The Dayton Daily News recently ran my article, “Character Key to Unlocking Door of Discrimination.” There was an excellent rebuttal that had several well-made points. I let it sit on my heart for a few days, when I woke up at 3am this morning excited and unable to sleep. What an opportunity! You’ll see what I mean in a minute.
When we have limited guest column space, it’s difficult to cover every point that needs to be made. Dr. Melva Newsom was able to cover additional ground in her letter.
Below is my reply to her rebuttal.
Rebuttal to Guest Column Receives Praise from Author
In a rebuttal to my guest column, Character Key to Unlocking Door of Discrimination, Dr. Melva E. Newsom made several excellent points: “The tone of this piece was that if everyone would just be of good character there would be no more problems.” Her assessment is correct. I am suggesting that if each one of us maintains strength of character, there would be no problems. Exploitation would then cease to exist. No individual is excluded from the call to character.
Dr. Newsom also correctly stated that though you may be of high character, it doesn’t account for those who continue to hold hatred and violence in their hearts. But, it’s a starting point. Maintaining personal integrity, one becomes blameless. We can then open the door to real change as demonstrated by the sea of color that stood on the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston.
Just as the Bible speaks both literally and metaphorically, studying Dr. King’s writings reveals that he also spoke literally and metaphorically. Though he did point the finger directly at his oppressors, he also knew that to continue to hold blame in one’s heart is to poison the soul.
The guest column was and continues to be a call to every single one of us to examine our heart for anything less than brotherly love so that a great transformation of healing can occur. Yes, I am naïve in that I, too, have a dream—that equality and prosperity become a reality for every man, woman, and child on Earth. Yet, it can be achieved if we walk the journey together. Meet me on the bridge? I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.