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Martin Luther King

Date de naissance: 15. janvier 1929
Date de décès: 4. avril 1968

Martin Luther King Jr., né à Atlanta le 15 janvier 1929 et mort assassiné le 4 avril 1968 à Memphis , est un pasteur baptiste afro-américain, militant non-violent pour le mouvement des droits civiques aux États-Unis des Noirs américains, pour la paix et contre la pauvreté.

Il organise et dirige des actions telles que le boycott des bus de Montgomery pour défendre le droit de vote, la déségrégation et l'emploi des minorités ethniques. Il prononce un discours célèbre le 28 août 1963 devant le Lincoln Memorial à Washington durant la marche pour l'emploi et la liberté : « I have a dream ». Il est soutenu par John Kennedy dans la lutte contre la ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis ; la plupart de ces droits seront promus par le Civil Rights Act et le Voting Rights Act sous la présidence de Lyndon B. Johnson.

Martin Luther King devient le plus jeune lauréat du prix Nobel de la paix en 1964 pour sa lutte non-violente contre la ségrégation raciale et pour la paix. Il commence alors une campagne contre la guerre du Viêt Nam et la pauvreté, qui prend fin en 1968 avec son assassinat officiellement attribué à James Earl Ray, dont la culpabilité et la participation à un complot sont toujours débattues.

Il se voit décerner à titre posthume la médaille présidentielle de la Liberté par Jimmy Carter en 1977, le prix des droits de l'homme des Nations unies en 1978, la médaille d'or du Congrès en 2004, et est considéré comme l'un des plus grands orateurs américains. Depuis 1986, le Martin Luther King Day est un jour férié aux États-Unis.

Citations Martin Luther King

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„Et il se pourrait bien que nous, de cette génération, nous devions nous repentir, non seulement pour les paroles fielleuses et les actes violents des méchants qui ont fait exploser une bombe dans une église à Birmingham, dans l’Alabama, mais aussi pour le silence et l’indifférence scandaleux des bons qui ont gardé les bras croisés et ont dit attendre le bon moment.“

—  Martin Luther King

And it may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people who would bomb a church in Birmingham, Alabama but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say wait on time.
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Discours à l’université wesleyenne de l'Illinois, 1966

„Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

'Where Do We Go From Here?" as published in Where Do We Go from Here : Chaos or Community? (1967), p. 62; many statements in this book, or slight variants of them, were also part of his address Where Do We Go From Here?" which has a section below. A common variant appearing at least as early as 1968 has "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence..." An early version of the speech as published in A Martin Luther King Treasury (1964), p. 173, has : "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate..."
1960s
Source: A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
Contexte: The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. … Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

„Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Variante: Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You do not have to have a college degree to serve. You do not have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

„There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right….“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution" (31 March 1968)
1960s
Variante: There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.
Source: A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
Contexte: 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.
Contexte: 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. I believe today that there is a need for all people of good will to come together with a massive act of conscience and say in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "We ain't goin' study war no more." This is the challenge facing modern man.

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„Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Variante: Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.

„I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation, where they won´t be judged by the color of their skin, but by the contente of their character.-->“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Variante: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Citát „In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.“

„In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

1960s, The Trumpet of Conscience (1967)
Variante: In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

„Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speech to the Second National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights – Chicago (25 March 1966), as quoted in Dan Munro, "America's Forgotten Civil Right - Healthcare" http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2013/08/28/americas-forgotten-civil-right-healthcare/, Forbes (28 August 2013). See also: Amanda Moore, "Tracking Down Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Words on Health Care", Huffington Post (18 August 2013) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-moore/martin-luther-king-health-care_b_2506393.html
1960s

„True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

1960s, Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam (1967)
Contexte: A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

„We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.

1960s, A Christmas Sermon (1967)
Variante: We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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