Sunday, January 14, 2007

Non-violent resistance.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968). Like Mahatma Gandhi, he preached non violent social struggle and civil disobedience to reach his goals and he did. He realized his dream (kind of) and nobody can deny his role in the social changes that have happened under his lead for American civil rights movement. This Baptist minister, one of youngest Nobel peace prize winner for his peaceful struggle for equal treatment had once a dream for his country. A dream where people, independent of their color and race will coexist peacefully as equals, and he got it. A proof, that dreamers can be influential and can make a difference. This speech, considered one of the greatest in history marked the 20th century in the US.

He said in regard to the declaration of independence of the US:
"In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'"

And also:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

And finally:

"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

As a reminder, nonviolence has been described by some as "the politics of ordinary people", that’s you, me and the majority of us. The Non-violence approach has been used by almost all cultures, specially the religions from Abraham’s to Mohamed (Peace be upon him). They all used non-violence approaches, at least in the beginning!!

So in these times where a lot of politic movements preach violence without any tangible results, perhaps they should consider dreaming and non-violent struggle like Gandhi or King who showed very good ones.

Martin Luther King, rest in peace.


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