Letters to the Editor

John and Jennifer Garcia: A lesson on the value of civility from Dr. King

Since attending Government Night with Rep. Jeff Denham, I have heard concerns that the audience was uncivil and disrespectful. For those quick to criticize the non-violent actions occurring across our nation, Dr. in Luther King Jr.’s words offer perspective:

“Why direct action, why sit-ins, marches, and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path? … I must confess that I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men (and women) to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.” Letter from Birmingham Jail, August, 1963.

When our representatives take actions that undermine the well-being of our nation, silence and non-action from the people would be disrespectful and uncivil.

John and Jennifer Garcia, Turlock

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