Tag: Martin Luther King Jr.

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Standing Up for Lessons of Dissent

There is a general belief that Americans don’t care much about history, preferring to bask in self-reverential “exceptionalism” with U.S. behavior beyond criticism. But students outside Denver are taking to the streets to protest right-wing efforts to strip dissent from the history curriculum, writes…

The World Still Splurges on War

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…

Shameful History of Jeff Davis Highway

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…

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

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…

The Mountaintops of the 1 Percenters

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,…

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

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,…

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death

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…

The Injustice of US Justice

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…

Making Nelson Mandela ‘Safe’

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…

Mandela, MLK and Jesus

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.