Op de derde maandag van januari is het in de VS Martin Luther King-dag. Dat is dit jaar dus op 16 januari, een dag na z’n geboortedag (15 januari 1929; hij werd op 4 april 1968 vermoord.) Hij was burgerrechten-activist. In 1964 kreeg hij de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede.

Hij wordt voorgesteld als gematigd. Dat is ten onrechte. Hij was behoorlijk radicaal (wat iets helemaal anders is dan extremist) en antikapitalist. Naarmate hij ouder werd, verharde hij zijn standpunten.

Enkele citaten omdat te staven:

“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.”

— Southern Christian Leadership Conference speech, 1967

“First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely
disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the
regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his
stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku
Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order”
than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of
tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who
constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot
agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically
believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives
by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to
wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people
of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from
people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than
outright rejection.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail, 1963