MLK Day: The Day That Calls for Action, Not 'Likes'
It was April 16, 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter to his fellow clergymen in which he included the following message:
“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.”
KAE was created out of an incredibly strong belief that kindness must be extended to every person and in every space that we, as human beings, occupy. We're an organization that started with selling a few items to give back to various community projects, to one that kindly demands action from each one of us, beginning with ourselves. Many may use this day to share a MLK quote that calls for peace. Others use his quotes today as a way to nod in agreement with his belief that peace, action and justice must be demanded in order to change this world for everyone living in it. However, after liking that post or sharing that appropriate message, ask yourself these two questions, "Is posting or liking a quote the most I can do? And is discomfort preventing me from doing more?"
This day demands more from us because peace, action and justice do not exist in posts and likes. They exist in the people who turn their 'likes' into 'action'. Below are words from Dr. King's daughter, Bernice King, that reminds us how easy it is to look back on MLK with bright eyes and adoration for what he believed in. However, there are many who did not support his goal of equality simply because it demanded more from the society he lived in. And there are many who will agree up until the point that action is required from them.
Bernice writes, "Please don’t act like everyone loved my father. He was assassinated. A 1967 poll reflected that he was one of the most hated men in America. Most hated. Many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice today would likely hate, and may already hate, the authentic King."
As you celebrate this day, I encourage you to reflect on these following statements from MLK's daughter, Bernice King, via her Twitter account (@BerniceKing):
"As you honor my father today, please honor my mother, as well. She was the architect of the King Legacy and founder of @TheKingCenter, which she founded less than three months after Daddy died. Without #CorettaScottKing, there would be no #MLKDay"
"I encourage you to study my father more comprehensively and to attend @TheKingCenter’s virtual sessions on his nonviolent philosophy and his work to eradicate racism, war and poverty. A powerful book to start with is his last one, ‘Where Do We Go From Here...’
Listen to this interview with MLK speaking to an NBC reporter that originally aired on June 11, 1967 in the special “After Civil Rights: Black Power.” You can watch the video here. I highly encourage you to. It's not enough for us to like snippets, quotes and reflect on one day. Let's do more to understand the actual problem because, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we can only live the dream by doing the work.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day from KAE.
Love is action.