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Hawaii’s Nuclear Wake Up Call (And Why We Should Take MLK’s Advice)

An op-ed by Joe Cirincione published in Defense One.

This is a time to have faith in our power to challenge these ominous trends. A time, in fact, to heed the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

For King, the struggle against racism was part of a larger struggle for peace and justice. He repeatedly spoke out against nuclear war. As early as 1957 he said, “I definitely feel that the development and use of nuclear weapons should be banned.”

Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King eloquently spoke to the hopes of many.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history…I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction…we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race which no one can win to a positive contest to harness man’s creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all of the nations of the world.

Amen, brother.