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Dr. King Held a Mirror Up to a Nation’s Values

Op/Ed By Jesse Jackson


Jesse3( – Dr. King was an intellectual who reflected seriously and critically on the dilemma facing African-Americans, people of color generally and poor people specifically — of all races.

He was also an activist. He didn’t get bogged down in the paralysis of analysis. The choices he saw available to the oppressed were threefold: The first option was to respond to institutional violence with violence. But he didn’t see that as moral, practical or able to really address and solve their problems. In fact, he saw it as counterproductive. Secondly, the poor and people of color could just endure injustice and essentially do nothing. Again, he didn’t see that as moral or practical, and he thought that such repression would eventually explode into violence. The final choice, the one he recommended, was nonviolent active resistance. He brought thought and action together morally and practically as the best way to bring about structural change.

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