The Fierce Urgency of Now
ATLANTA – Dr. Bernice A. King on “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” from her Call to Commemoration, 52nd MLK, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service.
January 20, 2020
In his book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, my father stated, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.”
Therefore, we must act now, before it is too late, because we are teetering on the edge of losing our collective soul and our opportunity to build the Beloved Community. Now is a constant that means always and never cannot be. This is why my mother, Coretta Scott King, said that “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”
It will never NOT be the NOW to engage in the freedom struggle and to create a more just, humane and peaceful world. Even when we get to the future, it will be NOW, for indeed, tomorrow IS TODAY.
We cannot afford to operate as if we have the luxury of time. At some point, the window of opportunity will close. And our tendency to act only in times deemed as great crises will have failed us. We must be vigilant, no matter who is in the city halls, in the legislative halls, on the bench in the Courthouse, occupying your State House or in the Oval Office of the White House. The stakes are high and there is a lot on the line with our November presidential election. We must vote. Voting is a part of systemic change. But regardless of who wins or loses, what’s important is that humanity wins. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, independent or no party, we must fight with a fierce determination to discover find a win-win pathway to build the Beloved Community. Or it will be too late and we will all lose. That is why a day on is not enough.
Everyday, we must move in the “fierce urgency of now.” Because, everyday darkness looms. Everyday, darkness threatens to destroy the fiber of humanity and to strip us of the dignity of our personhood. Everyday, we have the chance to drive out darkness with light and hate with love.
As we embrace the fierce urgency of now, love requires that, in the words of my father, “we must FOREVER conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” Dignity and discipline must be constant, consistent and unrelenting. Protest, we MUST. But we must protest with dignity and discipline. This keeps us rooted in love, focused on the ultimate goal, and committed to noncooperation with evil.
History has its eyes on us.
With the fierce urgency of now, we must commit to a LIFE ON, so that we will not continue to sacrifice future generations on the altar of our self-indulgence, greed, indecisiveness, indifference and what my father called our “sincere ignorance” and “conscientious stupidity.”
With the fierce urgency of now, we must elect leaders who, in their words and deeds, value every person and govern with respect for the offices that they hold and with a bent toward justice and equity.
With the fierce urgency of now, we must elevate MLK Day beyond “a day on.” MLK Day should be a day that reminds us that we cannot wait.
If we miscarry this moment, we may indeed be too late.
So, I Let’s walk together and work together. And not get weary.
Let’s strategize, harmonize, and synergize together. And not get weary.
Let’s vocalize, organize and galvanize together. And not get weary.
Let’s revitalize, mobilize, and revolutionize together. And not get weary.
Copyright © 2020 Bernice A, King…All rights reserved