I came across this photo and read King’s words. They seem appropriate, but, for me, something is missing. It has become a struggle for me to center my feelings around this photo and King’s words someone thought appropriate. On the surface, I can see a vague relationship between King’s words to the picture. But the longer I linger on the image, the more I feel his words are out of place.
I looked at this photo and asked myself how many friendships started out this way in total innocence and then saw them destroyed because of racial hate, not between the children but between the parents. At this point, one might say, ‘Then King’s words are indeed appropriate.’ Yet, for me, they still seem out of place. And if one was to ask, ‘Why do you care?’ I would say, ‘Good question.’ As I gaze upon the picture, it tugs at me. I think, ‘What is not and what is.’
This photo represents the dichotomy between our worlds with the innocence of these two young girls. The young Black girl comforts her white friend, who seems upset about something. The warmth on her face pulls at my heartstrings, and I see her innocence and concern for her friend.
No malice, hate, concern for skin pigmentation, or religious beliefs. Just the desire to make a friend feel better, unencumbered by racial characteristics compared to this.
The total opposite of the first photo. Grown white men marching the streets of Charlotteville with tiki torches, chanting Jews will not replace us, who would no doubt be outraged by the photo and screaming, ‘How dare that darkie touch the face of a young white woman.’ They wouldn’t see the innocence and friendship. How could they? Instead of compassion, they have hate, which drives their fear.
Fear of something that, according to the Pew Report, would be difficult. Why? The Jewish population is only 2.4% of the U.S. population.
So their chant is not only irrational but illogical; it is also contrary to the teachings of Christ, the son of God they claim to worship, who, wait for it, happened to be Jewish.
Looking at these two photos, I now realize why I was having problems with the quote used for the two little girls. It’s the last line, to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.’ This would be more fitting for the idiots carrying the tiki torches. As it is definitely a lesson on not walking the earth like brothers.
Whereas the picture of these two young girls is in stark contrast and more in line with what King wanted for the world. Which I believe is captured from this line from a speech he gave at a youth march for integrated schools.
“As I stand here and look out upon the thousands of Negro faces, and the thousands of white faces, intermingled like the waters of a river, I see only one face , the face of the future.”
When I first saw this picture, my emotions were everywhere. I am not afraid to admit it, and the overall beauty and innocence of the photo overcame me: no hate, judgment, fear, just compassion, caring, and love.
Faces of the future are what I see. What do you see?