All too often the African American History month is reduced to a mantra of “integration” and “co-existence” rather than one of liberation. This leads to leaving out the radical black tradition, as well as legacy of Muslim African Americans.
Articles tagged “martin luther king”
Here are seven quotes from Martin that are helpful to recall Martin the prophet, Martin the radical activist of love-and-justice, and to help us move beyond the myth of the sanitized Martin.
Often at this time of the year, we join in the prayer for peace on Earth, and goodwill to all men (and women). This year my prayer is a bit different.
Martin was born 11 years after Mandela, and has been dead for 45 years. We lose some of the beautiful ones far too early, and get to have others around for a while. Truly, it’s not the longevity of our life, it’s the quality of our living.
In the official commemorations in Washington today, we refused to connect the dots that Martin connected. We refused to see the connection between the poverty and racism here to the militarism there–though of course the policies of America the Empire are already implicated in racial assumptions of billions of people in the world (majority of them Muslims today) being less than fully human, less than fully deserving of the same right to live, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that we cherish as the cornerstone of our own experiment.
Here are six concrete points and strategies to help us continue a principled and constructive conversation about #whitehouseiftars. In the last thirty years, we as Muslims have had intense conversations about our multiple and overlapping identities as Americans and as Muslims. What kind of America we want to belong to? An America that is an Empire, or a land of liberty and rights? If it is the latter, words will not suffice. We need to be participants in making that a reality.
The President asks us to respect the Trayvon-Zimmerman jury by recalling that we are “a nation of laws.” But there is another American legacy as well, that of Dr. King, of Civil Disobedience, of Aristotle, and of St. Augustine, which instead calls us to recall that “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
Yes, there is need for a liberatory form of criticism against every form of tyranny. And that critique has to be rooted in a deep and abiding love, even when the critique is rooted in a disappointment with how things are now (compared to how they should be). That combination of critique, love, and community is what is needed to bring about meaningful and lasting transformation.
This is the reason that I ultimately came over from the cautious supporting “civil union” side to supporting full marriage. We don’t want a society in which some people are “kind of” married, sort of married. We don’t want a two-tiered model of marriage. We don’t want a two-tiered model of justice. We don’t want a two-tiered model of citizenship. A two-tiered justice is not justice, and a two-tiered citizenship is not real citizenship.