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#1383577 --- 01/20/13 11:37 PM 'MLK Was a Radical, Not a Saint'
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4810
Loc: West End

“You can't talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can't talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You're really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism. There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism." -MLK

Martin Luther King Was a Radical, Not a Saint

HuffPost The Blog
by Peter Dreier


Today Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is viewed as something of an American saint. His birthday is a national holiday. His name adorns schools and street signs. Americans from across the political spectrum invoke King's name to justify their beliefs and actions, as President Barack Obama will no doubt do in his second Inaugural speech and as gun fanatic Larry Ward recently did in outrageously claiming that King would have opposed proposals to restrict access to guns.

So it is easy to forget that in his day, in his own country, King was considered a dangerous troublemaker. He was harassed by the FBI and vilified in the media.

In fact, King was radical. He believed that America needed a "radical redistribution of economic and political power." He challenged America's class system and its racial caste system. He was a strong ally of the nation's labor union movement. He was assassinated in April 1968 in Memphis, where he had gone to support a sanitation workers' strike. He opposed U.S. militarism and imperialism, especially the country's misadventure in Vietnam.

In his critique of American society and his strategy for changing it, King pushed the country toward more democracy and social justice.

If he were alive today, he would certainly be standing with Walmart employees and other workers fighting for a living wage and the right to unionize. He would be in the forefront of the battle for strong gun controls and to thwart the influence of the National Rifle Association. He would protesting the abuses of Wall Street banks, standing side-by-side with homeowners facing foreclosure, and crusading for tougher regulations against lending rip-offs. He would be calling for dramatic cuts in the military budget in order to reinvest public dollars in jobs, education, and health care. He would surely be marching with immigrants and their allies in support of the Dream Act and comprehensive reform. Like most Americans in his day, King was homophobic, even though one of his closest advisors, Bayard Rustin, was gay. But today King would undoubtedly stand with advocates of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.

Indeed, King's views evolved over time. He entered the public stage with some hesitation, reluctantly becoming the spokesperson for the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 at the age of 26. King began his activism in Montgomery as a crusader against racial segregation, but the struggle for civil rights radicalized him into a fighter for broader economic and social justice and peace. Still, in reviewing King's life, we can see that the seeds of his later radicalism were planted early...

Article here
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell

#1384197 --- 01/23/13 11:02 AM Re: 'MLK Was a Radical, Not a Saint' [Re: Teonan]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools

MLK stood up to the government, and the government, as it so often does to those who view it realistically, and tell the truth about it, killed him. Anyone who doesn't understand what happened to King doesn't understand what his government is.

There is a link to "transcript of King family press conference on the verdict", where Dexter King's statement is found. I know the sketchy outline of what happened, from interviews, articles, and book reviews i've seen in the last 10 years or so, but dexter's statement has inspired me to read the trial transcripts, which are also linked. For now, I'll believe Dexter; it's sufficiently there, if we choose to face it.

He said, "The question now is, What will you do with

I think about that in an even broader sense, or see more implications, than perhaps he did or does.

Martin King’s family: share civil trial case that US govt assassinated Martin
Posted on January 21, 2013 by Carl Herman
Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

From the King Center on the family’s civil trial that found the US government guilty in Martin’s assassination:

After four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses in a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict on December 8, 1999 after about an hour of deliberations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In a press statement held the following day in Atlanta, Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict, saying , “There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court’s unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a SWIFT verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation. The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law… My husband once said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” To-day, almost 32 years after my husband and the father of my four children was assassinated, I feel that the jury’s verdict clearly affirms this principle. With this faith, we can begin the 21st century and the new millennium with a new spirit of hope and healing.”


View Full Trial Transcript>

View Transcript of King Family Press Conference on the Verdict>


The King family stands firmly behind the civil trial verdict reached by twelve jurors in the Memphis, Tennessee courtroom on December 8, 1999.

An excerpt from remarks made by Mr. Dexter Scott King, Chairman, President, and CEO of The King Center, during the December 9, 1999 press conference regarding the verdict that may be used in support of this family decision:

“We can say that because of the evidence and information obtained in Memphis we believe that this case is over. This is a period in the chapter. We constantly hear reports, which trouble me, that this verdict creates more questions than answers. That is totally false. Anyone who sat in on almost four weeks of testimony, with over seventy witnesses, credible witnesses I might add, from several judges to other very credible witnesses, would know that the truth is here.”

“The question now is, “What will you do with that?” We as a family have done our part. We have carried this mantle for as long as we can carry it. We know what happened. It is on public record. The transcripts will be available; we will make them available on the Web at some point. Any serious researcher who wants to know what happened can find out.”

The King family feels that the jury’s verdict, the transcripts of the conspiracy trial, and the transcripts of the King family’s press conference following the trial — all of which can be found on The King Center’s website — include everything that that family members have to say about the assassination.

Therefore, the King family shares the conviction that there is nothing more to add to their comments on record and will respectfully decline all further requests for comment.

Related Downloads

Assassomation Trial – Full Transcript.pdf

Assassination Trial – Family Press Conference.pdf
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

#1384348 --- 01/24/13 02:16 AM Re: 'MLK Was a Radical, Not a Saint' [Re: VM Smith]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools on Civil Rights Leader and Gun-owner Martin Luther King, Jr.
1/21/13 | by Aaron Samsel

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is best known as a man of profound peace, who applied Gandhi’s teachings of non-violent direct action to the plight of oppressed blacks in America, of course setting the stage for the Civil Rights movement. It then may come as a surprise to some that the Reverend King, in keeping in line with Gandhi, believed strongly in the human right to self-defense and had even applied for a handgun carry permit after his house had been bombed to defend his family from the bigoted minds of that era. He was denied.

UCLA law professor Adam Winkler explains King’s relationship with firearms in his book Gunfight. He writes:

Most people think King would be the last person to own a gun. Yet in the 1956, as the civil rights movement heated up, King turned to firearms for self-protection and he even applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
This was not out of the norm for Civil Rights organizers in the 1950s and 60s, nor was it the only weapon King kept around him. On the receiving end of countless death threats from both civilians and law enforcement, armed supporters took turns guarding King’s home and family after his permit was denied knowing too well that the Klan was targeting him for assassination and they would likely receive little assistance from the local authorities.

Indeed William Worthy, a black journalist who covered King in the 1950s, reported that he once went to sit down on an armchair in the King’s living room and almost sat on a loaded gun. King’s advisor Glenn Smiley described the great pacifist’s home as containing “an arsenal.”

John Salter is attacked at a sit-in protest in Mississippi.

T.R.M. Howard, the Mississippi doctor and founder of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, kept a Thompson submachine gun at the foot of his bed and escorted those affected by hate to and from their homes in a heavily-armed caravans. Likewise, white sit in organizer John R. Salter, always “traveled armed” while working in the South in the 50s, once said, “I’m alive today because of the Second Amendment and the natural right to keep and bear arms.”

Stories like these remind us today that even though these great minds preached peace and tolerance, they recognized the intimate connection between gun rights and human rights and the danger the oppression of one meant to the other. Though provisions mandating gun protocol for all Americans had existed since the colonial era, the first actual piece of gun control written in this country was targeted at blacks and keeping them unarmed. Though it would be hard to argue that all gun control is racist, it’s difficult to deny that its roots here in North America are in subjugation, a reality not lost on the thought-shapers of the Civil Rights era.

So on this day reserved for the memory of Martin Luther King Jr., would like to encourage all of our readers to take a minute remember Dr. King as a man who did more than just pray for peace (he lived it), but was still prepared for war.
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.