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All Quotes By Martin Luther King Jr.

The greatness of our God lies in the fact that He is both tough-minded and tenderhearted.
This is hard to write. Heartless, really.

We live in a world where tragedy is entertainment. We used to say, “Sex sells!” Now we can say, “Horror Sells!”

I judge mind-control attempts against the People by the Managers by checking out CNN Headline News and other cable news. On a very regular basis the cable news channel(s) will give over its entire content to a singular sensation. One. For a while it was Michael Jackson's Doc. They love to distract us with mommies who kill their own kids. Way back it was Schaivo, O.J., Peeping Toms, Craig's list scams and Celebrity Pissing Contests. There will always be something. Tragic. And always nobility emerging from the ashes of grief.

If you want journalism read a magazine. If you want human interest entertainment, watch The News.

“They (Vietnam Vets) asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.”

I want to tread lightly because we are dealing with tragedy. Real human beings caught up in publicized tragic circumstances. Lots of people learn how to act in front of a camera watching Jerry Springer. Others are caught pouring a broken heart out onto broad daylight because they are absolutely human. Some of us look away as we approach a wreck on the highway. And some are rubbernecks. Some of us are so starved for attention we'll do anything for 15 minutes. Some want more than minutes, we want infamy.

News is only news while the camera is turned on it. Folks in the Gulf are still dealing with the Tragedy of BP. New Orleans still recovers from Katrina. The nation struggles to recover from its shame of letting peace and prosperity get away. News is an edited version of an event that already happened. Live coverage of “man on ledge” is not news, it is spectacle. Crowds gather and chant, “Jump, Jump, Jump!” And viewers are glued to the Lazy Boy enthralled to the story of a life which has led to this moment where all eyes are watching YOU.

“Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.”
Mass Media has an objective to manufacture consent. The stories it pushes to do this; the way stories are told are chosen for the ends of manufacturing rather than the means of reporting. Stories are not reported to inform, but instruct, used to advance the agenda of consensus building about values, laws, responsibilities and obligations. There is a reason the U.S.A. lags behind the civilized world in a Free Press. The News, like the economy, is Managed. It is not free.

The current tragedy has nothing to do with the death of a young man. Tragic deaths are a dime a dozen in the world. Get in line if you got a story to tell. Mass Media cherry picks stories to reinforce 'truths' it wants to instill in the Populace. I want to emphasize at this point, the Story is the story to people it involves and their families and surrounding communities. There are very few stories which affect a nation – September 2001, the Invasion of '03 and the Crash of '08 – but crimes of passion, hatred or kicks is not the business of a nation. And if it is made the business of The People by the Story Tellers, then what is the purpose? What is the message strategy?

“There are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize — I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to — segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence. But in a day when sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.”
The current story is about a perpetual underclass expressing frustration about its condition of human indignity; a young african american man killed by a watchman with a gun. The matter is still under investigation. But the lines are drawn. And why shouldn't they be? To suggest African American men are not discriminated against is to be willfully ignorant. To not understand the anger of the African American community generated by the reflection of them in White America's Media Empire mirror is to just not get it. Slavery is a stain on this nation which has not been cleaned. It scars us to this day.

This story is not about White Guilt, but Black Anger which makes White America go on the defensive. Whitey gets all, “Hey it's not my fault you live in a ghetto. Pull yourselves up buy the bootstraps!” And African Americans roll their eyes to heaven again and whisper, “Like it's my fault I'm a slave.”

“Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten. A society is always eager to cover misdeeds with a cloak of forgetfulness, but no society can fully repress an ugly past when the ravages persist into the present. America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay. If it loses the will to finish or slackens in its determination, history will recall its crimes and the country that would be great will lack the most indispensable element of greatness — justice.”
White America must come clean about slavery. And while we have as much to do with being a slave owner as our African American population has direct experience of slavery, Tragedy, through its strength and scope, breeds memory and sustains grief. It is passed down for generations. Tragedy begs for things to be different than they are because the grief and horror are so hard to bear. But tragedy is tragic because there is always a turning point where fate becomes destiny. The tragedy of free choice. The ability to choose wrongly.

African Americans don't have to come clean about anything, but to accept the sincere condolence of “I'm sorry.” I am filled with sorrow for your story and thank the Almighty because “there but for the grace of god go I.”

But as a People, engaged in a battle against the inhumane forces of cruelty and greed, we have to transcend the personal and extend to the universal. Take our river of tears to the ocean of suffering humans have endured from their own flesh and blood from time immemorial.

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and 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 he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. I believe today that there is a need for all people of good will to come together with a massive act of conscience and say in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "We ain't goin' study war no more." This is the challenge facing modern man.”
Slavery, oppression and genocide do not have race-pride badges of courage. These are human conditions. A few at the top with the many below is a human condition. The injustice wealth buys is a human condition. The yearning toward liberty and justice is a human condition.

Stories about race in the mass media in a country which prides itself on Color Blindness (cough, cough) are meant to divide the races.

White America is a pot-bellied, recliner-fetished, walking heart attack of ignorance and lethargy. No wonder so many of us run to the cover of Big Brother and The Police State. Safety in Chaos is a powerful aphrodisiac.  

But we have Bankers to chase, Admirals & Generals to retire and Politicians and CEOs to jail.

And to each other? The rest of us? If we're sane we'll throw our arms around each other and say, “Man, that was a close call. We almost let it get away. We've come too far to fail now.”

It's difficult to accept the blame for our ancestors' crimes and all too easy to ignore or dismiss the visible scars which remain on the descendents of those crimes.

Our job is not to judge but to acknowledge.

If slavery is wrong for a human, then isn't it wrong for a People?

And lacking the will and the means to change our condition, aren't we enslaved to the powers of money and war?

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