Charlottesville with brass knuckles and clubs, the sickness was exposed in the starkest terms possible, and a young woman was mowed down by hate. The sickness has been exposed to the sunlight. Now, we must look for ways to heal the blight of white supremacism.
On December 11, 1964, in honor of his Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King gave a lecture entitled “The Quest for Peace and Justice” to the Nobel Committee. His words are as profound today as they were when spoken over fifty years ago. There is a path forward for America after Charlottesville. Martin Luther King gave us the roadmap to follow. It’s time we used it.
The following quotes are excerpts from “The Quest for Peace and Justice.” For the complete lecture and audio recording, go here.
“Violence is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than convert.”
“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”
“The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.”
“…Elements in our society seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path.”
“We must press on until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.”
“We have inherited a big house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Muslim and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interests, who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn, somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other.”
It’s clear after Charlottesville, that America has not yet rid itself of the pestilence that is white supremacy. It’s a road that we’ve been down before. But we see now that the road is much longer than we thought. Dr. King and others gave us a map to use on this road—a map of nonviolent resistance to white supremacy, hatred, and bigotry. The sickness has been exposed to the sunlight. Let’s work together to heal our country.