Amid the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, I’ve listened to the voices of the past and present.
Not to speak.
Not to react.
Not to defend.
Just to listen.
As you read this post, I ask you to listen to the words of Coretta Scott King from her “Solidarity Day Address” delivered in Washington D.C. on June 19, 1968.
June 18, 1968, was the 15th anniversary of her marriage to Martin Luther King, Jr. Her husband had been assassinated two and a half months earlier (April 4, 1968), a victim of racial violence.
June 19, 1968, was two weeks after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (June 6, 1968). Her speech included a message from Ethel Kennedy, the wife of Senator Kennedy
Violence was on the mind of Coretta Scott King.
But not the violence we might assume. Here are her words. Hear them. Feel them.
“In this society, violence against poor people and minority groups is routine. I remind you that starving a child is violence. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her child is violence. Discrimintion against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical needs is violence. Contempt of poverty is violence. Even the lack of willpower to help humanity is a sick and sinister form of violence.”
(Coretta Scott King, June 19, 1968)