MLK plagiarized his dissertation and cheated on his wife.

  • #1
gravenewworld
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._authorship_issues


So why is MLK allowed to plagiarize and not get his PhD revoked when any other regular PhD would have their head roll if they got caught plagiarizing?

Cheated on his wife?-

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/mlking.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.

However, in 1989, Ralph Abernathy, a close associate of King's in the civil right movement, stated in a book he authored that King was a womanizer. The book was titled And The Walls Came Tumbling Down, and was published by Harper & Row. The book was reviewed in The New York Times on October 29, 1989, and the allegations of King's sexual conduct were discussed in that review, where Abernathy says that he only wrote the term womanizing, and did not specifically say King had extramarital sex.[49] Also, evidence indicating that King possibly engaged in sexual affairs is detailed by history professor David Garrow in his book Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, published in 1986 by William Morrow & Company; though it was not proven whether he agreed to have sex with a woman the night before his assassination.


So is MLK really the saint he is cracked up to be?
 

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  • #2
Evo
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  • #3
gravenewworld
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It's not that he's a saint, it's what he did in helping blacks gain equality.

And Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't help Blacks gain equality? Is MLK really that much different than them?
 
  • #4
MLK had an enormous vision and purpose that created an amazing catalyst to help black Americans achieve their deserved Constitutional equality.

At the same time he was just another human being like the rest of us. I never thought of him as a Saint (in the Catholic context). But he was a great man none-the-less.
 
  • #5
And Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't help Blacks gain equality? Is MLK really that much different than them?

I can't imagine that MLK would have hung out with those guys.
 
  • #6
gravenewworld
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So no one can explain why MLK is allowed to get away with BLATANT plagiarism? Any other PhD would instantly have their degree revoked for a fraction of the amount of plagiarism that MLK did.
 
  • #7
Benzoate
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._authorship_issues


So why is MLK allowed to plagiarize and not get his PhD revoked when any other regular PhD would have their head roll if they got caught plagiarizing?

Cheated on his wife?-

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/mlking.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.




So is MLK really the saint he is cracked up to be?

Thomas Jefferson isn't really a saint either , seeing that he cheated on his wife with his slave , and then had a child out of wedlock; but that is independent of what influence his treatise , the declaration of Independence had on many colonists to help form the republic the United States we now know to today. Half of the signers of the constitutions did not always practice what they preach(civil liberties for all the , except slaves, women were excluding from reeking from the benefits the constitution offer), but that does not mean that the constitution wasn't a great document , or the men did not do anything original in taking human rights to the next level , and sweeping feudalism and countries ruled by kings/queens under the rug
 
  • #8
Benzoate
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So no one can explain why MLK is allowed to get away with BLATANT plagiarism? Any other PhD would instantly have their degree revoked for a fraction of the amount of plagiarism that MLK did.

Did he plagarigize all of his speeches
 
  • #9
So, why didn't his Phd get revoked? I imagine it would be a very unpopular thing to do now. I say, big deal. He's not known for his faults and in contrast to his accomplishments, who cares.
 
  • #10
Benzoate
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And Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't help Blacks gain equality? Is MLK really that much different than them?

I'm a black person , and I can say that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton did NOT help blacks gain equality. Equality for blacks ,was pretty much established , before those two hucksters join the game.Although equality between blacks and whites are not perfect, Malcolm X and MLK are the activists that pushed for blacks to having voting rights, and To be able to enter public/private places without having the skin color questioned. Sharpton and Jackson are out for the own personal agendas/
 
  • #11
turbo
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MLK was not a saint, but he was a visionary. He managed to mobilize resistance to racist practices (legal and illegal) in a time and place when resistance to such practices could earn you a severe beating, jail time, or lynching. How many people would mobilize to march for basic human rights when they knew that they would be facing police dogs, riot police, fire hoses, etc?
 
  • #12
Ivan Seeking
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I can't imagine that MLK would have hung out with those guys.

IIRC, Jackson was standing right next to King when he was shot.
 
  • #13
Hurkyl
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How reliable is Snopes as a source for this kind of thing?
 
  • #14
OmCheeto
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So, why didn't his Phd get revoked? I imagine it would be a very unpopular thing to do now. I say, big deal. He's not known for his faults and in contrast to his accomplishments, who cares.

He taught me to judge people by the content of their character. Something my parents never did. I agree, I really don't care about his faults. He changed me, and that's a lot more important than who he buggered. And another thing; stealing from one is plagiarism, stealing from many is research.
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/mlking.asp

Westling also accepted the committee's statement that "no thought should be given to the revocation of Dr. King's doctoral degree from Boston University" and the assertion that despite its flaws, the dissertation "makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship."

The investigatory committee, comprising three professors in the BU School of Theology and one from American University, was appointed by Westling last November after researchers at Stanford said they had discovered numerous instances of plagiarism in King's work as a graduate student.

While there was general agreement that King acted improperly, Clayborne Carson, head of the King Papers Project at Stanford where the plagiarism initially was uncovered, noted that King made no effort to conceal what he was doing, providing grounds for a belief that King was not willfully engaged in wrongdoing.

So if King had simply put in proper references to parts of his paper, we wouldn't be having this argument.

And if Hoover hadn't been such a.... I don't even have a word for Hoover.
We probably would have never found out that he was guilty of the same thing as 25 - 60% of husbands in America.

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/mlking.asp
Of course, J. Edgar Hoover became preoccupied with Martin's private life early in the civil rights movement, and this preoccupation was a significant factor in Hoover's pathological hatred of him and the movement he headed. Early in the game the FBI began to bug our various hotel rooms, hoping to discover our strategy but also to gather evidence that could be used against Martin personally.

I remember in particular a stay at the Willard Hotel in Washington, where they not only put in audio receivers, but video equipment as well. Then, after collecting enough of this "evidence" to be useful, they began to distribute it to reporters, law officers, and other people in a position to hurt us. Finally, when no one would do Hoover's dirty work for him, someone in the FBI put together a tape of highly intimate moments and sent them to Martin. Unfortunately — and perhaps this was deliberate — [his wife] Coretta received the tape and played it first. But such accusations never seemed to touch her. She rose above all the petty attempts to damage their marriage by refusing to even entertain such thoughts.
 
  • #15
IIRC, Jackson was standing right next to King when he was shot.

LOL, those guys are old enough I figured one of them probably knew him personally. I'm wrong, I'd like to think he wasn't like those guys.
 
  • #16
gravenewworld
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Did he plagarigize all of his speeches

Some of his speeches do contain plagiarism. Almost 20% "I Have a Dream" is plagiarized word for word or paraphrased without reference. I would expect a PhD from any university to know the difference between what is and what isn't plagiarism.
 
  • #17
russ_watters
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And Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't help Blacks gain equality? Is MLK really that much different than them?
No, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are both only interested in their own power.
 
  • #18
gravenewworld
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Thomas Jefferson isn't really a saint either , seeing that he cheated on his wife with his slave , and then had a child out of wedlock; but that is independent of what influence his treatise , the declaration of Independence had on many colonists to help form the republic the United States we now know to today. Half of the signers of the constitutions did not always practice what they preach(civil liberties for all the , except slaves, women were excluding from reeking from the benefits the constitution offer), but that does not mean that the constitution wasn't a great document , or the men did not do anything original in taking human rights to the next level , and sweeping feudalism and countries ruled by kings/queens under the rug



Very true. But Jefferson's name didn't include the title REVEREND. Is it hypocritical for someone to preach morals and values as a religious icon while simultaneously cheating on your wife? On a side note there are protestant churches that do view MLK as a saint.
 
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  • #20
Ivan Seeking
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As for King, the man helped to change a country and to correct many great injustices. IMO, to smear his name now is shameful. He was human. Aren't we all?

Beyond that, King was incredibly brave - a true American hero!!!
 
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  • #21
gravenewworld
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He was human. Aren't we all?



So that would be a good excuse for someone caught plagiarizing on their dissertation then? How would you feel if someone ripped off your work, gave you no credit, and won awards off of it? I'm surprised, for the vast amount of people on here who publish material and who have PhDs, not many people seem to be bothered by the fact that MLK is allowed to blatantly plagiarize VAST AMOUNTS OF MATERIAL. People have had their heads roll for much smaller infractions.
 
  • #22
daveb
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Considering there are some people who are granted honorary PhDs, even if they revoked it I imagine they'd then have to grant an honorary. Plus, he's deceased, so since it would fall into the realm of academic dishonesty, and he wouldn't have a chance to defend himself, it probably couldn't be revoked.

As for cheating on his wife, what does that have to do with his accomplishments? Those who discount what he accomplished because of that are using ad hominem arguments.
 
  • #23
So is MLK really the saint he is cracked up to be?
First off nobody claimed him to be a saint so this is a classical strawman argument and secondly to argue he was wrong to cheat on his thesis and wrong to cheat on his wife therefore everything he said and did was wrong is the quintessential ad-hominem argument.
 
  • #24
mheslep
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-He preached non violence when many voices around him wanted burn everything down.
-He gets my vote for greatest orator this country had in the 20th century, possibly ever.
 
  • #25
Poop-Loops
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This is like saying the cops that arrested OJ were racist, therefore he didn't murder anybody.

You are creating a false dichotomy. I don't see why plagerism would stop someone from helping a group of peopel get rights. The most you can say is that he's over-rated, because he didn't do everything himself, even though he gave credit to himself.

And cheating on your wife is something completely personal. If he were advocating some sort of "traditional marriage" stuff and turned out to be cheating, then sure, he's a hypocrit. But I don't see the connection with his activism.
 
  • #26
mathwonk
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In 1965 as a young student, I was studying when the tv showed footage of police on horseback with billy clubs riding over the bodies of kneeling marchers on the pettis bridge in selma, alabama.

the civil rights workers there issued a call for people of conscience to come down and demonstrate in the state capital of montgomery, and i went with maybe 100,000 others.

on arriving we were met by racist national guardsmen with confederate flags on their uniforms and rifles with bayonets, ostensibly to protect us.

after the very moving march, demonstrators from selma asked us for rides back home and one woman from michigan with a car who gave rides was murdered by KKK thugs. i myself was threatened in the birmingham bus station.

Martin Luther King risked and eventually gave his life to provide freedom and opportunity for all people, and reached out in love and brotherhood to every person in the country and even the world.

Anyone small and mean enough to be so jealous of him for his greatness as to focus only on some sentences in his phd thesis or his personal sexual behavior is a petty moron, and deserves only pity.

I am disgusted by what I have read here today.

It is amazing what hatred and envy are generated in the weak minded and cowardly by the acts of brave men and women.

today there is a move in some states including georgia and indiana, to further restrict the right to vote by poor, elderly, and black voters, under the guise of voter fraud prevention. ID cards to vote, that cost money, are being proposed in a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the rolls of black voters, exactly as was done in the 1960's.

If you are as smart and brave as MLK was, how about standing up for freedom today at the polling booth, and in regard to the crooked politics being practiced in connection with this war.

in the 1960's students sat at segregated lunch counters and were beaten harassed and burned by cigarettes to peacefully request service. several were arrested in alabama even though they left when asked to.
farmers and sharecroppers were evicted from their homes when they tried to register to vote.

without MLK all these things would still be going on. what are you students doing today to combat injustice?
 
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  • #27
mathwonk
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I should apologize for my harshness. A lot can be explained by ignorance, but some of what I read above is worse than ignorance.
 
  • #28
BobG
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So why is MLK allowed to plagiarize and not get his PhD revoked when any other regular PhD would have their head roll if they got caught plagiarizing?


So is MLK really the saint he is cracked up to be?

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.


But, as long as we're talking about degrees, even Dr. Mike Tyson has an honorary PhD from Central State University: "I'm successful, I'm young, I'm rich, I have God in my life..... and may I be permitted to say, you are such an incredible looking woman."

Dr. Frank Sinatra, Stevens Institute has a honorary PhD in Engineering (which did raise a protest from the graduating class).

Dr. Oliver North, PhD, Liberty University for enduring a legal ordeal that Chancellor Jerry Falwell compared to the sufferings of Jesus.

Dr. Julius "Doctor J" Erving, PhD, U Massachusetts. How could Dr. J not be a doctor!!??

Dr. Sonny Bono, PhD in Natural Disaster Medicine after carrying stretchers following a bus accident in Palm Springs.

Dr. Sun Myung Moon, PhD, Shaw Divinity School - Moon was in prison for tax evasion at the time.

Dr. Bryant Gumbel, PhD, Bates College, "Life doesn't end when you graduate with less than a 3.0."

Dr. Elwood Blues, PhD, Yale, Doctor of Portage Equus for carrying rocks for the Yale geology team.
 
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  • #29
I wonder how many ideas have been 'borrowed' without proper citations that were never "caught" or looked into as deeply. MLK, probably did what I've seen a few students do though now it's 'cut and paste style' to a greater degree. I agree with what most are saying though, MLK had the courage to do something that cried out to be done.
 
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  • #30
Its also possible MLK didn't include citations because he forgot or submited the papers at the proverbial last minute. Remember, no PCs back then. However, that has no bearing at all on the accomplishment he produced with the help of the people around him and the ear of President Johnson.
 
  • #31
gravenewworld
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First off nobody claimed him to be a saint so this is a classical strawman argument and secondly to argue he was wrong to cheat on his thesis and wrong to cheat on his wife therefore everything he said and did was wrong is the quintessential ad-hominem argument.

Flat out wrong. He has already been canonized into a saint

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1052-1151(200022)10:2<123:HMTOCO>2.0.CO;2-0

As for cheating on his wife, what does that have to do with his accomplishments? Those who discount what he accomplished because of that are using ad hominem arguments.


But he went around with the title REVEREND while simultaneously cheating on his wife. How hypocritical is that?


In case you don't remember, the civil rights movement never started or ended with King (see Brown vs. the Board of Education for example). To say that African Americans would have been incapable of winning their civil rights without one man (i.e. King) is, IMO, more offensive.


To give the vast majority of the victory of civil rights for African Americans to King belittles the entire civil rights movement. Many minorities died for civil rights, not just King, but you don't see or hear about them.
 
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  • #32
Evo
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Flat out wrong. He has already been canonized into a saint

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1052-1151(200022)10:2<123:HMTOCO>2.0.CO;2-09
You realize that's a joke, right? :rolleyes:

But he went around with the title REVEREND while simultaneously cheating on his wife. How hypocritical is that?
He's not the first, won't be the last.

In case you don't remember, the civil rights movement never started or ended with King (see Brown vs. the Board of Education for example). To say that African Americans would have been incapable of winning their civil rights without one man (i.e. King) is, IMO, more offensive.

To give the vast majority of the victory of civil rights for African Americans to King belittles the entire civil rights movement. Many minorities died for civil rights, not just King, but you don't see or hear about them.
MLK had the ear of politicians, and the Press, he couldn't be ignored. He rallied he black people together.
 
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  • #33
gravenewworld
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You realize that's a joke, right? :rolleyes:

Did I misread it?

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news.../12/20/learn-about-martin-luther-king-jr.html


MLK had the ear of politicians, and the Press, he couldn't be ignored. He rallied he black people together.


What is the NAACP then? Were they not a rally of minorities for a cause? Sorry, but they formed well before King began his work. The entire African American community was able to rally for a cause before King ever became involved. Sure King was a catalyst while he was active, but way too much credit is given to King for the civil rights movement. African Americans rallied and struggled TOGETHER for civil rights long before King was ever involved.
 
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  • #34
turbo
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People who obsess on the "Reverend" aspect fail to recognize that ministers are humans, just like the rest of us. There are few people who get to interact with their female followers in times of weakness like preachers, and they probably get more opportunities for "flings" than any of us know. When I was a kid, the church sent our little parish a priest who brought along a live-in housekeeper. They were inseparable, though discrete. At least he wasn't buggering little boys.

Yes, King's philandering was a stain on his character. Such behavior would be a stain on the character of ANY individual, IMO, regardless if they are religious or not and regardless if they profess their faith publicly. Infidelity is a character-trait that I have little tolerance for. Singling him out because he was a minister is not reasonable, though. Ministers are human. I am not a religious person, and I don't hold ministers in any higher regard than any other humans, nor do I hold them to higher standards of conduct, unless perhaps they have built their careers on gay-bashing and preaching against drug use, then get outed for snorting meth and having sex with a male prostitute. Then I can manage a bit of indignation.
 
  • #35
gravenewworld
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People who obsess on the "Reverend" aspect fail to recognize that ministers are humans, just like the rest of us. There are few people who get to interact with their female followers in times of weakness like preachers, and they probably get more opportunities for "flings" than any of us know. When I was a kid, the church sent our little parish a priest who brought along a live-in housekeeper. They were inseparable, though discrete. At least he wasn't buggering little boys.

Yes, King's philandering was a stain on his character. Such behavior would be a stain on the character of ANY individual, IMO, regardless if they are religious or not and regardless if they profess their faith publicly. Infidelity is a character-trait that I have little tolerance for. Singling him out because he was a minister is not reasonable, though. Ministers are human. I am not a religious person, and I don't hold ministers in any higher regard than any other humans, nor do I hold them to higher standards of conduct, unless perhaps they have built their careers on gay-bashing and preaching against drug use, then get outed for snorting meth and having sex with a male prostitute. Then I can manage a bit of indignation.

It is reasonable. ANY PERSON WHO CLAIMS TO BE A LAY PERSON SHOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES IN SUCH A MANNER. It is hypocritical to preach one thing to everyone and do the exact opposite yourself. No matter what, if own the title "Reverend" you open yourself up to such criticism. PEOPLE LOOK UP TO YOU FOR MORAL GUIDANCE. You will therefore be held to a higher standard than everyone else. The excuse that pastors are "human" is weak. If they know they are weak then they shouldn't be a reverend in the first place.
 

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