January 11, 2022
Remembering Dr King: Combatting The Cancer of Hate

On Monday, January 17, we will pause to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King gave his life working to build a better world. He endured discrimination, beatings, imprisonment and finally death to stand for what was just. While he practiced acceptance and preached love, hate was what he was met with as he tried to make things better for everyone.

What would Dr. King think about the world we live in today? Sadly, hate is an issue today, just as it was 50 years ago in the 1960s. To build a world that works for all people, we must address the issue of hate and the danger it possesses from generation to generation.

In 1963, Dr. King was preparing for the Birmingham Campaign and a series of sermons called “Strength to Love”. It was in these sermons that Dr. King addressed hate and the impact it has on the hearts of men. “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.” These words are a fitting description of the world we too often find ourselves in today.

In a world that should work for everyone, we find ourselves locked in a battle for what is right, good, and just. Technology has created situations that could allow us to feed the hungry, heal the sick and house the homeless, but the hungry, the sick and the homeless suffer needlessly. As a people, we must ask ourselves how do these things exist in our culture with so much? Hate, my friends, is the answer.

The powerful have always created an “enemy” to confuse those they need to manipulate. They separate us by race, by gender, and by the expression of our faith. Hate is used to drive a wedge between people whose situation has nothing to do with any of these things. Economics connects us in ways that other attempted divisions fail. Dr. King understood this as well as anyone and tried to make all races understand the connection of their economic realities.

Does anyone determine your race? Does race feed your family? Does race heal your sick child? No, of course not. When we allow others to separate us by race, we fall for the cancer of hate. When we allow this to happen, we “confuse the truth with the false and the false with the truth.”

Truth must be the cornerstone in which we build our beliefs and our reality. Hate does indeed destroy our “sense of values and objectivity.” Like a cancer, hate corrupts, confuses and destroys.

As we recall, the events of Dr. King’s life, the things he endured could make anyone hate, but he never allowed those events to make him hate. His home was bombed, he was thrown in jail, attacked by dogs, spit on, demeaned but he never allowed these things to make him hate. In one of his most famous quotes, he said “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

This year let us honor Dr. King’s memory by saying no to the cancer of hate. Truth is truth and hate can’t change that. Let us always choose love over hate.

Mitchell Smith
UAW Region 8 Director







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