Jan 17

“Order” is Overrated

A Response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

Why is order so important?
Why must we cling to peace?
Is freedom not worth more?
Does injustice not matter?

But how would we know?
We seem to have justice,
We live in freedom.
We don’t.
We don’t know.

But ignorance kills.
So we must learn.
We must attempt to understand.
Understand the oppression.
Understand the fear.

But how to learn?
Do not shield your eyes from world issues.
Do not drown the voices of the oppressed.

And then respond.
Understand that they can’t afford order.
Can’t afford peace.
Can’t be obedient.

Because it’s only peaceful to us.
We can ignore the problems,
Because it’s not our problems.
The world isn’t peaceful.
This country doesn’t have order.

And sometimes we do know.
Sometimes we have learned,
We just don’t care.
We care more about silence.
We’d rather have order.

So here’s my question to us:

Why is order more important than the lives of the oppressed?