Great America

The Glory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The moral arc of the universe is longer—much longer—than a tenth of a mile, or the distance between the rear of a boarding house and the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, where history marks the collision between the physics of this world and the metaphysics of the world to come.

The collision between metal and bone, between the steel of a bullet and the spine of a man. The collision between the evil of a coward and the courage of a messenger of God. The collision between the force of hatred and the soul force of love.

The collision cannot stop the glory of the coming of the Lord, because the glory is greater than the sound of any trumpet or the beat of the loudest drum. 

The glory is in the marching of a drum major for truth, whose final sermon remains the last word about the will to continue and the dream to join hands and let freedom ring. 

If other sounds muffle the sound of freedom, if the noise of the mob suppresses the sound of mercy, if the muzzle velocity of a rifle shot silences the sound of the velocity of a people moving forward, if the sounds last a lifetime or outlast the lifetimes of those now living, let us remember that no lie can live forever.

Let us remember the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us also remember how King’s enemies want the world to remember him.

Eager to know all his vices and unwilling to acknowledge his virtues, the enemies of justice do not seem to understand that ignorance is a sin.

Their ignorance is an act of spiritual blindness.

Their ignorance is an attempt to blot out the promise of a visionary—that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.

We shall overcome someday.