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January 19, 2009

MLK: the betrayal of silence; videos of speeches.

The action and speech of Dr. Martin Luther King demonstrates the power of one man to influence a nation. What would have happened if he had remained silent. And who now among us is the next MLK, the next Gandhi, the next Mother Teresa. We will never know when our voices remain silent.

“Now, I’ve chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we’re always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on. Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.” Read on…

Does the war for our souls now turn against us? Against the destruction caused by our own inaction and ignorance. Silence may be our greatest enemy, silence and fear. I pray we may hear the words of Dr. King with our hearts. That he may not be an absent voice of the past but a constant voice of conscience to lead us to embody a potential beyond imagination. As a nation we have taken steps closer to the promised land of MLK’s vision. Can we now dream of a world united against war, starvation, and the unchecked devastation of our most steadfast companion, the earth?

Video: Dr. King’s last speech.

Video: I Have a Dream

Bonus:

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Henry Schliff  |  1 Followers