He had a curly black beard with a twisted black cigar sticking out of it, and nobody, after one look at him, would have mistaken him for any apostle of nonviolence. He had a proposition he was enlisting support for. He wanted balloting at meetings to be limited to captains of active hunter-ships, the captains to vote according to expressed wishes of a majority of their crews.
His experiences with direct action techniques in Montgomery helped him to confirm and to further elaborate his thinking. His philosophy had been influenced by the writings of Henry Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi with the result that he developed an ideology of nonviolent resistance. Like Gandhi, King wanted to make clear that nonviolence was not the same as nonresistance.
They represent eternal virtue." Nonviolence is the natural outgrowth of the law of forgiveness and love. "If loss of life becomes necessary in a righteous battle," Gandhi proclaims, "one should be prepared, like Jesus, to shed his own, not others', blood. Eventually there will be less blood spilt in the world."
As early as 1957, Robert F. Williams, then the N.A.A.C.P. leader in Monroe, North Carolina, concluded that nonviolence could not be looked upon as a cure-all for all the problems of the Afro-American community. In his opinion the right for an Afro-American to sit in the front of the bus in Montgomery was not so spectacular a victory: "The Montgomery bus boycott was a victory but it was limited.
On the philosophical level, King said that nonviolent resistance was the key to building a new world. Throughout history, man had met violence with violence and hate with hate. He believed that only nonviolence and love could break this eternal cycle of revenge and retaliation.
I don't claim that nonviolence has penetrated the 360,000,000 people in India, but I do claim it has penetrated deeper than any other doctrine in an incredibly short time. It takes a fairly strenuous course of training to attain a mental state of nonviolence. It is a disciplined life, like the life of a soldier.
Epics shall someday be written on the Indian SATYAGRAHIS who withstood hate with love, violence with nonviolence, who allowed themselves to be mercilessly slaughtered rather than retaliate. The result on certain historic occasions was that the armed opponents threw down their guns and fled, shamed, shaken to their depths by the sight of men who valued the life of another above their own.
McKissick and Carmichael questioned the worth of nonviolence as a tactic and the value of integration as a goal. When the marchers reached Greenwood, Mississippi, a S.N.C.C. stronghold, Carmichael seized the microphone, and instead of using the traditional civil rights slogan of "Freedom Now" he began chanting "Black Power!"
"The CHARKA symbolizes energy," he wrote, "and reminds us that during the past eras of prosperity in India's history, hand spinning and other domestic crafts were prominent." He never refers to himself as "Mahatma." SATYAGRAHA is the famous nonviolence movement led by Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi plans to visit the new ashram during 1946. I met her in New York; she was intensely interested in India.
The perfect state is reached only when the mind, body, and speech are in proper coordination. Every problem would lend itself to solution if we determined to make the law of truth and nonviolence the law of life. Just as a scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the laws of nature, a man who applies the laws of love with scientific precision can work greater wonders.