|W.F. Woolworth sit-in, 1960
It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I’m thinking about making a statement in what you believe in with your voice, your body and your heart.
And then I think about guys with big cowboy hats and rifles occupying an Oregon nature reserve because they want federal lands given back to local governments. I think about Americans who set off bombs that killed and crippled people in Oklahoma City and at the Boston Marathon because they believed in some militant cause. I think about Islamic State militants with guns and suicide belts shooting people and bombing hotels, concert halls, markets, and restaurants because they want religious and political power.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I think about how, if we care, we have causes that we believe in and speak out for, march for, sit in and occupy for. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I think about how we can discuss and understand and argue about the differences in our beliefs and our causes. But the line is drawn in discussion when the gun and the bomb are at hand. There is no discussion until the gun and the bomb are put down, there is no legitimacy to a belief or a cause while the gun and the bomb are brandished, there is no justice that comes out of the barrel of a gun.
On MLK Day, we speak out, sit in and march on.