Tom Hall: As the new Tea Bag Republicans virtually guarantee gridlock and a forced double dip depression, the voters will again turn on them, giving a chance, in 2012, to candidates who offer real solutions, real progress, real hope. If we can find any.
Brad Parker: It is only fitting that the avatar of the extreme right-wing political, cultural and economic prevaricators should stand in the shadow of the Dreamers nearly a half century since the eclipsing call to peace delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Where better to expose the Elmer Gantry of all things hateful, angry and victimized?
Tom Degan: That’s what I love about this guy! American history is littered with “Christian” religious leaders. Try as you might, you can’t escape them. The thing that sets Reverend King apart from most of these guys is the fact that he wasn’t a hypocrite. He never tried to twist the words of Jesus of Nazareth into anything other than what they were – a call to love one another and for kindness and gentleness. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton is another celebrated American Christian who took the gospel seriously. So was Dorothy Day. Please give me a day or two and I might be able to name more, but at the moment none come to mind. Both Merton and King died in 1968, Day in 1980. They’re gone and they’re not coming back.
Articles by H. Scott Prosterman, Carl Bloice, Carl Matthes, Adam Eran, Alfee Enciso, Robert Reich, Diane Lefer, Anthony Samad, Jim Fuller, Tom Degan, Michele Waslin, Georgianne Nienaber, Ron Briley, Tracy Emblem, Rev. Irene Monroe, Nomiki Konst, Randy Shaw, Jane Baek, Mario Solis-Marich, Andrea Christina Nill, Shamus Cooke, Ron Wolff, Sikivu Hutchinson, Marcy Winograd, Walter Moss, and Sharon Kyle
H. Scott Prosterman: Those of us who came of age in the late ’60’s did so at a time of painful soul-searching for our nation, but we benefited from the new era of openness and spiritual exploration that followed. I learned from Rabbi Wax that one’s politics is defined by one’s sense of humanity, or the lack thereof.
John Delloro: State rights and individual freedom have an important place in our society but so does the values and beliefs informing the lives of Ella Mae, my father and I. Our narrative of community and compassion yearns and demands to be included in the larger story of America. Although the health care reform bill is imperfect, it communicates to us—“we are beginning to be heard.”
Ron Wolff: Oh, by the way, country and western music will be studied as a cultural movement. High school freshmen will probably be assigned the task of writing lyrics to twangy melodies — when they’re not studying about the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association. Yes, they’re all “in.”
Friday Feedback: Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream doesn’t just belong to any one particular group. It belongs to all of us. The civil rights struggle is a human rights struggle, and the LGBT community should be a part of it.
Norman Solomon: As new sequences of political horrors unfold, maybe it’s a bit too easy for writers and readers of the progressive blogosphere to remain within the politics of online denunciation. Cogent analysis and articulated outrage are necessary but insufficient. The unmet challenge is to organize widely, consistently and effectively — against the warfare state — on behalf of humanistic priorities. In the process, let’s be clear. This is not a defense budget. This is a death budget.
Anthony Samad: Gay rights actvists have this pressing need to tie King to their cause, to legitimize their movement. They can’t find adequate venues to engage the black community on the issue of gay marriage, so they hijack King Day programs where they can dominate question and answer periods by interjecting questions around gay marriage. And they never want to have a morality conversation, as critical as that conversation is to a conversion (and shift) of America’s cultural mindset.
Rev. Irene Monroe: Sadly, Bayard Rustin, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that further catapulted Martin Luther King onto the world stage, was not the beneficiary of King’s dream.
Gene Rothman: we progressives need to follow King’s advice and not merely listen to, but to learn from others in the world. “Compassion and non-violence help us see the enemies point of view . . . . We may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own . . . [and] may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of our brothers who are called the opposition.” Most significantly, he noted that it is the U.S. that is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”
Saturday, January 16, 2010 8pm Nate Holden Performing Arts Center Join Ebony Repertory Theatre for its 2nd annual one night only celebration featuring noted actors, musicians and a gospel choir performing inspirational excerpts from Dr. King’s words, speeches and songs sung throughout the civil rights movement. An evening not to be missed! BUY TICKETS $15- [...]
Rather than enshrine him in a giant marble bust to sit alongside Henry Clay’s, as some have suggested, this is their time to follow in the footsteps Everett Dirksen trod in 1964 and yield to an idea whose time has come, and to build a far greater monument to the legacy of their fallen friend. It’s what Ted would want.
War, Violence & Religion: A Dialogue and Call to Action with the Rev. Dr. James Lawson and Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. Monday, July 20 – 7 to 9:30 p.m. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd. Is war or violence ever justified by our religious or spiritual traditions? In the service of combating oppression, tyranny, [...]
Despite the best efforts of Rush Limbaugh to take credit for spoiling the Obama political honeymoon by convincing all Republican members of the House of Representatives to reject the President’s economic stimulus package, public approval rates for the President remain at record highs; leading some to conclude that we have entered a post racial America. [...]
This week, the most venerable of civil rights organizations, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, more commonly known as the NAACP, turns 100 years old. Founded on Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday (February 12th, 1809), the organization had a controversial start. The organization was born out of what started as an effort by [...]
On this 80th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as I look at the state of human rights in the world I ask myself, “What would Dr. King do?” Look at the situation in the Mideast, particularly the current bloodshed in Gaza. These attacks, a violation of international humanitarian law, can [...]
In the summer of 2006 I attended the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard. One of the guest presenters was 95-year-old Johnnie Carr, the woman who took over the Montgomery Improvement Association in 1956 after the successful Montgomery bus boycott when Martin Luther King, Jr. went [...]
Social workers invariably cite values such as social justice, inclusiveness, and respect for self-determination when advocating for domestic needs such as health care and other issues. What is missing from the agenda is an effort to address the costs of war that rob domestic programs of their full potential.