Keep Faith in the Future

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 1/13/2017, 8:20 a.m.
“Never despair; never give up; never feel that the cause of righteousness and justice is doomed,” are the words spoken ...

“Never despair; never give up; never feel that the cause of righteousness and justice is doomed,” are the words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on May 11, 1957, at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. It was a time when African Americans were fighting for the basic right to vote. In his first national speech, Dr. King demanded that Africans Americans be given the ballot and the right to vote for the act of denying that civil right was a “tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition.”

That was almost sixty years ago though today we echo a similar battle cry. We have acquired the right to vote but that right is still being challenged with the Voter ID law. We have the right of being innocent until proven guilty. However, time and time again that right is tested when some of those who are charged to enforce the law choose to accused people first using violence and ask questions when its too late leaving countless bodies in the wake. And the injustices continue when “they” are found to be within their rights but we never had a chance to exercise our own. These types of injustices were the ones that Dr. King fought so hard against and the ones that we must continue to fight for today.

Nonviolently and without hate, we must act in the manner of Dr. King. He stood for justice no matter what color it appeared to be. We must hold up our fists against the discrimination of others with lighter skin tones just as high as we hold them in protest of Black Lives Matter. We have to pull together as people and work hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm, especially now, when our very livelihood is at risk with the uncertainty of the unknown.

Though we may be fearful. We may be baffled. We may not have the solutions to the problems we yet face. We must remain faithful. Keep the faith in the future is what Dr. King advised on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and the message still holds true today. Keep the faith in knowing that no matter who the leader of the free world is, there is still only one who reigns over all. Faith is what we must hold dear and what will allow love to trump hate.

Dr. King’s dream was not realized with the election of America’s first Black president. It seems as many steps as we take forward. We take just as many backward. We can not shy away from the issues. We have to stand firm and speak loud to lift our collective voices and be silenced no more. Aggressive leadership is needed from the local level on up to the top to see the change that is needed for all to prosper.

“We must work passionately and unrelentingly for the goal of freedom, but we must be sure that our hands are clean in the struggle,” said Dr. King. ”We must never struggle with falsehood, hate, or malice. We must never become bitter.”

But we must, among all things, keep the faith.