Where Do We Go From Here? Dr. McMickle shares his thoughts on the crisis in the Middle East in his latest Unite Rochester blog

Dr. McMickle's newest blog post in the Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester series:

The phrase, where do we go from here? was the title of the last book written by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967. I lift up that question now, with the spirit of that Nobel Peace Prize winner in mind, as we look at the events that have unfolded in the last few weeks between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. A cease fire has been called. Peace negotiations are, as of this writing, underway in Egypt. The whole world can now ask the question: where do we go from here? Will Hamas stop firing rockets into Israeli cities? Will the Israelis remove all of the check points along the border with Gaza that many Palestinians find so offensive? Will Hamas stop storing and firing rockets within populated areas that turn people into human shields? Will Israelis end the building of settlements in some areas that have long been home to Palestinians? Where do we go from here? Is a two-state solution really possible in the present climate of fear and distrust? Whatever the future holds for that troubled part of the world, the most important thing people can do is not forget the 100 year history of Jewish/Palestinian and Jewish/Arab relations. Both sides have made historic claims for their right to occupy that land. The call for a Jewish homeland did not begin with the horrors of the Holocaust, but that was certainly an event that greatly sped up Jewish immigration to Israel; especially since so many Western nations including the United States, placed sharp limits in how many Jews could immigrate into their countries. On the other hand, who can doubt that Palestinians would see steadily increasing Jewish immigration into Palestine as anything less than an occupation of their country? Every rocket fired from Gaza and every air strike launched by Israel is not just the realities of a war being fought in 2014. They are reminders that two groups of people, forced upon one another by historical circumstances, are fighting a war to preserve what they each perceive to be "their home." Which side is completely right? Which side is completely wrong? Where do we go from here?

To read all of Dr. McMickle's post to date, click here: http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/unite/author/mmcmickle/

To visit the Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester blog site, click here: http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/unite/

Dr. McMickle back in Rochester after trip to Virginia

As many of you know, Dr. McMickle traveled to Virginia Beach in early June with his wife, Peggy. During his trip, Dr. McMickle experienced health issues related to a respiratory infection and spent a little over two weeks in the hospital while recovering. Dr. McMickle received excellent medical care and has since returned home to Montgomery House feeling very much improved and thankful for the return of his health.

Dr. McMickle and Mrs. McMickle sincerely thank everyone for their support, messages of encouragement, jokes and especially the heartfelt prayers extended to them both during his hospitalization. They are glad to be home in Rochester and look forward to spending a low-key Fourth of July followed by a few weeks of rest and recovery.

True to form, however, Dr. McMickle is back to doing one of the things he loves best: writing. As a regular contributor to the Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester blog, he authored a post almost immediately upon his return to Rochester.  You can view the post here: http://www.blogs.democratandchronicle.com/unite/2014/06/30/uniting-humanity-is-a-constant-challenge/

Dr. McMickle was also interviewed by WXXI radio for today's broadcast regarding the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. We will post that link to our website as soon as it becomes available.

Six Things to Consider Concerning a US Strike Against Syria

The following is a statement from President Marvin A. McMickle originally written to be shared among the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) as points for consideration as military action in Syria is considered.

As Christians we are not exempt from having an opinion or voicing a position concerning the possibility of our nation launching a unilateral attack against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons. We cannot view this possibility solely through the eyes of US foreign policy or US national security interests. The Lord of the church is not an American; Christ is sovereign Lord over all of creation. Christ has as much love for the people of the Middle East as for the people of the American Midwest. What action is really in the best interest of our brothers and sisters in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and all the other nations in that region that may be impacted if any military action taken by this country results in an escalation of what is essential a civil war?
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Workplace Diversity and Private Construction in Rochester

Recent focus has been brought to the issue of minority hiring and workplace diversity on public sector projects in and around Rochester by the local paper. Progress in that direction is an important step in the right direction. That being said, I remind this community that equal if not more attention must be given to the hiring of minority workers on private sector projects as well. Whether one looks at construction for grocery stores, hospitals, universities, business parks, or corporate offices, there is an obvious absence of diversity on those sites. This is 2013, and the absence of women and ethnic minorities on so many conspicuous construction sites is an affront to the history of Rochester as a progressive community. We should and we must do better!

Pres. McMickle Responds to Zimmerman Acquital

T-MARTINThe acquittal of George Zimmerman on all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin set off debate and protest across the nation. President McMickle lent his unique perspective and wisdom to the discussion through local and national media outlets.

Huffington Post

Working with Stuart Muszynski, Founder and CEO of PurpleAmerica.us, Pres. McMickle published an article on a Huffington Post blog.

"There is no faith that does not demand forgiveness." — Howard Thurman

The front lines of the longest war in American history — the war against racism — is riddled with the bodies and sacrifices of the young soldiers who fought in the Civil War, Emmett Till, Rodney King, young African-American males who populate America's jails, and now Trayvon Martin. Whether one believes George Zimmerman is innocent or guilty of murdering Trayvon (and despite his acquittal of all charges by a jury, this decision in the court of public opinion will still be in play), no one can dispute that the profiling of Trayvon was racially motivated. After all, Zimmerman openly admitted that he, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was suspicious and fearful of a young African-American male wearing a hoodie.

Read the full article >>

"Need to Know" – Rochester-focused TV News Show

Pres. McMickle discussed the impact of and response to the outcome of the trial against George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on Rochester, New York's regional PBS station (WXXI).

Letter to the Editor

Immediately following the announcement of the verdict, Pres. McMickle sent the following letter to The Democrat and Chronicle, a local paper in Rochester, New York.

My heart is deeply conflicted as I think about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.
A young man lies dead, the shooter is acquitted, and for many in America a large piece of our confidence in the criminal justice system has died as well. On the other hand, black men die every day at the hands of other black men and it barely makes the local news, much less a matter of national attention. There is enough sin and blame to go around.

Perhaps, in the aftermath of this court case, we in Rochester and across the country can renew our commitment to the value of every human life, no matter by whose hands that life has been taken!

Gun control. Racial profiling. Perhaps this time we can make some real progress.

(Originally published here on July 14, 2013.)