For MLK!

This is an excerpt from a post of mine from almost 3 years ago, posted during the presidential campaign that led to the election of Barack Obama. I am reposting it today to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday this year:

Lately, I am struck by how much hatred has begun to infuse our public discourse around the presidential campaign, and in particular, how much hatred is being directed at the least hateful candidate, Barack Obama. Spewing so much less vitriol than either Hillary Clinton or John McCain, Obama is spreading a message of unity and hope, and yet to watch the two other candidates and the far right pundits and talking heads, you'd think he was the devil incarnate.

Why do they fear him, and therefore hate him, so much? Is there something so insidious about Mr. Obama that I am somehow missing, even after thirty years of studying the nature of human beings as a psychotherapist and sociologist? Is Barack Obama really the Antichrist? Or could it be that perhaps those individuals who hate him have become so fearful of facing how separated they've become from their own best potential, so unable to inspire anything but negativity, anger and despair in others, and so removed from their genuine capacity to love, except abstractly of course, like loving the flag or the cross or the "troops," that they must seek to denigrate and destroy anyone who puts forth a message that is positive and loving?

We've been here before haven't we? Martin Luther King, the Kennedy's, Ghandi, and of course, Jesus himself, all messengers of hope and unity, all brutally murdered for delivering that message.

King himself once said this: "Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

I can't predict what will happen in the public square as this election year progresses. As a species, the human race seems to barely be in its adolescence developmentally, and we know how that goes so often.

Maybe these more optimistic words by MLK can offer us some solace:

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."

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