MLK: The Philosopher King

Tommie Shelby talks to Julian Lucas at The Point:

I hadn’t appreciated how important the idea of dignity is to his thought. It structures his critique of the limits placed on human liberty and opportunity by Jim Crow, and his objections to the impoverishment and ghettoization of northern black people. Maybe I also I hadn’t appreciated some of the more pragmatic features of his thought. It’s easy to see King as an idealist, but there’s a strong streak of realism in his work. He’s thinking very hard about what forms of political pressure one must bring to bear in order to realize the most fundamental ideals and principles. There’s a lot of focus on psychology, on diagnosing the mindset of allies and opponents. People often imagine that as a Christian minister he was aligned with moral suasion as the principal means of realizing his political ideals, and neglect the other forms of political maneuvering that are central to his thought.

more here.