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Post MLK as Moral Leader
Created by John Eipper on 01/23/15 2:14 AM

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MLK as Moral Leader (Francisco Ramirez, USA, 01/23/15 2:14 am)

This is in response to Randy Black (22 January). Martin Luther King is rightfully regarded as a moral leader because he played a pivotal role in confronting the legacies of the institution of slavery. The latter is the greatest moral stain in the history of the US. The legacies constituted a dehumanizing racist regime inconsistent with moral ideas embodied in the Constitution. To refer to the civil rights movement as "protest for change" is a rather bland depiction of what actually transpired.

Did MLK have moral flaws, and was one of them a violation of his marital vows? Yes. There is a scene in the film Selma that alludes to this shortcoming.

I suspect that some of the people who vigorously and at times brutally opposed the civil rights movement were faithful to their wives. Do we really think that made them more moral? Do we need to flesh out the repulsive details of the racist regime they embraced? I think not.

JE comments:  Perhaps most of history's "great" or "public" men had their dalliances.  The difference is that now it's impossible to keep a secret, and the media no longer respects the gentlemen's agreements of Eisenhower's, JFK's, or MLK's day.

Interestingly, Europeans don't expect monogamy from their political leaders.  This is especially true in France.


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  • Lust for Power and the Aphrodisiac of Power (Richard Hancock, USA 01/24/15 4:06 AM)
    JE's statement about the sexual morality of presidents (see Francisco Ramírez, 23 January) reminds me of a long-ago conversation with Gene Hollan, Professor of History at OU about President Kennedy's reputation as a womanizer.

    Gene's response was that power is a great aphrodisiac in women, adding that I might be tempted if I were president and women were constantly throwing themselves at me. Something to think about.


    JE comments: Richard Hancock (and Prof. Hollan) are absolutely correct, although I will add the proviso that the WAIS presidency doesn't work that way.

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