Φωτογραφία από το Nobel Foundation (http://nobelprize.org/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Η συνέντευξη του Μάρτιν Λούθερ Κινγκ δόθηκε στην εβδομαδιαία εκπομπή ‘Look Here’ του NBC με παρουσιαστή τον Martin Agronsky, και μεταδόθηκε στις 27 Οκτωβρίου του 1957.

Στο συγκεκριμένο απόσπασμα ο Μάρτιν Λούθερ Κινγκ ρωτάται για την παθητική αντίσταση που κήρυττε ο Mahatma Gandhi και πώς αυτή τον επηρέασε.

Παρακάτω ακολουθεί απομαγνητοφωνημένο το απόσπασμα της συνέντευξης του Μάρτιν Λούθερ Κινγκ. Ιδανικά ο αναγνώστης θα πρέπει να κάνει scroll down στο κείμενο ενόσω ακούει το ηχητικό στο παραπάνω βίντεο.

[Agronsky:] Gandhi, Dr. King, dramatized and defined the technique of non-violence. And yet, he also said that the only alternative  to fear is violence. And  that  if that were the alternative, he would have to choose violence. Do you subscribe  to that judgement of Gandhi, or would you disavow violence under any condition?

[King:] Well, I  think I would have to somewhat interpret Gandhi at this point. I don’t think he was setting forth violence as an alternative. I think he was emphasizing, or rather, trying to refute, an all-too-prevalent fallacy. And that is, that the persons who use the method of non-violence are  actually  the  weak  persons, persons who don’t have the weapons  of  violence,  persons  who  are  afraid. And I think that is what Gandhi was attempting to refute. Now in that instance, I would agree with Gandhi. That if the only alternative to fear is violence, and vice versa, then I would say fight. But  it isn’t  the  only  alternative.  And that is the one point that Gandhi was trying to bring out. It seems  to me  that  there are three ways that oppressed people can deal with their oppression.

[Agronsky:] What are they, Dr. King?

[King:] Well, one is to rise up in open violence, in physical violence. And some persons have used that method. Persons who have been oppressed. But I  think the danger of that method is its futility. I feel that violence  creates  many more  social problems than it solves.

[Agronsky:] May I interrupt you there, Dr. King. There are today certainly people who are forced to endure a kind of injustice, that neither you nor even Gandhi, in his time, had ever seen. For example, would you regard the martyrs of Hungary’s rebellion a year ago as misguided men in having used violence?

Φωτογραφία από τον Kanu Gandhi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
[King:] I admire freedom fighters, wherever they are. But I still believe that non-violence is the strongest approach. I think that would apply to the Hungarian situation also. I don’t think it’s limited to a particular locality. I think it should apply in every situation in the world where individuals seek to break aloose from the bondage of colonialism, or from some totalitarian regime, or from the system which we confront in America.

[Agronsky:] You truly believe, then, that non-violence is the sole, the universal answer to injustice and oppression?

[King:] Very definitely. Very definitely. I feel that non-violence, organized, I should say, organized non-violent resistance, is the most powerful weapon, weapon that oppressed people can use in breaking aloose from the bondage of oppression. Now the other method that one might use is that of resignation, or acquiescence. But I think that is just as bad as violence. Because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

[Agronsky:] You make a difference, a distinction, between passive resistance and non-violent resistance? Is that it?

[King:] Well, I think that can be something of a semantical problem. If passive resistance means just passively accepting violence or injustice, if it  means  cowardice and stagnant passivity, then there is a difference, because non-violent resistance does resist. It is dynamically active. It is passive physically, but it is strongly active spiritually.

[Agronsky:] And in a sense, would you regard it as moving into the Christian philosophy, too? Do you mean the doctrine of turn the other cheek you regard as positive, rather than passive?

[King:] I think it is positive, I think very definitely if it is used properly and accepted with the  proper attitude, it is a very strong method, it is a method of the strong man, not the weak.

[Agronsky:] Dr. King, the editor of the local newspaper here proposed in an editorial the other day that I ask you to reconcile, as he put it, your passive resistance philosophy with your satisfaction, which you’ve expressed very clearly, over the use of bayonet force in the Little Rock situation. Well, I’ll put  that question to you. What is your answer to this editor?

[King:] Well, I might say that I did back the president in his action in Little Rock, Arkansas. I think it is quite regrettable and unfortunate that young high school students have to go to school under the protection of federal troops. But I think it is even more unfortunate that a public official, through irresponsible actions, leaves the president of the United States with no other alternative. So I did back the president, and I sent him a telegram commending him. Now, your main question is, and the question of the editor of our local newspaper here is: how does this jibe with my whole philosophy of non-violence?

[Agronsky:] How does it?

Φωτογραφία από τον Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
[King:] I believe firmly in non-violence, as I have already said. But at the same time, I am not an anarchist. Now, some pacifists are anarchists, following Tolstoy. But I don’t go that far. I believe in the intelligent use of police force. I think one who believes in non-violence must recognize the dimensions of evil within human nature, and there is the danger that one can indulge in a sort of superficial optimism, thinking man is all good. Man does not only have the greater capacity for goodness, but there is also the potential for evil. And I think of  that throughout  my whole philosophy, and I try to be realistic at that point. So that I believe in the intelligent use of police force. And I think that is all we have in Little Rock. It’s not an army fighting against a nation, or a race of people. It is just police force, seeking to enforce the law of the land.

[Agronsky:] And this would be your answer to the editor. To explore another facet of the Little Rock situation, are you satisfied with President Eisenhower’s performance on the racial issue?

[King:] Well, I guess to answer that question, I would need to make a general statement. That is, that the Negro has been betrayed at many points by both political parties, I don’t want to make this a party situation. I don’t think either party can boast of having clean hands in this area. It is my conviction that both parties have failed to take the strong stand in the area of civil  rights  that  they could  take.

[Agronsky:] Having called down a plague on the houses of both parties, do you, are you, satisfied with President Eisenhower’s performance in this particular situation, Dr. King?

Ο Mahatma Gandhi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
[King:] Well, with the Little Rock situation, yes. I think  the president should be commended for the positive and forthright stand that he is now taking in the area of civil rights, in general, and in the situation in Little Rock, Arkansas, in particular.

[Agronsky:] But you are dissatisfied with the overall performance of both the president’s party and of the Democratic Party?

[King:] Oh, yes. I think both parties could improve, and I think both parties must come to the point that they see the moral issues involved, rather than making a political football out of the civil rights issue.

[Agronsky:] The implications being you think they still are doing that?

[King:] At points, yes.

 

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