All the revolutionaries of the 20th century are rusty, and what can we learn from them? Sure, I have a soft spot in my heart for Lenin, who died way too soon, and who, I think, could have led the Soviet Union into the path of being a normal socialist country And Gandhi’s success is undoubted, even if it is picked to pieces, now, by rightwing Hindu nationalists.
Still, we have the longer perspective. We can see their beginnings and their ends. Their time has waned.
Except for one man: Martin Luther King, Jr. Last night I got to bed at three, and I am tired as I write this, having had five hours sleep, so perhaps I am sentimental. Obama’s campaign, either consciously or unconsciously, took its cues from King. The same long patience. The same attention to the goal. The same shaking off of abuse, of the frivolity of hatred, which, even if it kills, can never be anything but frivolous, in bad faith, repulsive to the hater himself.
Last night was a reminder that King changed the U.S. – that you certainly don’t have to be a president to change this country.
If yesterday’s list of Youtube items was a dirge; today’s link is to this. I was ten when MLK was murdered.
I was ten…
"And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.
And I don't mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy, tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"