Sunday, January 20, 2008

Remembering the Militant Moderate

An uncompromising call to arms:

[A] strong man must be militant as well as moderate. He must be a realist as well as an idealist .... This is why nonviolence is a powerful as well as a just weapon. If you confront a man who has long been cruelly misusing you and say, "Punish me, if you will; I do not deserve it, but I will accept it, so that the world will know I am right and you are wrong," then you wield a powerful and just weapon. This man, your oppressor, is automatically morally defeated, and if he has any conscience, he is ashamed. Wherever this weapon is used in a manner that stirs a community's, or a nation's, anguished conscience, then the pressure of public opinion becomes an ally in your just cause.
- - Martin Luther King, Jr., Playboy Interview, 1965

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