January 17, 2022 | by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Image credit: Boston VCB
On this day I invite us to continue remembering one of the great prophets of God, Martin Luther King, Jr. His wisdom and his witness to this day teach us so much about the values of inclusion and belonging, and indeed about God’s hope that someday we will love one another as equally children of God.
In an address that MLK gave at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA on April 10, 1960, he spoke of four symbolic mountains that we must overcome so that in his words, “we can go forward in our world and civilization can survive.” One of those symbolic mountains is racial segregation. We may think that we are living in a post-racial segregation era, but there are too many signs that we are not there yet.
MLK’s words are like a mirror that reflect our true image today, a measurement of how far we have yet to go. Hear his words:
There is another mountain we have been in long enough. We have been in the mountain of racial segregation long enough. We all know how long we have been in this mountain, so I need not go back and give the historical development of it. It is now time for us to turn and take our journey toward the promised land of integration. In a real sense, segregation in any form is wrong. Segregation is wrong because it substitutes an I-it relationship for the I-thou relationship. Segregation is wrong because it relegates individuals to the status of things rather than taking the high moral position of elevating them to the status of persons. Segregation is wrong because it assumes that God made a mistake—and finally, it is wrong because it stands in the face of the great American creed “that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.” And so we must go out and say to our nation and say to South Africa and say to the world, that we have been in the mountain of segregation too long and now we must move out.
Let’s remember MLK on this day. More importantly let’s commit to living beyond the mountain of racial segregation, moving forward to the place of true inclusion and belonging with and to one another with the love of God, Creator of us all.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Click here to read King's entire 1960 Founder's Day address at Spelman College "Keep Moving from This Mountain".
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is Resident Bishop of the San Francisco area and the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church.