January 15th, 2007
Tonight's episode, a tasty rebroadcast from earlier this season, is titled "Food and Wine Challenge." (It airs tonight at 7:30, and will repeat itself -- like history -- on Friday night at 10:30.) But perhaps since my thoughts today have been focused on Martin Luther King Jr., I've been reflecting on a much more serious "food challenge" -- one that changed history, in fact: the early-'60s series of sit-ins at Woolworth's lunch counters throughout the country. Recalling these actions by nonviolent protesters -- and the often-violent reactions from the forces of segregation -- in turn reminds me of a great quote from the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, whose writings were a major influence on Dr. King: "Man's inclination to justice makes democracy possible; but man's capacity for injustice makes it necessary." Amen.