Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dr. Martin Luther King: Power Under Control

Should Blacks continue down the path of non-violence?

Martin Luther King Jr delivers his iconic and historic 'I Have A Dream' speech at the 1963 March on Washington - GettyImages
Martin Luther King Jr delivers his iconic and historic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech at the 1963 March on Washington – GettyImages

*Meekness is not weakness. Consider the bridled horse: Although strong and mighty, it is controlled by the bit placed in its mouth. That’s power under control. (What does that have to do with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Read on.) Now if a horse gets spooked by a rattlesnake or a loud sudden noise, it will by nature ignore the restriction of the bit, rear up, and perhaps throw its rider in response as a defense mechanism to mitigate the threat of safety. Everyone wants to feel safe, right?

In the same way, Dr. King who became a powerhouse in the civil rights movement, trumpeted non-violence with the “bit” of the gospel in his mouth. Like the horse, as a minister, he was restrained by that bit. Now, do you think he was not alarmed and frightened by cross-burnings (the rattle of human “snakes”) or the loud noises of gunfire and bombs? Well of course he was! It’s human nature. I once heard of an account where Dr. King was in a situation where he lowered his head to pray but kept one eye open.

In 1944, as a junior in high school, Dr. King competed in a debate contest and delivered a speech titled The Negro and the Constitution – a topic on whether American Blacks were being treated according to American values laid out by the Founding Fathers. Dr. King said the Civil War and the Reconstruction era produced a “new order” with the ratification of the fourteenth and other amendments to the Constitution; amendments that ensured the promise of equality that went beyond the original Declaration of Independence. By the way: The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868; 100 years before Dr. King was assassinated.

With former president Trump’s base threatening civil war if he is 1.  Not allowed on the ballot; 2. Sent to prison; or 3. Defeated in the presidential election – many Blacks and other non-Whites are wondering whether or not to take up arms as so many Whites have already done. Judging from all the disinformation that Republicans continue promulgating to stir their base, and how Trump continues to throw fuel on the fire, this has become a matter of great consternation and must be taken seriously.

I once heard a man say, “For me to be killed for what I believe is one thing, but it is my duty to defend and protect my family.” Domestic terrorist groups justify their arsenals for protection against the government. The question we’re all facing in times like these is “What time is it?” The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:7-8 (AMP) “A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to keep silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday is Monday, January 15, 2024 - (Getty)
MLK Day is Monday, January 15, 2024 – (Getty)

In public Dr. King stressed non-violence, but here’s an account of an incident that reportedly took place in 1956 after his home was bombed and he was denied a permit to carry a gun: “In 1956 after journalist William Worthy nearly sat on a loaded gun in an armchair in Martin Luther King Jr.’s house during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he could hardly know that his report on the incident would become a mere footnote in King’s journey to nonviolence.” [by Dara T. Mathis, The Atlantic]. So, after being denied a permit, Dr. King somehow came into possession of a gun anyway. Why? Was violence riding shotgun with Dr. King’s non-violence ideology? Perhaps no. I think he just wanted to defend and protect his family.

It all comes down to power under control. Let’s not be foolish, but rather, consult God for guidance. Meekness is not weakness; be wise in preparedness and in readiness. It’s better to err on the side of caution.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday is this Monday, January 15, 2004

Larry Buford is a contributing writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon). Email: [email protected]

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Will the King Holiday Ever Be Seen as More than a Black Holiday?

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