spirited, most hateful people in the world. It is all too easy for my righteous indignation to turn into something very ugly and unholy. In short, I can quickly turn into a monster as I try to defeat a monster.
I have recently purchased and have begun readfing The Essential Writings and Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I marvel at this man's ability and determination to love his enemies in spite of the hate he experienced.
Here is a story about MLK that illustrates his determination to love as Jesus loved.
He told me a story about Bobby Kennedy, which changed my life indeed. Harry Belafonte remembered a meeting with MLK when the civil rights movement had hit a wall in the early 60's.
'I tell you it was a depressing moment when Bobby Kennedy was made attorney general. It was a very bad day for the civil rights movement.' And I said: 'Why was that?' He said" 'Oh, you see you forget. Bobby Kennedy was Irish. Those Irish were real racists; they didn't like the black man. They were all the police, they were the people who broke our balls on a daily basis. Bobby at that time was famously not interested in the civil rights movement. We knew we were in deep trouble.
We were crestfallen, in despair, talking to Martin, moaning and groaning about the turn of events, when Dr. King slammed his hand down and ordered us to stop the bitchin': 'Enough of this,' he said. Is there nobody here who's got something good to say about Bobby Kennedy?' We said, 'Martin, that's what we're telling you There is no one. There is nothing good to say about him.' To which Martin replied: 'Well then,let's call this meeting to a close. We will re adjourn when somebody has found one thing redeeming to say about Bobby Kennedy, because that, my friends, is the door through which our movement will pass.' So he stopped the meeting and made then all go home. He wouldn't hear any more negativity about Bobby Kennedy.
Well it turned out that Bobby was very close to his bishop. So they befriended the one man who could get through to Bobby's soul and turned into their Trojan horse. Harry became emotional at the end of this tale, saying, 'When Bobby Kennedy lat dead on a Los Angeles pavement, there was no greater friend to the civil rights movement. There was no one we owed more of our progress to than that man.'
Whether he was exaggerating or not, that was a great lesson for me because what Dr. King was saying was: Don't respond in caricature - the Left, the Right, the Reactionary. Don't take people on rumor, Find the light in them because that will further your cause.
- Bono, from the book Bono In Conversation With Michka Assayas