Posts Tagged ‘Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’

U.S. still hasn’t caught up with Dr. King

August 30, 2013

martin.luther.king.jrThe Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for voting rights and the abolition of Jim Crow laws, but he didn’t stop there.  The 1963 March on Washington was a march for Jobs and Freedom.

He believed that everyone who wanted to work should be guaranteed a job.  This is more relevant now than ever.  All you have to do is to look around, and there is work that needs to be done, from ensuring old people in nursing homes get good care to rebuilding our nation’s bridges and water systems.

Yet the jobs aren’t there.  Why should the upper 1/10th of 1 percent of income and wealth holders be the job creators?  Why can’t we the people create jobs?

Dr. King also believed in a minimum guaranteed income, which I’m not sure about.  I’d rather have a guaranteed jobs program, in which everybody could do something useful according to their abilities and receive an income adequate to their basic needs.  But then again, a guaranteed minimum income might work better than our present hodge-podge welfare system.

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Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Christmas letter

December 24, 2012

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this 50 years ago.

Greetings of the Season:

When the horizons of man’s destiny loom ashen and somber; when the deafening report of weaponry stuns yearnings for peace; when people are alienated from the outside society, spiritually isolated, and weary of heart; when a child is hungry, a father desperate, and a mother fearful – the beseeching question arises, where can one turn?

This year that question is so relevant and contemporary, so deeply serious and urgent for all who will face it that all of us must search now for a reasoned yet comforting answer.

kingml.testamentWe cannot deny the dreadful conditions found in our society and in the world. Global holocaust is no longer a mere technological possibility; it is a direct and escalating threat. The spirit of man everywhere has been dampened, and often his mind is engulfed in gloom. And there are millions of hungry children, defeated fathers, and frightened mothers in our land and others.

We – these people, you, all of us – must have not only hope for the unknown future but also confidence in our capacity to change the menacing present. Let us put hands and heart, mind and muscle to this task. Let us not give up, for surrender and apathy are nothing but failure. In our work let us see scorn and ridicule of us for what they are – scornful and ridiculous. “Keep your hand on the plow,” the old spiritual admonishes. “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round,” the freedom song declares.

This is a season when we can summon that kind of determination and bold purpose required to create inner peace and to commit external acts of good will.

Peace and good will, the simplest and most elusive of dreams, the dreams of this season, begin with the individual before they can be extended to collective man. So let us begin with ourselves.

If we as individual human beings will spurn selfishness, we shall appreciate the value of true love of self, and the exhilarating beauty of living. And if we recognize that all people can become truly alive and beautiful, we will understand the cosmic truth that all men are brothers and inseparable. Then we will see where we must go and how we must live. Real brothers cannot kill each other, are incapable of oppressing each other, and are utterly unable to hate each other because they are as one in the embodiment of dignity and respect.

We who know we are brothers therefore have a duty to bring others back into the broken family of man and into our world house. In the context of the modern world we must live together as brothers or we shall perish divided as fools.

The task is stern and provocative. Among the moral imperatives of our time we are challenged to work all over the world with unshakable commitment to wipe out the last vestiges of racism. Another grave problem that must be solved if we are to live creatively is that of poverty on both the national and international scale. A final problem that demands solution is finding an alternative to war and human destruction.

Yes, the challenges are awesome but exciting too. This is a season when we can still take heart. We can be joyful that swelling masses are absolutely dedicated to the death of racism and a life of brotherhood. We can give thanks that the world at last has the ability and resources to end poverty and that more and more people are overcoming their blindness to the suffering poor. We can thrill to the burgeoning love of peace and the devotion to it.

We wish you and your a joyous Holiday and a New Year of fulfillment.

Martin Luther King, Jr., December 25, 1962

via Martin Luther King letter.