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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & The 21st Century

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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 01-22-2005 03:21 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's would-have-been 76th birthday just being commemorated Monday, and Bush's second inauguration party coming to a close, indeed Americans have been left thinking often of the meaning of peace, freedom and liberty.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came from a long tenure of pastors in his family at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he followed in his fathers footsteps as co-pastor until his assassination in 1968, on the evening of April 4, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with garbage workers on strike.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now civil rights movement, which was on the rise during that era. Christianity and Gandhi proved great inspirations to his ideals. From then until his death, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times. At the age of 35, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

Throughout his career, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated his "dream" which still resonates to many today from the steps of Washington D.C, a call for the day when everyone will "not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." and the call for civil equality and unity and the end to racism.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also an advocate of non-violence and a leader in the Vietnam anti-war movement. He was quoted for saying the following things:

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."

"World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built."

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

"War is a poor chisel in carving out tomorrow"


**************************************************

Today, Martin Luther King Jr. remains a cultural and historical working class hero, whose name is dedicated to streets and stretches of highway in many states, to the names of convention centers, to the inspiration behind many activists and politicians today.

Yet, we have witnessed the philosophy of this most honored man being challenged in the 21st century to date among the issue of "terrorists". In result, Muslim-Americans have fallen victim to this all too familiar suspicion, silence, and oppression. These so-labeled "terrorists" are being argued they are exception to the rights of the Geneva Conventions, almost as though terrorists are being treated or classified as sub-humans.

"Freedom" was a frequently used word in the inaugural address Thursday, said 27 times in 17 minutes, with "liberty" added making a combined 42 times in usage. Yet, Bush's vision for "freedom" appears rather opposite to that of King's, which is rather cloaked as a call for a major international militarized campaign in sweeping out terrorism across the world.

Bush's speech, which has been hailed among many critics as many things including "the conservative side of JLK's classic inaugural address", has uplifted some, while having others mourn, particularly among the anti-war movement and crowds, who fear King's philosophy has been suppressed and obfuscated these recent years, and fear more hatred and violence will erupt.

What role does Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. play today in America and the world, and how relevant does he remain?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton




"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Alicat
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since 05-23-99
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1 posted 01-22-2005 03:40 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

"...judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character..."  How I wish this was true.  Yet even now, 40 years after, subsidized profiling based on melanomic tincture, assemblage of sexual organs, and claimed ethnicity continues, unabashed and unashamed, parsed into ratios and percentages to impart a feel-good emotion to the political numbercrunchers.  On several occasions have my character content been ignored, with the focus being on observational evidence of my racial heritage, notwithstanding the Comanche genetics prevalent on my mother's side.  I was white, male, and in my 20's, exceeding their stated quota for white, male, 20-somethings.  And even here, unless I speak fluently Spanish in America, work options are slim.  How many well-meaning universities and workplaces count heads on their clipboards, checking off characteristics.  So many Asians, so many Africans, so many Hispanics and Latinos...gotta keep the quotas up, less we be sued.  And here I was thinking we were all equal, all Americans, irregardless of melanomic tincture, hair style, or genetic predisposition.

I've since become educated.
Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 01-22-2005 03:58 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

That's a true and painful observation.

I too have always disliked Race/Sex being on clipboard documents. I actually disliked it when I was as young as 12, but back then I didn't know exactly why, it just felt grotesque to me. Now, I understand the frustration in seeing that.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Juju
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since 12-29-2003
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In your dreams


3 posted 01-23-2005 01:21 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Noah, that is not neccessarly true. you have to be more then Middle eastern desent to be on theat list. Like being related to or having some kn0own connection to terrism.  Unfortunitly, any one can be on that list. One anti american demenstration, jail, or anything that  may have happened in the passed could also effect it. Look I don't support Racial discrimination, unfortunitly things are not as black and white.

-I will not dissagree that martin Luther King was a great guy or wwhat he stood for, but I do disagree with how you used his image to down grade someone else.  I believe MLK stood for more then just equal rights, but how we should live and be as citizens of the united states. For that reason I think It is wrong of you to do this.

-It is so unfortunet that there must be such deep hatred inbedded in so many poeple, where instead of finding a solution they point and blame and hurt and accuse and judge.

Just a Thought.

Juju

Juju - 1.) a magic charm or fetish 2.)Magic 3.)A taboo connected woth the use of magic

The dictionary never lies.... I am magical (;

Mistletoe Angel
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4 posted 01-23-2005 04:03 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Juju, following November's election, a nationwide poll revealed 44& of Americans believe the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans should be limited or restricted. Prior to that non-scientific poll, one read a quarter of Americans admit they stereotype Muslim-Americans negatively, which in reality I imagine the pecentage is actually much higher than 25%, it's just others were nervous to admit that.

Because most known terrorists that have shown up on watch lists are of a Muslim or Arabic background, it apparently has lead many to believe the whole ethnic or religious background influences terrorist instincts, etc. and now, in result, discrimination and hate crimes are on the rise to them.

I'm not downgrading anyone here, Juju. I'm contrasting two visions here for achieving freedom in the world, that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and that of George W. Bush.

Those who have read my responses in other threads know well my opinion of the latter, but in this thread I am simply pointing out the vision of Martin Luther King Jr, which he stood for a non-violent means to foreign policy, and the vision of George W. Bush, who believes an aggressive foreign policy is necessary in spreading freedom across the globe.

These are contrasting visions that are polar opposites of one another virtually. And as it is, these two visions have proven to deeply conflict one another in these times.

No hatred here, I'm just pointing out a solid fact that under the dream of Martin Luther King Jr, he can promise no violence in resolving the conflicts of the world, whereas under George W. Bush, he can't promise that.

I believe in the former dream. That's just my opinion, that's just the way I am and what I believe. I'll also tell you it appears to me hadn't that been an inauguration speech and was addressed rather on any other day of the year, where most Americans wouldn't be caught up in the charm of inauguration day, the speech would be seen as threatening to much of the world. The speech insinuated to me of American moral authority over the rest of the world, not to mention hinted out the likeliness of more wars like the one in Iraq in the near future in the purpose of ending terrorism in the world. I'd be frightened hearing those strong words. I fear other nations in the world are taking the speech as a threat, which it could indeed be perceived as, and I fear it'll only divide international relations further.

I believe most can certainly agree Bush's speech for his second inauguration may have been his most memorable speech yet, and a speech that can indeed further challenge the dream of King and of the anti-war movement.

I believe in all my heart fighting fire with fire only incites more fire in the world. War is hatred, in my heart, and believe only non-violence and love can put out the flames. And for those who, like they've mentioned before, see my view as "incredible", that's just my opinion, tha's just my belief, and I'm holding to it, because indeed, non-violence and peace go hand in hand.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

 
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