We’re piloting a new curriculum with my English students, and so for the first time this year I am teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. As we read last week, one of his famous quotes stuck out to me: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
I’ve often told this to my students when we talk about bullying. If you don’t stop it when you see it, then you are indirectly condoning it and telling the victim they don’t matter. It also continues to affect you, in the fact that you become less affected by it. You start to ignore it and not even see it. We are seeing this play out in our election this year.
Hillary Clinton is for abortion – at any time for any reason. She is so in favor of it that she wants tax payers to fund it. Even the revelations last year that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling baby parts didn’t change her thoughts on this. Yet so many still support Clinton. I hear people say all the time, “I would never have an abortion, but I support the right for others to.” Why? Why do we say this? We have become so accustomed to the murdering of the most innocent among us that most of us barely bat an eye anymore. We talk about “choice,” but where is the choice of that baby? The “choice” should end as soon as the new life is created. We’ve also seen a small piece of her corruption, yet people say “that’s no big deal; all politicians are corrupt.” Again, why is this okay? By not condoning the behavior, we are supporting it.
Then there’s Donald Trump. He claims to be against abortion – now, but for years he was just as for it as Hillary. Now maybe he really has had a revelation, but I doubt it. Unfortunately, he is for hate, racism, misogyny, and much more. When he mocked the disabled reporter, people said “Oh, he didn’t mean it.” When he said he could assault women, he and his supporters dismissed it as “locker room talk.” I work out in a predominantly male gym, and I’ve never heard talk that bad, but even if it were done, does that make it okay? What do we tell our kids when we say, “Oh, it was just words, that’s okay.” We’ve seen him demean women in videos, but still his followers say “that’s okay. He’s better than Hillary.” They say this because it isn’t affecting them, but by still endorsing this hateful rhetoric, we are telling victims we don’t care about them, as long as it doesn’t affect us. Trump is creating a culture of hate, fear, and assault.
I doubt Martin Luther King Jr had any idea how much his words would mean fifty years later. For a man who had hoped we would all be equal, I fear he would be sorely disappointed in how much more divisive we have become.
Neither one of these candidates will unite this nation. Both will further divide us. I only hope we can survive the next four years and return to a time of decency and civility.
Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on the inspirational with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.