On the way to our morning hike, I played Democracy Now’s special on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The first part was a 20 minute excerpt from his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence” speech at NYC’s Riverside Church. In addition to being intrigued by Dr. King’s cadence — and the core thesis that “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” were (and still are) the greatest threats to our society — I was struck by this section (emphasis added):
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.