We can do better

Forever, 2020 will be remembered as being a challenging year of the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, economic upheaval and an embattled presidential election.

Back on Jan. 20, the world looked a little brighter, a little more hopeful. I took part in the MLK Walk from Owensboro High School to Brescia University that morning. Bitter cold, cloudy and snow flurries.

I walked with a couple of friends; one Black, one white. They told me that the weather would get better. The snow stopped, the sun came out, and it warmed up to 15 degrees. We talked about living and working in the community. We all wanted to be there. My reason was to remind myself and others of the importance of Dr. King’s message — justice, non-violence, unity, dignity and hope.

There was a class of second- or third-graders walking down Frederica Street with us that morning. I wonder what they thought, what they would remember.

Today, I am reminded of Dr. King’s words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Today, I am reminded of Robert Kennedy’s words, “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred, what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another and a feeling of justice toward those that still suffer within our country ... .”

We can do better.

Bert Barker

Owensboro

(1) comment

Stanley Lightner

Excellent letter and brings up valid points.

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