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Old 01-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Dr. Martin Luther King

"If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."

~Dr. Martin Luther King
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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All too many of those who live in affluent America ignore those who exist in poor America; in doing so, the affluent Americans will eventually have to face themselves with the question that (Adolph) Eichman chose to ignore: How responsible am I for the well-being of my fellows? ~ MLK

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The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspires men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life. ~ MLK


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Old 01-16-2012, 04:50 AM   #3
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One of my favorites:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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I'm just gonna link to this beauty of a speech:

American Rhetoric: Martin Luther King, Jr. - I Have a Dream

There's another speech I remember reading once in school I really loved. I'll have to try and hunt it down, too, it was truly moving.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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One thing we can all agree on
is that if he were here today he would be 100% against Affirmative Action

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I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Why should minorities be given an advantage over white Americans in college entry acceptance, police or fire jobs, or advancement therein?
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:41 PM   #6
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i don't agree on that.

i do agree that he'd now be called a Marxist and Socialist and a Not Real American.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
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MLK jr
along with Jesus

is an image to be determined by each of us, for our own purposes

Junior Great Books Interstitial 3-5 - TeacherVision.com

color him to your liking
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post

i do agree that he'd now be called a Marxist and Socialist and a Not Real American.

btw, that is how
a. many
b. most
Americans thought of him in his day.


and there was/is supporting evidence *




* his own words, speeches and writings
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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I know. I posted them.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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MLK really did have friends and associates in the CP-USA, of course; that was the prime angle on him Hoover sought to exploit. Most of the more than 100 FBI agents sent to MS ostensibly to protect civil rights workers during Freedom Summer were in reality under orders to investigate them for signs of Communist activity. Since the CP-USA had for decades been the only US political party with a strong and explicit anti-segregation platform, it was quite easy to frame civil rights activists with that particular smear.



Irvine (or anyone else), have you been to the new monument? I've seen pictures of course (and read about all the various disheartening conflicts over it), but haven't actually been yet.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:10 PM   #11
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the only time I was in DC was during the poor people's march in 1968, I was 12, I went with my father on a trip to NIH

I remember seeing all the people on the mall
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #12
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Irvine (or anyone else), have you been to the new monument? I've seen pictures of course (and read about all the various disheartening conflicts over it), but haven't actually been yet.

no, haven't had a chance to check it out.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:07 PM   #13
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Speaking about segregation laws but applicable to all law.

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How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
-- Letter from Birmingham City Jail - 1963
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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^ Just as a kind of coda to that, while he doesn't specifically cite King here (though he does in The End of History, which it's clearly based on) Francis Fukuyama just had an article in Foreign Policy on that same theme:
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The legend now has it that the Arab Spring was kicked off in early 2011 when a Tunisian vegetable seller, Mohamed Bouazizi, had his fruit cart confiscated by the police. Slapped and insulted by a policewoman, he went to complain but was repeatedly ignored. His despairing response--to set himself on fire--struck an enormous chord across the Arab world. What was it about this act that provoked such a response? The basic issue was one of dignity, or the lack thereof, the feeling of worth or self-esteem that all of us seek. But dignity is not felt unless it is recognized by other people; it is an inherently social and, indeed, political phenomenon. The Tunisian police were treating Bouazizi as a nonperson, someone not worthy of the basic courtesy of a reply or explanation when the government took away his modest means of livelihood. It was what Ralph Ellison described as the situation of a black man in early 20th-century America, an Invisible Man not seen as a full human being by white people.
.......................................
In the Anglo-Saxon world, there is a tendency to see politics as a contest of economic interests and to define rights in utilitarian terms. But dignity is the basis for politics everywhere: Equal pay for equal work, one of the great banners of feminism, is less about incomes and more about income as a marker for the respect that society pays for one's labor. There are no interests that gays could not protect through civil unions, but same-sex marriage has become an issue in American politics because it signifies recognition of the equal dignity of gay and heterosexual unions. One can understand the rights enumerated in the US Constitution, as well as those in the basic laws of other liberal democracies, as mechanisms for formally recognizing the rights, and therefore the dignity, of the citizens to whom they are granted. Whatever one might ultimately think of the sexual-assault charges brought against Dominique Strauss-Kahn by Nafissatou Diallo, the New York City police were not free to ignore them just because he was a high-status IMF director and French presidential candidate, and she a humble hotel maid from Guinea. Many of the big political fights in American history have centered on dignity issues, i.e., who lives outside that charmed circle of human beings deserving to have their rights recognized, whether propertyless males, women, or racial minorities.

German philosopher Georg W.F. Hegel argued that the whole of human history can be seen as a prolonged "struggle for recognition" and that the modern liberal democratic order represents the triumph of the principle of equal recognition over the relationship of lordship and bondage. The problem of contemporary politics is that people often do not seek recognition simply for their dignity as abstract and equal human beings; they also seek recognition for the groups of which they are members, as Ukrainians or Kurds or gays or Native Americans. Identity politics is the politics of recognition, whether rooted in religion, gender, race, or ethnicity.
......................................
The desire for recognition is thus a two-edged sword. It underlies the anger that powers social mobilization and revolt against abusive government, but it often becomes attached to ascriptive identities that undermine the universality of rights.
It's been a while since I read The End of History, but it appears to me that he's using "ascriptive identities" here in a considerably more open-ended way than he does there, where IIRC it's applied to (for example) ethnic-, nationalist- and religious-chauvinist movements with explicitly *supremacist* beliefs--which may initially increase liberty for all, but once thus empowered, tend to quickly become toxic for minorities. That's a significantly different problem than the philosophical difficulties of pursuing group interests ("identity politics") within a legal and political framework geared towards individual rights, IMO.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #15
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The problem of contemporary politics is that people often do not seek recognition simply for their dignity as abstract and equal human beings; they also seek recognition for the groups of which they are members
We've entirely perverted the concept of human rights (as understood from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence) as being individual rights and restrictions on the government to one that gives government new powers to hand out rights in different degrees depending on which preferred group you fall into.

Quote:
One of the great strengths of Common Law has been it's general antipathy to group rights. Because the ultimate minority is the individual. The minute you have collective rights you require dramatically enhanced state power to mediate the hierarchy of different interest groups.
--Mark Steyn
Interesting subject to me.
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