Why we need to keep working past #MLKDay

Leading up to Martin Luther King Day is becoming more of a sacred habit for me. On MLK Day, as well, I will read “Letter from a Birmingham jail” just to kick my weak motivation into a higher gear. This year I was able to add in participating in MLK ceremonies.

And it’s not enough.

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The complacency of the white church

The week leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is becoming increasingly important to me. (NOTE: Moving to Alabama has it’s jarring effects on just how deep the issue of racism still runs in our nation. Monday will be “Robert E. Lee Day” in Alabama and Mississippi.)

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True justice is not into shaming “the other side”

Today’s cultural environment has a call for “justice.” The danger is that in some segments, that call is also coupled with a “calling out” meant to shame a particular person and drive them from our visual existence. David Brooks has an excellent column HERE to dive into that segment.

Justice has to move past vengeance and anger. It has to move to deeper change.

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The meaning of nonviolent resistance

I was able to pick up a copy of A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. while visiting the National Civil Rights Museum last year. It is a powerful compendium of Dr. King’s work in his words, not the interpretation of someone else.

He lays out his plan for nonviolent resistance and is clear this isn’t about cowardice. He moved this direction because he believed violence only created new social problems without correcting the old ones. His thoughts on nonviolent resistance had five basic principles:

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The quest for freedom everywhere

The struggle for freedom on the part of oppressed people in general and of the American Negro in particular has developed slowly and is not going to end suddenly. Privileged groups rarely give up their privileges without strong resistance. But when oppressed people rise up against oppression there is no stopping point short of full freedom. Realism compels us to admit that the struggle will continue until freedom is a reality for all the oppressed peoples of the world. — Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and SpeechesĀ