View Full Version : fake quote about mlk and bin laden pops up overnight

May 3rd, 2011, 02:47 PM
the internet is a great place for fake quotes. i have heard this quote for the first time yesternday. and i have asked EVERY time i heard for information about it. because i can think of ZERO point in MLKs lifetime where he would have been compelled to say anything anywhere near that. the closest i can come to it is in reaction to be malcolm x's reaction to the death of JFK but thats not right for obvious reasons. so then when and where is this quote from?

a google search for this quote that excludes bin laden 9/11 or anything to do with the that yields only a few sites... all of which talk about bin laden. this then leads me to believe this is a fake quote for people who want to shut down the (i think valid) debate about whether it is proper to feel joy at the death of a monster. this then reminds me that on 9/11 a fake qoute about Nostradamus was born where he 100% predicted 9/11, except that the quote was written after and not before. so long story short. you heard it here first. the quote is likely a fake.

Shortly after I posted my piece on feeling curiously un-thrilled about Bin Laden's death, the following quote came across my twitter feed:

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." - Martin Luther King, Jr

I admire the sentiment. But something about it just strikes me as off, like that great Marx quote about the housing bubble that didn't appear anywhere in Das Kapital.

Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism. Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867

Like the Marx quote, it's a bit too a propos. What "thousands" would King have been talking about? In which enemy's death was he supposed to be rejoicing?

Osama Bin Laden
A quick Google search turns up lots of tweets, all of them from today. Searching Martin Luther King Jr. quote pages for the word "enemy" does not turn up this quote, only things that probably wouldn't go over nearly so well, like "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend." I'm pretty sure that this quote, too, is fake.

What's fascinating is the speed of it. Someone made up a quote, attributed it to MLK, Jr., and disseminated it widely, all within 24 hours. Why? What do you get out of saying something pithy, and getting no credit for it?

Perhaps they only wanted to say this thing, and knew that no one would pay attention unless it came from someone else. Or, perhaps they are getting a gargantuan kick out of seeing people repeat their lie ad infinitum. Either way, it seems strange to me.

May 3rd, 2011, 02:51 PM
from wikipedia

World Trade Center prophecy hoax

Shortly after the September 11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center, the following spoof text was circulated on the Internet, along with many more elaborate variants (one of them signed 'Nostradamus 1654' – when he would have been 150 years old):

In the City of God there will be a great thunder,
Two brothers torn apart by Chaos,
while the fortress endures,
the great leader will succumb,
The third big war will begin when the big city is burning

As it turns out, the first four lines were indeed written before the attacks, but by a Canadian graduate student named Neil Marshall as part of a research paper in 1997. The research paper included this poem as an illustrative example of how the validity of prophecies is often exaggerated. For example, the phrases "City of God" (New York has never held the title of "City of Angels"), "great thunder" (this could apply to many disasters), "Two brothers" (many things come in pairs), and "the great leader will succumb" are so ambiguous as to be meaningless. The fifth line was added by an anonymous Internet user, completely ignoring the fact that Nostradamus wrote his Propheties in rhymed four-line decasyllables called quatrains. Nostradamus also never referred to a "third big war".[13]

May 4th, 2011, 02:09 AM
Not fake, per se, but mashed up/altered. See explanation here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/social.media/05/03/quotes.twain.mlk/?hpt=T2

My friend, a former archivist of the MLK papers, provides the following as MLK's actual passage:
Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.

May 4th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Not fake, per se, but mashed up/altered.

Mlk never said those word in that order. Ergo, it's fake.

The passage you quote is radically different than the fact quote. I think it's really a problem because you are basically making up history. You can't just make stuff up and say mlk said this. When he didn't. Particularly when the quote is made up to silence debate.