Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Dr. King would most assuredly support the tactics employed by this campaign to free a group of people from the oppression in the workplace that exists at Orlando Health. Read here a quote from his Letter from Birmingham Jail that still shapes our consciousness in regard to equal treatment of ALL people.

And for those who say Dr. King was a Christian leader and would not support what the Orlando Health Diversity Initiative promotes - look again at history - look at his lead march organizer and advisor, Bayard Rustin, an openly gay black man. Why would Dr. King, a Christian man, take advice from an openly gay man if he did dot believe in equality for all?

Section of Letter from Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"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 had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

Don't say this is not your fight - get people to sign the petition TODAY!

Thank you.

Alan L. Bounville



PS I will be announcing my next visit to Orlando to fight this oppression on the ground very soon.

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