The U.S. Senate is now conducting hearings on Trump's nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. As a U.S. attorney in Alabama, Sessions called the NAACP and the ACLU “un-American” and “communist-inspired.” He claimed both groups “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” He called a white civil rights lawyer a “disgrace to his race” and described the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a “piece of intrusive legislation.” In this hour, it is urgent that we re-read MLK's A Letter from Birmingham Prison, written on April 16, 1963. Fifty-four years ago, when many would say, America was great. Here is an excerpt:
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 quite 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 ...
Trump's vision for America as embodied in his nominating Sessions is cynical and unjust. And we must oppose it.
Dr. William Barber, NC NAACP, speaks about the need to base political decisions on a moral basis. Click here.
Trump and the Republican Party will be doing everything in their power to turn the clock back to 1950. Do you remember Senator McCarthy fom Wisconsin? Below is a list of organizations that will fight the legal battles for all of us. They deserve our support both financially and by volunteering:
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