Which Civil Rights Champion Said It: Paul Elam or MLK?

I, for one, cannot spot the difference.
I, for one, cannot spot the difference.

At one time Paul Elam, a leader of what he calls the Men’s Human Rights Movement (“MRHM”), remarked in an open letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center that “the goals of SPLC and AVfM are quite similar: We both work to identify groups who seek to oppress others, and inform the public of the inequities they would perpetuate.” Since Paul Elam believes himself to be a civil rights champion in the same mold as Rosa Parks or Cesar Chavez (but probably not Susan B. Anthony, heavens no), I think we should play a little game. I’ll provide a series of quotations from A Voice for Men founder and MHRM leader Paul Elam along with quotations from the late Martin Luther King, Jr. (fairly apt in that the hit movie Selma was recently released) and you have to determine who said what. Ready?

1. “We, the disinherited of this land, we who have been oppressed so long, are tired of going through the long night of captivity. And now we are reaching out for the daybreak of freedom and justice and equality.”

2. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

3. “Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.”

4. “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.”

5. “I’d like to make it the objective for the remainder of this month, and all the Octobers that follow, for men who are being attacked and physically abused by women – to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles. Then make them clean up the mess.”

6. “I am 6’8” tall and 285 pounds. If a woman five feet tall and 110 pounds soaking wet hits me, I am going to hit her back.”

7. “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

8. “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'”

9. “[T]he answer is, of course, no, I am not going to stop. You see, I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage. I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.”

10. “As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action[.]”

11. “I am a pacifist. I do not advocate violence. But I tell you this. The day I see one of these absolutely incredulous excuses for a judge dragged out of his courtroom into the street, beaten mercilessly, doused with gasoline and set afire by a father who just won’t take another moment of injustice, I will be the first to put on the pages of this website that what happened was a minor tragedy that pales by far in comparison to the systematic brutality and thuggery inflicted daily on American fathers by those courts and their police henchmen.”

12. “Progress for men will not be gained by debate, reason or typical channels of grievance available to segments of the population that the world actually gives a damn about. The progress we need will only be realized by inflicting enough pain on the agents of hate, in public view, that it literally shocks society out of its current coma.”

Highlight for the answers:

Seriously, you really needed a hint on this? They’re not even in the same ballpark. But if you insist…

1. MLK, 2. MLK, 3. Paul Elam, 4. MLK, 5. Paul Elam, 6. Paul Elam, 7. MLK, 8. MLK, 9. Paul Elam, 10. MLK, 11. Paul Elam, 12. Paul Elam

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