FACT CHECK: DID MLK SAY, ‘I WILL NOT REJOICE IN THE DEATH OF ONE, NOT EVEN AN ENEMY’?

checkyourfact.com | 8/16/2019 | Staff
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Posted by Inspirational Quotes and Poetry on Thursday, June 13, 2019


An image shared on Facebook claims that Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars,” the quote continues. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Line - Quote - King - Works - Lines

The first line of the quote does not appear in any of King’s works, but the other three lines come from his book “Strength to Love.”

Fact Check:

King - Papers - Project - Stanford - University

The King Papers Project at Stanford University keeps a comprehensive collection of King’s sermons, correspondence, speeches and other writings. A search of its digital archive turned up no record of King ever saying the first line of the quote attributed to him in the Facebook post.

Indeed, two King experts, Harvard professor Brandon Terry and University of Washington professor Michael Honey, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in emails that they had never seen it in any...
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