Monday, January 15, 2007


I would like to say something about the legacy of Martin Luther King, but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to craft sentences to match my feelings. It will hardly be controversial, I hope, to say that the world—but the United States in particular—owes a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. King and what he did for the Civil Rights movement. The nonviolence Dr. King taught, continuing in the tradition of Gandhi, is one of the most powerful weapons humanity has for combating injustice. Doctrines of nonviolence could have a tremendous positive impact on our struggle against terrorism, if only our political leaders were willing to learn and practice them.

I've been listening to Terri Gross's interview with Michael Honey, author of a new book about Dr. King and the Memphis sanitation workers' strike, during which Dr. King was assassinated.

I don't know what to say about Dr. King. The world needs him so. It is a tragedy that great men are taken from us before their goals are realized, at times when they could do so much more. But there is a purpose to that tragedy, I suppose. It teaches us that we must not rely on great men. We have to make the world better ourselves.

1 comment:

Rob said...

It seems as if the country's soul died with King and Bobby Kennedy in 1968. Most leaders since then in America have been corporatist platitude machines or frontmen for despicable deeds such as Bush. I thought we might have somebody in Paul Wellstone but he died in a plane crash.