Martin Luther King Day recently passed and I have been thinking a lot about all the progress that has been made in our society since the civil rights movement and as you can probably imagine, these thoughts are super depressing.
It’s 2018 and the dirty underbelly of our nation has been exposed illuminating the fact that bigotry and racism are still vibrant in our red-white-and-blue blood. The truth is, the oppressive nature of this great nation never actually left, it’s been embedded since the day we began a mass-genocide to create this nation-state, it simply found ways to try and better hide itself. You know, because we are now a modern civilized society.
Except to call this society civilized at the moment would be a pretty big stretch.
I mean the guy that we have allowed to “lead” our nation is a sociopathic “pussy” grabbing bigot and if a large part of this nation had its ways, we’d proclaim it to be law that this sexual predator was handpicked by White-Jesus himself to make America great again.
Let’s be real y’all, when was America great?
When we distributing smallpox blankets to natives as we stole their world. When we were importing human beings as slaves like cargo? When half of our country tried to separate because they refused to employ the basic notions of humanity? When we dropped two nuclear bombs on civilians claiming it was to save the lives of American soldiers when really it was just to show off our capability of mass destruction while committing genocide? When we escalated a threat to the public to justify a constant war-time military budget as we became the number one arms dealer in the world?
Or was it through the multiple times we overthrew democratically elected officials all over Latin America and the Middle East while bringing to power brutal oppressive dictators in those regions so that we could make bank? What about when we wouldn’t allow people of color in specific establishments and schools because their skin had color? Or when we destroyed the entire infrastructure of other nations, murdering and displaying millions for our own economic agenda? What about the times we have continuously allowed police to murder people of color without repercussion?
Were we great as we consistently used women as objects for the pleasure of men to the point that almost every single woman in this nation can say #metoo? What about when we give billions of dollars in tax cuts to the top one percent, but cut funding for the healthcare of small children?
Were we great through any of these circumstances?
A nation that treats the most vulnerable of the world as if they were less than human cannot call itself great.
The reality that we sit in today comes from decades of exploiting and hurting others for our own supposed comforts while costing us our very soul.
The silver lining as we reflect on the message of Martin Luther King Jr today in 2018, is that we can no longer pretend that it’s not that bad in our modern day. Y’all there really is no way to deny the truth any longer - it’s bad AF in our nation.
But maybe today will be the day that we don’t simply look at the life of MLK Jr in awe, but we learn to implement his ways.
Today is the day that we stop simply complaining and we also employ the way of non-violent direct action in our real life every day. Maybe we stop trying to hide the oppression in our blood, but work to expose and rid hate as a whole from our nation. If we want to make America great at all ever, this is where we start.
Direct action is the fabric of a lasting revolution of love. It’s the way of not only Martin Luther King Jr, but it’s the way of Jesus himself.
Non-violent direct action means making others wildly uncomfortable. Yeah, get ready to be comfortable in uncomfortableness. It means calling out the bigots, the Pharisees, and the oppressors without apology.
It means taking a knee during the national anthem, it means protesting deportation at airports, it means combating ICE at every turn, it means civil disobedience and the willingness to accept that the consequences of using non-violence to disobey an unjust law is what needs to be done and it is more than worth it.
It’s a life where love comes first. And for all the Christian-type folk out there, it’s as simple as following the red letter ways of the guy you call savior. Seriously, let go of the ways of your American White-Jesus, he’s an asshole anyways.
Non-violent direct action means revolution. It means together we are the revolution our world needs today.
With all the destruction we are seeing during this time of regression, we are also seeing the spark of a resistance that is long overdue. It’s time to turn that spark into a raging fire. Now is the time to live out the ways of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We need freedom marches and sit-ins. We need to be the barricade that protects our brothers and sisters who are immigrants, we need to take a knee at our kid’s little league game, we need to make the world uncomfortable, this is what we need to do to let love win.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr himself taken from A Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
“You may ask, “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches, and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” Indeed this is the very purpose of direct action.
Nonviolent direct action seeks to… foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.”
It’s time that we force our nation to confront the issue.
You only get two options in this life, either you stand in the middle of the tension, make the world uncomfortable, and boldly fight against the oppressor or you are the face of oppression – point blank.