4 Responses to Like it or not, MLK is an icon of moral engagement. Part 1

  1. LB says:

    Thanks, Kathie. It’s good to be reminded of MLK’s moral courage in speaking out against war, racism and other forms of economic and social injustice. Towards the end of his life, and influenced by Malcolm X, he began to understand the unconscious and impenetrable forces that shaped the ruling class of empire ~ which at the time was made up of the white political elite but now includes the black political elite as well, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

    Near the end, and as his message evolved and became more threatening to the establishment, he lost popularity and was demonized, eventually murdered. In a 1968 interview, MLK said:

    “For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values.”

    The irony of this day is that most of the systematic injustices Doctor King spoke out against (lack of healthcare, war, imperialism, racism, class oppression) still exist, largely because they continue to be supported by Democrats and Republicans. We only honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with a holiday because his death effectively neutralized him and his much larger radical message critical of imperialism and capitalism.

    If alive today, access would most likely *only* be available from a small pool of independent left, *blacklisted* news sites like CounterPunch, BlackAgenda Report, Truthdig, Truthout, Naked Capitalism, RT and Democracy Now, among others ~ all news outlets accused of advancing anti-American, Russian propaganda.

    Conversely, we would probably NOT read or hear Doctor King’s message on the approved list of mainstream establishment, (liberal) news sites recently recommended as being “trustworthy”: “NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels.”


    Most liberals seem unaware of the major threats posed by *both* parties in the latest Russian propaganda scare and its resulting blacklists and media blackout, or of how our system, elected representatives, political pundits and mainstream media work together to suppress not only information but also critical thought and dissent.

    I try to not to judge all those who’ve been misled or misinformed, conditioned to believe. I understand the extreme effort it takes to become informed, also how socially/economically isolating and spiritually overwhelming it can be to see the dark truth beyond the illusion, especially when it involves deeply ingrained and cherished ideals, values and people. It takes courage to speak and honor truth (which is often harsh, unpleasant) and to act out of love, courage to recognize our own moral failings and complicity. I’m complicit too, maybe more than most because I’m more aware.

    • kathiemm says:

      Thank you for another great comment, LB. Your comment is full of insight, valuable references to alternative media, thought-provoking information, and examples of exactly the kind of moral engagement for which MLK is a model.

  2. Barbara says:

    I just found another wonderful quote from Martin Luther King, which illustrates very well his moral engagement on behalf of all the poor, all the downtrodden, all those exploited and attacked by the rich:
    “Negroes are not the only poor in the nation. There are nearly twice as many white poor as Negro, and therefore the struggle against poverty is not involved solely with color or racial discrimination but with elementary economic justice.”
    I found the quote on Wikipedia: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.
    There are a lot of great quotes from him in that Wikipedia entry.

  3. Pingback: Like it or not, MLK is an Icon of Moral Engagement. Part 2 | Engaging Peace

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