Local News

Former Bodyguard Still Feels King's Influence

Posted January 20, 2003

— A local man who worked for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said that King's influence helped shape the path of his life.

Chuck Fager was a low-level staffer for King in the mid-1960s. Having worked for King for two years, he has plenty of stories to tell, like the time they were arrested together in Alabama during the Selma Campaign.

Fager was a rookie staffer, and he was white.

"They (blacks) told me I was a credit to their race," he said. "I understood their struggle."

In Fager's memoirs, he writes about being an unarmed bodyguard for King in Selma. He worked with the promise that King would preach at his funeral if Fager died protecting him.

Fager has written two books about King. The 60-year-old said that, although many people know about the leader's passion for civil rights, not as many know about his longing for peace.

"His values applied as much internationally as they did domestically," Fager said. "Freedom, justice, democracy. He felt the war, Vietnam, was in the way of that."

Fager has since spent his life living out what he learned from King, who preached against violence.

Fager is opposed to violence, too. As the Director of the Quaker House, he counsels soldiers who want to get out of the military.

According to Fager, King would be pleased at the progress in the civil rights movement. He also said King would have been supportive of the international movement to stop terrorism.

But one thing Fager is sure of is that, if King were still alive, he would oppose any military action against Iraq.

"I think he'd be very worried about that," Fager said.

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