I have two favorite (and a thousand honorable mentions) speeches: The Sermon on the Mount and “How long, not long.”
In it, Dr. King said, “Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”
Beautiful, life altering words, but I believe that illustrates the difference between me and Martin Luther King Jr. I could strive the rest of my life and never be that Christ-like. I believe that there are some white people that can live with a whole of dirtied-up conscience so long as it keeps a black man oppressed. I don’t believe that I was put on this Earth to play nice with the white man when he’s still bridled with ignorance. I don’t believe that Martin Luther King died; that John Lewis bled on that bridge; that Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy fought for what was on their brain until bullets went through, just so I could still make nice over white people’s racism. I choose this day to talk about cyber-bullying, I choose this day to address the sociopathic cyberbrigades, I chose today to call attention to the grown adults that behave in ways that would be shameful for 12 year olds –because if I don’t, who will?
I chose today to acknowledge that if bullying is a problem, it’s because children are learning it at home. Kids live what they learn.
Which begs the question, “What are we teaching them?”
Standing on those steps in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. King asked, “How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?”
He answered by saying, ” I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because truth crushed to earth will rise again. How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow.
How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
*I am not even done with this piece yet, crazies. So don’t be sharing.