Dr. King's letter to Caledonia

Published on Jul 1, 2009

Regional News

by Gary McHale

A letter was published in the Regional demanding that we stop quoting from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It appears to be based on the fact that non-natives in Caledonia have not suffered enough to be allowed to quote from Dr. King. Maybe if there were a few dozen Sam Gaultieris around, maybe a few dead bodies, maybe many more families like Dave and Dana, maybe a few homes or churches burnt down and maybe more swarming of the elderly then we could quote from Dr. King.

I quote from Dr. King for many reasons but the number one reason is because I admire the man.

How many people could have lived through such evil that was in the South and yet not turn to hate? Dr. King did not lose his fundamental Christian view of 'turning the other cheek' even though he saw hatred expressed by whites against blacks.

The question that people should be asking is not why do we quote from Dr. King but why do the Native Protesters refuse to quote from him?

When one reviews the propaganda videos and literature that the Native Protesters have created to support their cause you do not find quotes from Dr. King. What you find are quotes from Malcolm X calling for a violent revolution. Dr. King struggled to bring about Equality for Blacks by seeking to lift Blacks up.  Malcolm X wanted Blacks to rule over Whites. One was motivated by Justice and Equality while the other by hatred, anger and a lust for power.

Native Protesters in Caledonia do not seek to be Equal with others in society but rather to be special, superior and above all others. They do not seek a peaceful co-existence as Equals but a Revolution to re-establish what they believe is their God given right to rule over the land. The fundamental belief that God has created Aboriginals to be the protectors of the land and all other people are second class humans, causes many to believe they are above the law in order to protect their culture. Segregation is seen as a solution to keep their culture and their race pure while blaming the failures found within all society on the evil white man. In almost every way the views of the Native Protesters in Caledonia are exactly the same as the KKK.

I quote from Dr. King to avoid the violence expressed by Malcolm X. Maybe there are some on the Native side that will one day listen to Dr. King's words and see that there is a peaceful path they could choose to address any historical wrongs. Their current path is filled with hate and racism which will only end with more victims on both sides. The following comes from a letter written by Dr. King while he was in jail. The questions have been added.

Are you not an Outsider?

Dr. King stated, "I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere... Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."

Why March in Caledonia?

Dr. King stated, "I am in Birmingham because injustice is here."

Aren't your Marches a Breach of the Peace?

Dr. King Stated, "In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion?"

Note: Commissioner Fantino has now admitted to the Human Rights Commission that we were prevented from raising a Canadian flag during our Marches to protect us from 'radical elements' that oppose our views and might want to harm us.

Don't you create tension?

Dr. King stated, "Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened, with its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

Should Good Christians disturb the Peace?

Dr. King stated, "...the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being 'disturbers of the peace' and 'outside agitators' - but the Christians pressed on... Small in number, they were big in commitment..."

What do you say to those who agree with your goals but not your methods?

Dr. King stated, "I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action'... Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

I can say that we share Dr. King's view that the greatest discouragement people like Merlyn Kinrade and I face is not the hatred or the anger expressed from the radical native protesters but the lukewarm acceptance by people that since it doesn't directly affect them then why should they care. Or those who claim to support the goals but not the methods while offering nothing as an alternative.

It is one thing to read about the views of Dr. King but quite another to put them into practice. Try standing for an hour with a group of 50 people who are expressing their hate and anger without responding with hate or anger. Try confronting violence with peace knowing full well that those who hate will express it with violence and that you must remain peaceful even as they attack you. When you can spend countless hours helping others, even those who curse you, then you can share your understanding of Dr. King's view because you live it.

Dr. King believed in 'direct action' through peaceful means - that is what CANCE does.