Monday, January 18, 2010

Reason #967 why I love my husband

Because, despite what might be expected from a small town, country boy who grew up in the deep south knowing only a handful of people who didn't look just like him, he loves people.

And not just people who look like him. In fact, few things make him sicker than that mentality.

He truly values what makes us different. He fights against the culture of the south to value that.

His relationships with family and friends alike reflect that value in his life. He just loves people.

And he believes with all his heart that God created all people well....that they all reflect their Maker in some way, and therefore should be treated with same dignity, love and respect we want to receive from each other.

(This, among other reasons, have led him over the past several months to consider and discuss a possible future here. I'll keep you posted.)

And because this is who he is and what he deeply values, he reads this letter to his students every year about this time. He reads it because they need to hear it.

Sure, he teaches math. And no, this doesn't really have anything to do with math, but he knows that what is written in this letter is important enough.

And necessary enough.

It's his heart.

There hasn't been a time yet that he hasn't had to stop reading at some point to regain his composure.

And for good reason.

If you've never read it before (and even if you have), I hope you take a few seconds to do just that.

Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt
the stinging darts of segregation
to say,


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 policeman curse, kick,
and even kill your black brothers and sisters;

when you see the vast majority of your 20 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 cannot go to the public amusement park
that has just been advertised on television,

and see tears welling up in her eyes when she’s 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-country 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

your middle name becomes
“boy” (however old you are)

and your last name becomes

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 an outer resentments;

when you are for ever 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.

(M. L. King, Letter from Birmingham Jail)

You can read the full letter here.


Amy A. said...

I'm stealing this for my blog. Hope you don't care :). I've never read this and that is a complete shame considering how many classes I've taken in my life.

Mama Llama said...

love you blog~ don't know why I just now found it! HA And i love that you love your husband for all those reasons.