Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King Day

"I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Holy Cow! I was so caught up in creating that new blog and typing out that lengthy post on it, that I plumb forgot that yesterday was Martin Luther King's Birthday!

There I was, looking for something interesting to write about and the most obvious post was right there in front of my salt-and-pepper bearded face!

Instead I elected to conduct, for my loyal readers, an unprecedented tour inside the disconnected, jumbled, morass that I call my mind. Some might call it a tour de farce. (Misspelling intended) I have already been accused of being unhinged more than once. Once again, though, I digress. I seem to be digressing more lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with my advanced age? (he said, as he digressed again)

Seriously though, I do want to say a few words in honor of Martin Luther King, and I am sure you are all aware by now, that I always try to put a fresh perspective on the subjects on which I expound. I think most of you will agree, that this will be such a perspective.

I Googled Martin Luther King's name and I came up with thousands of websites that mentioned him. The reason I had to use Google to find out what I should have already known, is because in 1968, when he died, I was a Liberal, and a racist, and I didn't much care at the time. Of course, I already knew that he was a champion of non-violent protest and civil disobedience and he proved that those concepts do work to effect change. But, upon reading a list of 99 quotes attributed to Dr. King, an interesting phenomena jumped out at me:

Out of 99 quotes, only 2 mentioned anything negative about "White people", and even those two were benign in comparison to most of the things his protege, Jesse Jackson says. I am including both of them in these sample quotes:

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

I have a dream that one day the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

The Negro's great stumbling block in the drive 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.

It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society

I highlighted the quotes I alluded to.

I think it's significant that Dr. King didn't waste his time complaining about the white people. Or criticizing them. He wasn't asking to be considered superior to whites, but rather, equal. This, to me, is what set him apart from the rank-and-file civil rights activists. He harbored no hatred for the white people. Not for the whites that were merely ignorant, who didn't know any better due to the divide that had existed between the races from the early days of America, and not for the whites that were intentionally hateful and antagonistic to the blacks. And if anyone had a right to hate us, he most certainly did.

He showed respect to the white people because he understood something my father used to try to teach me:

"If you want to be respected, you have to respect others." An admonition I have been forgetting too often lately. I resolve to try to correct that in the future.

He had an understanding of their ignorance and prejudice that passed all understanding. Surely the Love of a benevolent and loving God, for Whom he had such respect, motivated him in his efforts to bring about social change in this country.

It is that love and faith in the Almighty that will ultimately effect the kind of change he envisioned for America, and, indeed, for the world. There is perhaps a lesson that we all should learn from that.

One wonders how different race relations would be here in America had he not come to such an untimely and violent end.

All of us have heard the famous "I have a dream" speech, or at least, snippets of the speech that Dr. King gave. It is my conviction that all of us share in that dream, for it is an admirable one. And one that has far reaching implications regarding the future of humanity.

I think Dr. King "got it".

By the way, Certain people who obviously don't understand Martin Luther King's message, are planning various "Bash Bush" events to mark the ocassion.

Now. Change of subject.

I was playing around on the internet today, when I came across this website, which to my surprise, contained all the essays (articles, opinion pieces, blogposts, whatever you want to call them)that I had written here on my blog! And they didn't even acknowledge me as the author!

I don't know if I should be insulted or flattered. I have asked the smartest, or at least the most technical savvy person I know, Tech, "Who are these people and why are they posting my blogposts without giving me credit?" He doesn't know, but suggested I copyright my stuff.

I'm not sure I am damaged by this, yet, though. Can anyone else provide some insight?


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

One wonders how different race relations would be here in America had he not come to such an untimely and violent end.

Hah..I touched on that subject, and built my post around it, after visiting Freedom Eden, earlier today.

Mark...that's a very, very bizarre website. I don't know what to say about it. I got scared, and closed the browser after taking a quick peek.

Mark said...

Smithy, the entire 2nd rank of lists there are my blogposts!

TECH said...

As near as I can tell, Mark, they're not a legimate newserver either. I think you should place that copyright notice on your posts at least. Someday you might want to put together a book. Other bloggers have done so and had them published.

TECH said...

And this was an excellent post on Martin Luther King.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Great post!! I loved this line:
"He had an understanding of their ignorance and prejudice that passed all understanding. Surely the Love of a benevolent and loving God, for Whom he had such respect, motivated him in his efforts to bring about social change in this country."

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a wonderful man in contrast to Jesse Jackson and his ilk.

I meant to tell you I linked to you on my post on saturday mentioning that I snagged my quote of the week from you. If you hadn't noticed I put the Scottish Declaration quote up with Mel Gibson's picture from Braveheart under it. I love it.

I'm still cracking up about you being a girl in the Brat Pack quiz :-).

And that is weird about someone stealing all your posts!

rich glasgow said...

Hi Mark
Regarding your material you found on another site: that actually happened to me a year or so ago. I can't even remember how I came across it because it was before I had technorati. Anyway, it blew me away! There was no mention of my name or any credit whatsoever so I made copies of his (my) posts at his site and the same posts at my site and promised him I would expose him on my site for what he was doing. And I told him that in his comment section.

It only took an hour or so before he got back to me and the way he explained it made some sense...sort of. He said he was on the road and he had a program that when he downloaded a piece it would post automatically and he hadn't yet had the opportunity to credit me. Whatever!

He apologized profusely and I think he still blogs. Your situation may be different, but I would definitely confront him. Keep us posted!

Mark said...

Thanks, Tech, I consider that high praise coming from you.

samrocha said...

HI! Great Blog! I linked over here on a Blog search, today I posted an article on a perspective on MLK Jr. Day, check it out if you’d like… I've enjoyed reading through your archives, I’d love to establish a reciprocal link with your blog, let me know if you’re interested:

Mike's America said...

Mark: I wondered why we hadn't heard from you? Saw your note at Wordsmith.

I sent you an invite last Thursday, the 12th from my primary email account.

Check your inbox and look for:

"Mike's America Celebrating Reagan 25th Anniversary of Inauguration"

This celebration is getting HUGE!

Here's the invite:

You're welcome to use the image if you wish.

P.S. You're on the "A" list now, so get your post in before the 20th.

Poison Pero said...

Very nice Mark........I'm never amazed when I pop in for my daily dose.

And, keep an eye on my site.....I might start stealing your stuff too......LOL!

Mark said...

I will post on the 20th, Mike. Remind me.

Pero? You're NEVER amazed? Is that a compliment or an insult?

Wigwam Jones said...

Your work is copyrighted the moment you create it. The copyright notice is optional, and the further step of filing with the US Copyright Office gives you the ability to sue and recover not just loss of use, but punitive damages and attorney's fees. I am afraid I don't know if the guy can copy your stuff or not. Google and go to the US Copyright Office, they have a nice FAQ on the matter. Nice post, by the way. I enjoyed that!

Goat said...

This is a public blog, accept that and post accordingly. Just as I don't post my best pictures, my name, or anything else personal, online, I am the Goat, Goat Gruff after the old fable, earned and given by Bill OReilly's members at his forum. Protect youself Mark when you start a venture like this, just as parents should take notice when their kids do.