Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The March on Washington! (video)

WARNING: Extremely moving! MLK said, "I Have a Dream" (see full speech)
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. planned and participated in the historic 1963 "March on Washington" to promote peace (opposing the US/MIC's widespread secret bombing of Buddhist Cambodia, Laos, and the very public and wanton destruction of Buddhist Vietnam). Dr. King was a great promoter of Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and fellow peace activist Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay). Racism in America and widespread economic disparity, which kept large swaths of the population in "slave" conditions, could be tolerated by the Powers That Be at the time. But the one thing they could not tolerate was a direct assault on the military-industrial complex (the corporate and governmental interests that very profitably promote war and destruction as a means of enriching themselves and maintaining social control). Dr. King saw this and could not be silent on the matter:

"The greatest purveyor of violence: My [US] government, and I cannot be silent." 
Malcolm X quietly supported the growing peace movement opposing segregation, racism, and economic inequality. He, however, was willing to examine other options -- the Islamification of the black community, direct resistance, black nationalism, and taking what communities were being deprived of due to race. He is often cast as promoting the opposite of Dr. King's peace model based on Gandhi and Jesus Christ (who is said to have come not to bring peace but a sword, Matt. 10:34). The saying, "By any means necessary" is repeatedly quoted like a battle cry -- as if it meant violence were the only way. All means included nonviolent resistance, active dissent, civil disobedience, self-defense, peaceful demonstrations, rallies, marches, finding allies in other oppressed parts of the world and the country (among other groups), and more. He did not believe that the Powers That Be were simply going to hand over equal rights and opportunities out of kindness and generosity. So much was at stake that no option was off the table. So to think that Malcolm X was all angry and violent, whereas Dr. King was all love and peace is a great misreading of history. But this is the simplistic tale we are told.

Peaceful means
Peace Pagoda, Ladakh, Himalayas (creative_pixels)
Malcolm X makes it clear that he has bigger plans for ending racism and oppression than what Rev. King has been heard promoting. Whether promoting pure peace or "all means necessary," the American government assassinated them just the same. But who made a bigger public impression?
Whose name is remembered and lauded as a sustainable movement? If we fight violent-power with violent-power, the more violently-powerful win, and we continue to live oppressed by violence. 
If we resist with peace, after a time, peace wins out, and we now live blessed by peace. The choice is always ours -- and it is not an easy choice when being prodded by violent police and racist institutions.

"It is time now for you and me to stop running away from the wolf right into the hands of the fox looking for some kind of help."
- Malcolm X
MLK, Thay, Browne (
(MalcolmXfiles)  "Recently when I was blessed to make a religious pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca where I met many people from all over the world, plus spent many weeks in Africa trying to broaden my own scope and get more of an open mind to look at the problem as it actually is, one of the things that I realized -- and I realized this even before going over there -- was that our African brothers have gained their independence faster than you and I here in America have.
"They've also gained recognition and respect as human beings much faster than you and I. Just ten years ago on the African continent, our people were colonized.
"They were suffering all forms of colonization, oppression, exploitation, degradation, humiliation, discrimination, and every other kind of -ation. And in a short time, they have gained more independence, more recognition, more respect as human beings than you and I have.
"And you and I live in a country which is supposed to be the citadel of education, freedom, justice, democracy, and all of those other pretty-sounding words.
"So it was our intention to try and find out what it was our African brothers were doing to get results, so that you and I could study what they had done and perhaps gain from that study or benefit from their experiences."

Do police and soldiers fight or defend the corrupt offices of power?

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