MLK’s nonviolence and self-defense

I found this speech by MLK about nonviolence. Check out the section of The Question of Self-Defense.

It is very well put. This is the true spirit of nonviolence. You can use this as a yardstick to measure the current politicians’ rhetoric about the Iraq war and see if they really can claim a legacy to MLK. They talk about peace without really understanding it. Not to mention whether America, the strongest country, really needs a self-defense, or just look at the numbers to see who has killed more people.

All the problems of the world arise from violence. Thus, using violence, even for self-defense, has a huge stake. No war is necessary. This world doesn’t need any war. The world doesn’t need any military. The force of violence can never be overcome by the force of violence. It can only be dissolved by the force of peace.

The book Blessed Unrest points out that MLK before his education in nonviolence surrounded himself with armed bodyguard feeling he needs self-defense. Rustin, however, “was adamant that a nonviolent movement could not tolerate the presence of gun-toting guards, and that the firearms inside the King household had to be removed. King was displeased and confused; he then understood nonviolence as meaning only not initiating violence. He felt that he and other blacks had the right to defend themselves.”

What do you think?

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