- Nov 16, 2011
Martin Luther King … was opposed to violence and war; he was indeed a devout pacifist. It is very odd, almost unbelievable, that so violent and tumultuous a setting as this can still produce such men. He was out of place, out of season, too naive, too innocent, too cultured, too civil for these times. That is why his end was so predictable.
He attempted to direct the emotions and the movement in general along lines that he thought best suited to our unique situation: nonviolent civil disobedience, political and economic in character. I was beginning to warm somewhat to him because of his new ideas concerning U.S. foreign wars against colored peoples. I am certain that he was sincere in his stated purpose to “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort those in prisons, and trying to love somebody." I really never disliked him as a man. As a man I accorded him the respect that his sincerity deserved.
It is just as a leader of black thought that I disagreed with him. The concept of nonviolence is a false idea. It presupposes the existence of compassion and a sense of justice on the part of one’s adversary. When this adversary has everything to lose and nothing to gain by exercising justice and compassion, his reaction can only be negative.
The symbol of the male here in North America has always been the gun, the knife, the club. Violence is extolled at every exchange: the TV, the motion pictures, the best-seller lists. The newspapers that sell best are those that carry the boldest, bloodiest headlines and most sports coverage. To die for king and country is to die a hero.
The Kings, Wilkinses, and Youngs exhort us in King’s words to “turn the other cheek to prove our capacity to endure, to love." Well, that is good for them perhaps but I most certainly need both sides of my head.
Taken from his book “Soledad Brother: The Prison Writings of George Jackson." (page 167-168)
What do you all think? Well said? Something missing? Completely correct?