Alliance of Ethics & Art (AEA) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. We are grateful to join with others in the fight against racism, and to seek solutions based on principles of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by philosopher Eli Siegel.*

Eli Siegel's Poem about Martin Luther King Has What
Bob Zellner—& America—Are Hoping For

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Eli Siegel
As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King and his courageous opposition to racism and economic injustice, I want people to know a great poem by Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism: "Something Else Should Die." It was written on April 4, 1968, a few hours after the news broke that Dr. King had been assassinated, and I believe it expresses what America, and every person in our troubled world, is hoping for:
 Something Else Should Die:
 A Poem with Rhymes

  In April 1865
  Abraham Lincoln died.
  In April 1968
  Martin Luther King died.
  Their purpose was to have us say, some day:
  Injustice died.
The stark facts, stated simply and carefully, make for large emotion. Two men of different races, living in different centuries, are shown to be akin, united in opposition to injustice. And the music of this poem has us feel both men are alive, warm, near. (See link below for Eli Siegel's comment to his poem and the poem itself.)
     
Abraham Lincoln, as Dr. King himself recognized, wanted the murderous injustice of slavery to end. He considered The Emancipation Proclamation, written in his own handwriting, "the central act of my administration and the great event of the 19th century."
      Martin Luther King is loved for his bravery, sincerity, and enormous energy in fighting for the social and economic rights of people of all races, and against America's vicious, unjust war in Vietnam, saying:
"This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, . . . cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues. . . to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
      He led the Poor People's Campaign to end poverty, and was killed in Memphis after speaking in behalf of the livelihood and dignity of striking sanitation workers.
      What would it mean for injustice to die? I think it would mean every person--world leaders and private citizens--honestly answering this question Mr. Siegel asked, "What does a person deserve by being a person?"--and wanting to be a means of every person getting what he or she deserves. Along with good food, a home, education, and a job that is useful and paid fairly, I believe every person deserves to be seen fairly, ethically, as having feelings as deep and as real as
our own.

     All of us at the Alliance are proud to be a means of preserving history, some of which might never have become known, and of encouraging people everywhere to study Aesthetic Realism's scientific, kind, urgent explanation of the cause and answer to racism. To learn more about our work, visit the links on this page.
                With best regards,
                Alice Bernstein, Director

*The Alliance of Ethics & Art (AEA) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. We are grateful to join with others in the fight against racism, and to seek solutions based on principles of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by philosopher Eli Siegel: (1) Every person's deepest desire is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis. This desire is the source of education and all the arts and sciences. (2) The greatest danger of people is to have contempt, "the addition to self through the lessening of something else." All human injustice is caused by contempt — from a child's sarcastic "put down," to lying, bullying, economic exploitation, voter suppression, war. These principles when studied make it possible for racism to end.
     
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