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text 2019-01-19 18:08
Quotes and Thoughts #3
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Kris Shepard,Clayborne Carson

From the Church Bombing Eulogy given at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church September 18, 1963:


"And so this afternoon in a real sense they have something to say to each of us in their death. They have something to say to every minister of the gospel who has remained silent behind the safe security of stained-glass windows. They have something to say to every politician who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing northern Republicans. They have something to say to every Negro who has passively accepted the evil system of segregation and who has stood on the sidelines in a mighty struggle for justice. They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream." (p. 96)


I wonder what Dr. King would make of Diamond & Silk, Kanye, Rep King, and of course the tangerine in chief.


From the speech Selma to Montgomery March given in Montgomery, Alabama March 25, 1965:


"I know there is a cry today in Alabama, we see it in numerous editorials: 'When will Martin Luther King, SCLC, SNCC, and all of these civil rights agitators and all of the white clergymen and labor leaders and students and others get out of our community and let Alabama return to normalcy?' I have a message that I would like to leave with Alabama this evening. That is exactly what we don't want, and we will not allow it to happen, for we know that is was normalcy in Marion that led to the brutal murder of Jimmy Lee Jackson. It was normalcy in Birmingham that led to the murder on Sunday morning of four beautiful, unoffending, innocent girls. It was normalcy on Highway 80 that led state troopers to use tear gas and horses and billy clubs against unarmed human beings who were simply marching for justice. It was normalcy by a café in Selma, Alabama, that led to the brutal beating of Reverend James Reeb.


It is normalcy all over our country which leaves the Negro perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. It is normalcy all over Alabama that prevents the Negro from becoming a registered voter. No, we will not allow Alabama to return to normalcy."  (p. 129)



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text 2019-01-19 16:27
Quotes and Thoughts #2
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Kris Shepard,Clayborne Carson

From Dr. King's speech The Birth of a Nation, given at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church April 7, 1957:


"The road to freedom is a difficult, hard road. It always makes for temporary setbacks. And those people who tell you today that there is more tension in Montgomery than there has ever been are telling you right. Whenever you get out of Egypt, you always confront a little tension, you always confront a little temporary setback. If you didn't confront hat you'd never get out. You must remember that the tensionless period that we like to think of was the period when the Negro was complacently adjusted to segregation, discrimination, insult, and exploitation. And the period of tension is the period when the Negro has decided to rise up and break aloose from that. And this is the peace that we are seeking; not an old negative obnoxious peace which is merely the absence of tension, but a positive, lasting peace, which is the presence of brotherhood and justice. And it is never brought about without this temporary period of tension." (pg. 34-35)



From the speech Give Us the Ballot, given at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom May 17, 1957:


"A second area in which there is need for strong leadership is from the white northern liberals. There is a dire need today for a liberalism which is truly liberal. What we are witnessing today in so many northern communities is a sort of quasi-liberalism which is based on the principle of looking sympathetically at all sides. It is a liberalism so bent on seeing all sides, that it fails to become committed to either side. It is a liberalism that is so objectively analytical that it is not subjectively committed. It is a liberalism which is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. We call for a liberalism from the North which will be thoroughly committed to the ideal of racial justice and will not be deterred by the propaganda and subtle words of those who say: 'Slow up for a while; you're pushing too fast.'" (p. 50)


I'm starting to get the notion that Dr. King was a time traveler and came to our time and watch a few hours of television news shows. Also, the more things change, the more they stay the same, including the pushback.


From the speech Freedom Rally in Cobo Hall given in Detroit June 23, 1963:


"Segregation is a cancer in the body politic, which must be removed before our democratic health can be realized. Segregation is wrong because it is nothing but a new form of slavery covered up with niceties of complexity. Segregation is wrong because it is a system of adultery perpetuated by an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality..." (p. 62-63)


I thought that last line in particular was stunning from just a purely writing perspective.


"As I move toward my conclusion, you're asking, I'm sure, "What can we do here in Detroit to help in the struggle in the South?" Well, there are several things that you can do. One of them you've done already, and I hope you will do it in even greater dimensions before we leave this meeting. Now the second thing that you can do to help us down in Alabama and Mississippi and all over the South is to work with determination to get rid of any segregation and discrimination in Detroit, realizing that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And we've got to come to see that the problem of racial injustice is a national problem. No community in this country can boast of clean hands in the area of brotherhood. Now in the North it's different in that it doesn't have the legal sanction that it has in the South. But it has its subtle and hidden forms and it exists in three areas: in the area of employment discrimination, in the area of housing discrimination, in the area of de facto segregation in the public schools. And we must come to see that de facto segregation in the North is just as injurious of the, as the actual segregation in the South. And so if you want to help us in Alabama and Mississippi and over the South, do all that you can to get rid of the problem here." (p. 69-70).


*ahem* he was talking to you too PA/NJ/NY *ahem*



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text 2019-01-18 10:09
Quotes and Thoughts So Far
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Kris Shepard,Clayborne Carson

Both quotes taken from the speech Address to the First Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) Mass Meeting, December 5, 1955 (four days prior Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus to a white man):


"We are not afraid of what we are doing, because we are doing it within the law. There is never a time in our American democracy that we must ever think we are wrong when we protest. We reserve that right. When labor all over this nation came to see that it would be trampled over by capitalistic power, it was nothing wrong with labor getting together and organizing and protesting for its rights." (pg. 11)


Dr. King, Jr's words is pretty timely considering the teachers' strikes in W. VA and Oklahoma in 2018 and the new LA United School teachers' strike going on right now. I was vaguely aware of Dr. King's constant connection between economic and social struggles, but I thought that came later in his speeches.


"...But I want to tell you this evening that it is not enough for us to talk about love, love is one of the pivotal points of the Christian faith. There is another side called justice. And justice is really love in calculation. Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love...Standing beside love is always justice..." (pg. 11-12)


This reminded me of a special weekend at my childhood church, when we were visited by representatives from various religious social justice groups. The saying "Know Justice, Know Peace; No Justice, No Peace" was repeated so often that it truly stuck with me (even after I left the church and the religion in my late teens) and is what I try to live my life by. At the time, I thought it was just a cool saying made up by people who were doing good work among the most marginalized in society; never occurred to me it was the continuance of Dr. King's work.

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text 2019-01-15 09:57
Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 288 pages.
The Honey Factory: Inside the Ingenious World of Bees - Diedrich Steen,Jürgen Tautz

So. much. science.


Which is awesome.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it and getting exactly what I wanted: an in-depth, you-are-there, description of the world of honey bees and what we know so far about how they function in the hive.


Originally written in German, the translation is good, but it's funny because the narrative voice reminds me so much of the way one of my former colleagues in Denmark spoke English.  Grammatically perfect, but with a rhythm–dare I say melody?–that made it sound like he was ... I want to say 'talking to a  child' but it wasn't condescending; it was simply a similar cadence.  It's hard to explain, but the result is I can't hardly read this without picturing him in my head and hearing his voice.  Which is totally ok (I liked him), but a tad discordant too, as to the best of my knowledge he was not a beekeeper.  

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review 2019-01-11 07:16
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

Short, cute and entertaining, though it did make me wonder about people...

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