After mis-quoting William Shakespeare in our last newsletter,
I felt it was important to find another quote to illustrate
the relationship between the Pine Bush and Iraq.
This month, we are having Joe Quandt speak about Iraq. We usually
limit our speaker to issues relating to the Pine Bush or other
related environmental issues, and do not get involved in larger
However, with the looming war in Iraq, the creation of the Department
of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act, there will be very
little money left over for purchase of Pine Bush for preservation.
A war in Iraq will be very costly, in terms of human lives,
and in money. It is such an overwhelming issue, that we, at
Save the Pine Bush, cannot ignore it.
In that vein, I would like to quote Dr. Martin Luther King.
This quote comes from a speech Dr. King gave on January 14,
1968. He had visited Joan Baez and her mother in jail and he
gave the speech outside the Santa Rita jail in California afterwards.
The speech* was played on Democracy Now! on November 19,
2002, and is available for audio download at the archives at
“And I do not plan to cooperate with evil at any point.
Somebody said to me not too long ago,
“ ‘Dr. King don’t you think you are hurting
your leadership by taking a stand against the war in Viet Nam?
Aren’t people who once respected you going to loose respect
for you? And aren’t you hurting the budget of your organization?’
“And I had to look at that person and say,
“‘I am sorry sir, you don’t know me. I am
not a consensus leader. And I do not determine what is right
and wrong by looking at the budget of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference or by taking a Gallup poll of the majority
opinion. Ultimately a genuine leader is not a [follower**] of
consensus but a molder of consensus.’
“On some positions cowardice asks the question, ‘is
“Expediency asks the question, ‘is it is politic?’
“Vanity asks the question, ‘is it is popular?’
“But conscience asks the question, ‘is it right?’
“There comes a time when one must take a position that
is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must do it
because conscience tells him it is right. And that is where
I stand today and that is where I hope you will continue to
stand so that we can speed up the day when justice will roll
down like waters all over the world and righteousness like a
mighty stream. And we will speed up the day when men will beat
their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks
and nations will not rise up against nations neither they will
not start a war anymore and I close by saying as we sing in
the old Negro spiritual,
“I ain’t going to study war no more.”
* I transcribed this speech from the audio recording
** On the tape, this word was garbled and I am assuming Dr.
King said “follower”.
Printed in the January/February 2003 Newsletter