Andrew Gates and The Ethics Sage (Steven Mintz) comment on my earlier post, Web Site Rewrites King’s Life.
Neither the King Center or martinlutherking.org are fully credible historical accounts of his life. I believe both should be taken with a grain of salt.
On one hand, the King Center is much more willing to ignore the negative aspects of Kings life and actions in order to preserve the politically correct illusion that he was some sort of second coming. For instance, it is widely known that King engaged in many extramarital affairs while he was busy with the Civil Rights Movement. There is also much evidence that many of Kings sermons and speeches contained plagiarized material. There is also much debate as to whether he ACTUALLY did the work at Boston University to earn his PhD. There are letters and testimony from some of his professors that suggests or outright states that they gave King high marks in their classes because he was black and it seemed the politically correct thing to do. None of this will be found on The King Centers website.
I would be more willing to cast aside the biography of MLK Jr. on martinlutherking.org as garbage if it didn’t have a lot of sources to back its facts up.
One the other hand, conclusions and rhetoric found in martinlutherking.org are FAR from unbiased. It does nothing to highlight the work that King did to lead the Civil Rights Movement.
I think if you take both articles and ignore the obvious bias in both, then you can get more of a full picture of the man and what he did. The King Center will point out his achievements, accomplishments, and the positive aspects of his life. martinlutherking.org does a good job (in my opinion) of bringing to light the negative characteristics and actions of the man that his PR people didn’t want the public to see.
Andrew’s Second Post one hour later -
Both websites seem to be bias and not fully trustworthy. When you get past the obvious bias of both sites and just take in the facts, I think you get a better overall picture of who MLK Jr. was and what he did.
The King Center does a good job of highlighting his accomplishments and achievements. It also does a good job of giving you the politically correct version of the man that his PR people wanted the public to see.
martinlutherking.org seems to do a decent job of highlighting the character flaws and negative actions that his PR people didn’t want the public to see. Although this sites biography is filled with extreme interpretations and rhetoric. If the biography contained no sources whatsoever, I might be more willing to cast it aside as garbage. This is not the case though.
Like it or not, MLK Jr. did more to bring about equal civil liberties for african americans than any other person. This is definitely worth being remembered. However, he was engaged in extramarital affairs and was a plagiarizer. These are facts, not opinions. He did attend Communist Party meetings. I dont personally hold that against him, but I can appreciate how that would’ve destroyed his reputation back then if it became public knowledge.
A politically correct atmosphere is just as detrimental to the preservation of truth as extreme, ignorant rhetoric.
My response -
You might want to avoid two comments so close together in time. My computer identified it as spam and didn’t post it. I’ve been checking the spam lately, found it and put it up.
Comment as often as you like. I don’t want to discourage you but I don’t always check the spam and I don’t want to lose your comments. Those were about an hour apart, so it’s more than that. Thanks for commenting.
I really don’t have anything to say in response. I did the post because of my interest in a healthy skepticism of web sources and prefer to stay in that area.
Comment from The Ethics Sage -
It is amazing that such a website exists and there is a “community of white nationalists” with the theme: “White Pride, Worldwide.” I believe the proper way to handle sites like these is for teachers to discuss their points of view and refute their hatred. It can be a teachable moment and what better day to expose the lies and bigotry these groups stand for than the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
My Response -
I really want children taught early one about the need to exercise judgment about the web and sources, but I worry that the need not to offend one group or another might prevent that from happening.
An editorial comment -
I wrote the post purely to talk about the virtue of skepticism when dealing with the Internet. Discussions of Martin Luther King (and I am experienced in these) tend to go toward the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover and then they head straight for a variety of conspiracy theories. I want to talk about using the web.
Now, that does not mean, you can’t discuss those aspects of King’s life you find interesting. If you make a comment on “Web Site Rewrites King’s Life,” I’ll put it up on this post just like I did Andrew’s and The Ethics Sage’s, that is, in full with no editing.
If you wish to criticize me, even harshly, for my unwillingness to join that aspect of the discussion, you may rest assured I will put that up completely as well.