I'd like to dedicate this post to Black History month. I've been giving lots of thought to non-violence, and really hung up on figuring out a way for us to stop the wars & violence this country can't seem to stop.
This video montage combines the U-2 song *In the name of Love*, with clips of the civil rights movement.
Dr. King insisted that the movement be strictly non-violent, in a situation that was ripe for violence.
Police clubbed people, brought out attack dogs, used high powered fire hoses to drive back marches & protests.
They had every right to respond violently, as they were provoked beyond reason.
But at his insistence, they remained peaceful, and by so doing, prevented additional & unnecessary deaths, and the movement breaking down into a violent failure.
The Civil Rights movement did move forward. Even though Dr. King was shot and killed, the taking of his life only made his words and actions, his life's work even stronger.
So as we move forward in the 21st century, I certainly hope we never look back at the things Dr. Martin Luther King jr. did as "something of the past", as a person who headed up a movement that practiced non-violence and the teachings of Gandhi (his mentor), as some historic relic. He did not fight that fight for us to become complacent- to allow discrimination, to turn away from injustice, to accept violence... even in foreign countries.
We spent so many years listening to the former president mention the talking points.... Enemies. Terrorists. Fear.
You don't get to a place of understanding or forge diplomatic resolutions by widening divisions. He knew back in the day, that wars and violence were something that gained profit for the military industrial complex. They are just another form of exploitation- because it is the poor and disadvantaged people fighting & dying in those wars. He even said we'd be fighting more & more wars globally unless we recognized the problem, and solved issues in a sane way.
I don't mean to be trite in just mentioning honor to the most heroic and well known member of the black community.
I just admire him so much for the strength and fortitude he had to endure everything it took to open the door to civil rights.
But I also honor the unsung heros. Those who just did & continue to do those everyday acts of kindness and justice, and refuse to accept 21st century prejudice and hatred. Just because you don't make it into the history books, does not mean your contributions are not worthwhile or help make changes, keep the Dream alive - not the nightmare.
Be it against the LBGT community & the denial of the basic right of marriage, or the discrimination that allows us to let the government practice war as terrorism in other countries. MLK gave us an excellent start, but our work is not done. His gift to us was enlightenment- a movement for us to keep alive.
I once heard King's daughter, Yolanda speak. she said "Don't wait around for a leader, be one."