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From FB Arrow Bullet Left (Dark Blue) - F2U!click to read OP, and to follow there, if you're so inclined.

For those who don't wish to click through the above link:

Back when ProsePetals was first conceived online (since she existed WELL before the internet), deleting journal entries (in dAt other place) was a common occurrence. Except I never *really* deleted most of them. I simply saved them and filed them away. Many of them would later be revised and shared in my personal blog...and in a few cases, in the WSE blog.

Over in my personal blog, there are 976 entries dating back to August 21, 2009. In nine years, I've written nearly 1,000 blog entries (probably more, because there were some I completely deleted from the blog itself).

Presently there are only 20 entries publicly visible, with the remaining ~950 or so archived for possible revision.

The most recent entry is from this past weekend, and is an entry that started as a word-vomit entry in dA (to get the thoughts out of my head) - initially for the purpose of revision for the WSE blog. There is plenty of "stuff" in this entry that is VERY relevant to sex education...but first, I had to get the ProsePetals thoughts out.

This writing will eventually be reviewed and the sex ed content extracted for revision to WSE. For now, I'm sharing it here, since it is pure Prosey. The thoughts aren't directed at any particular individual/s...though many people surfaced in my thoughts as I was writing.


:peace: :heart:  :sushi:
  • Watching: GoT, of all the damn things
  • Drinking: coffee
I started to write a full journal entry about Game of Thrones and American politics.

I decided to...not. I saved all the words I started to write here to be rewritten properly for a blog entry. Not because I wish to avoid sharing it here, but because sharing it here would (guaranteed) be misinterpreted by folks who have a ridiculous tendency of turning things that have nothing to do with them into a mirror.

I dislike narcissists tremendously, and I won't feed them. I'll simply wish them well...far, far away from me...as I always have.

xo
  • Watching: GoT, of all the damn things
  • Drinking: coffee
Just a few thoughts...
Bullet; Green A couple of months ago, I had my 14th dAnninversary. That's weird. Doesn't seem possible it's been that long. Ohm... Ohm... 

Bullet; Green dA is celebrating its 18th birthday. That's even weirder. To think YoungestDeviant is only about two and a half years older than this place is just wild; and looking at the old art by ManiacOnAisleThree is more than slightly surreal, given where he's at in life now. Shocked 

Bullet; Green  It's tempting to put together a chapbook -- been thinkin' about it for such a long time, but that would also mean digging through my archives here. Most writers with any sense of pride at all have trouble delving through older writings. Yes, it's a practice of seeing how far you've come...but then you realize you published that shit at one point...and here in dA, that means kinda publicly. So...the idea is tempting, but in practice, it's a struggle without also committing to finally polishing those old stones. (Some o'yall might even remember that reference.) :bump:

Bullet; Green As part of the :above: above :above: practice and review and contemplation, alongside engaging in something akin to turning into a bit of a Reform Luddite, things like Art as Therapy feels like melting into the Slow Movement...sort of. For someone like me, whose mind -in the past- never slowed down, the act of deliberately slowing down (even with the help of medication) is rife with internal conflict. Couple that with quitting smoking cigarettes?! frustrated 

Bullet; Green So...I've been borrowing rwirtz's old :camera: from time to time (very infrequently, since I'm not a photographer), as well as taking more pictures with my cell, so as to practice actual drawing. :jawdrop: These things are therapeutic, though. If and when I create something even slightly worthy of requesting critique, I'll post here. That was what Shades of Blue & Purpose was actually about. It's simply a still shot of something I'm trying my hand at drawing. So far...my attempts have been something that my 9-yr-old could draw far better. :shrug:

That's pretty much all for the moment.
  • Watching: sharktopus v whalewolf
  • Drinking: coffee
therearethornstoo.blogspot.com…
  • Listening to: the ticking of the clock
  • Drinking: apple bubly
Well now...

The other day I was chatting with a friend, and we got to talking about dA, and trying to remember when exactly it was we "met" here in this place. Neither of us could remember, and it'd been ages since we'd even peeked in here. I mean, for anything other than digging through our respective storage files. So many things have changed here, even as much as dropping in from time to time feels a bit like navigating one's hometown after decades gone by...the landscape remains similar, but the roads have changed or been added, new buildings and subdivisions...that sort of thing.

I had no idea that, come June, I'll have been here for 13 years. My friend, in her "main" account, will have been here for 12 (though she's actually been around longer than I have)...and it's funny, because the person who introduced me to this place in the first place ( lordstench ) had been here for a year before I joined. He worked to convince me I "should" be here, and I probably lurked without an account for a good six months before ProsePetals was born. Since then, he's deactivated his account (not sure when that happened, since about three or four years ago, I went on a massive cleaning spree here, and mostly shut down).

I don't know if I'm "back" (I don't really think so, come to it)...but really, I never quite left. I wanted a "safe space" to drop thoughts into periodically...things that I don't drop into my blog or into Facebook. I continue to periodically dig through storage here for older bits of writing when the need arises. This morning, though, wasn't about that. I decided to pop in to look at a bit of scrap poetry I threw in here a couple of years ago during a rather ...oh, I guess angry... moment. I received a wonderful constructive critique (from Mitchell-Thompson ), and for whatever reason, I decided to take up the suggestion that was made.

Hence the "redux" submission from a little while ago.

Then I decided to re-open the journal, because I feel like procrastinating a bit longer on my studies...not much longer...just a bit. (And yes, Prosey still trips over ellipses...some things never change.) I'm not up for any exploration presently; as I said, I don't know if I'm "back." Just...curious.

*sips coffee*

Still weird to me that I've been here for almost 13 years.

Seriously...weird. Hmmm.

Ah well, enough for now.

P/L/S
  • Listening to: morning traffic & rainfall
  • Reading: The Process of Legal Research
  • Drinking: coffee
My previous entry demonstrates my ambivalence about my presence here in dA...my continued presence here...and my uncertainty about my future in this space.

I wonder about evolving, and I have been contemplating whether or not I will make my 10th devious birthday here...I'm continuing to experience that "tectonic shift" of perspective. I used to be very active here, and that activity has dwindled down to next to nothing. My husband is long gone from here. Many friends have left. And I wonder what I can actually contribute here that is meaningful, that adds to this space, that is...well, worthwhile.

...and to be honest, I'm still uncertain. Truly.

That said, something occurred to me this morning...something that is turning around and around in my thoughts...something that is not exclusive to dA, but something I'm wondering if I can actually add to this space -while working on my own projects- in some sort of beneficial way to me as a person, as a researcher, and -yes- as an artist...AND also be beneficial to people here.

:hmm:
  • Listening to: travis making train noises
  • Reading: blogs blogs blogs
  • Drinking: coffee
My perspective and focus has been gradually shifting. Recently, that shift is becoming more...I guess tectonic is probably the word that is most appropriate.

This shift of focus is true here and in other networking places, as I begin to put more personal effort toward my own professional projects. Here in dA, I have begun the process of downsizing...with the eventual plan of deactivating my account. That, however, is further down the road at the moment than anyone need be concerned about.

One very significant writing (to me, anyway) that I have had posted here in this space is already in Stored status, and is soon to be removed entirely...as it is finally being incorporated into a larger body of work that I am working toward, and have set a personal target date for completion. I will promote more about that here in this space, and elsewhere, in the future - prior to deactivating my little flower pot here.

For now, I want to make certain people here who don't already know how to reach me (and many already do, so this may be a moot point)...that there is a forwarding place of residence you can find me when I'm less than active here. You can find me over at the above-linked page (yes, contact info provided within) or at my shiny new Twitter page.

Of course, I'm still active in my blog...so...

Okay, enough self-promotion for one day.

:peace:, :heart:, & :sushi:
Yours In Absentia,
~prosey
:sun:
  • Listening to: the song stuck in my head
  • Reading: of virgins and martyrs
  • Watching: sesame street
  • Playing: with myself
  • Eating: done
  • Drinking: coffee
:faint: Gosh...I've been really out of touch here! I popped in today on a lark, and about fell out at my message center. Jinkies, Scooby!

Ah well...for all I've missed in your pages, journals, etc...mea culpa. No promises that I'll do better in the future either, to be honest. Come June...the 8th to be exact...I will have been a Deviant here for nine years. Hmmm. I'm not really sure what to think about that. Most of the people I used to interact the most with are gone...either to Storm, or to facebook, or to some other networking site.

And this is not to say that I haven't kept up with people here in this space who I don't follow elsewhere...far from it. I'm just reaching a point where I'm not sure what role deviantART plays in the grand scheme of the real-life FlowerPot anymore. I have truly enjoyed the years I've spent here, the people I've met, the friends I've made...the man I married (and yes, if you didn't already know it, I met him here in this very place...though he is long gone from these hallways).

Again...hmmm. Since I was last here, I completed my terminal degree. Yep, for all the joking around I've done here with respect to "Dr. PruthPetals Westheimer" (complete with atrocious German accent), Prosey really is a doctah now. Yes, really. No...it's not a bragging point, even though I am sincerely proud of the accomplishment. In fact...funnily enough...commencement falls on my 9th dA b-day. Hmmm.

What I'm thinking...and I'm still undecided, honestly...is going a similar path of other friends who've left here. And maybe not even left here entirely, but who have put dA on a happy shelf like a photo album, closed mostly...and only occasionally taken out for visitors who want to see some of the older memories. *ponders* :hmm: I suspect that is probably the route I'm going to go...eventually. I'm not quite there yet. What I suspect is going to happen over the next year and a half or so, with my presence here in dA, is that I'm going to take my time and go through all of my storage...and all of my gallery currently on display...and start removing stuff and putting them into the proverbial photo album that is my personal archives.

*sigh* Yeah, it's gonna take time...and I'm in no rush, really. But the day is coming down the road a piece that it'll be time to close up shop here in dA's corner flower pot. As a heads up to all the folks here who I've continued to enjoy interacting with who I don't interact with outside of this space...it'd probably be a good time -if you're remotely interested- to make certain that you know how to contact me outside of this space. I'm pretty easy to find actually...but I'm not going to be putting out banner ads or anything, so....

Yeah.

Anyhoooo...hope this finds you well.

:peace:, :heart:, & :sushi:
:sun:
:flowerpot:
  • Listening to: "Rug Time" by Teacher Suzie
  • Reading: Pink Brain Blue Brain
  • Watching: Sid the Science Kid
  • Playing: with Travis
  • Eating: pastelón
  • Drinking: lemon-infused water
VOTE.

That is all.
  • Listening to: Pepper's Choice
  • Reading: The Last Bachelor
  • Watching: Pepper's Choice
  • Playing: politics
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: coffee
Hey y'all :coffeecup:

I've put up a poll over in my blog...purest curiosity on my part (based on a hypothetical observation I made, and so far this is one way I can "test" it). Don't worry, I'm not asking you to disclose any personal information whatsoever...just if you could weigh in with your vote.

Click here, pretty please, with whipped cream & a cherry on top. :heart:

Thanks!
  • Listening to: toddler playing with trains
  • Reading: why are you atheists so angry?
  • Watching: sesame street
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: coffee
I meant to share my blog entry thoughts from yesterday here, because I am seeking input from others.

Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome ~ please direct suggestions to the comments section of the blog entry.

A Saturday of a Different Color

Thanks!
  • Listening to: toddler playing with trains
  • Reading: the mommy myth
  • Watching: sesame street
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: coffee
Today marks 11 days across the pond, and thus far the trip has been just lovely!

How are YOU?
  • Listening to: radio
  • Reading: midnight in the garden of good and evil
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: nada (yet)
The dissertation was submitted for dean review yesterday.

Assuming that comes back approved (I'm being optimistic here), all that is remaining for this degree is the defense with my committee. I am hoping for that to happen before the end of this month. (*fingers crossed*)

And how are YOU?
  • Listening to: sounds of silence
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: coffee
Remember when I used to post a journal per day?

:lmao:

Those days seem like ancient history now. On an upside, I enter my journal here with an accomplishment I'm rather please with/proud of...


...a couple of hours ago, I finished the draft of my dissertation. At 187 pages, it's the longest single document I've ever written...and probably took more out of me mentally and emotionally than anything I have ever done --bar none. It's still a draft; there are going to be, undoubtedly, committee-guided revisions, which I'm actually looking forward to. Revision is easier than actual writing. Then completion of the abstract. Then the powerpoint presentation in preparation for the oral defense.

Small things, by comparison. In total...3.5 years of coursework (atop 6 years of post-high school academics)...plus a dissertation. I actually *get* why people wind up ABD (all but dissertation) in a doctoral program. I really do. I can't count the number of times I almost gave up. The dissertation is a bitch. It really is.

I'm ready to be finished. Truly. I love being a student...and I will continue to be a life-long learner. I'm just really ready for this program to be completed.

Yeah, by comparison, a short journal. Still... :) ...after all the writing that has consumed me for the past year, you shouldn't expect a whole lot. ;)

:peace:, :heart:, & :sushi:
:sun:
:flowerpot:
~prosey
  • Listening to: ferris bueller in the background
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: cupcake red velvet
I commented that I would remove the previous entry when the situation was resolved.

:)
  • Listening to: cars in the background
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: water with lemon
Simultaneously extraordinarily complex and astonishingly simple...
  • Listening to: curious george in the background
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: water with lemon
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement...aka ACTA

From Bark's journal...


"All this time, SOPA was just a distraction! There is a new problem to face. Called ACTA, or the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, this will not only censor file sharing websites such as Facebook, Youtube, and even DA, it will also stop us from getting the seeds we need to grow crops and, even worse, ban drugs needed to save LIVES. Face it guys! They're technically going to KILL PEOPLE to censor the INTERNET. And what's even worse, they've been going BEHIND OUR BACK about this for three years. Which means that we've had nothing to do about it. So......is this our 2012?

"No.....this will not be our 2012. This will be a fight for our freedom. This will be our fight against those who plan behind our backs. This will be the start of something none could ever imagine.......but not our 2012. We should make a rebellion. Stop those who plan behind our backs for something that will definitely lead to our demise. Let us be free!!!!""



:gun::shithitsthefan:
  • Listening to: toddler giggles in the background
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: water with lemon
I'm sure some of you are aware...

...but for those of you who aren't, several organizations, including Making Light, Boing Boing, along with many other sites I frequent, are going dark tomorrow. Some only for a couple of hours...some all day.

To find out more, and to decide if you want to participate in this strike, go to SOPA STRIKE.

:peace:, :heart:, & :sushi:
  • Listening to: silence...finally
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: coffee
Typically, every year, on the 15th of January (or on the Monday that MLK Day is honored), I post the complete "I Have A Dream" speech. Not this year. I read a lovely blog entry in honor of Dr. King, and it got me to pondering. I decided to wish Dr. King a Happy Birthday in my own way...and then thought, y'know, I think I will post something in this journal...

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.

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.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle--have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger-lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."

I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.

~*~

:sun:
:flowerpot:

:peace:, :heart:, & :sushi:

~prosey
:blowkiss:
  • Listening to: curious george in the background
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: coffee
Okay...borrowed from youliedanyway...cos I have been on a Harry Potter kick of late (especially with my research in a temporary & less-than-pleasant limbo), and I have been wanting something to entertain me while not totally making me mindless. Soooo...

I wound up a Slytherin...which is really no surprise to me. Ravenclaw was 2nd. Heh.

Gryffindor:

[x] You are loud.
[ ] You like going to school to see your friends.
[x] You've had more than a couple detentions.
[ ] You always have something to do on the weekends.
[ ] You like to be the center of attention.
[ ] You get above average grades in school.
[x] You've been called bossy before.
[ ] You're a bit of a daredevil / you like an adrenaline rush.
[ ] You are athletic.
[ ] You are one of the best players on your team.
[x] You would do anything for your loved ones.
[ ] You like the color red.
[ ] Your favorite class is Transfiguration or DADA.
[x] You would never break a promise.
TOTAL: 5

Hufflepuff:

[x] You have many acquaintances, but only a handful of good friends.
[ ] You get average grades in school.
[x] You've been called boring before.
[ ] You don't like to brag about your achievements.
[x] You value honesty.
[x] You don't mind working hard to get what you want.
[ ] You like the color yellow.
[x] You have a job.
[ ] You are athletic.
[x] You are a team player.
[ ] You are in the middle of the social totem pole.
[ ] You are easily amused.
[x] You like helping others.
[ ] Your favorite class is Herbology or Divination.
[ ] You like the music played on the radio best.
TOTAL: 7

Ravenclaw:

[x] You get good grades in school.
[x] You like to read.
[x] Dumb people annoy you.
[x] You are creative.
[x] You've been called a know-it-all before.
[x] You hate cheating.
[x] People often want you to help them with homework or projects.
[ ] You are more into the creative arts: theatre, dancing, drawing, etc.
[ ] You are extremely logical in your way of thinking.
[ ] You are considered shy or quiet by people you don't know.
[ ] You like the color blue.
[ ] Your favorite class is A History of Magic, Charms, or Care of Magical Creatures.
[ ] You tend to over analyze things.
[x] You can focus and pay attention well.
TOTAL: 8

Slytherin:

[x] You are very competitive.
[x] You like the finer things in life.
[ ] You think welfare is a waste.
[x] You've made fun of someone in the past week.
[x] You've been called a snob before.
[ ] You think the end justifies the means.
[x] You're not afraid to say something to someone else's face.
[ ] You tend to think people are a bit jealous of you.
[x] You've made someone cry by just saying something to them.
[ ] You tend to root for the villains in movies, books, etc.
[x] You are very good with words.
[ ] Above all, you want to be successful in life.
[x] You like the color green.
[ ] You love to win.
[x] Your favorite class is Potions or DADA.
TOTAL: 9
  • Listening to: various household sounds
  • Reading: too much to name
  • Watching: letters on the screen
  • Playing: hardball
  • Eating: nada
  • Drinking: wateer