Long love letter to him

If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Things are different now. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic.

Long love letter to him


Let me take note of my other major disappointment. Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. To preserve the evil system of segregation. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. 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. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Small in number, they were big in commitment. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me. It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators.

Long love letter to him

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Love Letter for my Boyfriend - LDR





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5 thoughts on “Long love letter to him”

  1. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice.

  2. 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. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.

  3. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so.

  4. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers.

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