Remembering Edward: 10 years after Said

Today we pause to recall the loss of Edward Said, a giant intellectual presence who passed away 10 years ago today. He remained committed that there is something ultimately redemptive about a face-to-face encounter of human beings with one another, and remained a steadfast voice of opposition to Empire.

Edward Said

Critique, Love, and Community

Yes, there is need for a liberatory form of criticism against every form of tyranny. And that critique has to be rooted in a deep and abiding love, even when the critique is rooted in a disappointment with how things are now (compared to how they should be). That combination of critique, love, and community is what is needed to bring about meaningful and lasting transformation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. preaching at Riverside

Disappointment is rooted in love, not disdain

On April 30, 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech at New York’s Riverside Church. It was one of his finest, and would later earn him a spoken word Grammy. The primary topic of his address was not the plight of black men and women or even race in general. No, that day his speech was entitled, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam.” In it, he offered a profound nugget of truth:
Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world.