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"We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension.
  We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive."
               -- Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
The cornerstone of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's vision was a call to direct action.  It called for people who had lived with the status quo for too long to engage in nonviolent resistance in order to change the world around them.  King's civil rights vision, though cut short by an assassin's bullet, was largely responsible for the sweeping changes that made it possible for Barack Obama to win the presidency in 2008.
As Obama was sworn in on Sunday, five people were recovering from gunshot wounds sustained at Gun Appreciation Day events timed to coincide with the inauguration.  (A banner on the event's website reads "...send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama").  

Gun Appreciation Day was pitched as a way of resisting the sinister plot to take Americans' guns away.  The event was originally sponsored in part by a group called American Third Position, which claims to represent the "unique political interests of white Americans."  

The white power group was removed from the sponsorship page on Friday.  Its mission statement reads in part as follows:

Parts of our beautiful country now resemble Third World communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. White people are already a minority in many cities and counties, along with several states, both large and small. Without constructive political action, within a few decades we will become a minority across the entire country. Enough is enough!
As demographics and power slowly shift away from rich white male Christians, there are large groups of unbalanced people who are determined to go down fighting.  And they are very well armed.

How King's vision lives on in social media activism after the jump.

On Friday, right wing radio darling Rush Limbaugh dismissed the nonviolent legacy of Dr. King by claiming that if African Americans had been well armed they wouldn't have needed a civil rights movement:

"If a lot of African-Americans back in the '60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma?"

The insensitive statement came at the end of an unusually appalling week on the show which saw Limbaugh call for abortions to be performed with guns and mock young victims of gun violence.  

While Limbaugh continues to inflame the fringe of the Republican party with calls to violence and racial divisiveness, a group called the StopRush movement uses direct action to try to whittle away at his financial base.  This group monitors the radio show, collects advertiser data, then contacts sponsors to try to persuade them that it is unethical to support hate speech.  Often it just takes one or two Limbaugh quotes to convince them that they want nothing to do with him.  

The most active community in StopRush is a Facebook group called "Join the Fight to Flush Rush Limbaugh." Working every day since March 6, 2012, StopRush has gotten more than 2,500 advertisers to withdraw their support from the show.  This group continues to encounter opposition nearly every day from people who respond with messages like "go crawl back into your liberal sewer," but they keep their eyes on the prize, believing that Limbaugh will eventually be gone from public airwaves.

If you are tired of sitting idly by while Limbaugh makes millions spreading hate, you can lend your voice to the StopRush movement in the following places:

Join:  The Flush Rush Facebook community
Visit:  The StopRush sponsor database
Tweet:  #stoprush Twitter campaign
Sign:  Change.org petition against supporters of Rush Limbaugh

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