• Dr. Kim Stephens

Inclusive Thoughts on MLK Day

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In late January 2016, I was driving to Atlanta, Georgia to start my second semester residency in the doctoral program at Georgia State University. I remember listening to a recently rediscovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in London in December 1964. Dr. King spoke about the struggle for African-Americans in the United States and the injustices in South Africa. One passage especially stood out to me:

“There are those individuals who argue that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice in the United States, in South Africa or anywhere else; you’ve got to wait on time. And I know they’ve said to us so often in the States and to our allies in the white community, ‘Just be nice and be patient and continue to pray, and in 100 or 200 years the problem will work itself out.’ We have heard and we have lived with the myth of time. The only answer that I can give to that myth is that time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively. And I must honestly say to you that I’m convinced that the forces of ill will have often used time much more effectively than the forces of goodwill. And we may have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around saying, ‘Wait on time.’”

I think I could just stop my post here and leave those words for you to interpret and take to your heart. But, I feel time is demanding I do more. I want to stand up for those that have been told to wait until their time and say, “No more.” I want to grab my brothers and sisters by the hand and say, “I will march with you.” I want to shout at the top of my lungs that we will not return to a time of oppression, suppression and looking the other way. This is the time for all people to come together to right the wrongs of the world. I hope we each choose to use our time on this earth to be more inclusive and more loving.

You can listen or read Dr. King’s entire speech at


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