Once again our nation is celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a sad indictment against America that most of the things he talked about and worked towards have not yet been realized. Why? Because most are still sleeping and dreaming. Let these words brought forth from his heart penetrate not just our minds but also our hearts and cause the sleepers and dreamers to finally wake up!
Justice and Injustice:
"The nonviolent resister has the vision to see that the basic tension is not between the races. As I like to say to the people in Montgomery: ‘The tension in this city is not between white people and Negro people. The tension is, at bottom, between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory, it will be a victory not merely for fifty thousand Negroes, but a victory for justice and the forces of light. We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.’"
"The law does not seek to change one’s internal feelings, it seeks rather to control the external effects of those internal feelings. For instance, the law cannot make a man love me - religion and education must do that - but it can control his desire to lynch me."
"The racial problem will be solved in America to the degree that every American considers himself personally confronted with it. Whether one lives in the heart of the Deep South or on the periphery of the North, the problem of injustice is his problem; it is his problem because it is America’s problem."
"Ever since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, America has manifested a schizophrenic personality on the question of race. She has been torn between selves-a self in which she has proudly professed democracy and a self in which she has sadly practiced the antithesis of democracy. For too long the depth of racism in American life has been underestimated. The surgery to extract it is necessarily complex and detailed. As a beginning it is important to x-ray our history and reveal the full extent of the disease."
"All humanity is involved in a single process, and all men are brothers. To the degree that I harm my brother, no matter what he is doing to me, to that extent I am harming myself. For example, white men often refuse federal aid to education in order to avoid giving the Negro his rights; but because all men are brothers they cannot deny Negro children without harming their own. They end, all efforts to the contrary, by hurting themselves. Why is this? Because men are brothers. If you harm me, you harm yourself."
"Voting is more than a badge of citizenship and dignity-it is an effective tool for change. Voting is the foundation stone for political action. With it the Negro can eventually vote out of office public officials who bar the doorway to decent housing, public safety, jobs and decent integrated education. It is now obvious that the basic elements so vital to Negro advancement can only be achieved by seeking redress from government at local, state and federal levels. To do this the vote is essential."
"There is always the danger that religion and the Bible not properly interpreted can be used as forces to crystallize the status quo."
It’s been almost 45 years since Dr. King was here, and all one has to do is follow the news to realize that not much has changed except for a Black family residing in the White House. Truthfully, that in itself has stirred up the pots of racism in this country and the hoods have come off.
Dr. King’s words and actions still matter, for they are not just a piece of history. They apply directly and powerfully to all of the problems that we are faced with today. His speech against the Vietnam War easily lines up with the many wars around the world that our country is spending billions of dollars on today. Dr. King understood that civil, political and human rights weren’t all that would be needed to guarantee justice and equality for all. He understood that a fundamental change in our economic system was the only way that America could evolve into a just society. Truthfully, I believe that’s when the decision was made to snatch his life away, for the love of money is definitely the root of all this evil in our midst.
Stop dreaming and start striving towards turning Dr. King’s dream into a reality. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! This is Lillie’s Point of View!