Dr. King’s racial dream on hold?

Racism is resurgent. (Credit: Manchester University)

It’s been a busy time for racial incidents targeting blacks. Some Christian leaders are worried. As one pastor told me:

“Dr. King’s dream of racial equality has always been under assault, but I believe the climate we are under now is more intense than it has been since the earlier days of the civil rights movement.”

See my article, “Revisiting Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream,” here.

Among recent incidents:

  • A white man was just charged with burning down three historically-black Louisiana churches;
  • Politicians and universities admitted putting racist photos and depictions of whites in blackface in student yearbooks.
  • A U.S. congressman from Iowa who has long supported white nationalism was finally rebuked by his colleagues, and lost committee assignments.
  • Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia—home to a 2017 white supremacist rally–recently closed for two days as police investigated a threat of racist violence against non-white students.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism says disturbing incidents are on the rise. Reports of people distributing white supremacist propaganda (fliers, stickers, banners and posters) rose 182 percent, from 421 reports in 2017 to 1,187 reports in 2018. See the ADL report here.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was frustrated with white Christians who said blacks should be patient and wait for justice to arrive. King would likely be frustrated today.

In his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King wrote, “This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

You can read Dr. King’s letter here.

Posted in Articles, Blog

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