AND YOU REALLY, REALLY NEED TO READ THEM …
|| By By WILL FOLKS || My website sparred often with S.C. Senator Clementa Pinckney. We agreed on certain issues – like the need for a private sector port in Jasper County, S.C. – but we disagreed on most others.
And those disagreements with the good Reverend were often quite heated …
But whatever divisive issues he and I debated … and whatever divisive issues are being debated in the aftermath of his tragic and untimely death (along with eight of his parishioners at the Mother Emanuel AME Church), there are commonalities which run far deeper.
In his second-most famous speech, former U.S. president John F. Kennedy addressed America’s Cold War rivals – the leaders of the former Soviet Union – with an appeal to our common, shared humanity.
“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet,” Kennedy said. “We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”
Amen to that (and Kennedy’s views on taxation, for what it’s worth).
Anyway … in that spirit, here are the letters Pinckney’s two children wrote to him following his brutal murder at the hands of a 21-year-old white supremacist.
Take a look …
(Click to enlarge)
All I could think about reading those letters is that he called one of his little girls “grasshopper.” One of my little girls, Eva, I call my “ladybug.”
That’s the commonality Kennedy spoke of … the shared humanity which is too often forgotten amidst our deliberately divisive discourse.
We forget it because we never see it – or hear it. In the aftermath of tragedies like the one that was visited upon Mother Emanuel we’re manipulated. We’re misled – conditioned by fringe voices to take our justified anger at the injustice of the world (a consequence of our shared sins) and project that anger upon people who don’t look like us. Who don’t worship like us. Who don’t live or love like us.
We equate surface differences with blame, failing to realize we’re all in this together against a much bigger enemy … one which would have us believe it accepts everyone when in reality it exist to exploit everyone.
Like the Reverend Man … Kennedy was right.
We all inhabit this same planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. We are all mortal.
But to that I would add this: We all have the same forces holding us back.
My website has said it before and will no doubt say it again. In the war for freedom and free markets – for expanded liberty and prosperity for all Americans – there is no black or white, man or woman, gay or straight, Christian or Muslim.
There is only “us” trying to make it versus “them” trying to take it.
And it’s not my generation I’m worried about (thanks to the last generation, that ship has sailed).
As best I know how, I’m fighting for “our children’s futures” – the ones that belongs to my “ladybug” and Clementa Pinckney’s “grasshopper.” And their sisters and brothers of all races, religions and backgrounds.
Will Folks is the editor of the website you are currently reading.