Birmingham

As expected, the usual scolds responded to yesterday’s direct action by GetEqual in Miami . . .

No one is asking you to clap louder. We’re asking you to stop pissing into the tent

wow. Equating calls to end discriminaiton with ‘piss’ says everything about that tent

but the scolds have always been with us:

We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely.

those words were written by eight white Birmingham clergymen in April 1963 in A Call For Unity

We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified…

yeah, like I was gonna leave that one out

In their letter, the clergymen urged an end to the demonstrations by Afican Americans "directed and led in part by outsiders" that were taking place in the area at the time, recommending that African Americans engage in local negotiations and use the courts if rights are being denied

We should all be eternally grateful for their clownish "outsiders" swipe – for it prompted a response from a young baptist minister sitting in the city jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was confined after being arrested for his part in the Birmingham campaign.

I count Letter from Birmingham Jail among my most cherished of American letters – and I wager the same is true for many of you

But it isn’t just some blessed progressive artifact – it lives, it breathes and here Dr King reaches across five decades to speak to the ‘pragmatists’

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his 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; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

—Martin Luther King,