The Politics of Comparison

martin_luther_king

Martin Luther King could never be president. Not because of racist attitudes of America in the 1960s (those haven’t changed all that much), but because he was an enemy of the state, not its benign friend– not a smiling visage on a t-shirt, or a McDonald’s advertisement. We ought to be careful to whom we compare this man, who never hesitated to call out the injustice at the heart of American existence.

This is a man who neither extolled the inherent “greatness” of America, nor tried to “restore” America to a pristine past, which never existed. This was a man who set out with a clear motto: to “Save the soul of America” from itself. He was certainly never silent in the face of wanton destruction of life.

The war in Vietnam is a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality… we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation… We will be marching for [Guatemala and Peru, Thailand and Cambodia, Mozambique and South Africa] and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change.
Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change.

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One thought on “The Politics of Comparison

  1. The depth and breath of Dr. King’s greatness is so stunning that it defies comparison. The Dr. was a perveyor of truth with a deep and authentic love for his people. His body of work, though developed in the 50’s, still has relevance today, because the vast majority of present day leaders are more concerned with serving themselves as opposed to the people they are supposed to serve. No one has had the courage to pick up the mantle of leadership– leaving problems within our society to grow and fester. Dr. King was not the type of man that women give birth to everyday, so any attempt to compare him to anyone else would, in my opinion, be an insult.

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