Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr: we need your wisdom now

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular;
but one must take it because it is right.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Somehow this madness must cease.
We must stop now.
I speak as a child of God and brother
to the suffering poor of Vietnam.
I speak for those whose land is being laid waste,
whose homes are being destroyed,
whose culture is being subverted.
I speak for the poor in America
who are paying the double price
of smashed hopes at home
and death and corruption in Vietnam.
I speak as a citizen of the world,
for the world as it stands aghast
at the path we have taken.
I speak as an American
to the leaders of my own nation.
The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967

The ultimate measure of a man
is not where he stands 
in moments of comfort and convenience, 
but where he stands 
at times of challenge and controversy. 
The true neighbor will risk his position, 
his prestige and even his life 
for the welfare of others.
-- Strength to Love (1963)
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1 comment:

Amy Bookbinder said...

Thank you Michaelann for posting these wise words on this special day, April 4th, the day after Martin Luther King stood with the Memphis sanitation workers fighting for their rights, and was assassinated. Through his tireless efforts to launch the Poor People's Campaign , he had made the connection clear between the fight for racial justice and economic justice, symbolized by the sanitation workers in Memphis. Let us keep making the connections and struggling for equal rights and economic justice for all.