What MLK Got Wrong

I found this post interesting. It takes a sober look at MLK’s vision of international affairs and the assumptions underlying it. MLK’s post 1964 years were very difficult years for him as he waded into a broader critique of American power and its global reach. Tavis Smaley traces the difficulty of these final years for King in his book Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Final Year. MLK found that many who followed him in facing racism during the civil rights movement were not as willing to support his growing ambivalence about America’s role in the world, particularly its response to Communism. It seems to me that MLK’s chief false step was his too optimistic vision of human nature and the failure to make adequate distinction between the church and the state. The paradigm of non-violence needs qualifications. Some choose to not make those qualifications and plunge wholesale into pacifism, utilizing the Sermon on the Mount as the model for nation building and security. I consider this to be a grave error, and MLK is not the only religious leader to get tripped up when his own personal crusade at home was taken to the international stage.

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