It was not until last year that I read “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. The striking statement for many in that letter is that “injustice anywhere is an attack on justice everywhere.” Notable people throughout history have chosen a non-violent response to injustice and this is where the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Not many people know that I suffered racism in fifth grade. I did not even understand it at the time and usually prefer not to talk about it. Right before we moved in October of 1989, I was the only white kid on the bus. Being true kids, most of us did not care about the color of my skin versus everyone else’s (yes, racism is taught). But there were a few who targeted me because I was white and they said horrible things to a ten year old. My bus carried kindergarteners to seventh gradeers, and the seventh graders were tough on us.
My response to the racism was never violent and usually fearful, however looking back it would only have fueled those who were being racist if I had answered their hate with hate. After I read MLK’s letter, I understood the attitude I needed to have towards those seventh graders who were on the bus.
We may never see the end of injustice because of the gift of free will God gave us, but I do believe love will always be there to respond.
Question: How do you respond to those who hate you, whether justified or not?