Monday, March 25, 2013

MLK and the danger of normalcy.

It's the anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech at the end of the Selma to Montgomery march.

It's worth a read.

I liked this reminder that still stays as relevant today. On normalcy:
But I have a message that I would like to leave with Alabama this evening. (Tell it) That is exactly what we don’t want, and we will not allow it to happen, (Yes, sir) for we know that it was normalcy in Marion (Yes, sir) that led to the brutal murder of Jimmy Lee Jackson. (Speak) It was normalcy in Birmingham (Yes) that led to the murder on Sunday morning of four beautiful, unoffending, innocent girls. It was normalcy on Highway 80 (Yes, sir) that led state troopers to use tear gas and horses and billy clubs against unarmed human beings who were simply marching for justice. (Speak, sir) It was normalcy by a cafe in Selma, Alabama, that led to the brutal beating of Reverend James Reeb. 
It is normalcy all over our country (Yes, sir) which leaves the Negro perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of vast ocean of material prosperity. It is normalcy all over Alabama (Yeah) that prevents the Negro from becoming a registered voter. (Yes) No, we will not allow Alabama (Go ahead) to return to normalcy. [Applause] 
The only normalcy that we will settle for (Yes, sir) is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all of God’s children. The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that allows judgment to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. (Yes, sir) The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice. 
Normalcy. Conservatives continue the fight to maintain their vision of the normal. Their normal is gay people hidden away, or driven away. Their normal is women quieted, shamed, and shunned for their choices, and denied many of them. Their normal is all so white and all so old. And their normal is the wealth always rising up to those that already have so much.

Brotherhood. Peace. Justice. These are things we still need to strive for.

We have progressed a lot. The world, and this country, have changed. But the work goes on. We have the first black president. But we also have active movements to strip away the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act. Many fields are open now to those that aren't white men. But wealth inequality grows, and the black community is still so often the target of law enforcement.

Yes. Theirs still a distance to go.

No comments: