Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ernest Hooper: Let's do more to help our society live with its conscience

During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., I got a chance to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

Fourteen King quotes frame the 30-foot statue of the civil rights leader, but one struck a particular chord given our national and local discord.

We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we must find a way to resolve disputes with compromises that yield respect for all. No matter how long the Confederate Memorial stood in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse, it was time for it to be moved from the hall of justice.

Those who support the statue will soon find it in a new home. Those opposed will accept it still stands.

I hope the commission doesn't revisit the issue.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we must give more to those who have less. Through time, talent and treasure, everyone needs to find a way to help. Too many people are waltzing through life without enough care for our most needy.

Don't just talk about it, be about it.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to commit to better funding for public transportation, not just because it makes us more attractive to businesses and residents, but because as we rise, we must lift.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to find a better way to salute, support and celebrate teachers. This state faces a shortage of teachers because it has failed to match the job's demands with earnest and meaningful incentives.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we must do more to protect children. We can't yawn at reports of a girl forced to sleep on a bathroom floor before being killed and stuffed in a freezer by her mother.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to focus more on honoring those in their twilight years. Elder abuse can't be part of our everyday lexicon, and their living histories should be cherished.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to push to move social justice from an abstract term to a reality.

To be a society that can live with its conscience, we can't live with society's imperfections without pushing to change them.

That's all I'm saying.

Ernest Hooper: Let's do more to help our society live with its conscience 08/11/17 [Last modified: Friday, August 11, 2017 10:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy after a last-second 31-28 home loss to Louisville on Saturday.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  2. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight

    Military

    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  3. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  4. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues

    Crime

    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  5. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.