This week I would like to revisit a story we’ve seen before (“The wolf you feed”) and contextualize it within the #blacklivesmatter movement by adding an excerpt from MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham jail.”
“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, 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 don’t want to add much more to this except to say that MLK’s words are true not only for the ‘white moderate’ but also for the Black Americans who remain on the sideline during this new civil rights movement. The Wolf of White Supremacy counts on our silence, our comfort, and our complicity for its survival…those are necessary ingredients. By doing nothing, we are feeding the wolf that is already in power — but if we join the demonstrators, give donations, retweet/reblog messages, talk to family and friends about these things, take a stand against white supremacist messages in media and education, then the system will have to respond. We are nearing that critical mass of beautiful individuals who, like the braves souls in Ferguson on August 9th, say “Enough. Enough.”
That’s all I got to say about that. What are your thoughts?