Tag Archive for Martin Luther King Jr.

The World Still Splurges on War

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Amid continued splurging on war – with the U.S. government still far-and-away the world’s leader – there are a few hopeful signs as common citizens learn from the likes of Gandhi and become more suspicious of advocates for violent conflict, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

Shameful History of Jeff Davis Highway

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Journalist Robert Parry has become embroiled in a local controversy in Arlington, Virginia, over his suggestion that the name of Confederate President Jefferson Davis be removed from roads in the county in recognition of the evils of slavery and segregation, an idea that has riled up some longtime Virginians.

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

A mug shot photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham jail, as Rev. Howard Bess recalls.

The Mountaintops of the 1 Percenters

Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

In the final speech of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. talked about reaching the mountaintop and gazing down on a promised land of a brighter future. But today’s mountaintops are often reserved for elites to meet and gaze upon each other, with the teeming masses far from view, as Danny Schechter reflects.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect – even if only briefly – on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over King’s message can be intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a more radical call for profound change,…

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, DC.

At the dawn of the last year of his life, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. broke with many political allies by warning that the Vietnam War and the militarism that surrounded it were inflicting a “spiritual death” on America, an impassioned speech that cast King outside mainstream opinion circles which considered his advice naïve if…

The Injustice of US Justice

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. saw the injustices in American society and sought to correct them. He succeeded in many ways as laws were changed to eradicate overt segregation, but other problems proved more intractable as witnessed in the criminal justice system, as Laura Finley notes.

Making Nelson Mandela ‘Safe’

White South African leader Frederik deKlerk shaking hands with Nelson Mandela in 1992. (Copyright photo by World Economic Forum -- www.weforum.org)

The great tragedy of Nelson Mandela’s life was that his revolution only passed political power to South Africa’s black majority, not economic power, which remained in the hands of the old white ruling classes, both domestic and global. That is a reality now lost, writes Gary G. Kohls.

Mandela, MLK and Jesus

Nelson Mandela.

The death of Nelson Mandela offers Christians a chance to reflect on the great protest leader at the center of their religion, the historical Jesus, with his anger at ostentatious wealth and his disdain for social inequality, as Rev. Howard Bess reflects.

Christianity’s Contradictions on War

Though based on the pacifist teachings of Jesus, Christianity has been an accomplice to more wars and genocides than any other religion, a paradox reflected in the contradictory views of 16th Century protestant reformer Martin Luther and 20th Century civil rights martyr Martin Luther King Jr., as Gary G. Kohls explains.