Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Leah Raphael

Across the United States today, numerous memorials will be held to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated on April 4, 1968. A few years before his death, a young Black woman asked him a question. I include here both the question and the answer that Dr. King gave her.

Question: I am a Negro, but I don’t like Jews. What can I do to overcome this feeling?

Answer: It is very unfortunate that you dislike Jews. This is a problem which you need to solve immediately, because it is no different from the attitude that many whites have concerning the whole Negro race. In order to deal with this problem, you must get at the roots of your dislike for the Jews. Most hate is rooted in fear, suspicion, ignorance and pride. You must be sure that all of these factors are removed from your personality where the Jews are concerned. The word prejudice means literally to prejudge, that is, to pass judgment before you have all of the facts.

You have probably prejudged the Jewish community by an experience you had with one or more Jews or by some half-truths and distorted ideas that you have heard circulated concerning Jews. You can only remove this by knowing the truth and realizing that no one shortcoming can characterize a whole race. I would suggest that you seek real personal fellowship with Jews and you will discover that some of the finest persons in our nation are members of the Jewish community. Through this type of personal fellowship, you will come to know them and love them and thereby transcend the bounds of bigotry. Men hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they are so often separated from each other.

January 15, 2007 | Comments Off on Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

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