Some seem to think we’ve reached a point in time where the right to vote has replaced the need to disrupt the system—although the right to vote itself has yet to be secured. Rights are signed into law by the legislature, but history shows that the legislative pen moves in accordance with the pressure of organized protest and disruption in the streets. This moment requires bold action and disruption of business as usual for the same reasons it was required in Birmingham in 1963. We easily become blind to what we see every day. The continued oppression and brutalization of Black life is so normalized that we’re taught to wait and be patient, as though liberation is an inevitable by-product of the passage of time. It’s not and it never has been.
The political establishment cannot praise King with one breath while condemning modern civil disobedience in the next breath. If we are wrong now, King was wrong then. If King was right then, we are right now. History will remember the Ferguson uprising as a moment of awakening. This small suburb—which many of us might not have ever heard of were it not for the events of August 2014 and the existence of social media—is a microcosm of America. We looked at Ferguson and saw that Ferguson is everywhere. There can be no more waiting for the passage of time to do what only we can do by taking a stand via direct action. When oppression is the status quo, disruption is a moral duty.