Bobby Green spoke passionately about his father.
I'm voting for this guy to be president (-:
It’s from his book “Strength to Love,” first published in 1963:
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”
The AP asked a half-dozen people in the cities where he was born and where he died to consider his words and talk about what they mean for today’s world.
The Rev. Raphael Warnock in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Some were interviewed in Atlanta, home to King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation and his office where Xernona Clayton organized protest marches and fundraisers. Others reflected on the quote in Memphis, in front of the Lorraine Motel balcony where King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
“When he says ‘hate cannot drive out hate, only light can do that,’ it recognizes that to be bitter about your circumstance is one thing. To retaliate based on your circumstance is quite another,” said Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, at the site of the old Lorraine Motel. “So, Dr. King reminds us that it is usually through love — actionable love — that we are able to make change.”
“In order to fulfill a dream, it’s going to take a team that’s going to demonstrate love and not hate,” Cleophus Smith said.
Smith was one of the sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 after two of his co-workers were killed by a malfunctioning garbage truck. King was in Memphis supporting the sanitation workers’ strike when he was slain at the Lorraine Motel.
“You think about the grand scheme of things, you can’t fight hate with hate in the world we live in today. You can’t fight violence with violence,” said Mike Conley, a guard for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association.
“When people come and want to inflict hurt on somebody, you can’t come back and do the same to them,” Conley said. “Otherwise, we’re in this never-ending spiral that we’re in the middle of right now.”
“This is a time of moral reckoning in our nation. We must choose to stand on the side of light and love,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
“We have to stand up as Americans and say that we will stand on behalf of the poor, the marginalized, those who experience discrimination both historically, and presently,” he added. “This is our time, this is our moment to decide what kind of nation we want to be.”
“He talked about love and hate so effectively,” said Xernona Clayton, King’s office manager in Atlanta. “Dr. King really hated no one. He loved everyone, he really did. He practiced it, and he preached it.
“So when he talks about what hate does versus what love does, it’s so applicable to today,” she said. “We have to drive out hate any way we can. We have to strengthen love any way we can.”
"I am a fan and admirer of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. His sermons and speeches arouse hope and a passion for justice in my heart. But honestly, there is one quotation of his that just bugs the heck out of me.
The quote is: “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Yes… it is a powerful quote.
Yes, it hits the proverbial nail on the head.
Yes, it speaks Truth with a capital “T” and shines a righteous light squarely where it needs to shine.
So what’s my problem with it?
Actually, I love this quote. But I say that it bugs me because it convicts me and makes me squirm in my seat every time I hear it.
This quote throws cold water on my knee-jerk impulse to post negative, snarky Facebook comments about national and world events.
It makes me look into the mirror and ask, “What are YOU doing to spread actual, tangible love in the world?”
I hear the question… I ponder my answer… and I fall silent. Because I am not sure I have an answer.
But I know I have to keep seeking one. Actually, we ALL do.
Our future probably depends on it."