Tags: alveda | king | blacks | common | ground | carson

MLK's Niece: Blacks Must Find Common Ground on Divisive Issues

By Bill Hoffmann and John Bachman   |   Monday, 15 Apr 2013 02:10 PM

If he were alive today, Martin Luther King would work hard to stop the divisiveness between black conservatives and black Democrats and blistering attacks on prominent African-Americans like Dr. Ben Carson, the niece of the late civil rights leader says.

“My uncle would just encourage us to go back to the foundations of love, agape love, God’s kind of love,’’ pastor Dr. Alveda King told Newsmax TV.

“He would really urge everybody now to stop the name calling, stop hurtling insults at each other, and to sit down and find a place of commonality. I know he would. We’re all human beings. Not separate races.’’

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There are two major anniversaries surrounding King’s legacy this year: It was 50 years ago this month that King wrote his civil-rights manifesto on civil disobedience while locked up in an Alabama jail for protesting segregation. And on August 28, it will be 50 years since King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.’’

“[With] ‘I Have a Dream’ … he said that people would unite and come together,’’ Alveda King said.

“It doesn’t mean that you all have to think alike necessarily totally agree with each other’s platforms, but we absolutely have forgotten agape love. I really hate to say that but I believe that it’s true.’’

She said people have to strive to end the hateful name-calling that accompanies disagreements on major issues.

“Plantation, Uncle Tom, sell-out — they’re very ugly and violent words and, of course, coming from the King family legacy … to hear all of this violence and language, man, it’s disturbing.’’

Carson, head of the Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery and potential Republican presidential candidate, has been under fire for controversial remarks he made about gay marriage, which he opposes.

The pressure was so great that Carson last week withdrew as graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins University.

Alveda said in the past, even those who vehemently disagreed with each other could find a common ground, unlike today.

“I will tell you what’s absolutely different today. Malcolm X was a strong man [who called for] violence, if it’s necessary. And he said, basically, by any means necessary,’’ she said.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. [called for] nonviolence and to do this with love – so two totally different philosophies, but two men who greatly respected each other. So, there was always respect and no animosity.

“They even met at one point at the airport briefly and you could honestly tell that they actually respected each other.’’

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