My 2 cents:
His 6 principles of non-violence should be compulsory reading for those
barbaric agents that are randomly chasing "terrorists" everywhere and
killing "innocents" while doing so.
Mike Cole writes:
> How odd. Today is the national observance of the life and death of Martin
> Luther King. The sun has set. The air is getting cool. And not a whisper of
> the man who gave us this
> day in exchange for his life.
> If you have the time, I suggest that you check out his last speech, in
> support of badly paid, low status workers in Memphis. The URL is
> And in case you have more important things to do, here is some of the text
> toward the end of his speech that might reward a quick glance... or two.
> That's the question before you tonight. Not, "If I stop to help the
> sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually
> spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?" The question is
> not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" "If I do
> not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's
> the question.
> Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater
> determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of
> challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to
> make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for
> allowing me to be here with you.
> You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first
> book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a
> demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are
> you Martin Luther King?"
> And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt
> something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this
> demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday
> afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the
> tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once
> that's punctured, you drown in your own blood—that's the end of you.
> It came out in the *New York Times* the next morning, that if I had sneezed,
> I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the
> operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out,
> to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read
> some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world,
> kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I
> had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten
> what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the
> Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what the letter said. But there was
> another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student
> at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never
> forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the
> White Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would
> like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your
> misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you
> would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that
> you didn't sneeze."
> And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn't
> sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960,
> when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I
> knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best
> in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells
> of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration
> of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been
> around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their
> backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are
> going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent. If I
> had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of
> Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into
> being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance
> later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had
> had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in
> Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are
> suffering. I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.
> And they were telling me, now it doesn't matter now. It really doesn't
> matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started
> on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address
> system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on
> the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure
> that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything
> carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."
> And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about
> the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick
> white brothers?
> Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days
> ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the
> mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long
> life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just
> want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And
> I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with
> you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the
> promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm
> not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the
> I have not seen that far myself. But I am pretty sure we have difficult days
> ahead. And to quote another man I admire, I find that while the mountains
> may not get higher and higher, the valleys
> sure do get deeper and deeper.
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