Nowadays, it is hard to understand, especially for the young Europeans, why Martin Luther King occupies such an important place in the minds of Americans and is considered one of the greatest statesmen of the United States. The views of Martin Luther King have well-established moral background, which should be ingrained deeply in the whole society in order to prosper and develop. These fundamentals reflect basic understanding of how things should in our world should work. The views of Martin Luther King should be taught in schools because they embody an attitude towards politics and a mentality towards human rights that are potential solutions to the problems of the contemporary world.
The views of Martin Luther King consist of small pieces of his personality. The biographical background is not the least. Being a son in the middle-class black family, he was used to be intimidated by segregationist policies, but his father and his mother always resisted them and “put their moral values on the first place” (Peake 1). King said that in his character, he combines these opposite qualities as militancy and peacefulness. He wrote: "Overall thirst for justice I inherited from my father, a strong and vibrant man, and meekness, I hope I got from my mother, gentle and kind woman." (8). This background had a great influence on his attitude to the rights of black people and to the solution of problems in a peaceful way.
His attitude toward the Church got his foot on the ladder of his entire idea of peace and freedom. Being a Christian priest, King primarily was influenced by religious ideas and almost always quoted texts of appropriate genus or referred to them not only in church sermons, but also in secular speeches. He, in particular, was convinced of the need to follow the covenant of the need to love his neighbor as himself, not only in relation to God, but to his enemies or opponents - bless them and pray for them. This concept of peacefulness and philanthropy should be introduced in every human being. May be, as a result, there will be no wars and battles. War not only negates the hope of the poor, but also sends to fight and die sons, husbands, brothers of the poor, and their share is unusually large in comparison with the rest of the population.
Human consciousness should, firstly, be directed on peace and freedom, not on violent superiority. His ideas about peaceful resistance also back to the ideas set out in the Sermon on the Mount, according to which, “having received a blow on one cheek, turn the other”, and in the Gospel of Matthew, which shows Christ's words about the return of the sword in the scabbard (Douglas 104). In his letter from Birmingham jail King sought inspiration in the all-embracing love of Christ to the people, and quoted many Christian ideologists of pacifism. In his speech, I have been to the mountaintop he was saying that he wished only to fulfill the divine will (Peake 2).
King also was encouraged by the results that made Mahatma Gandhi, following the ideas of non-violence. In his own words, he wanted to make a trip to India for a long of time, and in April 1959 with the help of the American Friends Service Committee he was able to go on this trip (Bruyneel). This experience had a significant impact on him and deepened his understanding of the ideas of peaceful resistance, as well as his desire to devote himself to the struggle for civil rights in America. In his speech on the radio in the last day in India, King said that now, after the visit to this country, he, even more than before, believe in the power of nonviolent protest as a method of struggle of the oppressed people for justice and human dignity. This concept of nonviolent resistance is the most powerful weapon of the oppressed in the struggle for social justice. Real meaning and value of non-violence is that it helps to understand the point of view of the enemy, his problems and to hear from him assess of our actions. Acquainted with his point of view, we can better see the weakness of our own situation and, if judged ripe, we could grow and learn something from the wisdom of the brothers, which we call our opponents.
Martin Luther King adhered the position that he should not publicly support any political party or a particular candidate of the States and should remain in the position of non-alignment, to be able to impartially judge the state of both major parties and serve their conscience, not a slave or a master of one of the them. In an interview of 1958, he said that none of the parties is not perfect, neither Republicans nor Democrats do not have the divine omnipotence and have their flaws and weaknesses, and neither one of them he is not inseparably connected (Cummins).
King also criticized the activities of the two parties in the field of racial equality, saying that American blacks were betrayed by representatives of the Republican Party and by the Democratic supporters: both of them succumbed to the reactionaries and allowed them to successfully block all sorts of liberal initiatives in the area of civil rights population. He only thought that Kennedy may be the first one for hundred years of American history, who assimilated the radical new approach to the question of civil rights. He claimed that the new era should inhere new thinking. If we are unable to this positive decision, waking up world will come to a conclusion that we are morally and politically a fossil state. And no threads of refrigerators, cars and color televisions will rejuvenate our appearance.
One of the most important things that Martin Luther King teaches us is that we mustn’t be silent. We can have the most idealistic views and the fairest and the most equitable position concerning whatever, but there is no use if we do not tell it aloud. Without a clear declaration of our views, nothing will change (Scofield 61). It is, perhaps, one of the main problems of today’s society. People are afraid to be convicted of their opinion and, as a result, they take the side of the majority. Eventually, people start losing their opinion at all. That is why most teenagers today do not have their own opinion at all, because no one has told them that they are supposed to have it.
The most important thing that King brings us and that should deeply be rooted in the minds of each human being is that in order to achieve something, you need to overestimate the values. If we do things the same, it is foolish to expect different results. Each State should foster their citizens’ devotion to humanity as a whole in order to preserve the best characteristics of each society. Now face the fact that "tomorrow" is coming. We are customized the pressing needs of today. In a confusing puzzle of life and history there is such a thing as an opportunity be late. The delay steals time. Life often makes us feel poor, naked and dejected because of lost opportunities. The tide in the affairs of men is not always at the top; sometimes it falls. We can appeal desperately to the time to stop, but it will remain deaf to the pleas, and will keep moving on. Today, we still have a choice: nonviolent coexistence or violent mutual annihilation.
Bruyneel, Kevin. “The King's Body: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Politics of Collective Memory.” History & Memory Spring/Summer2014, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p75-108.
Cummins, Julie. “I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.” Rev. of I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. dir. Grace Norwich. Booklist 1 February 2013, Vol. 109 Issue 11, p56-56.
Douglas, Cicely. “Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Epic Challenge to the Church.” Rev. of Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Epic Challenge to the Church. dir. Edward Gilbreath. Library Journal; 1 December 2013, Vol. 138 Issue 21, p104-104
Peake, Thomas R. “The Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.” Masterplots II: African American Literature, Revised Edition; December 2008, p1-4.
Scofield, Robert J. “Kings God: The Unknown Faith of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Tikkun Nov/Dec 2009, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p51-76.