Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Conflict

Sure, Dr. King was concerned about the great issues of the day, war and peace and civil rights. But some of the things he said about peace also relate to environmental conflicts. Things to think about.

(This is a repost from 2011)
In honor of our holiday honoring Dr. King, I selected some quotes that may be worthy of our consideration with regard to our daily “environmental conflict” lives.

We will never have peace in the world until men everywhere recognize that ends are not cut off from means, because the means represent the ideal in the making, and the end in process. Ultimately, you can’t reach good ends through evil means, because the means represent the seed and the end represents the tree.

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Thank you, Dr. King.

5 Comments

  1. Dr. King was a trained theologian and philosopher. He contributed a lot to both fields in his short life. But few philosophers and theologians have had the impact on the world that he had. We will always be indebted to him. If only we had done a better job protecting him!

  2. “Sure, Dr. King was concerned about the great issues of the day, war and peace and civil rights. But some of the things he said about peace also relate to environmental conflicts.”

    Sharon,
    I have given careful consideration of Dr. King’s teachings with regard to ‘our daily “environmental conflict” lives.’

    One can only wonder what response Dr. King would provide regarding your advocacy for deregulation of environmental legislation, your support for increased hydraulic fracking and other fossil fuel extractions on our National Forest System, and your equivocation and obfuscation of the ongoing global climate catastrophe in the midst of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption.
    https://www.climateliabilitynews.org/2018/01/10/new-york-city-climate-lawsuit-liability-bill-de-blasio/
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-ocean-dead-zones_us_5a4ff489e4b003133ec7cc3f
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/eaam7240
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/12/global-warming-stirs-the-methane-monster/
    https://www.alternet.org/environment/2017-was-hottest-year-record-without-el-nino-thanks-global-warming

    Something tells me he would not only disagree with those personal positions of yours as well as much of the captured agency you worked for at the center of “environmental conflicts” we disagree on. In all likelihood, he would express exquisite disfavor of your appropriation of his teachings for your personal ends of admonition directed at those US citizens protesting agency malpractice, for lacking the “goal of Peace”, deficient in the abilities for “hard, solid thinking,” and failure ”to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools” as they relate to “environmental conflicts.”

    Something tells me Dr. King would stand stand side by side with the Native Women leaders of the Tongass protesting the ongoing destruction of old growth forests of Southeast Alaska, which have been and continue to be, central to their way of life since “time immemorial.”
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/end-the-assault-on-indigenous-peoples-and-our-land_us_5a4f977ce4b089e14dba6bc6

    Something tells me Dr. King would support a march against social and environmental injustices arising from the USFS systemic maladministration, and landscape level mismanagement resulting in massive theft of public forest resources and the losses of countless millions of dollars to local rural communities in Southeast Alaska, such as my own.
    https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/forest-service-scalped-on-tongass-timber-sales.html

    Something tells me Dr. King would find direct parallels of racial bigotry with the egregious agency record of professional bigotry in retaliation and intimidation against countless courageous USFS whistleblowers.
    The following link from the OSC is titled,
    “U.S. Office of Special Counsel Announces Group Settlement of Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints Filed by Former and Current Employees of The Bighorn National Forest.”
    It is only one instance involving 8 separate whistleblowers out of countless other examples. It’s notable for not naming the perpetrator of these systematic agency abuses. For the record, her name is Abigail Kimbell, former Supervisor of the Tongass NF.
    She was subsequently promoted to highest office as the first female Chief of the USFS.
    https://osc.gov/News/pr03_10.htm

    Dr. Martin Luther King stood for encouraging Americans to engage in democratic participation, to stand up for their rights of social and environmental justice and when necessary, openly protesting the policies of captured government agencies.

    This is naked sanctimonious admonishment Sharon, of those who find fault with their government, fault its state of corporate capture and political manipulation, fault its failures to abide by our laws, and fault its apologists such as yourself Sharon. This is co-opting Dr. King’s commemoration, then twisting his advocacy for peace for your own purposes. At a minimum, it is deeply disrespectful of defenders of ecological integrity of public lands and certainly what Dr. King stood for.

    From Wiki:
    “The Environmental Justice movement and the Civil Rights Movement have many commonalities. At their core, the movements’ goals are the same: “social justice, equal protection, and an end to institutional discrimination.” By stressing the similarities of the two movements, it emphasizes that environmental equity is a right for all citizens. Because the two movements have parallel goals, it is useful to employ similar tactics that often emerge on the grassroots level. Common confrontational strategies include protests, neighborhood demonstrations, picketing, political pressure, and demonstration.[19]”

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