MLK plagiarized his dissertation and cheated on his wife.

  • #1
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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?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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  • #3
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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
drankin
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
drankin
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
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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
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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
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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
drankin
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
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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
drankin
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Art
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
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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.
 

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