Posts tagged ‘Martin Luther King Jr.’

August 28, 2011

The Race Card Equals Sand in the Gears of Discourse

by Vince

I like John Lewis. A lot. His memoir was amazing. If you don’t know anything about him, he was part of the beginnings of the lunch sit-ins, the marches from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), and worked on plethora of other civil rights causes with Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and so on.

Unfortunately, Lewis wrote an op-ed piece in the NY Times accusing new voting right laws that require unexpired identification to be shown at voting centers as racist and unfairly targeting minorities (whom vote for him and his Democratic base). His logic is quite weak. Anyone can go and get updated I.D.’s from your local DMV, right?

Doug Mataconis chimes in.

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April 23, 2011

Saturday Morning with Martin Luther King Jr.

by Vince

First up, MLKjr as an Old Testament prophet speaking not to Israel or Judah but the United States:

Then a fuller clip of King’s last speech:

(thanks for sharing these links, DT!)

December 11, 2010

Book Review: Walking with the Wind by John Lewis

by Vince

John Lewis’s memoir Walking with the Wind was a delightful read. After finishing Shame of the Nation, I needed either a break from reading for a week or a lighter read. I heard about Lewis’s memoir within Shame of the Nation as Kozol interviewed him. Little did I know that Lewis’s book was the perfect book for me to grab a hold of.

Walking with the Wind is a long read (503 pages) but is simple and accessible in its wording and approach. The story starts with Lewis’s upbringing in the rural Alabama town of Troy. Lewis grew up and attended college in Nashville where he became active in nonviolent protests. His belief in nonviolence for the attainment of the Beloved (not hateful, not violent, not uncaring, not unkind) Community (not separated, not polarized, not adversarial) was central to him then as it is now as he serves as Congressman for the 5th U.S. Congressional district of Georgia. His stances have often brought on the labels of “anti-black” or “soft” because of his integrated and nonviolent approach to democracy.

Lewis documents his first hand participation in the Nashville sit-ins, strikes, marches in Selma and Montgomery, and his work thereafter. He didn’t watch this stuff on TV, read it in the paper, or hear it on the radio: he was there. As he and hundreds of others attempted their first march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama (a 56 mile walk, by the way), he was clubbed in the head and landed a fractured skull. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr, Baynard Rustin, Ralph Abernathy, A. Phillip Randolph, and tens of thousands of nameless men, women, and children all for the sake of equal voting rights, equal usage of facilities (Boynton v. Virginia), and for the ultimate end of racism in the South. He worked for Jimmy Carter’s administration, helped Bobby Kennedy campaign, was called to private and group meetings lead by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and is the only House Rep today to of been arrested over 40 times.

What I enjoy about John Lewis’s character is that he holds no punches yet he isn’t judgmental. His book is not a polemic against likely enemies such as Newt Gingrich, George Wallace, plethora of racist southern elected officials, et al. He does call out those for being slow to act, for not upholding laws, and for what he sees as right and wrong. Ultimately, Lewis sees everyone through the eye of a key nonviolence movement tenet: everyone will have to deal with the decisions they make. Their conscience will bear that and he has no room to step in between anyone and their decisions. Much of his book comes off as him reporting the times, not opining every bit of it.

I felt that Lewis’s book dragged for the last 120 pages after the last of the marches ended and MLK / Bobby Kennedy’s assassinations. Walking with the Wind is well worth the read for anyone interested or intrigued by justice, compassion, nonviolence, and the piece they all hold in this puzzle known as America.

December 7, 2010

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered,” -Martin Luther King Jr. in his speech about opposing the Vietnam War to the Riverside Church

August 30, 2010

The Only Thing White People Have to Fear…Ctd.

by Vince

Michael R. Drane wrote about Glenn Beck’s Saturday gathering. He focused on the fear mongering of some of the attendees which can be followed back to its source: Glenn Beck. Because the Honor Rally was headed up by right-wing demagogues (Beck and Sarah Palin), it is easy to equate this with their usually diatribes that are at times harsh and often times polarizing.

Here is some of what I gathered. A flickr grouping of pictures here. A clip of Alveda King speaking at the rally here. Next, a contradictory blip from Sarah Palin here: how can you say in one breath that you wan to limit government and its spending but continue to let our military and its spending balloon and go unchecked?

In the end, I am trying to look at this event as unbiased as I can. I haven’t read anything that reported any incitement of racism at the rally. Some believe that some groups tried to go in and take pictures to fish for any type of racism. I will leave you with the below picture.

August 29, 2010

Quotes for Sunday

by Vince

“If you’re a Christian, I’d love it if you remembered that your first citizenship is in God’s Kingdom, the second is the world, and the distant third is the United States.” – Michael Drane

‎”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

June 15, 2010

MLK Jr. and the 21st Century

by Vince

Chris Heuertz from Word Made Flesh does a fine job connecting the dots between the three sins Martin Luther King Jr saw as so prevelant in the 1960’s to today’s current issues.

Full article here.

The war. America is a nation at war. It sounds crazy to think we’re actually involved in more than one war. I grew up listening to my grandfathers talk about World War II. The reality of conflict and combat abroad was terrifying, and the social impact that had on those who stayed home and lived in the US meant tremendous sacrifices.

The wall. With the passing of Arizona’s new immigration law, all eyes are fixed on Mexico. But what is Mexico and who are Mexicans? Even a brisk look at American history reminds us that one point the so-called “New World” wasn’t yet divided up and separated into territories. And once that exercise of division happened, Texas, much of California, and other parts of what are now US states were actually included in Mexico. To this day, how many towns and cities in those two states bear Spanish names? But a short-sighted and thin sense of memory has affected popular opinion profoundly.

The well. As thousands and thousands of barrels of oil gush from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, Americans are angry—not at themselves for demanding such excessive energy consumption levels, but at the government and BP for being unable to bandage the open wound of our materialistic sensibilities.