I taught Marty Chan 40 years ago and the bugger shows up again in my life. In our wired world you can’t hide anywhere these days.and why would I, a teacher who always enjoyed dialoguing with his students, long after he/she sat in my class. Now Marty is in Melbourne and he asked me if I still had Martin Luther King Jr’s picture prominently displayed. Indeed I do. MLK was my hero, the Christian who put the gospel on the street, the brother who held a mirror up to his racist society and like his Lord paid the ultimate price. And dead at 39.
Now the USA honours the doc by granting a holiday on the 3rd Monday of each year. We forget how prophetic King really was.Most have no memory of his famous Riverside speech of April 4,1967 when with the Vietnam war raging he called his own country the greatest purveyor of violence in the world..it was approaching spiritual death. many blacks did not like that, telling MLK to stick to civil rights.King rightly told them the gospel is indivisible.he made all the connections…the bombs falling in Nam were exploding in in poor black and white neighbourhoods. Even LBJ understood that you can’t have guns and butter. Same today. With the outrageously bloated American defence budget and with military bases in 63 countries, Uncle Sam is still buying too many guns and not enough butter.
Were MLK alive today, like his heroes Nelson Mandela and Gandhi he would certainly be defending the oppressed Palestinians of Israel. He would have agreed with agreed with the editorial of the feisty New York weekly Leader-Observer’ of October 15,2000
If Palestinians were black, Israel would now be a pariah state subject to economic sanctions led by the United States. Its development and settlement of the West Bank would be seen as a system of apartheid, in which the indigenous population was allowed to live in a tiny fraction of its own country, in self-administered ‘bantustans’, with ‘whites’ monopolizing the supply of water and electricity. And just as the black population was allowed into South Africa’s white areas in disgracefully under-resourced townships, so Israel’s treatment of Israeli Arabs – flagrantly discriminating against them in housing and education spending – would be recognized as scandalous too.