FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jerry Thomas
Steele Urges the President to Revisit the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the SCLC about Nonviolence
ATLANTA – (August 12, 2017) — As President Donald Trump addresses mounting crisis and conflict abroad and at home, Dr. Charles Steele, the president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the organization co-founded and once led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., issued the following statements today after tragedy erupted between white nationalists and counter protesters on a crowded street in Charlottesville, VA today.
“We have come full circle addressing the issues we addressed 50 years ago,” said Dr. Steele, referring to the racial unrest that led to tragedy in Charlottesville and the ongoing conflict abroad in nations like North Korea. “Dr. King said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ This is the Kingian Philosophy we not only taught in America, but around the world.
People around the world are looking to us for direction, but they are also asking why can’t they just adapt the philosophies of the civil rights movement, led by Dr. King and the SCLC, which advocated for nonviolence, which have been so successful around the world during periods of racial, ethnic, religious and political unrest. The same principles would have impact in Charlottesville and North Korea.”
Dr. Steele said the first step for healing the divisiveness in America is for the president to acknowledge there is a problem.
“When you eradicate racism and violence in America, it will impact the entire world,” he said. “And the divisiveness here in America is not only the racism but an economic injustice that Americans were also addressing 50 years ago when Dr. King was alive. We are embarking upon the 50th anniversary of The Poor People’s Campaign, which started in Marks, Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta. The people in those agricultural communities are saying it is worse there now than what it was when Dr. King’s was there and he publicly shed tears about the unprecedented level of poverty in the region. So, what happens today as far as the negativity and the racismthat was exposed today is a proven point that we have gone full circle and we cannot rest on our laurels and we must continue to fight. Many people think you fight until you win and you don’t have to fight any more. It is a continuous battle and that is what we must do in terms of the SCLC’s and Dr. King’s philosophy on nonviolence.
There is no reason for the president to reinvent the wheel. We have gone full circle. He needs to review the full history of America during the Civil Rights Movement that made this nation the one that others looked to for leadership and direction.”
ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. For additional information about the SCLC, visit www.nationalsclc.org.To arrange an interview with Dr. Steele, contact Jerry Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org, (312) 285-5166, or Maynard Eaton, National Communications Director,(404) 254-8322. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.