On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day there is much discussion of what King would think of today’s current events—some even absurdly arguing that he might have supported the Afghanistan War. For such things to even be up for discussion is a sign that we (as a country) really don’t know that much about King. Perhaps his words have been too mangled and sanitized for us to see the true spiritualism behind the rhetoric. As a lesson, we should watch videos, such as the one above, which show King as a human in his own times, discussing the nature of his work and beliefs.
In this 1957 episode of an NBC interview show, King answers questions about the bus boycott and its relation to Christian morality, as well as Gandhian philosophy. The latter, which occurs around the seven-minute mark, is particularly interesting, as he dispels a common myth about Gandhi’s exception to nonviolence. He concludes: “Organized nonviolent resistance is the most powerful weapon that oppressed people can use in breaking loose from the bondage of oppression.”
Seventy-five years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the anti-nuclear movement is taking big steps toward abolition.
“Prison By Any Other Name” authors Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law caution against quick-fix solutions and spotlight grassroots abolitionist movement building.
As the 19th Amendment turns 100 amid a summer of mass protest, it’s important to remember the decisive role nonviolent direct action played in hastening its ratification.