Martin Luther King on the Corona Impeachment

Sunday, January 15, is Martin Luther King Jr. day in the USA.

That day, I briefly Googled for quotes from this modern day prophet, as a simple way of honoring him, and to serve as my “liturgy of the word” for the Sunday.  And since Monday was to be the start of the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Corona, I hoped I might find some relevant words from Dr. King.

But Girlie and I had to go to the Body Talk orientation session given by our good friend Dorothy Friesen (a kindred spirit of Dr. King, an activist for social justice and peace). I didn’t have time to find what I was looking for.

Monday was so full of meetings, I didn’t have time to catch even the start of the impeachment. But today, at Tuesday’s end, I found some time to resume my search. And I did find quotes from Dr. King that speak to me about the Corona impeachment, though not always as I expected:

Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. 

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.

Dr. King’s words can cut both ways, though my initial interpretation was tilted by my political bias in favor of the PNoy presidency.

On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

Obviously, Dr. King’s words address quite a different context and different issues. But I take them as a healthy challenge to my present state of mind and heart about the impeachment process.

I must confess that I am not as excited and incensed as many friends, and do not feel the need to engage in public partisan debates on the issue. Hence, Dr. King’s words on taking a stand and taking sides poke my conscience, even if I am conscious that they do not really apply to the impeachment issue:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

I take some comfort from another set of Dr. King’s observations on how some people conduct themselves, even in movements for change and significant political moments.

Whatever their final outcomes, such movements and moments offer opportunities for deeper and long-term political education. But this calls for effort and creativity. Dr. King’s observations reflect his share of disappointments and frustrations:

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. 

I close with his wise and challenging call for the kind of leaders we need:

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And a belated Happy Birthday!

Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Popular education, Rebuilding our Nation

2 Comments on “Martin Luther King on the Corona Impeachment”

  1. Me ann Villas Says:

    I really salute you Sir (Ninong Ed) because you are indeed one of my real heroes. Ang halos lahat ng idolo niyo, idolo ko rin. Hindi talaga kami nagkamali ng pagpiling kunin kayong ninong sa aming kasal. After reading you this morning, the more I got convinced that in my own little way, I will try my best to follow in your footsteps. I would like to ask for your assistance as I finally decide to be a more involved educator myself as I am now taking concrete steps to introduce a higher quality, alternative type of school here in Calapan City. I have been reading about your ALS articles and the more I am inspired. But what makes my ‘vision’ different is that I will start in early education and I plan to cater to children who have different learning styles, multiple intelligences and those who do not find the “traditional school” quite enjoyable and challenging. I plan to cater to the different learning needs and spreading my conviction that “every child can be an achiever”. I would like to help develop children to become also artists, musicians and writers, by tapping their creative side, apart from helping them excel in their academics. Ninong Ed, please help me on this. I have been dreaming about this since my children entered different schools. I homeschooled them for three years and my daughter is now like you, an artist in Makiling, Laguna. I firmly believe that God has planted this dream in my heart and this is His plan, I am just allowing myself to be an instrument. Financially, I am lacking, in vision I am rich. But God has sent friends who share my vision and they are very willing to raise the resources to make this dream into reality. I need your guidance and support, please email me po if you don’t mind – Thanks and God blesspo.

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