Monday, January 17, 2011
Happy Birthday to Dr. M. L. King Jr. (his actual birthday was Saturday); we are given a federal holiday for a great man! A man of amazing vision, a revolutionary (on a spiritual/ethical plane) leader, and someone with a prophetic message.
Here's one of his quotes, as some of us will be protesting at the FBI Building (due to crack downs on nonviolent peace activists in the Midwest) and Quantico (where Bradley Manning has been held in solitary confinement for more than 7 months): "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere..."
I have come to realize that much of this nation -- especially the government -- has reached the spiritual death that Dr. King warned about in his 1967 Riverside speech. This speech was made when King was being criticized for denouncing the war the U.S. waged in Vietnam.
Below is an e-mail exchange I had with a devout liberal Democrat. This shows you that many still believe pleading with the politicians of the two wings of the corporate-dominated party is the way to go. I am afraid we are well past this now. I am removing his name out of respect. But first, here is another King quote I am remembering, as I honor this great man today...
"We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must ... 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, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered."
Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 11:08 PM
This is an honest dialogue. I am not sure why you are trying to use Dr. King's great legacy (one in which he truly believed in the power of THE PEOPLE) to win an intellectual debate. My aim is to help people realize the power they have when they create communities of resistance and form grater circles of solidarity. We don't need to be reminded of the power of those in government (the reason for the two protests tomorrow).
Kennedy did not want King to march on Washington. And nowadays many in power don't want folks to know about when King spoke out against Vietnam and the entrenched militarism in our society. We get a sterilized version of "I have a dream." To truly honor Dr. King is to try and learn from what he was teaching and the truly prophetic message he had. Personally, I believe this nation -- especially the government has reached the spiritual death that King warned about. And if we don't choose people over property and profits (which he also warned about) we are sealing our own doom.
I hope to see you tomorrow. I am glad you are fighting for what is righteous and just. We both want many of the same things -- we are simply taking different routes. I honor Dr. King by the contributions I have made (including going to DC Jail for speaking out against war) and continue to make (fundraising for Brad's legal defense and financial contributions to Courage to Resist and Coal River Mountain Watch).
In peace and understanding,
On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 10:54 PM, Liberal Democrat wrote:
Votes, contributions, and most of all being known for doing the right thing. That's what's in it for them. These are just people after all.
Hope arises where it will. It's not an either or situation--believing in ourselves and those in office who deserve belief in them.
Have a great MLK day--a holiday we have thanks to politicians, honoring a man who worked with then and future politicians to achieve great things.
On 1/16/11 10:48 PM, Pete Perry wrote:
> Mike, You didn't answer my question. ;) What's in it for them?
> I am not trying to discourage. Just trying to help people realize what many of us in the peace and justice movement have come to realize: The system is broken and needs to be completely replaced. That's where I would like to spend my long-term energies.
> The hope is in we the people with vision. Not politicians. I want people to believe in themselves, not a certain clique controlled by corporate interests on Capitol Hill.
> "Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..." ~Declaration of Independence
> On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 10:37 PM, Liberal Democrat wrote:
> There's a lot in it for them. Dr. King warned against cynicism. In his honor, let's not expend any energy discouraging each other, OK?
> On 1/16/11 10:27 PM, Pete Perry wrote:
>> What's in it for them? The same old political calculation holds true -- they don't want to lose the more conservative votes. And they won't lose most "liberals," because they are still democrats afterall...
>> On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM, Liberal Democrat wrote:
>> I'm not sure the electeds need to do anything public, just a few phone calls to the right people could help get attention for the motions.