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Out of the enemy make a friend

From Curtiss Paul Deyoung

Martin Luther King would often say that out of his enemy he wanted to make a friend.

Video Interview Transcript

A first thing that's very important, to work for social justice, is be able to see through the eyes of other folks and you can only do that through listening, through observing, through building relationships. Now King took that even a bit further and said we need to learn to see how our enemy sees us, how the oppressor sees that.
Another person that I looked at was Rigoberto Menchu from Guatemala, and she even learned Spanish to be able to have that ability to see through the eyes of the one who's oppressing you. But it also humanizes even the enemy or the oppressor because to do the awful things that oppressors often do or order done, they have dehumanized themselves at the same time as their dehumanizing others. We also need to try to transform the enemies as well. Martin Luther King would often say that out of his enemy he wanted to make a friend.

Discussion starter questions
  • How could you make a step toward someone who is the other for you?
  • ...

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