Monday, January 21, 2008

On Martin Luther King Jr Day

From Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, written April 16, 1963:

Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have vicious mobs lynch your mothers and father at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affulent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing and unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct and answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"... then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.
May we all rise up in some way today, and every day, to fight injustice and prejudice.

Rest easy, Dr. King; your dream lives on.

4 comments:

GETkristiLOVE said...

Here, here. Great post!

FranIAm said...

This is so well done! Thank you Delia.

dguzman said...

Thanks--Dr. King did most of the work.

dguzman said...

Uh-oh; I just realized that comment might make it seem like LBJ did more of the work--now I'll get slammed like Hillary!