Tuesday, June 23, 2015

King, Jr., Martin Luther
         The Reverend Doctor King galvanized masses into attitudes and actions intended to correct racism and racial inequality. He delivered this message with force and conviction: ‘I never intend to adjust myself to the evils of segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry.’

         His perception of human behavior was exceptional: attributing racism to indifference and unenlightened cultural attitudes, he stated, ‘Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.’ On social activism, he reflected, ‘The strong man holds in a living blend strongly marked opposites. The idealists are usually not realistic, and the realists are not usually idealistic. The militant are not generally known to be passive, nor the passive to be militant. Seldom are the humble self-assertive, or the self-assertive humble. But life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony. The philosopher Hegel said that truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in the emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.’
         He often spoke out strongly against the war in Vietnam: ‘The nation spending more money on military defense than social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. The chain reaction of evil — wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.’ In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he stated, ‘Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The fou­ndation of such a method is love.’
         His compassion and humanitarianism are also evident in, ‘Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's most persistent question is: What are you doing for others?’ With courage, passion, and hope, Dr. King taught the world about nonviolence, racial justice, and what democracy could be. ‘I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: that all are created equal.’