Paying Tribute To Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: ..

… You don’t find it in any historical account. You read it first, here in

Introductory: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day, this January 16, 2012 calls to mind the civil rights movement of non-violent protests that this black national hero-activist had championed. What’s forgotten is that what made King’s non-violent march for freedom famous rather than notorious was, ironically, the bloody riots that marred his supposedly peaceful crusade against racial segregation.

In Alabama, those marches of King’s activists from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 chronicled a "Bloody Sunday". The State of Alabama ordered the marching mob visibly spoiling for trouble, to turn back for the sake of public safety. But as always in almost all violent demonstrations, the angry radicals among the peaceful marchers interpreted the State move to ensure public safety, as suppression of freedom. Demonstrators started to throw stones and bricks at the barricading State troopers and that was how the riot began.

The Media only published the bloody pictures of “police brutality”. It was more “sensational”, than the protesters’ violence that created the riot. It “electrified” the world. MLKJ became the centerpiece of the non-violent civil rights movement in the United States, as Gandhi’s civil disobedience was to India. It led President Lyndon Johnson to openly declare his support of MLKJ’s crusade for civil liberties, followed by court rulings that the streets, roads and highways are open to those massive marches for freedom. Again, ironically, King was not present in the headlined “Bloody Sunday” march.

That this “Bloody Sunday” riot made King’s civil rights movement famous, rather than notorious, is never read before in any historical account, anywhere. You just read it here first, in this column.

This editorial is therefore dedicated to all freedom fighters, although their understanding of what freedom means left something to be desired in this observation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day.

We survived 2011 as the year of the people’s fight for freedom against big Government. But it left a bad taste in the mouth. All year long, we kicked the bucket of protest because we believed we were not free from doing what we wanted to do. Our life has been “government-regulated”.

With government “intervention” in our freedom to live according to our own accord, we feel we are not truly a free people in this great “land of the free”.

We just wanted “freedom”, which means free of being “controlled”; it is that kind of liberty we want, free of any responsibility for our action. How many of us are aware of the weakness of our human nature? Unregulated, we tend to overdo what we are doing. We get out of control, unaware that by acting our burning desire for freedom, we end up with a worst form of slavery.

Since last year, we experienced, even up to now as I write, one of the worst economic woes ever recorded in U.S. history. And we rise almost in unison, blaming the Government – and rightly so, especially under the Obama government.

I quote Carl M. Johnson in his International Journal of the Asian Philosophical Association, Vol. 1, No. 2 pp. 52-61 when he put the Government at the bottom of all the discords and faults imaginable in China. Economic difficulties that the Chinese were experiencing, were blamed on the Government. The people reasoned out their protest against the government: “This is your responsibility, this is your fault. So why shouldn’t we question this?”†

In China as it is here, the questions of freedom and responsibility are in the mouths of the people. We wonder if the Government can meet our longings for freedom, perform its responsibilities to the people without sending them to Guantanamo Camp for waterboarding.

The problem is, the meaning of freedom is not univalent. Liberals and Libertarians are in a tug of war, pulling the meaning of freedom from opposite directions. At the same time our Government, like the Chinese government in Johnson’s published studies and research, “has a collective responsibility to ensure the freedoms, safety and prosperity” of the people. However, that government responsibility is not univalent either. The Government plays a “multivalent” role in balancing the trade-offs between freedom on one hand, and the safety and prosperity of the people on the other.

Freedom without the safety and prosperity of the people, becomes a license, which is unacceptable in our free enterprise society. Ensuring the safety and prosperity of the people without freedom, is not acceptable either in our way of life – it does not work in our form of Democracy.

Paradoxically, responsibility encroaches on the freedom of the will. When the individual or the Government has too much of those responsibilities, it impinges on one’s freedom.

A good example of this contradictory phenomenon is when the Government exercises its paramount responsibility to protect our national security. Consequently, we lose our privacy to intelligence surveillance and scrutiny. We lose our freedom to be free of any Government security regulations as a matter of survival. We live in a society where freedom is not absolute, only partial, although philosophically, freedom is indivisible. “Partial freedom” is synonymous to “conditional freedom”.

In other words, we wish we are living in a world where freedom is monovalent … like that isotope in the Science of Chemistry that has but a valence of one, incapable of division or fragmentations [interpretations] and without any responsibility at all. You can do whatever you want without having to account to anyone but only to yourself.

But even if you have to account to no one but only to yourself, that in itself is a limitation of your freedom. If you are not mentally infirmed and you want to exercise your freedom to jump out of the window of a building more than a hundred feet tall and yet you do not want to die, your sanity impinges on your free will to jump. Right within yourself, that freedom of the will is limited. With this form of control within yourself which compels you to obey for self-preservation, makes you a slave to your self.

When the enemy within and without threatens the survival of the State, the Government ceases to be altruistic. It will do drastic actions to defend itself. The U.S. Supreme Court had established supporting jurisdictional landmarks to this effect.

Facing an imminent danger, the State can become paranoid that until proven innocent, every citizen or resident or everyone under its jurisdiction is a suspect subject to arrest and detention. The right of the State to survive preempts the freedom or the rights of the individual.

The underground movement had surfaced in the streets to protest the restrictions of their individual liberty and freedom. They complain against the Government’s invasion of privacy; they also whine that members of government security forces are “forcing” them to obey stringent anti-terrorist laws and regulations [i.e., TSA security check in the airport] or else get arrested and detained without due process. With their freedom taken away by an imagined “despotic” Government, they feel that they are being treated like slaves to do the State’s authoritarian bidding that they don’t like.

Historical events in this country have proven that the enemy of the State had attacked and undermined national security in the name of freedom. When the enemy attacked the country in 911, the State was accused of leniency and indifference in dealing with this problem. In response to this accusation of lack of responsibility, Congress had just passed the National Defense Autorization Act and President Obama signed the Act into law.

In 2011 and before that, the problem was not lack of freedom but too much of it. The radicals of the civil rights movement took advantage of their freedom and took control of the streets as their own Parliament and Court of protest. In the parliament of the street, they self-legislate what the want, and sentence the Government to be hanged in their imagined court of protest.

The cry for freedom became an obsession. They have more than they could chew following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the name of freedom, radical elements attacked the State without let up. The American people become wary of this hostile and dangerous environment that through their representatives in the Lower House and Senate they passed the NDAA – a restriction of individual liberty and a check on the abuse of freedom of those whose protest is aimed to destroy the State.

Orchestrating this hostility in the name of freedom, the radical elements of our society and their accomplices are unaware that getting out of control in the exercise of their individual freedom is the worse form of slavery. Their mind is limited only to this parochial idea that slavery is against freedom, and yet they hardly understand that unregulated freedom is the worst form of slavery.

In the real world, the truth is, regulated freedom is only what we have. Since we live under the rule of law, technically we are NOT free. When we HAVE to obey the law, we are not free to do otherwise.

But compared to “freedom” in other countries like Russia or China, our freedom only differs according to the degrees of restraint. We have fewer constraints of liberty and freedom than Russia and China have. That fits into the cliché that we live in the “land of the free”, although a teardrop might fall from the face of the Statue of Liberty when the Chinese or the Russians accuse us and found us guilty to the contrary.

I associate freedom with deprivation. If you have nothing — a nobody — you are freer and have more freedom than somebody who has everything. Your deprivation is actually your freedom. Without power, you have nothing to lose, but with power under your command, you have everything to lose. [Janis Joplin].

In Mark Bowden’s “The Atlantic”, Saddam Hussein, in the height of his power, was portrayed to be a “loner”. The more power he exercises over the subdued people of Iraq, the more he isolates himself. He had less freedom than that young man in the street who without power, without money is, according to Joplin, completely free.

To quote Joplin’s iconic comparison: “This young man has nothing but also has everything. He can travel, he can drift … But if he prospers through the choices he makes, if he acquires a wife, children, wealth, land and power, his options gradually and inevitably diminish.”

Obviously in this differentiation, Saddam Hussein cannot do freely what the young man is free to do. He has less freedom than the young man have.

It is therefore just sheer arrogance leading to self-destruction every time violent street protesters declare that they have less freedom [the reason to create a riot], than the ruling tyrants have whom they are protesting against.

In protest, they kick the bucket for freedom that they already have – in fact they have so much of it that when they exercise that freedom, most often than not it usually gets out of control. When demonstrations get out of hand and become violent, so much blood drenched the street, all in the name of freedom that the demonstrators themselves hardly understand.

We cannot leave the fight for freedom to those few radicals who barely understand what freedom means.

We cannot also trust the struggle to be free to those few revolutionaries who do not only have a poor judgment of what freedom is but who would use liberty to destroy rather than preserve our existing institutions.

When savages make a boast of their freedom, the next sound you will hear is the rattle of the chain in their ankle.

© Copyright Edwin A. Sumcad. Access NWS January 05, 2012.

Note: The writer is a multi-award-winning journalist. He is a columnist of this website, and in several websites, as well as in other print and online publications. Send your comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots … you may need JavaScript enabled, to view it.

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