Re: [sixties-l] The Other Dr. King

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Wed Feb 21 2001 - 09:22:47 EST

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    Question to radman: I think this is at least the second such
    column/essay you've sent along like this, with a title, date, and some
    good text, but no attribution. Are you writing these? Would like to
    know, in case I want to cite or refer to them. I've certainly seen this
    highly relevant argument about King the Icon vs. King the hidden reality
    several times before, but this one is well put.

    Ted Morgan

    radman wrote:

    > Forgotten History - Tuesday, February 20, 2001
    > "Little known facts and overlooked history"
    > The Other Dr. King
    > Each year we hear of many well deserved tributes to Dr.
    > Martin Luther King Jr., who was one of the great Americans
    > of the 20th century. But if someone looked closely at the
    > records they would ask, if one only followed the media, did
    > Dr. King die in 1965 or in 1968? There seems to be a three-
    > year gap where the efforts of Dr. King are never discussed.
    > Why don't they ever mention what happened after 1965?
    > This is because the national media refuses to come to grips
    > with what Dr. King stood for in his final years. Soon after
    > the passage of the civil rights bills of 1964 and 1965, Dr.
    > King began to assert that the just recently passed laws were
    > meaningless without basic "human rights." Dr. King began to go
    > in another direction. He said that the right to a job, the
    > right to afford a decent home were the next stages of the
    > civil rights movement. He began to talk about a radical
    > redistribution of "political wealth and economic power."
    > What Dr. King was trying to do was move beyond the civil
    > rights movement and into the area of class perspective. He
    > understood that the majority of Americans below the poverty
    > line were white. Dr. King spoke out against the wide dis-
    > parity between the rich and the poor. "True compassion," said
    > Dr. King. "Is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes
    > to see an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."
    > He began to question the war in Vietnam and the whole direct-
    > ion of American foreign policy. In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech
    > at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, a year before he was
    > murdered, Dr. King described the United States as "the great-
    > est purveyor of violence in the world today." He said that we
    > were on the wrong side of the revolutions across the globe. Dr.
    > King argued that the U.S. was suppressing justified revolts
    > instead of helping them. King maintained that the West was
    > investing "huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America,
    > only to take the profits out with no concern for the social
    > betterment of the countries.
    > For this he was denounced by the national press. The Washing-
    > ton Post said that "King has diminished his usefulness to his
    > cause, his country, his people." The New York Times called it
    > "demagogic slander." The liberals, who had started the war in
    > Vietnam, attacked him as well. They were joined by academics
    > like John P. Roche of the Americans for Democratic Action who
    > commented to President Johnson that Dr. King's speech "indi-
    > cates that King, in desperate search for a constituency, has
    > thrown in with the commies...The civil rights movement is shot,
    > broke and disorganized and King who is inordinately ambitious
    > and quite stupid (a bad combination) is thus looking for a
    > promising future."
    > Black columnist and CIA operative Carl Rowen said Dr. King
    > was "more interested in embarrassing the United States than
    > in the plight of either the Negro or the war weary people of
    > Vietnam." Other Johnson aids said civil disobedience was really
    > "criminal disobedience" and warned against the upcoming "Poor
    > Peoples March." The march would assemble "a multiracial army
    > of the poor" that would descend on Washington and use tactics
    > of nonviolent civil disobedience until Congress enacted a
    > "Poor People's" bill of rights. The Readers Digest labeled
    > it as an "insurrection."
    > Dr. King was asking for was a massive job program that would
    > rebuild American cities. He felt the need to confront a
    > Congress which had displayed its "hostility to the poor." He
    > said the Congress appropriated "military funds with alacrity
    > and generosity and poverty funds with miserliness." Unfortun-
    > ately that sounds as accurate today as in 1968. When people
    > speak about justice for the poor, they are said to be inviting
    > class warfare, when missile defense systems are made for no
    > other reason than to line the pockets of defense contractors,
    > that is called the public interest.
    > Maybe that is why they refuse to tell us about the last years
    > of Dr. King's life. Dr. King died in a labor struggle, fight-
    > ing so that garbage workers could earn a decent living, rather
    > than working forty hours a week and still qualify for food
    > stamps. This is the Dr. King that they never tell us about
    > in the mass media. Perhaps, that should be of no surprise
    > considering what little attention they pay to the plight of
    > millions of Americans and the hatred they have shown to
    > organized labor throughout the years. It's not that the press
    > lies, it's just that they never tell the truth.
    > Sources: Film, The FBI's War On Black America.
    > Film, The Assassination of Martin Luther King
    > David J. Garrow, The FBI and Martin Luther King Jr.

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