VOICES: An impassioned plea for peace

Oh, little spawn of Abraham, how shall we hear Thee now?

Mary, did you know your little boy would be the Reason for the Season?

And His name shall be called …. “The Prince of Peace?”

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in 1958.

“There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that peace which is within the souls of men” — attributed to Black Elk, Oglala Lakota medicine man.

What is in our heart of hearts …that the same Freedom we crave belongs to all of Humanity — freedom from oppression, freedom of worship, freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of assembly … there ought to be a law! Patriots All!

Schisms with our Isms, Dueling Ideologies

Conning the Economy….Recession….Secession

Suspicion.. Sedition.. Violating Jim Crow Tradition — “Lynch Him”

He Broke the Laws — “Impeach Him”

But her emails…. — “Lock Her Up”

Challenging the Powers That Be… Blasphemy — “Crucify Him”

Apathy….Malarkey….Hierarchy….Oligarchy….Anarchy

Armed Boogaloo Bois wearing Aloha shirts; Armed Proud Boys, Standing Back and Standing By

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee to protest police violence against Black Americans.

Officer Derek Chauvin takes a knee to George Floyd’s neck until Mr. Floyd can no longer breathe and dies, while three other police officers — sworn keepers of Peace — looked on, did nothing…. sparking international outrage and months of protests and demonstrations.

And the insidious undesirous virus invades without civility.

Whoever envisioned Twenty-Twenty to look like this ought to have their foresight examined.

Blessed are the Peacemakers — where have all the Peacemakers gone?

Ohhh, right: Jesus of Nazareth, Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Yitzhak Rabin, Anwar Sadat, JFK & RFK, four Gandhis — Indira and Mahatma and Mohandas and Rajiv; Joan of Arc, Benazir Bhutto, Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores, and on and on and on….

“If a movement can be stopped by waiting for a leader to arise and then killing them, we are in trouble.”

‘Tis the Season for REASON – “Come now, and let us reason together…” (Isaiah 1:18)

Let us affirm the 90% of our common values, and respect and set aside our differences — Demonstrate… Remonstrate… Collaborate… Cooperate… Celebrate

In his Dec. 15 letter to TGI, Steve Backinoff asked us to remember on Jan. 18, 2021 — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year — to keep making progress towards fulfilling King’s dreams. Here are some of King’s quotes:

• “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”

• “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

• “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

• “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

• “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

• “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

• “The time is always right to do what is right.”

• “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

• “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

• “If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell.” — March 18, 1968, two weeks before he was assassinated.

•••

Susan Oakley is a resident of Kapa‘a.

5 Comments
  1. Dinkydao January 1, 2021 9:03 am Reply

    Beautifully written.


  2. Rev Dr Malama January 1, 2021 10:33 am Reply

    AMENE!!!
    Mahalo for reminder that it’s never to late to do the right thing….
    In honor of a great believer I am proud to support the new year resolution of….
    Making all lives by first acknowledging that we must make all….

    BLACK LIVES MATTER


  3. anna.nimatee January 1, 2021 2:39 pm Reply

    I might add: Deescalate – Mediate – Negotiate


  4. Steve Saylor January 2, 2021 11:27 am Reply

    We live in a monopoly game run by the bankers and corporations which requires us to compete AGAINST each other, to fight each other for survival, to take advantage of each other. This system produces conflict, greed, selfishness, and endless war. What else would we expect. We must transition into a system of collaboration, not competition…. a system that inherently produces peace and stability, not conflict and war. In other words… We can’t get there from here. But it’s a nice thought.


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