A very important speech, especially in light of the last week of tragedies….
I realize I have been absent, and I am working on rectifying that. But it was important for me to come on today and re-post one of my favorite speeches from one of the greatest men in the history of the world. Dr. Martin Luther King. I am always humbled and am reminded to ask myself when things get bad, and the haters get me down, just WHERE do I go from here? How can I let trusted friends blow me off and walk away with out a fight? Because if they want to be gone, they will be. It happens. I am sad and hope that if this strikes a cord, you know where to find me. I can barely sit at the computer because of my pain level. The doctors are trying to find out why I have a chronic case of shingles and also where the joint pain and headaches are coming from. Thank you for all the kind words everyone.
I hope your Monday is a good one. Remember to ask yourself the same question, just WHERE can WE go from here? No matter where it is!
Martin Luther King Speech – Where do we go from here
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
16 August 1967
Dr. Martin Luther King, August 16, 1967: “An edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”
It is perfectly clear that a violent revolution on the part of American blacks would find no sympathy and support from the white population and very little from the majority of the Negroes themselves. This is no time for romantic illusions and empty philosophical debates about freedom. This is a time for action. What is needed is a strategy for change, a tactical program that will bring the Negro into the mainstream of American life as quickly as possible. So far, this has only been offered by the nonviolent movement. Without recognizing this we will end up with solutions that don’t solve, answers that don’t answer and explanations that don’t explain.
And so I say to you today that I still stand by nonviolence. And I am still convinced that it is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for justice in this country. And the other thing is that I am concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice. I’m concerned about brotherhood. I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about these, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer but you can’t murder. Through violence you may murder a liar but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.
And I say to you, I have also decided to stick to love. For I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.
I want to say to you as I move to my conclusion, as we talk about “Where do we go from here,” that we honestly face the fact that the Movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s market place. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, “Who owns the oil?” You begin to ask the question, “Who owns the iron ore?” You begin to ask the question, “Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two thirds water?” These are questions that must be asked.
I don’t care what this was about then, apply it to what you are about now? The man was brilliant and passionate and had a pulse into this society far to soon. But I find it pretty humbling that this speech happened the day I was born. Elvis died, Charles Bukowski, Madonna and HP Lovecraft was born on my birthday (… HPL was actually the 20th and… but not on the actual day I was born… it is all kind of cool! 🙂 All in all, mid-August ROCKS for wonderful powerful stuff!