If you have not yet been shot at, had your life threatened, marched thousands, or even hundreds, towards a danger-filled doorway towards freedom, if you have not placed country before family, if you have not been imprisoned for your beliefs and the actions they evoked, if you have not devised workshops and trained thousands of followers on how to lay their own lives on the line at your word, if you do not each day place your head down while reflecting on the lives you are changing city-/state-/nation-/worldwide and simultaneously listening for rustling leaves, broken glass, screeching tires and guns being cocked, if you have not abandoned your home and career for a cause that is greater than yours, if you have not sat down with both your enemies and your supporters to tirelessly campaign for rights you yourself may never enjoy...
If you, indeed, have done nothing but write a series of blog posts with defensive, profanity-laced comments in your responses, and will not have hundreds of thousands to millions weeping because progress, in your absence, may, in fact, end...then you are not fully an heir to this particular legacy of "not being silent." You may, perhaps, dine with friends of different backgrounds, make sure your children are loving and tolerant and treat all people of all color as equal. You may be an heir, then, to Dr. King's dream of racial equality. But that does not grant you the entire estate of his accomplishments to assign to your actions, particularly those that directly contradict his teachings and his choices...
Do you not see the irony of taking Dr. King's legacy for your own...rather than recognizing that the true and acting heir is the president himself that you so disparage and disrespect?
Do you, at least, understand that an entire community of people not only recognizes the irony but the offense of this?
I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest.
- Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963
Amen and amen!