Harry C. Blaney III
We are living in a time that we see at home and abroad attacks on justice, human rights and a leader in our nation that espouses racism and hate. It is time thus to remember the words on his birth date pf Martin Luther King Jr. He knew deeply the forces of evil and hate and the returned both with peaceful protest and understanding and love. It is sad that we have moved so much backward from not only his fight against bigotry but also his work for the poor and neglected. We are seeing around the world but also now a determined effort to harm the “least among us” at home by Trump and his supporters, but also abroad with his acquiescence in acts of cruelty and violation of human rights and not least admiration of brutal dictators. King would have understood that context and would voice his opposition but in the hope of redemption by moral force.
A personal note, Martin Luther King Jr was a beacon of hope and justice during my grad student days. I heard him at a Yale commencement and later in London heard his talk at St. Paul’s Cathedral on his way to pick up his Nobel prize. I joined earlier also at grad school in a “sit-in” effort in St. Augustine in Florida on Spring break sponsored and led by King’s Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), landed in jail with many others including my wonderful Yale Chaplain William Sloane Coffen Jr.
I leave for my readers a quote from him on this the anniversary of his birth:
“ I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“God is not interested merely in freeing black men and brown men and yellow men, but Gold is interested in freeing the whole human race.”
The other line in his draft “Letter from Birmingham Jail” which is with me to this very day was ”In justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Let us not forget is goals and sacrifice.