Program Note: In the next installment of CNN's Black in America series, Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch encore presentation Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET
We devote several days on the blog to smart insight and commentary related to the special.
Editor's note: Lou Gossett Jr. has focused recently on 'an all-out conscientious offensive against racism.' Lou says "Violence is a war, and the energy we exert on war, I would like to pray that energy gets reverted back to a communal effort to save the planet.'"He shares his thoughts here:
Lou Gossett Jr.
The planet is dying or dramatically changing. Hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis are taking their toll on humanity. We need to drop everything and pay attention to the planet. This should be our number one agenda – not issues like racism or our ethnic differences. It's like we are all in a plane at 30 thousand feet plummeting to the ground, and the people inside are fighting over who will be in first class.
Perhaps we need to go back to where we started. The most important commodity on the planet is not oil, or military might or other riches; on the contrary our single most important commodity is our children.
What we plant in them is how the future will go. So it becomes important that we only plant the positive and not the negative. Racism is the negative. One thing that I tell all children is to repeat this affirmation three times: "No such thing is impossible."
The family institution and our neighborhood units no longer seem to exist. We need to find a way to return to that ... in a place not unlike a synagogue or a temple or a church. We need a place where our children learn to respect themselves, the opposite sex, their elders, their spirituality, and their physical fitness.
A large percentage of them would come out ladies and gentlemen. Much more prepared to learn in school and be responsible for their communities.
If everybody wants things to get better, this might be a good idea.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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