Photo source: http://nativenotes.net/tag/black-family/
January 19 is Martin Luther King day. It has been my tradition to trot out one of his most unknown speeches. Circulate it widely, please. I was a teenager when he appeared on so many talk shows. Apart from his captivating and stirring speeches, his calm reason and supreme intelligence---on so many issues---still impresses me. He was a giant. And he was more literate than Obama on the ecological facts of life, obviously. But then, so many more were in the late sixties too. See also this article about the 1999 civil trial which found that the US Government conspired in King's assassination.
Family Planning — A Special and Urgent Concern
by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (May 1966)
Recently, the press has been filled with reports of sightings of flying saucers. While we need not give credence to these stories, they allow our imagination to speculate on how visitors from outer space would judge us. I am afraid they would be stupefied at our conduct. They would observe that for death planning we spend billions to create engines and strategies for war. They would also observe that we spend millions to prevent death by disease and other causes. Finally they would observe that we spend paltry sums for population planning, even though its spontaneous growth is an urgent threat to life on our planet. Our visitors from outer space could be forgiven if they reported home that our planet is inhabited by a race of insane men whose future is bleak and uncertain.
There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.
What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.
UPDATE DEC 2012: If you would like to know more about population science and human political history, Sheila Newman has just published an amazing new theory in a new book, Demography, Territory & Law: The Rules of Animal and Human Populations (see link). Forensic biologist, Hans Brunner writes of it: "This book takes us to a completely new paradigm in multiple species population science. It shows how little we understand, and how much we need to know, of the sexual reactions when closed colonies with an orderly reproduction system are destroyed, be it people or animals." Two chapters are on multi-species demography, the rest apply the theory to non-industrial societies and the author comes up with a completely new test for the collapse model of Easter Island, which will stun those who thought they knew all about it.