Monday, January 18, 2016

Thought of this MLK evening

These words are sadly every bit as relevant today as they were in 1963.
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

- Dr. martin Luther King Jr.
"Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
Sometimes those in power won't do what is needed, because they don't want to kill the golden goose that may have helped them reach power, or don't care deeply enough about the plight of other groups of people being wronged. And that's as true today as it was 53 years ago.

As Dr. King would constantly remind people (especially in his later years), when the status quo is unacceptable and/or declining, then that situation must be changed. And that's only done by DEMANDING it and acting for change.

1 comment:

  1. This is not a response to MLK article (sorry). I just read a short article on CNBC's website. Here is the link;

    This article had a picture of Scott Walker and the following paragraph. The sentence concerning Wisconsin's pension caught my eye.

    Since the Great Recession ended, most states have seen gains in tax revenues as more people returned to work and consumer spending and the housing market recovered. Despite those gains, pension fund shortfalls widened between 2010 and 2014 in all but eight states. In Wisconsin, the state's public pension liability nearly tripled during that period. Only New Hampshire, Maine, Oklahoma, Alabama, Rhode Island and Delaware saw their overall liability fall.

    Wisconsin's public liability tripled? What? I believe Governer Walker and the Republican's want to begin the dismantling of the pension system in Wisconsin before they leave. This is how it starts.