On February 1st, 1960, 4 freshman at North Carolina A&T University courageously sat down at the “whites-only” counter, they knew they wouldn’t be served at. Despite the looks and sneers from those customers in the booths and the repeated demands to leave, the students stayed until closing time.
The next morning 20 students showed up and did the same, the following day — 60, and the 4th day — 300. Within a week, student sit-ins at segregated lunch counters had spread from Greensboro, North Carolina to across the South.
In one remarkable day, four college freshman sat at a lunch counter and sparked a revolution.
The time is now for our lunch counter moment.
It’s time to begin treating this cause, the greatest human rights battle our world has ever known, as if our own lives, our children’s lives, as if our nation depends on it – because they do.
It was almost 100 years after the Civil War that black Americans finally received their full legal rights that are God-given. And today, 41 years now after Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the preborn baby girl faces the same atrocity – a complete disregard of her personhood rights, this time not based on the color of her skin but her location, size, level of development, and degree of dependency.
And if I’m being honest, our nation, our families, cannot survive another 59 years of legal abortion. Too much blood has been shed and too many women and families ripped apart. Our country is literally filled with those who are hurting.
Now is the time to change our thinking from reducing to eliminating, from fighting to winning, from movement to revolution.
To get started, we need to first see, in our mind’s eye, what our nation will look like without legal abortion…and believe it is possible. So many of us don’t actually believe that what we are fighting for will ever end. Imagine a football coach, moments before his team takes the field, telling them that they won’t actually win. Do you think the team would be victorious?
Yet, that is what so many do every day in our cause for justice. Friends, with that mentality, victory will never be achieved as abolishing abortion begins with envisioning its end and forcing our nation to make sure we have all of the resources and support a woman facing a crisis needs to choose life. We know, no woman ever chooses abortion, it’s what she feels forced to do, to go running into the very hands that prey upon her.
Next, we have to transform our thinking from telling to recruiting. We’ve already told our friends and family about the gruesome reality of abortion already. They know what we’re going to say when we walk in the door. Now, it’s time to recruit them. To ask them to join the revolution with us, to not sit in the booths watching, but to become abortion abolitionists and take a eat at the counter next to us.
For it is those who sit in the booths, not the agents of the Planned Parenthood lobby, who are the most dangerous to justice we seek. It was to those Christian and Jewish clergymen who Dr. King wrote to and lamented that many of those of faith were “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice, who prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice…”
And finally, after we have envisioned our mission and recruited our peers into our ranks, we have to go out and win this revolution in every campus and every community. To fight for and create the resources and support she will need when our land is abortion-free and to shut down the very industry that preys upon her.
We’ve been in this fight for 4 decades now, and make no mistake about it, revolutions are long and often take more than one generation to win but this is a cause worth winning for.
We must abolish abortion now in our lifetime, so that every child is welcomed in life and protected in law, so that every woman is protected and loved, so that every family is made whole.
Today, will you commit to a life-long, winnable revolution, not just a one-time action. Will you join me and the more than 600,000 Americans who Marched for Life yesterday at the lunch counter?