Coretta Scott King: Use peaceful means for peaceful ends -
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2003, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Coretta Scott King: Use peaceful means for peaceful ends

Coretta Scott King says race relations in the United States have improved but still need work.

Coretta Scott King: Use peaceful means for peaceful ends
Tuesday, January 14, 2003 Posted: 9:19 PM EST (0219 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- On the eve of the 74th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer discussed race relations with the slain civil rights leader's widow, Coretta Scott King.

BLITZER: Mrs. King, thank you so much for joining us. Let's talk a little bit about the legacy of your husband. How much has the racial situation in our country improved since his death, if you believe, indeed, it has?

KING: Yes, I think it certainly has improved tremendously, but we still have much more to be done. Martin defined the evils and the injustices in our society in three areas -- poverty, racism and war. And he said that we cannot solve one problem without solving the other, working to solve the other one. And I think we have remnants of all of those. We've made some small progress in some areas more than others, but we still very much have poverty. We still very much have racism. And we still very much have a threat of war.

BLITZER: Well, let's talk about racism for a moment. Where are the greatest problems still out there? What still needs to be done to deal with the issue of racism?

KING: I think that ... discrimination in the job market is a very important area where work needs to be done. And, at the same time, Martin talked about having a job and an income for all persons who needed a job. In the area of economic justice, we still have a long way to go. We have too many people who are discriminated against just because they happen to be black or they happen to be a woman or some other minority.

BLITZER: Is the problem so ingrained in the society that it can't be fixed, because it's obviously been around since the very beginning? There can be improvements, but will it be resolved, do you believe?

KING: Well, I think it can be resolved. I think we have to have the will to do it. It can be done. It has been done in some areas. For instance, when it was determined that there should be changes in the United States armed forces, at the stroke of the pen, discrimination was ended there. It can be done in our -- in the larger society.

BLITZER: As you know, President Bush has spoken out extensively on the issue in recent weeks. Is he living up to the challenge that is before him as far as you can tell?

KING: Well, I think, you know, we are still in the second year -- or end of the second year, I guess it is. We're going into the third year, so we still have more time to see. But I think that President Bush is, in terms of the cabinet appointments and in terms of a few other things, I suppose, you know, he has worked, I think, to bring the country together. But I think that this administration has a great opportunity to end this problem. But they are very much against affirmative action. And I think affirmative action is a very important part of making this -- towards eliminating racial discrimination.

BLITZER: You raised the issue earlier of war. Where do you think [your husband] would come down on the whole issue of possibly going to war with Iraq?

KING: You know, my husband always believed that there should be peaceful negotiations, and he believed in nonviolence. He was committed to it totally, and he believed that conflict should be handled through the United Nations, so strength in the United Nations, and let the United Nations take the leadership. And I believe that Martin would, if he were [alive] today -- although I don't normally speak for him, but I know what he was saying at the time of his death -- is that war cannot serve any lasting good toward bringing about peace. If you use weapons of war to bring about peace, you're going to have more war and destruction. You cannot have peaceful means -- peaceful means will have to be used to bring about peaceful ends. If you use destructive means, you're going to bring about destructive ends.

BLITZER: Mrs. King, thanks so much for joining us as we commemorate -- as we remember the legacy of your husband in the coming days, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ...

KING: Thank you so much.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2003, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Coretta Scott King, in an interview in Atlanta, vows to keep her husband's dream alive.

King widow urges 'a day on,' not off
By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY

ATLANTA — Wednesday would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 74th birthday. On Tuesday, his widow, Coretta Scott King, said her husband's message "is still very much heard, and very relevant," 35 years after he was assassinated.

Coretta Scott King, in an interview in Atlanta, vows to keep her husband's dream alive.
Michael A. Schwarz, USA TODAY

King, 75, who rarely does one-on-one media interviews, was in the middle of a barrage of them Tuesday at the King Center, which she founded to promote non-violence after her husband's death. She was beginning a six-day celebration that culminates with a commemorative service Monday when the holiday is officially observed. But she had other matters on her mind. (Related audio: Coretta Scott King still working to fulfill husband's dream)

"I'm concerned about our future," she said. "If we have a war, any kind of war ... and nuclear weapons are used, we can destroy ourselves. And Martin talked about it. It's either non-violence or non-existence. And we have not learned yet how to live together without fighting and killing each other."

The theme of this year's holiday observance is "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on ... not a day off." King said she hopes people will remember her husband and celebrate his legacy.

The King file

Age: 75; born April 27, 1927, in Marion, Ala.

Education: Bachelor's degree in music and education, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, 1949; degrees in voice and violin, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, 1954.

Family: Married Martin Luther King Jr. on June 18, 1953. Four children, Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter and Bernice.

King Center: Founding president, the King Center, established in 1968 to advance the legacy of her husband.

"But we are urging people to serve their community and the nation by serving each other, that it must become a way of life," she said.

For millions of Americans, Coretta Scott King was a figure of tragedy and strength in the days and months after her husband was assassinated April 4, 1968, while organizing municipal garbage workers in Memphis. She was soon raising millions of dollars to build the King Center and lobbying members of Congress to make her husband's birthday a national holiday, which President Reagan signed into law in 1983.

"She's kind of the first lady of the civil rights movement, I suppose," said James Horton, professor of history at George Washington University.

William Boone, a political science professor at Clark Atlanta University, said, "I think people see her ... as a person who is due a certain amount of respect because she is who she is."

King, who still lives in the Atlanta house she shared with her late husband, passed control of the King Center to her son, Dexter King, in 1995. Atlantans have questioned the center's relevance for years.

"I'm not quite sure what they do," Boone said. "I'm not being flip, I don't know."

The King Center's "most important work is teaching the world about Martin's philosophy and methods of non-violence," King said. The center sponsors community service projects across the USA.

King's family has been accused of profiteering by some scholars and researchers for their refusal to allow access to some of King's speeches and papers while trying to sell the rights to his name and works to the highest corporate bidders.

The family allowed the Alcatel and Cingular communications companies to feature King in their television commercials. It is unclear if the family was paid a fee; members have refused to comment. (The family settled a lawsuit against USA TODAY after the newspaper printed the "I Have a Dream" speech in 1993.)

In 2001, the family blocked an effort by the non-profit Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, to build a memorial in his honor on the National Mall. They wanted a fee for the use of King's image.

King defended her family's actions.

"What we have been concerned about is making sure the integrity of Martin's words and his message is not distorted," she said.

"Martin Luther King Jr. copyrighted his own materials; they belong to his heirs," she said. "If his heirs don't protect it, they lose it. If he wanted to give it away, he would have given it away in his lifetime."
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2003, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Martin Luther King Jr.'s Widow Speaks Out on His Birthday
VOA News
15 Jan 2003, 22:34 UTC

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wednesday would have been the 74th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the U.S. civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968.

As the United States prepares to observe a holiday in his honor next week, his widow says his message of non-violence is still relevant. When asked about a possible war with Iraq, Coretta Scott King quoted her late husband, saying, "it's either non-violence or non-existence."

Government offices and some schools and businesses will be closed on Monday, January 20, to commemorate Mr. King's legacy. The theme of this year's celebration is "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on...not a day off!"

Mr. King fought against poverty, racism, and war. After his death, Mrs. King raised millions of dollars to build the Atlanta-based King Center, which sponsors community service projects across the United States.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2003, 02:07 AM
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God Bless Coretta. MLK's dream lives on. Thanks for posting

"we are amazed but not amused..."
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