IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

MLK Peace Speech

Actually Martin Luther King gave a number of speeches related directly or indirectly to peace.  However, I was just looking at his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. The speech kind of speaks for itself, so to speak (sorry 🙂 ).  Anyhow, here are some passages I particularly like.

“After contemplation, I conclude that this award… is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. The tortuous road which has led from Montgomery, Alabama, to Oslo bears witness to this truth. This is a road over which millions of Negroes are travelling to find a new sense of dignity. ”

…and

“I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. 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. ”

…and

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.”

Remember, this was 1964.  Nuclear annihilation was a very real prospect, and racism was much more rampant than it is today.  The man had a vision.  He called it a “dream”, but I think we can see now it was a true vision of what was, despite the prevalent darkness, a real possibility of positive change.

IGBarb says:  “Come back and read this from time to time, if you don’t think there has been progress…or if you forget how much there is still to do!”

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November 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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