Today is 50 years since Martin Luther King‘s extremely famous “I have a dream” speech at Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. He has inspired countless people through the decades to passionately work for justice and freedom using non-violence, and also to seek the God he so zealously followed. The problems he adressed – racism, injustice and violence – still exist in various forms, and so we should take his example and keep up the good fight against it. Here are three areas I think needs special concern:
Racism and Xenophobia in Europe
The ugliness of racism sadly exists in most places arounf the world, and even though the situation for African Americans have become better it is far from optimal. Yet, as a European, I think what we are seeing here sometimes are even far worse. In Greece a neo-Nazi party got 7 % of the seats in the parliament. In Hungary, a neo-Nazi party got 12 % of the seats in the parliament. Hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, Blacks, homosexuals and other minorities are on the rise. Just a couple of weeks ago, a Muslim woman here in Sweden got beaten by a racist for wearing a hijab. The event caused a massive protest where thousands of women weared hijab in solidarity. Then, a new group of racists found the woman and beat her up again. What can we do? Use the example of Luther King: be a light in the darkness, use nonviolence in the midst of violence, be loving in the midst of hate, welcome the stranger in the midst of xenophobia.
Injustice Between the West and the Rest
In his speech, Dr Luther King said, referring to the post-slavery era:
One hundred years later, the negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
He was referring to the US, and again, even though the situation there is far from optimal we have an even greater crisis in the world where 50 000 people die from poverty every day, and where almost none of them are white. The world is extremely unequal, and inequality is colored. The only colonies that have truly prospered are those where the majority is white (Australia, Canada, United States etc). My theory why that is the case is that whites prefer to trade with whites. They are fully available to let other countries develop as well, but they are reluctant to do that. This, my friends, is racism. What can we do? Use the example of Luther King: treat each other equal and demand justice through protests, debates and activism. Give a lot of money in aid. Build relationships with the poor in your neighborhood. Preach the Gospel.
Violence in Syria and the Congo
We all know that the situation in Syria is crazy, weapons of mass destruction has been used and the US is planning to attack. The official purpose of the American military intervention is humanitarian, to protect innocent lives, but I just wonder why in the world haven’t they let in more Syrian refugees into their country? Why is the US eager to kill Syrians but not offer them hospitality? Furthermore, violence is not limited to Syria. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is right now experiencing a heavy conflict escalation, that the newspapers don’t talk so much about. The UN is fighting the militia of M23, which in their turn fight the FDLR, which was responsible for the Rwandan genocide. The conflict is fueled by minearls used in out electronics, and it has taken the lives out of six million people since 1997. That’s a holocaust. What can we do? Use the example of Luther King: Do good to the one who hates you and fight evil with good (Rom 12:21). Support non-violent mission and aid to these areas. Pray for peace. — I have a dream. That racism, injustice and violence will end. That the Kingdom of love, joy and peace will break forth in the power of the Spirit. That we will follow King as he followed the King of kings. I have a dream today.
- Martin Luther King – I Have a Dream (ashortreport.wordpress.com)
- Martin Luther King’s Words in a Surveillance World (childreninprison.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. IAP Design Seminar (iesnews.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Russell D. Moore on the Preaching of Martin Luther King, Jr. (blackchristiannews.com)
- Why the dream has been deferred (morganguyton.wordpress.com)