Charleston Leaders, the Real Leaders

charleston-leaders_2015_june_deCNN_.jpg"Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.    ---  and fortunately, millions of Americans heartily agree.  Yet, race problems continue. 

The fuel that feeds racism is hate.  We might never be rid of it, but we must always strive to end it.  Not by hating back.  But by learning to understand each other. 

The families of those who were killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, in Charleston exemplified the most admirable ability to forgive.  They and we honor their loved ones with our thoughts and prayers,  with vigils, remembrances, and songs. 


charleston_churchgoers_lead_2015june_deBET.jpg    And these beautiful families forgave. 


  They led the way for all of us to respond to hate with love and to work harder ...

work harder to understand each other.  They are the truest of heroes.  Their lives of love are teaching all of us to reconsider what we have been doing. 

Others who are called leaders in this event – mayors, governors, CEOs,  etc – are really following the great leadership of the families of the church.    Many are now working harder on stopping racism, stopping hate. 

**SC Gov. Haley now leads a multi-partisan, multi-ethnic group to remove the #ConfederateFlag from state grounds.  

** The NAACP has been calling for removing it for decades and when it comes down, they will be the first I congratulate on making progress happen on the flag removal.   #JusticeSummer - Our Lives Matter

**VA Gov. McAuliffe has called for removing it from state license plates. 

**E-bay, Sears,  Walmart --and hopefully other retailers soon -- have banned it from their stores. 

Media pundits have illuminated the mandate to remove the confederate flag.

** On The Nightly Show​, Larry Willmore said,  “In 1961 [the flag] was a reminder to black people that they should know their place. It has always been used as a symbol of intimidation and terror. And that’s what it remains today."

Removing the confederate flag from public places is an important step.   But it is only a symbol. 

To make real progress in race relations we have to talk with each other,  stop relying on stereotypes to make our decisions, talk to each other some more,  and take explicit steps to practice not being racist.   Perhaps the flag can be a topic we use to begin talking about race and ending racist practices.   


The NAACP​, along with a strong coalition of organizations will march from Selma to Washington DC this summer. 101ways_to_teach_tolerance

Why march?    Click to listen and learn some answers,  then spread the word.  Talk with your friends and neighbors because,  "This is an American problem that we can solve."  --Cornell William Brooks, NAACP CEO


In honor of the families of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston,
I frequently ask myself, “Am I doing enough to stop hate?”  

I will take note of the 101 Ways to Teach Tolerance,  published by  I’ll post some from time to time.  Please share your ideas to spread tolerance, respect and understanding too. 

 I will follow the hashtag,  #JusticeSummer, to learn more about the movement to bring change because all lives matter;  votes matter.   

We must actively seek justice for every person if we are ever to achieve it for any person. 

“Thank you,” to the people of Emanuel Church for leading with love. 



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