Home > Uncategorized > Towards Remembering a Great Radical Christian Leader

Towards Remembering a Great Radical Christian Leader

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

David Cobb’s recent Thursday Night Talk on KHSU reminded us, if we needed reminding, that the Martin Luther King now taught by the American media is but a tiny fragment of the real revolutionary Christian, a tiny fragment of the great man who should cause today’s faux-Christian leaders to  hide in shame.

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King famously told Harry Belafonte “I fear we are integrating into a burning house.”  He spoke out against global injustice, and was a thorn in the side of the American government.

Below are some excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam.”  The whole speech can be heard or read here.

But first, an excerpt from King’s earlier work, Letter from  A Birmingham Jail; in my opinion it speaks to far more than just “the Negro’s great stumbling block”:

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White citizens’ “Councilor” or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action” who paternistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Excerpts from King’s Beyond Vietnam speech, 1967:

A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything on a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe?

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin [applause], 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, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. [applause]

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch antirevolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.

http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_beyond_vietnam/

  1. January 19, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Mitch, you really must stop feeding this gaggle of moronic Remora’s that have attached themselves to this blog.

  2. January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Offer an alternative, moviedad. (Really.)

    Incidentally, I’m comfortable conversing with the people who show up here because I like to think that some of the non-commenting readers can think for themselves and weigh the various comments. I even think some of the commenters who post nothing but insults may at some point notice themselves wondering about things they’d previously felt certain about.

  3. HUUFC
    January 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Liberals are so nasty, I wonder why?

  4. Steve Lewis
    January 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Always the hypocrite, Mitch. Here you honor a radical Christian activist who’s safely dead to appear politically correct but the local Christian activist you treat just like King was treated only your gun is the electronic Taliban one that lops off the heads of targeted political opponents with censorship of their protests and criticisms.

  5. Mitch
    January 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I prefer my radical Christian activists to be sane, Steve. Nothing personal.

  6. January 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    All other “stuff” aside, anyone know what “edifice” he was talking about?

  7. January 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I would assume, based upon previous experiences with you Mitch, that you are speaking from your own life’s first-hand experience?

  8. The New Great Anonymous
    January 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    He wanted his children to be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

    This statement is poison to the belief of every liberal today.

  9. Mitch
  10. Steve Lewis
    January 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    You prefer them to be dead and gone and quiet as the grave. It’s the Jewish way, right? Can’t stand Jesus but that sure won’t fly with politically correct status of MLK or have you changed your tune here. And the sane, thing, Mitch? Is it really sane of you to censor anti-Zionists on any Progressive blog given Israeli fascism revealing itself more and more as the racist Jewish ideology it always was? I mean, really, Mitch, no sane political activist who wants to be counted among those working for human rights would ever back Israel against Palestinians like you do.

  11. Steve Lewis
    January 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Tent of Nations, a Palestinian peace activist organization wants to be Paxcalibur’s next steward and has asked for permission to use the Paxcalibur image as a logo. Tent of Nations hosted top leaders from PA and Hamas a few months ago in discussions on a common Constitution. I guess these Palestinian political leaders also are not sane like our dear Zionist promoter Mitch here on Heraldo making sure along with tag team Zionist promoter Eric Kirk that no discussions of Israel or Zionism are brought up in Humboldt political activist venues like this one.

  12. Steve Lewis
    January 20, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I think some of you can see why Mitch censors me. She’s not really in my or any knowledgeable social change activist league as her feeble politically correct image aimed soundbite ideology responses show. Her and Eric, can’t win their political arguments with me so of course when slander doesn’t work, like Mitch tried here, you can expect the Taliban electronic head-lopping as her next step in defense. Actually, I surprised I can get posts on with only a little bit of dodging around her censorship filters. But she and Eric always run the risk of being outed when they do this because both of them cannot defend the morally indefensible like her protection of and therefore support for Zionism, like her support for the yuppie elitist political and economic attack on Humboldt County working class and poor. I’ve got the real radical Left’s opposition to human rights violators on my side and she and Eric and the rest of the Humboldt Prog gang are merely poseurs.

  13. January 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Steve,

    Your posts get out of the moderation queue because I spend time going into it and approving them.

  14. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 8:25 am

    No good deed goes unpunished Mitch.

  15. Sunny Side
    January 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Thank you for posting these inspiring words Mitch. MLK was a brilliant and good man who demonstrated the ultimate worth of keeping your cool under fire. On that note, I similarly admire your ability to stay polite and on topic under the onslaught of posters who seem to be enraged, and who only become more enraged the more they fail to elicit an in-kind response.

    And for you Steve Lewis, a few words of advice for a person clearly passionate about your beliefs, and is bravely willing to sign your name to them. You might find your efforts bear more fruit if you attempt to persuade rather than alienate those who hold differing or unformed opinions. You may have some interesting and illuminating points to add to the discussion, but your enraged tone is so off-putting it is hard to discern what they might be. Keep in mind that in general, Mitch has proven himself a thoughtful reasonable person who cares about injustice just as much as you seem to. Insulting him helps win no converts to your worldview–quite the opposite. If you want to change the world, on this of all days, you might consider following MLK’s example (or Jesus’ or Gandhi’s) rather than coming out guns a’blazin against those who might otherwise prove to be sympathetic allies.

  16. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

    It’s to damn bad that a great man like King would be an outcast to the libs of today. Color and entitlement is all that counts. Al Sharpton , Jackson , Farrakhon and the guit ridden libs would wilt like cotton in a draught if not for their racisit color bias.

  17. Sunny Side
    January 20, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Anonymous #16, painting with broad brushes make for sloppy paint jobs.

  18. Mitch
    January 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Sunny Side,

    Thank you.

    Some days I do better than other days, like all of us. The amount of rage out there (not to mention “in here”) is sometimes astonishing. Sad to say, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, and it’s not obvious what can address it in the short-term.

    But comments like yours are very helpful, if only to remind us all that there are others out there who seek a different approach.

  19. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Lewis’ constant use of “she” when referring to Mitch, presumably because Mitch is gay and Lewis thinks it’s clever to insult by calling someone a woman, is insulting to a large majority of society, 100% of decent people. Mitch shouldn’t waste his time digging his vile screeds out of moderation.

  20. Dan
    January 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Twain

    I hope lots of travel is in the future for #16.

  21. Mitch
    January 20, 2013 at 9:56 am

    #19,

    If anything, I think the typical woman makes a far better human being than the typical man. That may be sexist, but I think it is connected with gender biology and women’s greater natural investment in and commitment to their children. So if Steve thinks he’s insulting me by referring to me as “she,” he’s not only wrong but back-firing.

    I’d very much like to see a world in which only women were eligible to occupy high office, at least for a generation or two. I think the change in priorities and the reduction in state-sponsored violence would be staggering, far greater than any changes that might result from a third party win. Yes, I’m serious.

  22. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 10:00 am
  23. Dan
    January 20, 2013 at 10:13 am

    The enemy isn’t black or white, male or
    female- it is the dull mind. I despise
    looking towards gender or color
    as an answer or explanation or remedy for anything.
    Content of character and ability has nothing to do with gender
    or melanin.

  24. Mitch
    January 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Dan,

    Fair enough. Still…

  25. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Men and women (and people of different skin pigmentation) experience different worlds. We grew up with different expectations and rules so of course we develop different ways of dealing with problems. Girls are taught to be more manipulative (act like a lady) and men more forceful (be a man) to get their way.

  26. Steve Lewis
    January 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Part and parcel of identity fraud that Mitch and Heraldo and other Progs like Richard Salzman are known for is that it will create misconceptions in Humboldt citizens who are not privy to inhouse Prog identities. When I first started criticizing Mitch I assumed he was a he, then I noticed a reference to a male partner and that was never explained publicly on Eric’s blog where I saw it, so I then assumed he was a she and addressed him as such. You can blame me for mistaking Mitch’s identity but really, it’s Mitch’s own fault for, 1) running a blog notorious for identity fraud of its owners, and 2) not ever trying to clear up my mistake at the beginning. As for my lack of respect for both Mitch and Eric, they’ve earned that in my book. A large part of my negative tone with Mitch and Eric comes from their intellectual cowardice in facing political critics, always going instead for the gang support of slandering me. And when that doesn’t shut me up, it’s the Taliban treatment. Any of you see any of Mitch’s answering my bitch about his anti-Zionist stance which is for those of you unfamiliar with real Leftist politics is a matter of great concern for human rights activism–the Israeli problem being a linchpin for the whole Middle East crisis situation? Where is the discussion of it here or on Eric’s blog? Both of these blogs are run by Zionist Jew and Jew wannabe protecting the faith from moral scrutiny by Humboldt County political activists.

    The real radical political activists will know what I’m talking about while the Prog imitation here will turn to you all for his character assassination back-up of this Jewish Christian critic of the vapid pretense local Prog political activism. When Mitch treats me with the respect he wants from me, I will treat him the same way but I won’t let bad political activism go by without protest no matter who’s doing it. And by bad I mean political activism that is meant to keep local activists’ attention diverted away from real political activist concerns like anti-Zionist protest of the Israeli apartheid state.

  27. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    16 is correct. It’s the very reason X was KILLED when he became color blind.

  28. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    See #26 phony excuse for sexism (and homophobia?) and understand that expecting intellectual honesty from such a liar is futile.

  29. January 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Speaking of Judaism……

    Proverbs 21:23 : Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
    And the always popular:

    Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

  30. Steve Lewis
    January 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Speaking of Judaism and that those Tanakh quotes borrowed no doubt as most of the rest mainly from ancient pagan wisdom sayings, Judaism has no, repeat no, spiritual or moral authority for anyone who is unwilling to take the wisdom of liars as they wish to be taken.

    You see, moviedad, Judaism is toast now with the archeological discoveries by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman at Megiddo convincingly show. They prove to me with my own small anthropological training that the people who wrote the Torah/Tanakh stories were the proto-types of Hollywood Jewish scriptwriters telling whoppers about a fabulous history of Hebrews in the Holy Land that never happened. All those stories of Abraham the “Hebrew” supposedly giving Canaan to the Israelites? The Moses and Exodus story? The filthy rich and powerful Greater Israel kingdoms of David and Solomon? All made up, all fables, all only Jewish myths of origin that were taken by Pauline Christians and Muslims as real history. We Gnostic Jewish and Gentile Christians never did go for the Bible for our spiritual foundation. Not even the Bible God of Israel which turns out to be the Fraud of Israel.

    Oh, did I not mention, the people who wrote the Bible, Hebrews, cannot be traced as a group separate from Canaanites until 700 B.C.. Not 1800 BC with Abraham, not 1400 BC with Moses, not 1000 BC with David and Solomon but 700 BC. This is why there’s no spiritual authority in Judaism. You can’t get spiritual authority from liars and their lies.

    With the Jews only established in 700 BC this means ancient Israel’s real existence as an independent nation lasted less time than the U.S.A. has been a nation. First Assyrians wipe Israel out, then Cyrus reestablishes it, then the Romans come in and make a vassal state of israel before kicking most all the Jews out by the beginning of the 2nd century A.D.

    Arab Palestinians being in Palestine continuously since the Jews were kicked out and actually long before as Canaanite remnant population (yes, they existed in Jesus’ time-see the Gospels) the non-Jewish Arab/Canaanite population has clearly the much longer claim to occupancy of Palestine. Canaan existed over 3000 years as an identifiable community referred as such in ancient texts. Arabs as the majority population in Palestine for at least 1800 years. And this isn’t even taking into account us Ashkenazim Khazar kingdom Jewish converts with zero historic claim to anything outside of Uzbekistan.

  31. Verbena
    January 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Jan 17, 2013 commentary from Mumia Abu Jamal

    MARTIN’S WORLD

    http://www.prisonradio.org/media/audio/mumia/martins-world-242-mumia-abu-jamal

  32. HUUFC
    January 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Wesley Cook is in prison for life for the first degree murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, not interested in anything he has to say.

  33. FYI
    January 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

    We don’t “murder civilians”, when we kill people, its called “collateral damage”.

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