Philosophy of Martin Luther King

Non-Violence in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi

by Kelly R. Smith

Martin Luther King and Barack Obama
Martin Luther King and Barack Obama
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Martin Luther King Jr., whose birth name was Michael King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He died on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. The central theme of his teachings and leadership was his philosophy of non-violence in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi.

The King Center explains the Triple Evils that MLK defined, “The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the ‘Six Principles of Nonviolence’ and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the ‘Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change’.”1

The Triple Evils

  1. Poverty. This Evil encompasses unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, and slums. Poverty is not something new but we now have the resources to get rid of it. “The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for the least of these.”1
  2. Racism. This Evil refers to prejudicial mindsets, South Africa style apartheid, continuing ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism (the one that Obama is frenetic about), homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes.
  3. Militarism. This Evil concerns war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, domestic terrorism (Antifa, BLM), human trafficking from undocumented illegal aliens to sex workers, media violence, drug proliferation, child abuse, and violent crime.

King’s Six Principals of Non-Violence

MLK defined these fundamental principals in his book Stride Toward Freedom.

  1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and like happiness, emotionally.
  2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.
  3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people. Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.
  4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
  5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body. Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
  6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win. Nonviolence believes that our righteous God is a God of justice.

Fact: Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr., with one such street in almost every major city.

King’s Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change

  1. Information gathering. To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a person, community, or institution you must do research. You must investigate and gather all vital information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the problem. You must become an expert on your opponent’s position in order to have empathy.
  2. Education. It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This minimizes misunderstandings and gains you support and sympathy.
  3. Personal commitment. Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in your work for justice.
  4. Discussion/negotiation. Using grace, humor and intelligence, confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.
  5. Direct action. These are actions taken when the opponent is unwilling to enter into, or remain in, discussion/negotiation. These actions impose a “creative tension” into the conflict, supplying moral pressure on your opponent to work with you in resolving the injustice.
  6. Reconciliation. Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step close to the ‘Beloved Community.’

The philosophy of Martin Luther King is sound and timeless. Unfortunately, his concepts are sadly lacking in today’s society. Instead, the mainstream media, social media, and the monied few seek to indulge in social engineering through fake news, censorship, and rigged elections. We can do better, can’t we?

Others are Reading


  1. The King Center,,to%20evil.It%20is%20aggressive%20spiritually%2C%20mentally%20and%20emotionally.

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Joe Biden’s History on Race Relations and Civil Rights

by Kelly R. Smith

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(Uncle) Joe Biden describing Barack Obama
(Uncle) Joe Biden describing Barack Obama

Ex-Vice President Joe Biden is the Democrat party’s pick for Presidential nominee, running against President Donald Trump. Two of his main themes he is using to describe himself is being a standard-bearer for race relations and hero of the working class. But are those attributes correct or more Beltway hype? We’ll look at the former theme. We are entitled to our opinions but not our facts.

Biden’s History on His Part in the Civil Rights Movement

Biden talks of of being a prior public defender to point out his civil rights bona fides on the campaign trail. “I came out of the civil rights movement,” Biden said in February and frequently on the campaign trail.

But did he? In an article from The Intercept, we’re told that, “during Biden’s first run for the presidency, in 1987, the then-senator frequently described himself as a teenage civil rights activist, only to withdraw those claims later. More than three decades later, having served under the first black president, Biden seems to have reversed himself again, and now describes himself as a participant in desegregation protests in his youth.” Why all the flip-flops? Is it political expediency, or a truly faulty memory as his current many gaffes would have us believe?

The Intercept goes on to report Biden saying in speeches, “When I marched in the civil rights movement, I did not march with a 12-point program; I marched with tens of thousands of others to change attitudes, and we changed attitudes.”

But alas, not true again. Biden’s aides tried, unsuccessfully, to nudge him back on script, reminding him that he had not, personally, marched. He would acknowledge the “error” each time he was reminded of it and then repeat it on the campaign trail. It was just too good of a sentimental talking-point to give up.

How about this one. The reported Biden’s quote, “This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid. I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.

— Former vice president Joe Biden, in remarks in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 11

“After he [Mandela] got free and became president, he came to Washington and came to my office. He threw his arms around me and said, ‘I want to say thank you.’ I said, ‘What are you thanking me for, Mr. President?’ He said: ‘You tried to see me. You got arrested trying to see me.’”

— Biden, in remarks in Las Vegas on Feb. 16

The problem? None of it ever happened. Pure fiction. It’s a bit too elaborate to be a momentary lapse of reason and too well spoken to be one of his infamous gaffes (with a well-crafted follow-up.

Joe Biden, Integration, and Segregation

Biden seems to be on the flip-flop train on these issues as well. In 1975, he opposed the federally-mandated busing policy that was designed to terminate segregation in public schools. However, in the past few decades, he has maintained he actually wanted desegregation but believed the policy of busing would not achieve it. Last year, he stated he had voted heroically to protect busing, which is contrary to the actual facts.

According to the Washington Examiner, Biden said, “I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride,” said Biden. Desegregation, he argued, was “a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality.” So at this point Biden is back to the point of wanting to separate the races.

Biden was also a supporter of an anti-busing amendment offered by Sen. Robert Byrd, a senator from West Virginia and a Democrat. Byrd had denounced his racist past, which included being a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan as well as attaining the high title of kleagle and exalted cyclops of his local chapter.

“I have never, ever, ever voted for anything I thought was wrong,” said Biden to three former senior aides in Obama’s White House. “In the middle of the single most extensive busing order in all the United States history, in my state, I voted against an amendment, cast the deciding vote, to allow courts to keep busing as a remedy. Because there are some things that are worth losing over.”

Biden’s VP Choice of Kamala Harris

“There are a number of women of color. There are Latino women. There are Asian. There are — across the board. And we’re just under way now in the hard vet of going into the deep background checks that take anywhere from six to eight weeks to be done,” Biden said during a campaign speech in Wilmington, Delaware.

So, in the end, he picked Kamala Harris. There are several possible reasons both for and against this choice and it is impossible to know for anyone who’s not a fly on the wall in back-door campaign meetings. In other words, we can all look at the facts and speculate as to relevance. Historically, the choice is — what voting block a VP can bring to the table? And, what kind of attack dog is that person? This is a reasonable approach for both parties and does not use the term “dog” in a pejorative sense.

As for Harris, she’s a woman. Check. She can attack furiously. Check; especially since Biden can’t do it effectively while ensconced in his bunker “campaigning” online. Person of color? Hmm. Mom is Indian, dad is Jamaican. That’s definitely color-ish but not “Black” or “African-American.” There are a lot of Black American leaders that have a problem with this.

Furthermore, her heritage includes field-hand slave-owners. Wouldn’t this be something Biden would be wanting to distance himself from? Certainly it worked to Obama’s advantage that Michelle Obama’s ancestors were slaves. But to go from that to one’s heritage actually being slave-owners? Kind of counterproductive on Biden’s part if he wants the Black Lives Matter vote.

There has been a lot of speculation in the media that since Biden’s nomination is a done-deal and he isn’t expected to last four years, health-wise or cognitively, it’s important to have a successor in the wings that is young and radical to take over and represent The Squad and the Far Left. Is this reality or conspiracy theory fodder? I don’t know. You decide.

This has been a glimpse into Joe Biden’s history on race relations and civil rights. It is certainly not an exhaustive account of someone who’s made a career out of sausage-making politics. But it does cast a light on the fact that a penchant for flip-flopping might indeed not bode well for promises made after the votes are counted.

More on Biden


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Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.

About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.


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