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“Over the last few years I have consistently preached that non-violence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. So I have tried to make it clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.”—
Martin Luther King Jr.
“A Letter from Birmingham City Jail” (1963)
with reference to the insincere, ‘peaceful’ public handling of demonstrators - despite police brutality in the Jail and the social injustices at hand. (fuckyesss! this man is so eloquent & brilliant.)
Martin Luther King, Jr.
He was so legit. A lot of people don’t realize just how legit he was. Find a speech or something and listen to his words. You may find yourself surprised or inspired or just happy. This day will for most people be just a day out of school, worth maybe five more hours of sleep. But take a moment to think or learn about this day and what it means— why it is indeed a holiday.
When I taught 8th grade history, we used a textbook that included Thoreau’s classic essay “On Civil Disobedience” (the essay that would later inspire King and Gandhi and other leaders). This inclusion is required by state law. But school administrators do not want Thoreau to inspire their students, so the textbook editors cooperatively remove from Thoreau’s call to civil disobedience any statement that might encourage disobedience. (That’s like taking a car-owner’s manual and cutting out every reference to the car!) What do they leave? Only a few sentences, qualifiers, telling readers not to go too far in disobedience. These qualifiers are taken out of context to misrepresent “On Civil Disobedience” as an essay urging submission, leaving students to believe Henry David Thoreau was no more important or inspiring than the person who tells you to eat your vegetables and brush your teeth, and leaving students to wonder why this man is in a history book at all.
What good is an education if the books are heavily edited? I remember also having this problem with Thoreau when I read him in school, this is also why I have zero faith in education, as it stands, in America. Decades of revisionism, omission, politics, and poor funding has severely undermined the honest educational system that the working classes so desperately depend upon. The revolution will not be televised, the revolution might not even be read.
[Bold emphasis is mine.]