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A few more thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr.’s wisdom | READER COMMENTARY

U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume is all smiles at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Baltimore. It was not held the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mfume was among the political leaders who were angered that the parade was cancelled at the last minute, to be replaced by service projects. Jan. 16, 2023. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).

I read with interest the editorial, “We still have much to learn from the wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr.” (Jan 16). To be frank, I made a beeline to the quote listed under April 4, 1967, when King delivered his Beyond Vietnam speech at Manhattan’s Riverside Church. There was but one sentence from what some historians believe was the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s most important speech.

I will share a bit more from the oratory heard by 3,000 listeners who welcomed his opposition to our government’s bloody invasion of a very poor country: “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when ‘every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.’”

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I think it is historically accurate to see King as a radical, as a pastor who would not tolerate the three evils that were prevalent in 1967. It saddens me greatly as today inequality in this country is rampant, white supremacy grips half of the country and, of course, militarism is out of control. My government is planning to spend the largest amount of tax dollars ever on the military and the weapons contractors.

I, for one, want to imagine that King’s beloved community is still possible. But we must all have the courage to get into the streets and demand an end to poverty, racism and militarism.

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— Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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