To ensure the “revolution of values” that Dr. King called for, justice and equality must be enshrined under new anti-racist systems. This requires exercising our imaginations, investing in peace education, and rethinking global economic and security systems. Only then will we defeat the evil triplets, “shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society,” and foster positive, sustainable peace.
The statements of The Interfaith Center of New York and Bend the Arc, two major faith-based groups, in response to the Buffalo racist hate-crime massacre that took the lives of ten and seriously wounded three more, all but one African Americans, leave the religious response of “thoughts and prayers” to others, as they, as citizens, voice ethical and very practical calls to action, all of which fully respect the principle of “separation of church and state.” Both statements make points of fundamental concern to all citizens, and thereby, to peace education as a means of learning toward engagement in actions of civic responsibility.
This OpEd from The New York Times demonstrates how the convergence of oppressions suffered by those who bear the greatest burdens of systemic and structural violence are also the most vulnerable to multiple forms of physical violence, including murder. It calls peace educators to awareness of the convergence as a foundation for an inquiry into the challenge of devising learning experiences to illuminate the prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory values that facilitate behavioral violence and uphold the structures.