[Ed. – The author is senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and founder and CEO of Project H.O.O.D Communities Development Corporation.]
Martin Luther King famously noted that violence “destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue.” This week’s violent looting has produced a deafening monologue.
On the south side of Chicago, where I pastor a church and lead a ministry, Project H.O.O.D., we are in the business of building dialogue as the way of rebuilding our community. We help build community leaders and we equip our neighbors—especially young black men who are exiting gangs—to build their own character and to help rebuild the streets. We build self-esteem and respect for our fellow man. And we build stronger families with firmer foundations.
The destructive violence, rioting, and looting of the last few days, however, have quickly erased years of our dialogue.