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Always fight with love: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Always fight with love: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Love is the only way”

First and foremost, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

In 1983, President Reagan signed Martin Luther King, Jr. day into law. Even so, it wasn’t until 2000 that all states observed the day as intended. 2000. That’s… incredible.

So called ‘controversial figures’ are always difficult to discuss. Regardless of what I write, someone, many even, will inevitably comment about King’s shortcomings, his failures, maybe even his alleged infidelities. Yet none of those things detract from what Dr. King accomplished on the civil rights front nor the legacy of hope he left behind.

God how I wish he were here today. I’ve often wondered if we would’ve been spared the pestilence of the Sharpton’s and Jackson’s of this world had Dr. King survived.

So abundant are King’s words of wisdom; the truths he left with us, that it’s always hard to pick one. So this Martin Luther, King, Jr. Day, I pick love.

Dr. King helped organized and plan the Montgomery bus boycott. Rather than lambast the opposition, King had this to say:

“Let us fight passionately and unrelentingly to the goals of justice. Let’s be sure that our hands are clean Let us never fight with falsehood and violence and hate and malice, but always fight with love so that when the day comes and the walls of segregation are completely crumbled in Montgomery, we will be able to live with people as brothers.”

In Montgomery, Alabama, on 17 November 1957, Dr. King delivered his “Loving Your Enemies” sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

“Love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming, power in the universe,” he said:

In whatever manner you live, or fight, or deal with others, may you always operate in love. The world will be a little bit better place because of it.

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Henry Hawkins | January 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Well, bless your heart.

David R. Graham | January 19, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Kemberlee, were you alive when MLK was operating? I was, during my teens and twenties. He never inspired me. He did not inspire the chaps who became the Sharptons and Jacksons. Or, he inspired them in the reverse, to be very bad indeed. The news of the day among those chaps was Malcolm X, Karenga and Huey Newton, and less so of the first. MLK’s family is in tatters.

Those are the consequences of MLK’s career, so the evidence on which an evaluation is made. His words meant and mean nothing. Deeds and actual historical effects, those are the things that tell a man’s true nature.

That said, MLK got his wish. Americans did assess American Blacks by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin and found the great majority of American Blacks to be repulsive, dangerous and despicable … and beyond redemption. Proven correct by the esteem in which the great majority of American Blacks hold the Sharptons and worse, far, far worse, namely, the Clintons, Feinsteins, Schumers, B&M Gates, Soroses, Obamas, and on and on and on, a nearly endless list of people far more repulsive, dangerous, despicable and beyond redemption than even the great majority of American Blacks.

Reagan caved on this as on several other developments, especially banking.

    I lived during MLK’s time. I mourned his passing.

    I also read his biographies, including “The Sound of the Trumpet”, which detailed some of his sins and shortcomings…BUT, no one is beyond redenmption.

    And remember, Christ also said that “you will be judged as you have judged others.”

      redemption (I need a full time editor)

      David R. Graham in reply to jennifer a johnson. | January 19, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      “BUT, no one is beyond redemption.”

      A theologian would not make that statement. It is cherry-picking.

        MLK was murdered for living out his teaching of peaceful non-violent civil disobedience against the injustices of bigoted people. Attack those bigots, not MLK, Mr. Graham.

        MLK’s words, spoken in the video above, come from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Do you embrace that sermon, theologian Graham? Or, are you a bigot, too?

        As a theologian I would point out to you a well known verse of Scripture, a verse with a plain-as-day meaning, a verse which includes the likes of you and me:

        “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 . Ergo, redemption is possible for all men.

        You can choose redemption David Graham or you can choose to let your hatred mature into murder like MLK’s assassin.

        “Let the trumpet sound: the life of Martin Luther King, Jr” by Stephen B. Oates is the biography I am referring to above.

          David R. Graham in reply to jennifer a johnson. | January 20, 2015 at 3:01 am

          “You can choose redemption David Graham or you can choose to let your hatred mature into murder like MLK’s assassin.”

          Leaving aside your textual (!) eisegesis of the Prophet Isaiah, this language above is risible. You know what my choices are? You think I HAVE soteriological choices?

          I think you know how to throw this sentence and that from the Bible into a person’s teeth. I also think you have no grasp of what those sentences mean, what those teeth are for or what your role in the world is in light or those sentences and those teeth or the person who wears them. In other words, I think you lack existential authority when speaking as, as you say, a theologian. Your language and sensibilities are cliched and mundane. A theologian looks only at existential phenomenology and sees Biblical texts as expressing those, not as clubs or fists but as clarities and freedoms.

          Saying that I am not fault-finding. Simply observing. Do carry on, I am in no position to live your life for you or know better than you do what is good or needful for you.

          This one word of advice, perhaps: always suspect your assumptions, always drill down to reach assumptions you have not tried to destroy and try to destroy them, and never, ever reach a conclusion regarding anything. Uncertainty is God. The one who is at rest is the one who is redeemed.

          You’re demented comments above and your risible reply below “A theologian looks only at existential phenomenology and sees Biblical texts as expressing those, not as clubs or fists but as clarities and freedoms.” reveals a baseline of demonic confusion and certainly a lack of any exegesis. (I studied at Moody Bible Institute, not at the Liberal School of My Feelings are Hurt) “Existential phenomenology?” Now there are a couple of loaded words with absolutely no meaning. Give me a break!
          And please stay away from the hooch.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to jennifer a johnson. | January 20, 2015 at 3:40 am

      I’ve never faulted MLK for the shortcomings in his personal life. And I clearly see the glory in what he claims he stood for. What I have always questioned about him is his sincerity. I can’t help but believe he deliberately set the stage for the race hustlers who have followed by largely ignoring him except when his words of yesteryear suit their mercenary and political objectives. His dictum certainly never became doctrine. Why not? Was that really his intention? Or was it cover for the developments during the immediately following years needed to organize and advance the then inchoate militance, anarchy and eventual entitlements (handouts), shakedowns and demands for reparations destroying the country today. Hoover nay have had it right all along.

      The timing of the whole “love” and “brotherhood” he espoused may have been nothing more than grandstanding to hook enough naïve whites to serve as an imprimatur of what may have been nothing more than a political scheme. The militant groups were already forming during MLK’s leadership, providing his words of leadership with a perfect foil.

      Trillions have been wasted in the wake of believing his words rather than really seeing what is in front of our own eyes. We now have the political correctness of black supremacy to contend with and bodies of law making it virtually impossible to harness the genie back into the bottle.

      So I don’t think I’m board with the whole MLK love thang.

        David R. Graham in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | January 20, 2015 at 10:58 pm

        Astute, concur, thank you. IMO, in those days, Malcolm X had it best, though not all: don’t try to sit at a counter where someone does not want you, make you own counter and sit/serve there and welcome your friends.

        Malcolm had honor. He was honest, warts and all, from his own mouth/pen. A man or woman can be no better than that. Martin did not and was not. That, IMO, is why his effects are virtually opposite of his words. Myths grow over time when tendentious personalities promote them, always for their own name and fame. And memory of actualities declines proportionally.

        The grandson of MLK stood next to the VP of the USA at what was alleged to be a service of worship at a church where MLK had officiated and declared, “The White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant is the enemy of black people.”

    Ragspierre in reply to David R. Graham. | January 19, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I was in my late teens when MLK was assassinated, and I wept at the news, knowing what it would mean to the nation.

    While he was a human…and flawed…he was a great man who lived MOST of what he espoused. (See Jefferson, Thomas.)

    And you are full of shit. It must flow from your ears.

      David R. Graham in reply to Ragspierre. | January 20, 2015 at 2:37 am

      “And you are full of shit. It must flow from your ears.”

      Concur, the body is a bag of urine and feces. At my most recent physical it was not reported by my Nurse Practitioner, however, that excrement was extruding from my ears. Nor have my friends or family reported this phenomenon to me or to one another, so far as I am aware. The sheets on my bed do not, at the moment anyhow, exhibit evidence of the phenomenon you mention. However, per your counsel, counselor, I will ask all in my orbit of physically-proximate associates to notify me immediately upon any detection by them of that phenomenon. As you know, such should not occur nor continue for any smallest fraction of duration. And I shall ask my Nurse Practitioner, when next we meet, to discover whether my alimentary canal has changed course and found occasion to run upstream, against its nature, to create the exits you indicate. Nature is creative, after all, and one never wants to be too sure of one’s assumptions regarding it or of one’s self and personal operations at its behest or under its influence. Thanks for the heads up.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to David R. Graham. | January 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

        Winner: Longest Chickenshit Non-Reply of The Day

        I believe clarity is the heart of communication and will simply state that you are an ignorant racist further burdened by chronic prolixity.

    You are so ignorant of this man and what he accomplished.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to David R. Graham. | January 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Pretty horrible comment from David R. Graham. Glad others are calling him out, too.

      David R. Graham in reply to William A. Jacobson. | January 19, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Concur, it is a horrible thing to say. Were it not true, or were I in any doubt as to its verisimilitude, I would not say it. It gives me no pleasure. Still, as I said, and significantly intended, the Clintons, Gates, etc. of this world do far more harm, and far, far deeper, than Martin ever did or American Blacks do. They and their cabal are the horror, not that I point out that they are.

      Related: the Muslim Brotherhood is forming a US political party, apparently outside the DNC and RNC. There is a horror. Treason to be treated as legitimate political action.

casualobserver | January 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Each year on this day to honor him, the chasm between his leadership for civil rights and modern leaders becomes larger. As said above, the current torch-bearers are simply race baiters and cannot hold a candle to him in their style and effectiveness.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to casualobserver. | January 20, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Or so we think, or believe, or want to believe.

    I remain skeptical.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to casualobserver. | January 20, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Was MLK really so different from whom we see in today’s black “leaders”?

    MLK used coercive tactics, stirred anarchy and rioting while simultaneously vaguely and occasionally condemning it publicly. He collaborated with Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Elijah Muhammad and others who believed that whites should be pushed out of businesses and jobs and replaced with blacks. King decided he should be the arbiter of which laws were unjust and none of his remedies for an unjust law were too extreme. Like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, among many lesser-known community organizers, and later Barack Obama, King went into poor areas to stir people to ‘civil disobedience’, even though the track record of such demonstrations always, by plan, turned to violence and destruction. King is on record stating that poor blacks should not have to obey any law they deem unjust and should act on that belief. That supra legal position continues today and we see what it has wrought. He said that there was a “higher law” that should be answered, which was something he decided in his demands that was just a reflection of his goal of black supremacy.

    The claim that King only sought equality is also not accurate. From the jump, right after the Rosa Parks incident that King orchestrated, he demanded that all bus drivers driving black neighborhood routes be black, so the idea of preferential treatment goes back directly to King. He continued those demands in other incidents he either generated or noticed as his years as a professional ‘civil rights’ leader advanced. What those marches really boiled down to were shakedowns for concessions – the threat of riot if they didn’t get such and such concession, over and over again. This really became apparent in the Chicago riots where King collaborated with some gangs to rabble-rouse and showed films of the Watts riots as a training tool. King acknowledged in a newspaper interview that the end game of his efforts was black power. “Equality”? Um, not so much.

    It was MLK who began the tactic of disabling the functioning of a city through riots rather than outright destruction of it because the psychological impact on whites would be far more long-lasting and much more expensive, slowly bleeding white taxpayers dry, just as we’ve seen in many cities. This is what started the “minority entitlement” mentality that has permeated every aspect of American life now. The follow-up tactic is to then blame whites for “white flight” because they’re “racists”. MLK was often asked by wiser, more moderate black leaders and voices of the day to leave their city because they saw his destruction of their own more reasonable and truly peaceful progress in race relations and advancements for blacks. They could not proceed in the atmosphere King created. I believe they’re called “Uncle Toms” nowadays.

    The chaos, anarchy and precedent for race-based shakedowns that MLK left in his path are legion and all these people today saying that “Oh, all this rioting and violence going on now are not what MLK would have wanted” are dead wrong. What is happening now is exactly what he did himself and he fomented exactly what he wanted to see happen.

    The idea of what MLK supposedly stood for is beautiful, but it is not the reality of the man. It is a manufactured sentimentality not unlike a lofty thought expressed on a Hallmark greeting card. Those who have bought into it are well-meaning, hopeful, optimistic people of good heart, but the have had the wool pulled over their eyes. They remember what the saw on the TV productions of propaganda for the masses, or what was drummed into them in America’s indoctrination camps known as public schools. In any case, those who believe this was a great man we celebrate for the his achievements in peaceful racial equality have had the wool pulled over their eyes. MLK was the FIRST Jesse Jackson, the FIRST Al Sharpton, and the First Eric Holder. he isn’t worthy of anyone’s tears.

    So I’m not feeling the ‘love’.

Not many people accomplished as much as MLK did in a short 38 year life. To accentuate the theme of love, when he first accepted the mantel of leadership after the Rosa Park incident in Montgomery, AL in 1955, his first speech concluded: “In spite of the mistreatment that we have confronted, we must not become bitter and end up by hating our white brothers. As Booker T. Washington said, ‘Let no man pull you down so low as to make you hate him'”. He made other references to tolerance in that speech that separate him from today’s so-called leaders. Like many people who read LI, I lived during those times, and was in Montgomery in 1961 when tensions were boiling.

You can always tell a lot about an age, a people and a generation by their heroes. At one time Martin Luther King was a hero and a martyr Now Travon Martin and Michael Brown have replaced him and are heroes and martyrs to another, different, generation.

This is not progress. This is not what Martin Luther King dreamed of.

    Ragspierre in reply to Anchovy. | January 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    It has been well and truly noted that the greatest bane of any great person’s legacy is his/her successors…those who claim his/her mantle. Almost always they corrupt the memory and ideals of the greatness they attach to.

    I STILL believe in MLK’s dream, and look to the day when all Americans join me. I look to the day when no American will vote for skin color, and I actually hope to live to see it.

    But, like any real Conservative, I believe in the ability of people to govern themselves. I know that’s pretty idealistic, but I’m in good company.

Henry Hawkins | January 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Love, love, love…
All together now…
Love, love, love…

Love is all you need. If only everybody could just love and nothing else. Love, love, love, all the time.

I love you, Kemberlee, and Prof. W. I love you David and Jennifer. I love you too, Gasper and Casual Observer. I like you, Rags. And I love you, too, Anchovy. Love! That’s all you need.


Wish I was young again when I could simply call for love and call it a day. Love is all you need.

Whaaaaat !!???

What do you mean, “love”?

You mean no lootin’?
You mean no burnin’?
You mean no riotin’?
Whaaaaat !!???
You gotta be kiddin’ !!!

/sarc. off

William A. Jacobson | January 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

My memory of when he was killed: I was in third grade (I think, maybe second), and we were practicing a school play on stage when someone walked in the cafeteria where the stage was located and announced the news. As a third grader I didn’t know as much about him at the time as I do now, but from the look on the face and the tone of the teacher making the announcement, I knew it was serious. The practice was called off, and we were sent home early.

Henry Hawkins | January 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Oddly, while I remember JFK’s death when I was 8, I do not recall exactly where I was or what I was doing when MLK was killed when I was 12. My father was a Detroit cop who’d already worked the Detroit riots of ’67. I remember his words on MLK’s killing, something like, “damn, damn, damn, city’s gonna burn again.”

A great man with a great message who was taken way to soon. Rest in the loving arms of God Dr. King.