On April 16 in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama.
While incarcerated there, he wrote, smuggled out of jail, and had printed his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” a moving justification for the moral necessity of non-violent resistance to unjust laws.
He wrote: “My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. (…) We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. 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.”
The whole letter is available here. It seems to be so innocent and naive today when hundreds of guiltless black people are jailed or killed by the police… in spite of all non-violent and sometimes violent actions taken by our forefathers.
But we are to defend ourselves, our relatives and children.
Yesterday a group of #March2Justice who started in NYC Monday walking to DC join #FightFor15 near Comcast. Over 400 people took to the streets of New York to protest the recent police killing of Walter Scott and the deaths of many others that have taken place at the hands of law enforcement this year, the New York Daily News reports. As many chanted “We are the people and we’re angry,” “Shut It Down,” and the common chant, “No Justice, No Peace”.
I want to believe that such united actions can overcome shameful racial injustice in our country. It already has resulted in positive
changes effects. For example, Chicago offers $5.5 million ‘reparations’ package to police torture victims. Authorities admit their guilt. It’s fine. But we need true changes in PD attitude to black people. That’s why we should continue our struggle till the victory of human rights and justice.