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Old March 12th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #11

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Even if it was so, what would that change about him? His achievements remain the same.

In this matter, only the alleged beating of the prostitutes he hired would be a blemish on his record.

It's also easy to accuse him of this 43 years after his death, now that he can't defend himself. Let stuff like this rest and focus more on what he did achieve: more rights for black people in the US
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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:15 AM   #12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintersorg View Post
Even if it was so, what would that change about him? His achievements remain the same.

In this matter, only the alleged beating of the prostitutes he hired would be a blemish on his record.

It's also easy to accuse him of this 43 years after his death, now that he can't defend himself. Let stuff like this rest and focus more on what he did achieve: more rights for black people in the US
Same rights already, plus affirmative action.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 04:31 PM   #13

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintersorg View Post
Even if it was so, what would that change about him? His achievements remain the same.

In this matter, only the alleged beating of the prostitutes he hired would be a blemish on his record.

It's also easy to accuse him of this 43 years after his death, now that he can't defend himself. Let stuff like this rest and focus more on what he did achieve: more rights for black people in the US
MLK is a hero of mine. With that being said, I absolutely disagree with letting "stuff like this rest." Should we "let it rest" that JFK cheated on his wife regularly? Should we forget about the fact that Abraham Lincoln made speeches that were overtly racist? Maybe we should also forget that Malcolm X was a drug addict before he joined the NATION OF ISLAM. MLK was a plagiarist and he cheated on his wife. If we chose to ignore these facts his history gets whitewashed in favor of a type of "feel good" history where all of our historical figures become saint-like and boring. By including the warts and blemishes of his life we get a more complete and better picture of this great man. The average man would be able to identify with him better because MLK was a human being; he was not a God-fearing, pious man for every single moment of his life. And we should celebrate this great man for exactly what he was: An amazing and courageous man who, in the face of unthinkable adversity, lifted millions of African-Americans out of second-class citizen status and forced the country to deal with a sickness that was tearing our society apart. It just so happened that part of his "I Have A Dream Speech" was plagiarized. It appears that he liked to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and have sex with prostitutes. These things take nothing away from his greatness. I would argue that they make the man more interesting. Imagine the discussions these facts would generate in a high school classroom. They would be heated and fascinating.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #14

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Originally Posted by NEW ARK? View Post
MLK is a hero of mine. With that being said, I absolutely disagree with letting "stuff like this rest." Should we "let it rest" that JFK cheated on his wife regularly? Should we forget about the fact that Abraham Lincoln made speeches that were overtly racist? Maybe we should also forget that Malcolm X was a drug addict before he joined the NATION OF ISLAM. MLK was a plagiarist and he cheated on his wife. If we chose to ignore these facts his history gets whitewashed in favor of a type of "feel good" history where all of our historical figures become saint-like and boring. By including the warts and blemishes of his life we get a more complete and better picture of this great man. The average man would be able to identify with him better because MLK was a human being; he was not a God-fearing, pious man for every single moment of his life. And we should celebrate this great man for exactly what he was: An amazing and courageous man who, in the face of unthinkable adversity, lifted millions of African-Americans out of second-class citizen status and forced the country to deal with a sickness that was tearing our society apart. It just so happened that part of his "I Have A Dream Speech" was plagiarized. It appears that he liked to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and have sex with prostitutes. These things take nothing away from his greatness. I would argue that they make the man more interesting. Imagine the discussions these facts would generate in a high school classroom. They would be heated and fascinating.
I very much agree with that. As mature human beings we should be aware that we all have weaknesses and warts and blindsides. MLK was a man who accomplished exceptional things. This makes him exceptional by definition. Perhaps what we should evaluate, rather than his weaknesses or his dark side, is whether his achievements were genuine or simply a method to enrich himself, or to pursue some nefarious business. I don't think you can make that case beyond the benefits of women and vice. Is it possible that if people of that time had known about the hidden side of MLK he would not have had the support for his movement?

I don't believe so. He was not a saint, but his achievements, for ALL Americans, will always be remembered and revered. All of us regardless of ethnicity have been enriched by what he did.

Last edited by unclefred; March 13th, 2012 at 05:30 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #15
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It is only useful to consider if considering it makes us understand that greatness is not a measure of human perfection, but a measure of what can be done by even flawed human beings.

Too often, this kind of thing is dredged up for no other reason than to condemn the person as being "lesser" than their legacy...
For us to wag our fingers as if We, Today, are better than that. ( when in fact we are not)
Or to suggest that no person can actually be 'great' having such base faults as these.

( which explains why we no longer seem to produce any great men, or women- the bar for perfection is far too high )


Gandhi Had Gopis.
Jefferson liked brown sugar
FDR died at a spa with his mistress
Ike nailed his driver

So what?

Greatness is not in being a perfect human being- that would be miraculous.

Greatness is that ordinary people can actually have extraordinary impact.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #16
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Lets just throw out all our heroes that were unfaithful to their wives.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 07:41 PM   #17

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Wasn't Martin Luther King heavily invested in the Church? Something like infedelity, could surely be propaganda from his enemies.

I know of one instance where he was brought in on charges of Tax Evasion but fought it successfully in court.

William Robert Ming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
In Montgomery, Alabama in May 1960, in front of an all-white jury, Ming helped defend Martin Luther King, Jr. on perjury charges related to alleged tax evasion,[12][13] obtaining an acquittal.[14] A "reluctantly admiring" Alabama lawyer was quoted: "Negro or not, he is a master of the law."[3] King wrote of the trial as a "turning point" in his life and praised Ming and his other principal lawyer, Hubert Delany: "They brought to the courtroom wisdom, courage, and a highly developed art of advocacy; but most important, they brought the lawyers' indomitable determination to win. After a trial of three days, by the sheer strength of their legal arsenal, they overcame the most vicious Southern taboos festering in a virulent and inflamed atmosphere and they persuaded an all-white jury to accept the word of a Negro over that of white men."[15]

I am not saying investment in the church excludes the possibility of being a womanizer. Jimmy Swaggert was a popular religious spokeman who admitted to a relationships with hookers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...00/2565197.stm



Martin Luther King seems to be of a different caliber of person. I have no proof, but I would need to see more information to believe he was an out of control womanizer.


http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_priz.../king-bio.html

Quote:
Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor.


In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Last edited by MrKap; March 13th, 2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #18

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Whether MLK was loyal to his wife or not is of little concern to us, as we can recognize and honor his life and achievements regardless of what may or may not have taken place behind closed doors. His legacy is and will remain a positive, indeed heroic one.

But at the time, it was an issue of great relevance. Being both a civil rights leader and a pastor meant that charges of marital infidelity would have made the Reverend look two-faced.

True or not, it certainly stood to be an effective weapon for his most poisonous adversaries to use to attack his character and reputation.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #19

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Originally Posted by Mike McClure View Post
Lets just throw out all our heroes that were unfaithful to their wives.
Nobody is saying that. If anything, stuff like this shows they were real people with their own flaws and not just a demigod; their accomplishments can be seen as more heroic rather than an obligation they were forced into by destiny.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 12:32 AM   #20

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Originally Posted by NEW ARK? View Post
MLK is a hero of mine. With that being said, I absolutely disagree with letting "stuff like this rest." Should we "let it rest" that JFK cheated on his wife regularly? Should we forget about the fact that Abraham Lincoln made speeches that were overtly racist? Maybe we should also forget that Malcolm X was a drug addict before he joined the NATION OF ISLAM. MLK was a plagiarist and he cheated on his wife. If we chose to ignore these facts his history gets whitewashed in favor of a type of "feel good" history where all of our historical figures become saint-like and boring. By including the warts and blemishes of his life we get a more complete and better picture of this great man. The average man would be able to identify with him better because MLK was a human being; he was not a God-fearing, pious man for every single moment of his life. And we should celebrate this great man for exactly what he was: An amazing and courageous man who, in the face of unthinkable adversity, lifted millions of African-Americans out of second-class citizen status and forced the country to deal with a sickness that was tearing our society apart. It just so happened that part of his "I Have A Dream Speech" was plagiarized. It appears that he liked to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and have sex with prostitutes. These things take nothing away from his greatness. I would argue that they make the man more interesting. Imagine the discussions these facts would generate in a high school classroom. They would be heated and fascinating.
I don't care to know whether these people cheated on their wives, or whether they took drugs. I'm only interested in what they achieved.
If I want to know who sleeps with who and who cheats on his wife, I'll go read some tabloids

What difference does it make that he cheated on his wife? Does that diminish his accomplishments in any way? No, it doesn't.
His personal life is of no interest to history
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