by Kazu Haga
On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech in Harlem’s Riverside Church. In it, he spoke of being confronted with “the fierce urgency of now.”
He went on to say that, “there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time … We must move past indecision to action.” He warned us that if we do not move into action, “we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
Almost 50 years later, this country is once again faced with the “fierce urgency of now.” Within hours of his inauguration, Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin the process of repealing Obamacare, and the White House website was updated to reflect his administration’s views: the site’s sections on climate change, civil rights, disabilities and LGBT issues were removed.
And many around the country have feared what this administration is going to mean for our Muslim friends and others of Middle Eastern descent, immigrant communities and those who are already marginalized. What will this administration mean for the movement for black lives, for Standing Rock, for our struggles against patriarchy, income inequality and so many critical issues of our time?
Yes, we are in an urgent moment in history, and we need to respond accordingly. We need to organize harder than ever, mobilize more people than ever, knock on more doors than ever, and fight like we’ve never fought before.
Source: The urgency of slowing down