Letter from Ronald H. Lind to MLK

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Abstract

Reverend Ronald Lind writes to Dr. King, urging him to take a positive stand on the integrity of Representative Adam Clayton Powell.

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Letter from Ronald H. Lind to MLK
Thursday, March 9, 1967
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[Page 1] [Stamped in red ink: MAR[ch] 13 1967] [Inserted Text in top right margin: March 9, 1967] Dr[Doctor]. Martin Lutheran] King Southern Christian Leadership Conference 334 Auburn N[orth]. E[ast]. Atlanta, Georgia Dear Dr.[Doctor] King, As one of the many white pastors concerned about the race problem in our country, I must write to you. At least in the past, I have considered you to be one of the five leaders among Negroes who has courageously stood for principles first and foremost. I think of you as a man of genuine stature and ability and personal integrity. You certainly posses more than the ordinary gift of courage. For these very reasons, I am puzzled over your silence in connection with the case of Rep[resentative] Adam Clayton [Circled: Powell]. Of course, I know very little about the man and his situation. All I know is what I read and see on TV. Apparently, in the past, he has served the people of his district reasonably well. But apparently, also, his motives have been questionable. Despite the fact that he is a clergyman, he does not seem to be a man of personal integrity. In the long run, the Negro movement in this country must suffer because of him. He is certainly a great deal of harm to your cause among the white community. Even people like myself, with fairly definite convictions, find their convictions shaken by the pressure of this man in Congress. [Page 2] I can't, in all honestly, buy the idea that he is being crucified because of his race. It seems most logical to me that his district should be represented by a Negro. But why should it be Adam Clayton Powell? If the Powell case provokes investigation into other situations involving the misuse of public funds by other representatives and senators in our government, so much the better. Perhaps the whole thing could be of benefit to our nation in this way. Certainly, the issue is larger than the man. But at least right now the man is the issue. I plead with you to take a stand concerning him, not just a stand for or against the man, but a stand for the simple but basic principle of integrity in public life. Sincerely, in Christ, Rev[erend] Ronald H. Lind
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