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