written by Rev. Ashley-Anne Masters
In a conversation with Southern white pastors, one said, “I want peace and don’t understand why people can’t keep everything calm like MLK, Jr. suggested.” I responded, “He wrote about the problem of “white moderates,” those who “prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension, to a positive peace which is the presence of justice” from jail. And he was peacefully standing with colleagues on the balcony of his hotel room when he was assassinated.”
When I learned about Rev. MLK, Jr. as a kid in SC, my first thought was, “I hope my dad never gets killed for preaching.” Later in childhood, I learned skin color is what made my Southern preacher’s kid life very different from the King preacher’s kids, and I’d never have to worry about my dad’s safety anytime anywhere for anything.
It wasn’t until seminary in 2004 when I read Letter from Birmingham Jail again that I realized the calling out of white moderates and pastors was to me. It’s a call to action because white supremacy is anything but peaceful.