Martin Luther King Jr. Would be Ashamed of Us

Dear Americans,

What the actual fuck are we doing?

I have been pretty lackadaisical when it comes to “controversy” in my blog. Well. I’ll admit to being pretty much absent on issues that are important to me because I have been afraid about the backlash of negativity – having total “people pleaser” personality, I have not been able to overcome that enough to find my voice in things that ACTUALLY DO MATTER. But, I have come to realize in past months that if I am not part of the solution I am part of the problem. And I can no longer, in good conscience, be part of the problem.

Tomorrow is our country’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. School are out, banks and post offices are closed, but if you ask me. We HARDLY have anything to celebrate. We are just as twisted and ignorant as we were 50 years ago when Dr. King was standing on the steps of the Washington monument inspiring for equal rights of his black brothers and sisters.

Have we made progress? I guess it depends on how you look at it, but when I see people I love – good, solid people – living in heartache over the uncertainty of their futures and the futures of their families, I am going to say no. We are still a bunch of assholes.

We are still living in an illusion of separateness. We are still valuing one life above another. We are still pretending because we are heterosexual or because we have always been ok with our born gender that somehow we are superior to people who do not identify with the gender or sexuality “status quo.” Fuck. You guys.

My strong language might offend you, fine. You go ahead and be offended at my four letter words and ignore the blatant mistreatment and intended impoverishment of the citizens of this country. People get so offended at a psychopath shooting up a movie theatre or killing a bunch of journalists, but RARELY are we offended at the psychopaths that run this country and keep MOST of this country hovering around the poverty line. We are all willingly giving up freedoms and maybe that is why we rush to oppress others. If others are more oppressed than we are maybe we feel better inside. 

We are ELECTING people who ADVOCATE for segregation and inequality. How are you not offended by this?! We stand behind religious organizations that preach concern for humanity and soul worthiness, yet turn their backs on anyone that doesn’t follow their rules.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. There is only one rule. Whatever religion you come from, whatever type of prayer you practice, whether your meat is kosher or you’re a vegetarian there is only ONE rule. That rule is LOVE. If it is not coming from love it is NOT Divine, it is NOT God.

It’s time to pull our heads out of our asses, America. We are not any more “evolved” or “tolerant” than we were during the civil rights demonstrations of the 60’s. We are still hurting and oppressing in each other in the most inexcusable ways.

In his time spent incarcerated at Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote to his fellow clergyman as a brother in Christianity explaining the actions that led to his incarceration. He said:

“[There are] two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.” … Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” (read the entire letter here)

This country is littered with unjust laws; laws that award freedom to some but deny it to others. It is our responsibility as HUMANS to INSPIRE the equal treatment of all people – despite color, sexual identity, or personality.

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” Dr. King went onto say in his letter.

This statement makes me feel gross inside. Why are we ok with living in a world where people have to DEMAND freedom?

Maybe you are ok with the extreme separation that is going on with the world today, but I’m not. Because history has shown us that if it is not one group being denied freedom, it is another. How much longer will it be until your group is denied basic human rights? Will you wait until then to stand up for equality? Or maybe you will simply allow it to happen to you, your family, and your children. Why are you waiting for personal crisis to stand up for the dignity of freedom for ALL people? Are you one “who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice?”

I’m calling us out. I’m calling out our laziness and indifference. I’m calling out our subscription to the belief that one group of humans is more valuable than another. If we’re not actively inspiring the equal treatment of all people, we’re lazily supporting further separateness and inequality.

This is should not have to be a fight, there should not have to be demands. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Man, Dr. King was such a kick ass guy! And he would probably be appalled and disgusted by the way we are still segregating each other.

Think about what tomorrow actually means. Think about who this man actually was and what he stood for, and ask yourself if his cries for equality and peace amongst ALL people have really been realized… or is it still just a dream?

namasté,

-L

**Thanks to the incredible Rev. Jackie Holland at the Boise Center for Spiritual Living for inspiring me always, and inspiring this post**


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