Paved with Good Intentions

Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered for how he lived out his intention to create a better world where racism and poverty would be things of the past. In his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, King addressed white clergy who had condemned his participation in protests as “unwise and untimely, saying, “… 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.” He proceeds to make an elegant critique of the white liberal’s call to “wait” as being as harmful as the blatantly racist, violent actions of the Ku Klux Klan. How are white liberals doing now as allies in the unfinished work of antiracism? What has changed since 1963, and what persists? How can we – as individuals, and as a congregation – ensure that our actions align with our intention to create a more just and equitable society?

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