a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

What Would MLK Do?

Posted on: January 16, 2012

Even though MLK was a Baptist preacher, I believe he would stand by LGBTQ people and demand their equal civil and human rights to have children, to adopt, to bury and care for loved ones, to adequate health care, to live a dignified life.

MLK would have been in Zuccotti Park.  He would have supported the occupy movement.  He would see that having it all means giving some of it away.  He would understand that not having health insurance is just one problem, not being able to live is a greater problem.  He would’ve stood in a GA, he would march down Broadway, he would’ve taken Brooklyn Bridge.

MLK wouldn’t stand for Islamophobia.  While the names of Allah and Jesus are different, he would recognize that we all praise and love the same God.  He would know that being a son of Abraham means we recognize there is only one God. 

MLK would encourage conversations and understanding across cultural, religious, and ethnic boundaries.  He would remind us that we’re all the same.  He would remind us of the wealth of knowledge that can be learned from listening to someone different from us.

MLK walked with leaders from all faith practices, he shook hands with people who looked like him and people who did not.  His mission wasn’t just equal rights for blacks, but also equal rights for all human beings.  He knew that when people are mistreated in one place, people are mistreated every where.  Today is not just a day off of work, it’s not a day to run to Sears for their (tacky) MLK sale.  It’s not a day to sleep in a little bit longer, but if you do that it’s fine to.

My father is a businessman and for as long as I’ve known him he’s never closed his business on MLK day.  He said he kept it open on MLK day and encouraged his predominately black staff to work as well because he wouldn’t be a business owner without MLK. 

One of the lines in the Martin Luther King, Jr. speech “Our God is Marching On (How Long? Not Long)” was quoted by our President in a speech he gave.  The quote is, “…the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  President Obama changed it by adding that we needed to help it bend and King changed it from it’s original, and slightly more lengthy version, “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience.  And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”  authored by 19th century abolitionist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker.

I know that we’re still trying to bend that arc towards justice.  Hopefully we can work together to make King’s dreams reality for everyone.



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