The man behind the dream

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rev. Carter reflects on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  

TRYON – “King’s life speaks for itself,” said the Rev. Michael Carter, keynote speaker for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Commemoration event at the Tryon Fine Arts Theater (TFAC) Saturday, Jan. 20. Carter serves as the minister to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Black Mountain and the consulting minister to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Tryon. 

Rather than talk about what King accomplished and inspired during his life, Carter remarked about the man himself. He said King’s birth name was Michael, that he was involved in an interracial relationship during college and had to break up the relationship in order to live and work in the South. 

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Carter said King’s father, “Daddy” King, taught King to be suspicious of capitalism. “Martin leaned more toward Democratic Socialism,” Carter said. “His dream was anti-empire. I know of a rabbi 2,000 years ago who was anti-empire.” 

Carter also reminded the audience of 150 or more that King was called “one of the most influential Americans of the 21st century.”  

According to Carter, racism didn’t kill King, the Vietnam War did. “He [King] told people to burn their draft cards and in a year he was dead,” Carter said. 

Other things Carter mentioned about King included that King was “a patriot and a warrior,” that, “peace is not our goal, it is the tool we use to achieve our goal,” and that King learned from Gandhi. “He [King] was dangerous because he spoke of hope,” said Carter.  

Carter finished to a standing ovation by saying, “We cannot continue to solve 21st century problems with antiquated tools. Do you want to be right, or do you want peace? He [King] was a revolutionary and a prophet. His dream of racial equality still haunts us today.”