Monday, December 04, 2017

Things are really bad—don’t wait for leaders Mark McCormick tells the Peace and Social Justice Center Annual Meeting

By SJ Otto
“We need to get things done now—we can't afford to wait for leaders,” Mark McCormick told the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas, during their Annual Dinner, Friday Night. “We can't afford to wait for the next Martin Luther King.” McCormick said. There more than 50 people there.
McCormick is the executive director of The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) in Wichita. He spent 14 years as a columnist and reporter at The Wichita Eagle. McCormick received more than 20 journalism and civic awards. Many of his columns from The Wichita Eagle and The Louisville Courier-Journal have just been published in his new book Some Were Paupers, Some Were Kings: Dispatches from Kansas.
McCormick’s speech included quotes from other authors and Martin Luther King. His most pointed comments came from the question and answer time.
When State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, asked what he thought of the new gun laws, he ended up talking about the poverty of this country and how it relates to violence.
“Wealth isn't the opposite of poverty,” McCormick said. “Justice is the opposite of poverty. Charity isn't justice. We need a deep learning and to have a year of commitment.”
He also said we need to get rid of insurance companies.
“No one should profit off of the sickness of others,” McCormick told the crowd. “They shouldn’t profit off of those in prison.”
McCormick said he supports capitalism, even though he seemed to support ideas that were in sync with socialists at times. He told of a child he knew, who was in a hospital and he died because his insurance company insisted they experiment with cheaper drugs.
Faust-Goudeau said she also know of a person who died when an insurance company wanted a young child to use cheaper medicine.
McCormick spoke of the violence in this society and he focused on choice. He told of a situation where some parents lost a son and they could not see his face because it was a part of a crime scene.
“It is not likely this will happen to us,” he added. “But we can choose. The rest of us can choice non-violence.”
He pointed out that this country’s army can send a man anywhere anytime, but can’t put money into healthcare for all our people.
When asked about passive resistance McCormick said that it is not a case of just being passive.
“Sometimes we need a kick in the pants,” he said. “People need to get angry. They need to get out and vote. Things are really bad. People don't know how to respond. They don't know who to vote for. There is a lot of disengagement.”
McCormick quoted from several of his favorite authors. He pointed to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence, as being a much more radical speech than most people wanted to give him credit for.
“Martin Luther King is an American hero now that he is safely dead,” McCormick said. “Dead men make good heroes. We will tell our kids he was a great man. He was a great man but his dream is still just a dream.”
He also read some quotes from Hank Williams - Men With Broken Hearts. It was announced that The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) had won a Nobel Prize. A Tribute was read to Nagasaki and Hiroshima and those who were experimented on. The announcement, which was read said that any nation today that seeks a more peaceful world should support this before they use them again.

Their was a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Hank Williams as Luke The Drifter - Men With Broken Hearts


Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - April 4, 1967 - Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

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