January 16, 2011

Inherited Wisdom

Martin Luther King III (via msnbc.com):
"Ugliness rears its head," Martin Luther King III told a dinner gathering hosted by the King Center. "And that tragic incident in a real sense should say to us all that the work of Martin Luther King Jr. is nowhere near finished because he tried to teach us how to live in a nation and world without destroying either person or property."
"And so the message of nonviolence resonates strongly, particularly this year after that great tragedy," King said.
Think about that. "Destroying either person or property." How often have opinion-makers spent their efforts tearing down someone's work or reputation? Beck, Olbermann, O'Reilly. Different politics, same intent.

We're free to express our disagreement and anger. It benefits our politics to do so in an open forum, usually short-circuiting violence and revolution. After a couple generations of anti-government rhetoric and inflated outrage, though, it's a lesser jump from passivity to outright aggression. When people are purposely riled up time and again, aggressive anger is the norm. Enter the unbalanced, and here we are.

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