James E. Lawson Jr., one of the venerated intellectual leaders of non-violent political change, responded to questions from National Public Radio reporter Steve Inskeep recently, and the interview was aired 26 December 2006 on Morning Edition. Reverend Lawson, who was convicted of resisting the draft during the Korean “conflict” (war, in fact) and spent months in jail for doing so and who later studied non-violent resistance in India, spoke strongly for the value of non-violent action. Greatly influenced by A. J. Muste, he was one of the major forces in insisting that the US civil rights movement employ non-violent methods. He collaborated with Martin Luther King Jr. and others in that effort, served in offices in the Fellowship of Reconciliation, taught and lectured widely about justice and peace, and—judging from the NPR interview—continues to speak strongly about the utility of non-violence as a political tool. The interview will be available on NPR’s Web site under the Morning Edition lisitings.
A blogger who identifies himself as S-townMike has a nice reflection on this interview on his blog http://enclave-nashville.blogspot.com. S-townMike extends Mr. Lawson’s observation about the reporting on violence and non-violence in an important way.