Tuesday, May 3, 2011

False Attribution to Dr. King

false memoir is only part of what happens
we are a people who crave myth--even if WE have to make it up
thus--this piece from this:

Fakery Follows the bin Laden Killing

One of the boxed features in our book is "Myths and Misinformation," a category that includes fake or misattributed quotations. As a previous post noted, many credit Martin Luther King for saying "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice," even though the line belonged to Theodore Parker. At The Atlantic (h/t Tina Nguyen), Megan McArdle spots another fake King quotation:
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?

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.
so Osama Bin Laden isn't even 2 days cold in his watery grave without fiction flowering above him or surrounding him--of course where is the proof--of course that was a microwave minute, people demanding to see pictures, etc

so back to Dr. king--isn't there anything that gentleman said that he REALLY did say that speaks to this situation: ie not celebrating the death of one's enemy lest that triumphalism turn against them later

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

 Martin Luther King, Jr.

or this one I like:
We must use time creatively.

another snip:

Altered Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Goes Viral After Osama Bin Laden’s Death

No comments: