Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on our responsibility to Martin Luther King's legacy
[Trump's] people and their contra-constitutional views are a clear and present danger to America, and it is our responsibility to keep our country’s most sacred values intact. Placing them in positions of responsibility and power sends a message that the assault on “political correctness” is code for an assault on nonwhite, non-straight, non-male, non-Christians. It emboldens hate groups toward violence and justifies further marginalization of these people.
“Waiting and seeing” risks all that defines the United States as a land of freedom. In his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. argued that it was a “tragic misconception of time” to believe that waiting to see will provide favorable results. “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability,” he said. It comes through “the tireless efforts” of people seeking social justice. “Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.”
We need a new civil disobedience in the American tradition of Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau and King. Our efforts must be organized, focused and coordinated with each other. . . .
Every time I hear someone say, “Let’s wait and see,” I bristle, because I’m reminded again of King’s writing from Birmingham. “For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see . . . that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’”
[from "How Boycotts Could Help Sway Trump," Washington Post, December 1, 2016]