MLK: CIVIL & RIGHT
1/16/2019, 3:45 p.m.
As we again have the privilege of giving honor to the sacrifice made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. it would be interesting to examine one of the dynamics of his world-changing efforts. In the midst of a ‘downpour’ of social wrecklessness everywhere, it might be helpful to highlight what Dr. King might have hoped to permanently offer as an umbrella of protection.
Dr. King became commonly recognized as the premier proponent for civil rights. What exactly that means seems to have somehow lost its clear definition over time. So it would be useful to borrow from a few definitions from Webster’s New World College Dictionary:
civil- 1implies merely a refraining from rudeness; 2suggest a more positive observance of etiquette in social behavior; 3positive and sincere consideration of others that spring from an inherent thoughtfulness; 4devotion to the cause of the disenfranchised; 5of a community of citizens, their government, or their interrelations
civil- is the opposite of rude (which implies a deliberate lack of consideration for others feelings and connotes, especially, insolence, impudence, etc.)
Though there were many more definitions, these mentioned somehow accurately describe the tenor and thrust of what Dr. King was ‘civilly’ addressing.
This country was holding tightly to a philosophy of barbarity and ignorance with seemingly no intention of letting go. Its proponents held that color of skin was of greater worth than content of character. This philosophy declared that the freedoms availed through the Constitution did not include all men, but certain men. Even in the knowing of how such a notion had ripped the nation apart and nearly destroyed it, many Americans seemed relentless to hold on to such a dangerous, dysfunctional philosophy.
It was during this time of dysfunction and self destruction that the same Creator spoken of in the Declaration of Independence saw fit to prompt the hearts of many men and women who understood the revelatory truth of that precious document. These noble human beings saw fit to call all into account, who would, to stand up and live the true meaning of the creed, ‘ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, AND THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS GRANTED ONLY BY THE CREATOR.’
As noble as the notion was, it was not a popular place to take a stand. America was deeply entrenched in the idea of what it might lose if it were to shift its philosophy. There were certain inherent risks that came with ‘taking a stand.’ It could even mean loss of life, literally. So to think that individuals were lining up to be in the company of those who would stand up was laughable.
Enter Martin Luther King, Jr., a young man who had studied both the history of the United States and the history of the Creator. Both histories were consistent in declaring the liberties that were granted to every man. As Dr. King continued to gain knowledge and maturity, he was also gaining faith and courage in both his Creator and the document governing his country, the Constitution. He recognized in them the avenue leading to all the privileges of life for not just some men, but all men.