The Beloved Community was Dr. King’s vision for a reconciled society that has found true, positive peace and justice for all people. This is a world where people of all races, genders, cultures and generations are living in unity with each other.
This includes those who we currently consider to be our “enemies.” In nonviolence, our goal is not to defeat our enemy, but to win them over. It is only then will we be able to create a truly reconciled world. If you do not win over your enemy, you may have hurt them enough for them to stop doing what they were doing, but they are still your enemy and you will still have conflict.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And that includes injustice to “the other.” The problems of society stem from the fact that we believe that there truly is the “other,” that we lack understanding of the interconnectedness of all peoples. As long as any group is suffering injustice, it will ultimately affect everyone on some level.
We will not find true positive peace by killing our enemies. We will not find true positive peace by incarcerating all of our enemies. We will not find true positive peace by deporting our enemies, intimidating our enemies, ignoring our enemies. We will only find the Beloved Community when we win them over.
It is the framework of the future because the ideals and the values that form the Beloved Community cannot only be a distant goal, but a blueprint of how to get there. It is an understanding that the values that make the Beloved Community possible must be reflected in our efforts to achieve it.
If we use violence, fear and intimidation in our effort to make change, that will be what is reflected in the change that we create.