Monday, 17 January 2011

Tribute to Martin Luther King -- Can The USA Still Apply His Teachings?

By Kathleen

Palingates reader Linda1961 left a comment yesterday which included the following quotes from Martin Luther King which seem even more relevant now than ever. America is at a crossroads. The tick tick ticking of the clock grows louder and it seems as if some people literally want to break the backs of others for their own purposes. How do reasonable people deal with the ugly voices? How can they be stood up against without losing our own moral compass? Without becoming the very same? It is easy to push back with the same tactics but the reality is that the situation will grow more intense as the voices on both sides grow louder in response to each other and bitterness sets in. Martin Luther King had his own ideas about how to solve the issues which beset society. He realised that society at the time was heading towards a dark future and that such a future could be deflected by a society in which altruistic values are more considered than selfish ones:

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative
altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

and that

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate
cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Wise words that need to be reflected on. King believed that we can change a bad situation around by reflecting light on it, by expressing love for people even if they are against us. I know that this is not an easy thing to do. We are conditioned to defend ourselves and in doing so we forget the fact that our defensive actions can hurt, confuse and create vast distances between ourselves and other people, even if they are not intentional. Often we think that we can resolve an issue by explaining ourselves when we should in fact be paying some attention to the other point of view. We need to set aside our hurt and find common ground if we truly wish to move forward. Both parties in any dispute need to take that approach if they sincerely wish reconciliation.

This does not mean that we have to accept "evil" deeds which are performed for their own sake.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who
helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against
it is really cooperating with it."

"Evil" should be exposed to the light of day. Note that King mentions evil here -- I believe that he is referring to the lynching and bombing incidents which were used to terrorise black people on a regular basis during the 50's and 60's. He wanted to make it clear that wrongdoers have to be held accountable by society and good people should speak out against the "evil" that the wrongdoers have performed. Good people need to stand up and be counted. Their voices need to be heard above the sounds of people who only offer hate as a solution.

Can we apply the calls from some to take up arms against liberals and the government as "evil"? The people who make such demands believe that they have a right to do so. They regard it as a right like equality and don't understand that many feel threatened that such calls could result in the same kind of violence that ruined countries such as Northern Ireland for thirty years. Once the violence starts it is not easy to resolve. Northern Ireland still faces issues despite the peace process of the 90's.

If both sides really want to avoid such a situation then they will both get together and the political debate will ensue. It is probably not enough to say that people should be talking in a more respectful way. More than likely a proper forum needs to be held during which both sides listen to each other without pointing the finger and high rhetoric.

I'm not sure if such an event will happen but in honour of Martin Luther King and his beliefs I wish it could.


Malia Litman, the blogger at, contacted me today to tell me about an upcoming book signing of her recent humorous rebuttal of Sarah Palin that will take place in Anchorage next Saturday. Malia is an excellent writer and we are happy to help her in whatsoever small way we can in order to get the word out.

Making a Difference in Anchorage

Alaskans are the people who seem to know Sarah Palin best, and object to her most. Democrats, Independents, and Republicans are each susceptible to PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome). Hope is coming to Alaska. Malia Litman, blogger at and author of The Ignorance Virtues of Sarah Palin: A Humorous Refudiation of the Half-Term Ex-Governor will be at Borders at 1100 E. Dimond Blvd, Anchorage on Sat. Jan. 22nd at 2:00. Malia will give a presentation and sign books, guaranteed to provide much needed relief for PDS. If you are one of the unfortunate Americans afflicted with this disability condition, come to Borders on Saturday. Together we can find comfort and therapeutic relief for our ailment. Please join Malia.

Malia Litman

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