While members of the far-left often herald Martin Luther King Jr. as an emblem of their movement, it is ironic that many of MLK's core values and teachings are at odds with their values. On this day when we honor Martin Luther King Jr., one of America's most articulate and transformational leaders, it is important that we remember his teachings as they truly were, and not what the modern-left would like them to be. Here are 15 of MLK's most impactful quotes the far-left would like you to forget.
MLK was a firm believer in non-violent demonstration, unlike ANTIFA and many of the modern-left movements today. He also taught the motivation behind these non-violent movements should be love, not hate.
1. I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So, the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.—Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963
2. After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.—Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
3. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.—"I Have a Dream" speech, 1963
4. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.—Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
5. 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.—Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
6. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.”—Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
MLK believed just laws are derived from God's law alone. He defined unjust laws as those that do not treat all men equally in dignity, as God's law requires. Civil disobedience is only justified when it involves breaking an unjust law in pursuit of moral law, he taught.
7. How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.—Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963
8. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. To use the words of Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, segregation substitutes an "I - it" relationship for the "I - thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.—Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963
9. We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal. If I lived in a Communist country today where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I believe I would openly advocate disobeying these anti-religious laws—Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963
MLK did NOT hate America. On the contrary, he loved America's founding principles and fought for the equal application rights of principles and America's Judeo-Christian heritage. He was hopeful rather than hateful of the future of America and mankind.
10. So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.—"I Have a Dream" speech, 1963
11. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage.—Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963
12. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.—"I Have a Dream" speech, 1963
13. I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him.—Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
Unlike Critical Race Theory and modern leftist movement, MLK fought against applying special privileges to a particular race. Instead, MLK dreamed of both black and white people living together in love and brotherhood as equals.
14. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.—"I Have a Dream" speech, 1963
15. When this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.—"I Have a Dream" speech, 1963