Martin Luther King’s Fake Quote on Osama’s Death

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After the death of Osama bin Laden was announced, this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began circulating:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”

At the Atlantic, Megan McArdle hunted down the source of the quote. Unsurprisingly, it was not Dr. King, but an anonymous Internet opportunist.

It is, however, a really sweet thought. And, though it doesn’t have the ring of Martin Luther King-iness to it, it strikes me as a paraphrase of a great quote from the Book of Proverbs:

Rejoice not when thine enemy fall, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumble.

(Read the Proverb here in its original context, just to make sure I’m not making it up.)

Posted on May 3, 2011

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