Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Day 2007

As a nation, America has come a long way since the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Racial street riots are no longer common, de-segregation has been enacted nationwide, and despite the fact that hate crimes still occur; they are heavily persecuted. In that sense, I am sure that King would be very pleased if he were alive today.

King lived in a time when his very life was at risk the moment he stepped out of his own house. He witnessed the horrible hypocrisy in both the Church and America in general. He was ordained as a Baptist minister and devoted his life to living out Jesus’ call for all men to love each other as brothers. The Sermon on the Mount was King’s source of inspiration and gave birth to his mission to help in the fight to bring justice to the oppressed. As he wrote to Southern pastors in a letter from a prison cell in Birmingham, Ala.:

For years now I have heard the word, “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

King understood his Christian conviction was to fight the very law itself, and, if at all possible, to fight it with an attitude of nonviolence. Though he understood the meaning of turning the other cheek, he did not simply allow injustice to take place unrestrained. At the cost of his earthly life, he fought for what he believed was a great truth of the Bible. Though many personal injustices were committed against him and his family, he kept his focus upon Washington, where rules are created and revised. How would King have responded to a profanity ushered at him? Would he have tied up the judicial system just to win financial compensation and vengeance for emotional stress? I think not, King had witnessed too much evil in his life to be phased by mere racial slur issued from the mouth of a fool. In the 21st century world, no insult goes without retaliation. No attack on dignity is ignored. And hardly any sin is forgiven. Can’t take a dumb joke? Sue 'em.

Perhaps the opportunism promoted by pseudo-Kings are the reason Americans feel that the world owes them special treatment. When a civil-rights leader leads a march on a high school crying "racism" when a kid gets suspended for being involved in a brawl at a football game, the example of King becomes all the more refreshing. When an athlete calls NFL owners "slave-masters" for paying him millions of dollars and expecting him to play by the rules, King must role over in his grave. King pushed for equal rights, not special treatment


  1. Anonymous5:31 PM

    I am not sure if King would be quite satisfied with the effort toward racial equality in america. Yes, there has been a tremendous tour de force in this respect, nonetheless more needs to be done. Racial segregation is still prevalent in our churches. There is still a dream to fight for and live.

  2. You bring up an excellent point, Celucian. I have heard it said that the most segregated hours in America are Sunday mornings. Perhaps one side of it is simply preference of style or comfort of seeing like faces. But it is a sad reality nonetheless.