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What Would Martin Luther King, Jr. Do in the Face of Trump’s Violence and Hate?


The pathway forward against the violence and hate of the Trump campaign is impossible for either the Republican establishment or the Democratic establishment, but it is very simple and it can begin right now.

The simple principle is called “Ahimsa”, from the Sanskrit meaning non-violence; it is the single most powerful political force in the history of modern movements. It requires groundswell resistance based on non-violence. It is Gandhi’s march to the sea. It is Martin Luther King’s march on Selma. It is the pathway forward for every movement in justice and equality.

Violence will never work. It will only create sympathy for the thugs of the right. The racists and bigots in leadership positions like Donald Trump, David Duke and the Klan all support violence. They cheer for it. They demand it, and they will force anything they can to destroy American freedom so that those they seek to oppress will rise up in violent revolt. Why? Because then they can play the victim. They can use whatever violence erupts from those being attacked to claim the moral high ground. There is a reason why Martin is a hero and Malcolm is a whisper. Because Martin galvanized the nation and the human spirit against the institutional racism of the south. Malcolm’s “by any mean’s necessary” politics, went against the higher values of our nation, regardless of the validity of his critique and outrage.

The GOP cannot practice non-violence against Trump, because their chest thumping created him, and their cruelty supported him. Progressives have long decried their time out of power, even though the people support our policies and our ends, that is because we have failed to use the power of Ahimsa, non-violent wave resistance, to challenge the status quo.

The candidacy of Donald Trump has exposed like no other candidacy, the racism, bigotry and violence inherent in modern movement conservatism. This chance may never come again, but a genuine fulfillment of the “change” promised by the Obama candidacy in 2008 is now possible. All it will take is for Americans of good conscience of every stripe to rise up in non-violent resistance to the brutality of this political moment.

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do if he were alive today? He would stop every Trump rally in the country without throwing a punch.


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