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I keep writing. I keep posting here, and folks are asking me what does a blog do. Social Media is the new soap box, the new town crier that can make our voices heard. All of us social activists out here typing away, giving voices to the people of color who are continually murdered in Florida. Might I add these black youth are being murdered legally. White men are allowed to stand their ground, and that means shooting to kill black men. Whenever black people with a license to carry a gun, and defend themselves in a similar matter they go directly to jail. Case in point, Michael Giles So I write, and I will continue to write until black men and their lives mean something again. I cannot forget our sisters of color either. We must remember Marissa Alexander, who is now out on bail, but yet to stand trial. Today in my church a portion of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Kings famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was read. As I listened to the words roll out, I was reminded of the battle cry my people have become desensitized to. The words of Dr. King are unmistakeable. We can no longer wait. The Stand your ground laws are not just in Florida. At least sixteen states have similar stand your ground laws, Stand Your Ground and other states have doctrines similar to the law through judicial activism. These laws must be repealed. Everywhere. The section of the letter Dr. King wrote that inspired me to write this post is below. Full text of the letter here: Letter from a Birmingham Jail
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was “well timed” according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “wait.” It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This “wait” has almost always meant “never.” It has been a tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration. We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say “wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast
majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when
you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos, “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger” and your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodyness” — then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
We cannot wait anymore. Waiting is over. it is time for us to stand our ground in opposition to the new Jim Crow laws that make it legal to execute our young men and women! I will keep writing for Marissa, for Michael, for Jordan, for Mark, for Trayvon, for Islan, and the names that you know on your heart that I have no knowledge of.