There is currently a palpable underlying urgency that has arisen in the hearts of many of America’s citizens. Though current in present intensity this urgency is not knew. This urgency is as old as the human race, for where any form of bondage, oppression or injustice is found there you’ll find this great sense of “hurry”. Deep within our hearts is a contradictory cocktail of confusion, bitterness and even hope. Many of us are confused because we find the discrimination and maltreatment as Blacks unwarranted. Many more are bitter because all we see is an unending cycle of unnecessary hate and there are a few who still have the courage to hope, believing that love will indefinitely one day triumph over hate. This is the basis of the author, Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s assertion in this Letter from Birmingham Jail. Is it naive to believe the latter instead of automatically clinging to the more plausible and realistic former? This is the great question that one is forced to subconsciously consider. Many want to be hopeful and see the glass of equality half full instead of half empty, but how can one see life through these optimistic lenses without drinking somewhat from this cup of bitterness? As the reader, I walk the thin line of hopeful optimism for freedom and equality and bitter resentment for the identified ‘oppressor’.
As a millennial, there is great opportunity to change the direction of this nation for either good or bad the opportunity has presented itself but approach, which Dr. King emphasizes in this letter, is everything. Don’t allow the frustration that has been stirred due to the events in Charlottesville and other locations to cause you to make revengeful decisions. Instead, allow love to govern every single choice you make. It’s okay to be an extremist! But what extreme you decide to display characterizes the thin line between love and hate. Dr. King said it this way: “Will we be extremists for hate, or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice” (King)?