This week’s episode of Nonviolence Radio pays special tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the 92nd anniversary of his birth. Michael begins by going over some nonviolence news, covering events in the US and abroad. He highlights the urgent need to listen, to see each other — whatever our different beliefs — as fellow humans, all of us in need of a sense of belonging to a meaningful world. This is followed by a recording of a speech given by Dr. Clayborne Carson of the MLK Institute at Stanford University in 2017. Dr. Carson turns to the life of Martin Luther. King Jr., recognizing not only the ‘mountaintop moments’ but the valleys he faced and courageously strode through. Dr. Carson calls upon us to remember King’s bigger vision which embraced not only civil rights in the US, but human rights across the globe.
“So what I would suggest is that when we go back and look at Martin Luther King’s question, “Where do we go from here?”, that it’s very possible that gaining citizenship rights has made us very complacent about human rights. We are secure and very happy in our rights as Americans in terms of citizenship because those are the rights that we expect our government to protect.
But there’s a realm of rights which is constantly being evolved in the world. A realm of rights that belongs to people as people. And it’s those rights that serve as a standard for citizenship rights. As we expand — what is our ideal for what rights should be?– that comes when we look at Martin Luther King. It’s very clear that his ideal for what rights should be is not grounded on a piece of paper, it’s not grounded on a constitution, it’s not grounded on law itself. It’s grounded on Christianity, the Judeo-Christian tradition, the prophetic tradition, the notion of justice.”