|By Nobel Foundation (http://nobelprize.org/) |
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A Post about Martin Luther King, Jr, on the Eve of Barack Obama's Inauguration
This repost from my old blog was originally posted on MLK Day in 2009, which was the eve of President Obama's first inauguration. I want to cry at how excited, hopeful, and ecstatically happy I was at the progress this country had made. I weep for the state we are in now.
Happy Martin Luther King Day! And what a special one it is! I cannot wait for tomorrow!!!!
Here are some excerpts from one of my favorite in "American Letters", Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law...Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. ... Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful...Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong...
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained...
Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
If you've got some time on your hands today and want to read an exquisite piece of history, though I will warn you it is very long, the full letter is available at