Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hatred or Revenge

Robert Kennedy campaigned in New York for the Senate in 1964.  I had the privilege of shaking his hand as his motorcade passed by on Union St. in Schenectady.

In a 1968 speech RFK explained: “When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies - to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered...

“We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all.  We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others.  We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.”

Robert Kennedy’s older brother President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, on November 22, 1963.  Martin Luther King was fatally shot in Memphis, on April 4, 1968.  Two months latter on June 5, 1968, while campaigning for president, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was murdered in Los Angeles.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump preached hatred, and religious bigotry to eager listeners in mostly white communities across our country.  Some are cruel chauvinist, who also want to restrict women’s rights, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender citizens.  Racial hatred goes much deeper than many white Americans want to admit. 

Warning!  Hate is like a powerful acid, because it can do more harm to the container in which it’s kept, than those upon which it’s spewed.


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