because of fear of repetition
because of fear of being a whiner
because of fear these things bring
Two years later after that letter below, our response was still the same to this kind of violence. Martin Luther King’s words endured. Our path determined!His Words
There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.
Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.
Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of
Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
My last year in junior high school, I had a boyfriend that was the best boyfriend ever. He was very cute, sweet, considerate and very respectful to me and my family. At most he could do was walk me to and from school and we could talk for a few minutes when I got home. He took me to the big dance the school held for ninth graders, chaperoned of course. At the time, I didn’t pay attention, that the other side of his personality was thuggish. Every now and then I would hear of some escapade of the group he ran with. I guess I thought when he got older he would stop. I don’t remember how we broke up that summer. Everybody’s family was in an upheaval trying to find other places to live, because I-75 was coming through. My family moved before school started. I looked for him when I started high school. He wasn’t there, so I thought that maybe he was held back. At that time I couldn’t receive phone calls and God forbid I should call a boy, so I didn’t know how to contact him.
Beginning high school was such an adventure, that I soon forgot him. Several years later I ran into a mutual friend, I ask about him. I was told he was in prison for fatally shooting his best friend. I never knew why, although I did see him later, I never asked. That last time I had seen him he was high and his appearance disheveled. We just made small talk. I walked away thinking what had happened to that good looking black boy. He never really became a man, because murder and drugs had usurped that. What is sad, is that there are so many stories like this one. That was almost fifty years ago.
No one seemed to care back then, certain people were just written off; because they came from the wrong sort of family. There was never any expectation that my boyfriend would ever be anything. Our community had a tendency to only promote those who would be good for the race. Trying to fit in with white standards to become accepted as citizens; we sometime sacrificed the harder personalities. Not that I think this was conscious, we were told if we were this and that things would get better. Our performance was held to a higher standard and the ones we were told to emulate were superstars in their field. In this striving we left the lost boys behind. If they could have been found then; would we have so many now?
Remember looking at clouds and seeing animals and other things. Looking at this star cluster in the clouds of natal gas and dust, I see this young girl's face. She has a slight attitude.
This is today's 01-10-07 Astronomy Picture of the Day from a Hubble image.
NGC 602 and Beyond
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA) - ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Lately I have been filling out forms as single. Once again, I was asked for a medical history, married, divorced, single? What does it matter now if I have been married? Does it imply some extra stress? Maybe in some epidemiological study, it provides another attribute; with some small significance. Was it use started, to imply that you were no longer a virgin? That certainly no longer has any relevance. I might understand if it is in regards to your child or a financial transaction, but it’s on all forms. I am now just answering single, because I am not married. Now that I think about it, why do people still call me Mrs. when they don’t know my status? Isn’t that what Ms. is for? It seems very necessary that a woman has to have had or has some attachment to a man. I wonder if I were to go into a gadget store and stand behind a strange man, would the salesperson call me Mrs. So 'n' So.
The new year brings ghosts from years past. They travel through my mind, reminding me of things not done, goals not kept, places not seen; all of what I thought would have been done, when I would be this age. Having regrets, which I never said I would say when I was young. Even this blog has not been what I wanted it to be.
I started this blog, thinking I would only look with in myself and discover what I needed to do to go forward. This hasn’t happened. I think I have done more ranting and writing about some things that just have been on my mind. I’ve would like to have had more discussions. Most stop by, only to look. If they do stay awhile I rarely get any comments. I wonder if there is little interest, because I don’t have a fixed point of view. I have decided that I can’t figure out what it would take for me to go forward, so I will not be writing about it. Sometimes I think it may be time for this blog to become one of my ghosts.
I will continue to write for awhile. There are a few more ideas I want to express. I am mulling over one now, but feel I don’t have the scholarship to write the kind of essay that would inspire thoughtful conversation. It just came to me, even though it’s in my profile. I want to have conversations like I use to have when I was younger; what we would call “rap sessions.”
If one thing I try for would turn out right, I think the ghosts would go away. If my life follows its previous path, I probably will not get the timing right, until it’s time to leave. I am going to have to stop trying for awhile, in order to resolve another health issue. I have also decided to have my kidneys removed. I want a better body image. Need to look sharp for those interviews and not pregnant. I got asked that, during holiday shopping. It’s not flattering; I think I look my age. Will anyone ask if I am pregnant when I’m 70?
I will try harder when my surgery heals. I have no choice, but to try to die without regrets. I want to have had an accomplishment, loved and been loved, traveled to those waterfalls and inspired my child. I want to get rid of those ghosts.
UPDATE: These kidneys had failed in 2001 and my first dialysis was December 10. I was fortunate to get a kidney transplant a year and a half later.
No denying now; I am an old soul. One of a few, that are in a wired universe of youthful exuberance and blissful ignorance.