Bernie Sanders, #BlackLivesMatter, and Dr. King

I'd been looking at how to express my support for the #BlackLivesMatter protests, specifically those that were directed at the Bernie Sander's campaign. My first attempt at a post tried to illuminate the lie that white liberalism is a positive force for change when it comes to the lives of people of color (POCs). Then the responses of indignant Sanders supporters rolled across the internet and I thought, "well I guess they've already proved the point." This sort of dynamic kept happening and I found myself at a loss concerning my own thoughts and how to express them.

By the way, for those who are wondering what this has to do with Stoicism, not much and everything is my answer. "Not much," in that Immoderate Stoic is not just my Big-S STOICISM blog, but also my personal one so I feel free to share thoughts that concern the whole of who I am. "Everything," in that justice, in all forms, is a pillar of Stoic ethics and I use Stoicism to fuel my personal actions concerning social justice. I happen to be concerned about the systematic injustices inherent in my own country's policies, culture, etc...

Today I was reintroduced to a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."  I so happens that Dr. King's words apply specifically to the thoughts and concerns I want to express. Therefore I will leave his message here as a reminder of the importance of disruption, the injustice inherent in calls for 'respectable actions," and the ignorance and shameless cowardice that bolsters calls for orderliness over justice.

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.
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.