Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Still Fuck Your Shit Up ("Loving Your Enemies" Edition):
One of Martin Luther King's more famous non-"Dream" speeches is titled, "Loving Your Enemies." Originally delivered on November 17, 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Church in Montgomery, Alabama, the sermon shows King clearly tying the philosophy of nonviolence to Christian doctrine. King would deliver the sermon multiple times, but there is a revision that is even more ballsy than the first version. He preached it on March 7, 1961 at the Central Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan.
Between the last part of 1957 and the first part of 1961, King had been through a hell of a lot. He had been stabbed in the chest and nearly killed by a paranoid woman at a book signing in Harlem. He went to India to visit Gandhi's family and grave, speaking with students and politicians. He went on trial for tax fraud and was acquitted by the all-white jury. He gave up his pulpit in order to work full-time for the civil rights movement. That movement had grown even larger, with the lunch counter sit-ins, including one in Atlanta where King was arrested. And a cross was burned on the lawn of his Atlanta home.
Martin Luther King would fuck your shit up because, after all of that, he was still able to give the "Loving Your Enemies" speech. And, in 1961, it included this extra section, not usually in the popular versions of the sermon:
"[We] must learn to say to those reactionaries who have blocked the road to progress: We will match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. And so put us in jail, and we will go in with humble smiles on our faces, still loving you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we will still love you. Send your propaganda agents around the country and make it appear that we are not fit morally, culturally, and otherwise for integration. And we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hours, and drag us out on some wayside road and beat us and leave us half dead, and we will still love you. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. And one day we will win our freedom, but not only will we win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process. And our victory will be a double victory. This seems to me the only answer and the only way to make our nation a new nation and our world a new world. Love is the absolute power."
This would become part of his sermons and speeches for the next few years, and, even as other civil rights organizations disagreed with him, sometimes violently, even as he was constantly arrested and threatened, he would continue to make nonviolent resistance the cornerstone of the movement.
When people try to pigeonhole King, when they try to use him to score cheap political points on the left and, especially, on the right, they forget that they themselves would be hard, hard pressed to live up to his radical example.