Jan
18

I’ve Been To The Mountaintop

By

Today, as we take time to reflect upon the civil rights struggle and the philosophy of nonviolence, let’s remember that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. bore the hatred and misgivings of millions of people who said that America was not ready. Remembering that it took decades and centuries of struggle to set the stage for a man as brave and charismatic as Dr. King, we can take heart that as long as we continue to sail our national ship towards the shores of equality, we will arrive. We may lose leaders along the way, but the cause cannot be lost. Humanity’s drive towards freedom and equality will surely overcome the small minds that would stack one person on top of another and call some people unworthy of basic human rights.

Thank you, Dr. King. You showed us a way forward that embodied courage, nonviolence, and inevitable victory.

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Categories : Passing, Race

Comments

  1. Michael Muller says:

    Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, believed strongly in equal treatment for gay and lesbian people — within the context of the broader struggle for civil rights — including advocating for marriage equality:

    “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”

    “I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people…but I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

    “My husband, Martin Luther King Jr., understood that all forms of discrimination and persecution were unjust and unacceptable for a great democracy. He believed that none of us could be free until all of us were free, that a person of conscience had no alternative but to defend the human rights of all people… The civil rights movement that I believe in thrives on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion. All of us who oppose discrimination and support equal rights should stand together to resist every attempt to restrict civil rights in this country.”

    “Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to ‘protect’ traditional marriage.”

    —Coretta Scott King

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  2. David says:

    I think there’s a sense among the progressive community (and no one was more progressive than MLK) that victory is inevitable, that what is right and fair and good is obvious and will triumph. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Improvement is possible, if we work hard and continuously. To say that victory is inevitable invites a complacency, an attitude that if we just do this everything will be okay and we can rest. The truth is we must work constantly, be ever vigilant, and never rest. The only thing that is inevitable is that the struggle will never end and those who are most motivated, loudest, and doing the hard work will have the most impact.

    The promised land is not a magical place we reach if we work hard and persevere. It is a place we create for ourselves, our communities, states, countries and world by understanding that there is no end, only a process that we must continue.

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  3. Michael Muller says:

    A fascinating op/ed piece by Irene Monroe discussing the role of Bayard Rustin in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Rustin, a gay man, was the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and a trusted advisor to Dr. King.

    For more information on this unsung hero of civil rights, check out the film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.

    “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” —Bayard Rustin

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  4. Michael Muller says:

    Thanks to Pam Spaulding for calling my attention to tonight’s State of the Re:Union on American Public Radio at 9pm. It’s all about Bayard Rustin:

    “Why is Rustin not synonymous with Civil Rights? How could a person who changed the course of American history not be a household name? Was he purposely kept out of the history books? On State of the Re:Union, host Al Letson normally sets out to take listeners to a specific place, but for this special, the program takes the audience to a specific place in time that shaped the way we live now.”

    Sounds interesting. And you can listen through on innerweb by following that link above.

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