Sunday, May 6, 2012

E Pluribus Unum

Out of many, one. If there is anything sacred in the American experience, this is it.

Last Sunday was the twentieth anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. Naturally, there has been extensive news coverage the last couple of weeks, especially from the Los Angeles Times. Two columns in particular stood out to me, one by Steve Lopez and another by Hector Tobar. Both speak of the inevitability of the unrest, the sadness of the experience itself, and the struggles since then to rise out of the ashes.

Whatever else the riots were or continue to be, they are surely evidence of our failure to live the American ideal. We are many, but rarely one. We can make our excuses, but ultimately it is about our unwillingness to embrace one another as family.

Steve Lopez concludes his column with two quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. The one that speaks the most prophetic truth is this:

"We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools."