MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial Statue
Recently, we were in Washington, DC and had a chance to see the MLK Memorial.

The statue was quite impressive and captured Dr. King’s strength and spirit.


However, what I found most impressive were the quotes on the wall behind him.


Here are the 14 quotes. I found them here.

“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

“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.”

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

“I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as a moral example of the world.”

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

“It is not enough to say, ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.”

“We are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

However, as inspiring as these quotes are, what’s missing are some of the quotes from his Beyond Vietnam speech given one year before his death. This speech, read today, is still as powerful as it was then. It showed the radical Dr. King who realized that the War in Vietnam was keeping the US from fulfilling the promises that the country had made to the poor – black and white.

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin…we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

I thought about these quotes while watching the protesters Occupying Wall Street. Cornell West – professor of African American Studies at Princeton University – recently visited them and commented that Dr. King would be smiling at them for the work that they are doing.

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I write about nutrition, health, food-related issues and spirituality at Whole Food-Whole Life.

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One comment on “MLK Memorial
  1. […] Chris Hedges, who spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years, spoke here in VT around the anniversary of 9/11. He was not very optimistic about the future of our country. He spoke in Washington, DC at the October 2011 Occupation in Freedom Plaza. Here are some excerpts – you can read all of it at Truthdig There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave. […]

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