Friday, April 19, 2019

Martin Luther King Jr: Nobel Peace Prize Speech (1964)


Martin Luther King Jr [1929–1968]: Nobel Peace Prize Speech in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 1964. 

From his speech, consider this portion:
I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. 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. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. 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. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. 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.” I still believe that We Shall overcome!
Is there anything in this speech that is offensive? Au contraire mes amies. Would anyone decent deny dignity, equality and freedom to anyone? This seems like a reasonable request to a nation that speaks often of liberty. In keeping with this ethos, I find this speech to be commendable and spoken in the spirit of truth and justice, noting with approval the prophetic words quoted from the biblical books of Micah and Isaiah, pointing to a future messianic age.  The full text of the speech can be found [here].

Happy Passover to everyone celebrating this festival of freedom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Policy:

All comments will be moderated; and bear in mind that anonymous, hostile, vulgar and off-topic comments will not be published. Thoughtful, reasonable and clear comments, bearing your real name, will be. All comments must be in English.