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Newcastle – Unique in the UK

Newcastle – Unique in the UK

November 16, 2007 Buddhism 1
I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream

This link details the arrival and speech of Martin Luther King in Newcastle in 1967. Newcastle was the only uni in the UK to honour him. No doubt, if Bridgwater had a uni, they would have done so first.

In his acceptance speech, Dr King said:

“Words are certainly inadequate for me to express my deep and genuine appreciation to the University of Newcastle for honouring me in such a significant way.

“I can assure you that you give me renewed courage and vigour to carry on in the struggle to make peace and justice a reality for all men and women all over the world.”

Gandi, King, Ikeda

Gandi, King, Ikeda

To get past injustice and hate, we all have to accept the bad things innate in all people and truly believe that there is an innate goodness in people as well, that just needs to be nurtured and released.

Within five months of Dr King’s Newcastle speech, the world had lost a great orator and tireless campaigner for peace, justice and universal suffrage to the assassin’s bullet…

In his acceptance speech Dr King mentioned the three great problems in the world at that time;

racism, poverty, war

Unfortunately, we are still combating these evils, and quite often they occur at the same time or feed from each other.

In this same speech, Dr King mentioned South Africa as one of the places where racism was rife – well fortunately time does move on. I remember that at the time it seemed to me that the state of affairs could never be overturned. And yet, look at the place now! Even though many pains exist and there is suffering on a large scale, the people have rolled the problems up and dealt with them. Instead of having a massive retributional blood bath which would have made Pol Pot look saintly, they had a series of debates (dialogues), where even the “bad” people were allowed to atone for their past and move on. Only a few absolute sadists and psychos were safely locked up. It seemed to be accepted that virtually everyone was caught up in the hate-filled atmosphere and enticed to do awful things – and so, they decided to sensibly move on.

Mandela Passport

Mandela Passport

That’s the genius of Nelson Mandela and why he is usually mentioned in the same sentence with Martin Luther King , Mahatma Gandhi and Daisaku Ikeda, and why they in turn have a roaming exhibition in their honour, “The Gandhi, King, Ikeda Exhibit”, dedicated to the virtues they eschew.

Gandi, King, Ikeda

Gandi, King, Ikeda

To get past injustice and hate, we all have to accept the bad things innate in all people and truly believe that there is an innate goodness in people as well, that just needs to be nurtured and released.

 

One Response

  1. swizz says:

    being 8 year old at the time and having 2 older politically correct older brothers i remember this visit as it seemed to create a certain buzz amongst the friends of my older brothers, being 8 i was not fully aware of the importance of the event/man/situation but i did realize that some one important from America had been to Newcastle and it had something to do with the images on the news i had been watching as blacks were beaten and water cannon'd by the PIGS, the bridge at Birmingham Alabama. Washington state, Kent state,tear gas, dead students,Vietnam,civil rights marchers, the dead Kennedy's, it was all in my head about then, this is i suppose the start of my socialist beliefs . (the dead Kennedy's is a reference to 2 dead people and not the second wave of punk group !)

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