Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With the inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow I have found myself reflecting more on the words of Dr. King today than I have in the past. There is part of the "I Have a Dream Speech" that sticks with me and stands out more and more these days. It's the fierce urgency of now section of the speech. I'm going to include it below with edits of how I hear it pertain to me.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice equality. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice discrimination to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's gay's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three Two thousand and eight is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro gays needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is gays are granted his their citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
I know that the comparrison of the Gay Rights struggle and the Civil Rights struggle of the African American people is a tough comparrison for some. I am not going to even suggest that the gay struggle for rights is anywhere near what the African Americans in this country had to go through.

What I am saying is that the words of a great man speak to me. They remind me that for us, the gays, there is a fierce urgency of now that can't be ignored.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for making it clear that you are not comparing the struggles of african americans to the struggle of gays. I am African American as well as a Queer woman and it does anger me when I hear gays making this kind of comparison.

    Being a gay woman is not easy, but I have to say being a black woman is a whole different struggle all together.