JenHatmaker Profile picture
Jan 15, 2018 20 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
"Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light & voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals." #MLK
"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. 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." #MLK #BirminghamJail
"For years I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” #MLK #BirminghamJail
"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..." #MLK #BirminghamJail
"...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..." #MLK #BirminghamJail
"...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.” #MLK #BirminghamJail
"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection." #MLK #BirminghamJail
"We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with." #MLK #BirminghamJail
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability..." #MLK #BirminghamJail
" comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, & without this ‘hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, knowing that the time is always ripe to do right." #MLK #BirminghamJail
"Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity." #MLK #BirminghamJail
King's understanding of the white moderate and while fragility have instructed me this year more than any other teacher. The white response to exposed racial tension is predictable and precise. It is the same today as in 1963...with a slightly different face.
Just today in calling out Trump's racism, a lady sent this: "We get it Jen, you hate Trump. If you want to share and spread Christ’s love, please do so! Stop spreading hatred. Those of us who disagree with you politically will not be persuaded by your temper tantrums."
The onus is shifted toward a negative peace (masked in righteousness, which is where it gets its free pass) and off the specific racism that undermines POC and embeds our culture with greater white supremacy allowed to live in the open.
When resistance is packaged as "hate," then justice is let off the hook. It is an old trick, but one that still works in the ongoing fight toward equality. Those who resist simply have to reject that outrage entirely. White people only loved MLK after he was murdered.
Most of the tame MLK quotes we'll see today can be easily co-opted to describe a feel-good society where little black boys and girls can hold hands and act nice. But we cannot extrapolate his words from the racist, bigoted structures into which they were spoken.
MLK was one of the greatest teachers and activists that ever lived. His devastating social analysis was precise, clear, and accurate. His call toward peace and equality was precise, clear, and accurate. He represented truth among lies that were masked by religion.
Which side of this do we want to be on? When we're 95 yrs old, what do we want to say we fought for? Did we side with equality, justice, & the common good? Did we? Did we put our words & hands to good use? Did we call out racism though it would be called a "temper tantrum"?
What are we afraid of? Someone being mean to us?? COME ON, FOLKS. We have to made of sturdier stock than that. Exposing tension is not causing it, no matter what the gatekeepers say. You have two good feet: stand on them. You will not die from someone else's discomfort.
I end with the question posed by MLK: "Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?" It's one or the other. Silence supports the former. Let's build the world we want to pass on.

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More from @JenHatmaker

May 24, 2018
Burn everything down. We are as lost from our own gospel as we've ever been while screaming at everyone else that we are the only ones "found." Our women are abused and unprotected, and our "sanctuaries" are nothing of the sort. Why would anyone listen to any of us?
The amount of repentance necessary to EVER regain 1 ounce of credibility as an evangelical community is just staggering. Look to our ditches: women, refugees, people of color, LGBTQ folks, immigrants, the poor. These are supposed to be our charges, instead they are our victims.
The emperor is standing stark naked in the public square screaming through a bullhorn than he is dressed in finery. Absurd. We have one path here: repentance. We need to shut our loud mouths & fall on our knees and repent to the Jesus we "love" and the people we've harmed.
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