Letter: Martin Luther King Day
One of my meditations for the MLK Holiday was reading”Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, penned in 1963 by Dr. King. The most persistent problems he identified then are with us today, over a half-century later.
That our current Commander in Chief is a racist is no surprise, given his long history and loathsome utterances. Much more troubling is that some 60 million Americans, in spite of this evidence, voted for him to lead the nation They thereby condone his racism and are complicit with it. Republicans, once the “Party of Lincoln,” have abandoned those higher principles and support and/or excuse racism as a necessary part of achieving their agenda.
Most of these voters and their representatives would deny that they are racist, as does Mr. Trump. Their denials are, to quote a recent essayist, the “heartbeat” of racism. Yet it is not just the more obvious white supremacists who deny black and brown people their humanity and equal justice. Acceptance of the status quo, failure to recognize the unacceptable excuses for that status and failure to actively seek to change it, as is the case for most moderates and liberals, allows the blatant racism of Trump and his ilk to flourish.
The current exposure of this centuries old putrefaction in our society, combined with principled leadership, has the potential to initiate the long and painful journey toward social and economic justice. Please read the “Letter,” study the history of African-Americans, and consider what it means to be human. Confront and help root out the racism that denies “Liberty and Justice” for all in America.