« The Black Hand Files: What we know so far | Main | You can't spell "parent-y" without "Type A" »

03/12/2014

Comments

Grace

"Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."

Some will argue that people living in the US now may still be outsiders even though the (Negro, Black, African American) people to whom King refered are today insiders. Today, we have the illegals, whether we call them "illegal" or "undocumented". What is King's message there, if any message exists, and how do we deal with that? African Americans didn't come here willingly in the olden days, slavery is what King (may have been considering) meant. Clearly some dark people come now, on purpose, for example from Somilia. Are those people who do live inside the boundaries of the US outsiders, those who don't have papers? What about other "illegals" that don't come from war torn countries, who were not slaves or descendants? Those who come for only economic reasons?

(Just my thoughts and I am not Red though from a Red State. Am mostly purple.)

Lisa Schmeiser

Honestly, I think King's message ESPECIALLY applies today, and especially to undocumented immigrants.

I prefer to apply a modern reading in this way: King's entire speech calls for a moral rejection of segregation. It is rooted in Jesus's persistent message of bold and radical hospitality toward all, no matter their circumstances.

In a country where we are growing increasingly economically segregated, I believe that the last thing we should do is send a message to anyone who is here that they do not belong. I firmly believe that we do not penalize children for being born to the "wrong" parents, whether those parents are poor, or undocumented. I firmly believe that we do not punish the people who come here for the opportunity to build a life and take care of their families.

I firmly believe that what we do is say, "You're here. You're toiling, and your work is letting other Americans live in comfort. Your work has allowed for a system of brutal exploitation and a perversion of wage-earning in America, where the correlation between labor and compensation is not measured by effort or skill but by desperation and exploitation. And we're here to work for a more just land. You matter as a human being. We will protect your rights even if you are not a citizen, because you are a human being."

King's letter was born of a specific period in history, i.e. one where he (correctly) called out white "Christians" and moderates for clinging to their comforts rather than walk their talk. But his message about whether or not it is moral to justify segregation can apply to any group in this country, I think.

The comments to this entry are closed.