Monday, January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and NonViolence

In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. 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.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I use the text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech in my Comp I class during our Persuasion/Argument unit.  I am surprised each semester by how many students (of all races) have never read or even seen the video clip of the actual speech.  This experience solidly reinforces to me the notion that history forgotten is history repeated; each generation removed from an historical event loses some of the emotional impact the event/person originally caused or generated. 

There is no other way, in my opinion, to explain the explosion of senseless violence that seems to have become so normal today.  If a person doesn't care for another person's way of life, political stance, race, culture, sexual orientation, etc, annihalating that person and everything/everyone he/she stands for seems to be the knee jerk reaction these days.  Nevermind the innocents who may also be destroyed in the process...just collateral damage, I guess.

It is possible for us all to live together in the world today, but a healthy dose of perspective and an open mind (even if just a crack at a time) are vital in a world where violence is no longer considered the first line of defense.

Maybe we should all have more dreams.


  1. Great post, Patti. I often show the speech during library class. This year on Friday I did show it and I felt horrible as I later went through and read through recent comments posted under the video. I'm amazed still at how people can still have such utter hatred.

  2. Thank you for the reminder. I think we need to hear and read these words and ideas until they're ingrained in our social conscience.