Martin Luther King on the craven Republican silence

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shakes his fist during a speech in Selma, Ala., Feb. 12, 1965. King was engaged in a battle with Sheriff Jim Clark over voting rights and voter registration in Selma. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shakes his fist during a speech in Selma, Ala., Feb. 12, 1965. King was engaged in a battle with Sheriff Jim Clark over voting rights and voter registration in Selma. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)

Had he lived to a robust old age, Martin Luther King, Jr. would’ve turned 89 today. One can only imagine what he’d be saying about Donald Trump.

But we don’t need to guess what he’d be saying about the amoral Machiavellian Republicans who continue to sit silently, averting their eyes and ears, as the dangerous racist continues to wreak havoc on our democracy at home and our standing abroad. King, whose maternal ancestors hailed from s**thole West Africa, repeatedly addressed the craven abetters of injustice and ignorance. His wisdom of yesteryear rings truer than ever today:

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.” 

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

Those lines are for the lockstep Republicans. This last one is for the rest of us:

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all … We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Happy King Day, everyone.

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