To the Editor:
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” This quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, Where Do We Go From Here, continues to inspire many, including myself. During February, the U.S. celebrates African American History Month and the great contributions to our country by people of color.
Unfortunately, we live in a nation that has seen an increase in hate crimes in the past two years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that there were more than 6,100 reported incidents of hate crimes in 2016, up from the year before with the largest share of victims last year — nearly 6 in 10 — targeted because of the victim’s race or ethnicity. The FBI acknowledges that their data is considered incomplete because not all law enforcement jurisdictions report their hate crimes (Washington Post, Mark Berman, Nov.13, 2017).
We lose out personally and as a nation when we discriminate against another based on the color of a person’s skin. It is a new era to “stick with love” and stand together, so that everyone has equal access to employment, housing, education, safety and freedom.
Join us for an award-winning documentary “Whose Streets?” on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton. It tells the story of teenager Michael Brown and how the people of Ferguson rose up together in a new wave of resistance to violence. Admission is free.
There is a newly formed campaign entitled, “Hate Has No Home Here,” that encourages a just and inclusive community and a safe place where everyone is welcome and valued. A free meal, entitled, “Peace Soup” with conversation on the theme: “Hate Has No Home Here:
Becoming Instruments of Peace” will be held on Tuesday evenings beginning Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.
Check out our website at www.clintonfranciscans.com for more information.
Nancy Miller, O.S.F.
Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton