Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was 39 years old when he was assassinated. And his assassination was 39 years ago as of this April 4th.

America still has a lot of deep-seated racial problems. Prejudice and bigotry are still ingrained in our society. But we’ve made a lot of progress. We’ve come a long way from the 1940s, when “any white could strike or beat a Negro, steal or destroy his property, cheat him in a transaction and even take his life without much fear of legal reprisal.”

And this wasn’t just in the South. Jack Johnson — a Black heavyweight boxing champ during the early 1900s — generated hatred and fury everywhere he went. Whites (egged on by the press) staged deadly riots all across the country when Johnson won the heavyweight championship.

So we’ve made progress. And a lot of this progress was made possible by Martin Luther King Jr. In 1955 he led the bus boycott sparked by Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white man. The boycott lasted over a year. During this time, King’s house was bombed and he was arrested. But ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation on all public transit.

He was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. This was the group that combined the organizing power of Black churches with non-violent protests. Their civil rights protests ultimately led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

And now most cities have at least one major street named after Martin Luther King, Jr. How many streets are named Sheriff Bull Connor Boulevard?

Dr. King was against the Vietnam war. He insisted that the US was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony.” He called the US government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” He also said “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom,” and “One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.”

What would he say about our current quagmire in the Middle East? We sure haven’t made much progress in that department.

Like millions of Americans today, Dr. King was spied on by the U.S. government. The main ringleaders of this spying were J. Edgar “Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat” Hoover and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. King was aware of the overlapping importance of civil rights and civil liberties. Some of his quotes include: “A right delayed is a right denied,” and “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

Back in Dr. King’s lifetime, global corporations didn’t have anywhere near the stranglehold over American society that they do now. More and more employers today are controlled by corporate headquarters thousands of miles away. These industry leaders have no personal stake in any community; and the people who do have a stake are less and less in control. What would Dr. King say about this? “There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.”

Along with the JFK assassination and the 9/11 attacks, Dr. King’s assassination is ripe for conspiracy theories. The red flags include:

The assassin, James Earl Ray, was a small time burglar who had no prior convictions involving violence or guns. He claimed he hadn’t even fired a gun since his discharge from the military 20 years earlier. Ray’s fellow prison inmates said they’d never heard him talk about race or politics. The rooming house where the shots were supposedly fired from didn’t have any of Ray’s fingerprints anywhere. And according to some witnesses, the shots came from a different direction, not from the rooming house.

We’ll probably never know…

Quotations from Martin Luther King, Jr. can be found here, here and here.


Blogger Praguetwin said...

No, we will never know, but it seems pretty obvious. I guess one of the things that has improved is that dissedents are rarely outright murdered by the government. It seems they have realized that even if they don't get caught, the public assumes it is a hit when it is obviously a hit, so it just isn't worth it.

Somewhat off topic: do you think we have come so far that a black man could be elected president?

January 16, 2007 at 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's kind of shocking to see this history like this.
Mainly because it wasn't that long ago.

January 16, 2007 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Prague Twin: Yeah, I guess that's a good sign, that dissidents have to be murdered discretely instead of out in the open.

I don't think a black person (Condi or Obama) can be elected. I remember California in 1982 when all the polls showed that Tom Bradley (black former L.A. mayor) would be the next governor. Didn't happen -- Deukmejian won and stayed for 2 terms. I think the same thing would happen today too.

Mike: Yup, a lot has happened. And a lot still needs to happen.

January 16, 2007 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Yeah, my Uncle worked on that campaign (actually he pretty much ran it), and indeed, race was a factor he could not get over. Mayor of Los Angeles, no problem. Governor of California, no f'in way.

Although, if my memory serves me correctly, because he was ahead in the polls, he decided to mention gun control, just like Gore did.

But that was a long time ago, and I was just a boy at the time, so I could be remembering this wrong.

January 16, 2007 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Prague Twin: Yup, gun issues will sink the liberals every time. The way I remember it, there was a statewide gun control law on the ballot, and that brought record numbers of conservatives to the polls. Pundits claimed that was why Bradley lost, but I still think race was a factor.

January 16, 2007 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I remember that one too, about Bradley and Deukmajian, where there was a gun control initiative on the California Ballot that was blamed for Bradley's defeat even though the polls had him ahead. Pollsters have studied the race Issue and concluded that you can't trust polls where race is a factor because people will lie so they can appear not to be prejudiced. They have gotten burned so many times.

I have often said if a Black President is not elected by the year 2000, I will never see one in my lifetime, I still believe it now. I do believe a woman will get elected before a black, but not in my lifetime.

Look at Colin Powell dispute all the polls that showed him a sure in, he knew they wouldn't be true, he also knew he couldn't get the true support of his party and by if any chance he did win, would be manipulated by party bosses as Bush is today. The biggest slap was Bob Dole saying he would put him on his ticket, not only did Dole not mean it, but people wondered what does it mean to give a guy that polls say has a better chance of winning then you do, the number two spot?

Powell knew he would be a token, which is why JC Watts quit, he was elevated from nowhere to a high position in congress (republican affirmative action), he got none of the respect that position was supposed to get. He was left out of meetings, his opinions were ignored and Bush refused to meet with him. He found out he was a token like Powell already knew.


January 17, 2007 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I think it’s true, a black or female president just isn’t in the cards any time soon. If the 2008 race turns out to be between Condi and Obama (unlikely), it’ll be interesting to see who wins. Colin Powell was right; he wouldn’t have gotten elected and he knew it.

JC Watts was super conservative if I remember right. If he was mistreated by his fellow conservatives, that’s not a good sign.

January 17, 2007 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Hazeka said...

Well said.

November 10, 2008 at 2:20 AM  

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