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View Diary: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from the Birmingham Jail (115 comments)

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  •  Thanks, ScanDroid. (20+ / 0-)

    People who were not alive wqhen MLK was are sometimes provided a "Hallmark Cards" view of him.

    MLK Jr. was a real activist.  He fought hard: direct action.

    This is key in almost all activist struggles, regardless of the specific issue.

    You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

    "They're going to give their power away when we take their power away." John Edwards

    by TomP on Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 08:24:48 AM PST

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    •  That is one of the keys to understanding (5+ / 0-)

      how transformative change really happens.  

      In some ways that happens in diaries here on Dailykos.  I beleive that nyceve's diaries dealing with health care disasters so

      dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.

      Negotiations rarely happen without a deep understanding that the status quo will be overturned, the only choice is how.

      It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

      by pioneer111 on Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 10:38:02 AM PST

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