This is composed/posted on MLK Day, 01/15/2018. Viewing/Listening to the urls, listed below, revealed some biases I had formed about MLK and JFK, in the years surrounding their assassinations.
The report on how JFK, at great risk to his election, literally saved the life of MLK, was new information for me. Many of the speeches by MLK are more relevant today because 1) their depth and strength is lacking in contemporary messages of the continuing challenge, and 2) the messages are, more critical today, with many populations unable to comprehend the messages – blocked by biases.
I was very active, from Yale/New Haven, in most leftest movements, primarily anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights, that continued after my move to Minneapolis. I was biased to be over-sensitive and not adequately critical of reported criticisms of both MLK and JFK.
Then, I accepted the invalid practice of judging/ranking complex/multi-dimensional entities (persons, nations, theories). Today, both MLK and JFK are described (by me) with long lists of both positive and negative traits and actions (relative to different sets of criteria). These lists cannot, objectively, be reduced to a singular positive or negative summary judgement. This practice is in our DNA, having value in tribal times, but dangerous to apply today.
Every position of human judgement has subjective bias. Because I agreed with most of the progressive analysis, I blindly accepted some of their specific criticisms of MLK and JFK as “true”. The material accessed from here, pointed our that these criticisms were, themselves, biased and inaccurate.
Although I was on the March on Washington and was close to MLK when he gave his “I have a Dream” speech, many in our group from Yale were critical of MLK for “blocking more radical groups and being too conservative in tactics” when faced with oppression. The info here corrects this opinion. MLK’s strategies and tactics were far from conservative and he was being maligned by the more “radical” – which I accepted, uncritically. This is not to say that there isn’t a long list of, what we now would sort as negative actions and traits of MLK. Also, both MLK and JFK adapted/evolved/emerged as a result of circumstances.
JFK is a more complex issue. I had read that he put racist judges on the bench, in the south. I even re-wrote the lyrics of a many versed folksong, in criticism of JFK and RFK. I was in Honolulu, for one night – in route to the Antarctic – on the eve of JFK’s election. The celebrations were intense, as it was Hawaii’s first presidential election as a state. For more than the next year, my news of the world was limited, due to my isolation. During the winter months, May – Sept, our major sources, were Voice of the Andes and Radio Moscow (from South America). I became more radicalized from the books and literature I took with me. Castro’s liberation of Cuba also occurred while I was On-the-Ice. It was only much later that I learned that the Bay of Pigs invasion was launched (by the CIA) over the objection of JFK, a major stimulus for his movement “left”. Norma Cousins was a mediator between Kennedy and Khrushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis was never as critical as the media reported. These actions by JFK lead to his assassination. I had turned, and was actually supportive of RFK for POTUS, when he was assassinated. The “systems” that organized the assassinations of MLK, JFK, RFK and the 9/11 Attack, continue to exist.
This discovery of my earlier biases reinforces my more recent paradigm shift: to diligently avoid ranking persons, nations, or theories. It is also consistent with my new paradigm for viewing each and every person as a private, inner wrld – which justifies their actions and beliefs – even when they are unable to achieve their objectives and blame their failures on objective oppositions. These two paradigms shifts, both from what was useful in tribal times, are most critical for humankind to transcend. This requires uplifting to new social reinforcements, because the propensities for these old practices are “wired-in” to our DNA.
The 8 decade emergence of nuet has witnessed a great many biases uncovered, and transcended. nuet may be “programmed” for this. Larry/nuet quickly & automatically intuits biases and blindspots in his assimilation of the “words” of others. These are not experienced as oppositional to Larry/nuets own views, but different. All experienced worldviews are partial, in relation to a larger, unconscious “context”. However, Larry’s attempt to share his insights about expanding cotext is usually taken as opposition to the presentation.
Larry/nuet’s experience is that most others attempt to warp/assimilate all information from others into their current worldview and paradigms. The psychological process complementary to assimilation, accommodation, is where Larry/nuet seems to excel. nuet is primed to accommodate (modify context) to new input, instead of automatic assimilation (to old context).
This may be partly due to Larry’s lack of mental imagery in all sensory modalities and being on the Autism Spectrum. Can persons learn to accommodate more is an empirical challenge – and relative to their cognitive diversity. The whole of a future, viable Humanity will find value for all, in the distribution of relative assimilation/accommodation. What will be essential is: 1) that we accept our personal limitations, 2) respect different cognitive styles, 3) accept the gained personal agency in being a viable, essential component of a “greater system”, than being an autonomous “individual”.