Birmingham had a notorious dark past, being labeled as the most segregated city of the country at the height of the Civil Rights Movements. The depicted person sitting on the bed in that exhibit was none other than assassinated leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. King had come to this town to preach his nonviolence resistance against segregation, but was arrested for purportedly disorderly conduct and put into prison. But the real betrayal came from his fellow white preachers of the town. They remained silent about the evilness of human indignity of the segregation, while failing to condemn the violent crackdown of the protesters by the local authorities. At the same time, the preachers accused Rev. King as “an outsider stirring up trouble” inside their city. Sitting in his prison-cell, Rev. King would pen a long letter, addressing to his fellow bishops. He would forcefully refute their “outsider” label for him, while proclaiming “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. The walls of that exhibit room were covered with more illuminating lines from that letter.
John finished visiting remainder of the exhibits. But he could not shake up the image of that particular room along with that universal truth about injustice. Current internal political climate again brought humiliations and injustices to a multitude of minority groups: religious, immigrants, women, and holders of same-sex relationship, to name a few. In a display of “anticipated obedience,” the educated members of the major political party in power decided to turn their blind eyes on the despicable behavior of their supreme leader. Overseas, the country’s reputation as a “Champion of freedom, justice and equality” had been irreparably tarnished.
John came out of the building. He then began to cross the road to go to the other side to visit the iconic Baptist Church, the site of a horrific Sunday bombing by a white supremacist group during the same era. The terror had taken the lives of four young African-American children while injuring scores.
Exiting the church, John checked the day’s news on his e-device learning the brutal murder of an African-American citizen by a white policeman in a liberal city. Following partial section from Dr. King’s same letter suddenly began flashing inside his brain: “When you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity ………. then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”