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50 Years After Assassination, Nation Urged to Acknowledge and Embrace MLK's Radical Vision


50 Years After Assassination, Nation Urged to Acknowledge and Embrace MLK's Radical Vision

Julia Conley, staff writer

As hundreds rallied in Memphis, Tenn. on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, progressive civil rights and anti-poverty advocates urged Americans to honor the full breadth of the leader's efforts—which went far beyond his ubiquitous "I Have a Dream" speech and pushed for the eradication of poverty and an end to the U.S. war in Vietnam.


That MLK’s vision can be labeled “radical” shows just how radically wrong our society has gone. Nowadays, peace, equality, and an end to poverty are “extremist”, but, in reality, only when gauged against the extremes of the disjointed, warlike and unequal treatment of citizens that have become the norm. We are ruled by idiots and charlatans, a true kleptocracy and kakistocracy that seems to have no end in sight. That “shining beacon on the hill” is nothing more than a perverse reflection off a solid gold toilet.


Nothing changes things just keep getting worse. This country was founded for the elite long before all of us were born. In 1999 in a court of law William Pepper won a case on who killed MLK-- Look it up


Until Lone Wolf vs Hitchcock is over turned, setting Native Americans free, there will be no parity for anyone.


Yes, we live in an Orwellian nightmare where peace is war; and fascism is murdering innocent people and calling it peace through honor; and what is really radical is called normal.


If a politician is still alive in office they are all part of the ripoff game. Kings death seems like it happened yesterday. Pointing out the complete criminality publicly is a death sentence. There is power in numbers, the people have not put those numbers of people in a position to grow change. Divided and conquered works every time.


Certainly can’t argue with Dr. West. But we all have to become Dr. King. If we wait for just one person to do it, they’ll kill him or her too.


Beyond Vietnam is a great speech, but I think his Letter from a Birmingham Jail is just as pertinent. He articulated a strong critique of white moderates, said that phrase many times in the letter, people that always argued for people to demand justice in the future and to call for peanuts today. He pointed out the human costs of not demanding justice immediately. He would have none of those that run and control either of these parties, nor would he have any time for the losers in the Democratic Party that say nice sounding buzzwords in a speech while selling their souls to war profiteers, banks and other capitalist interests. You might notice that many of the posters that provides cover for corrupt Democrats on this site never comment on articles like this, Lrx and KC come to mind. There is a good reason for that. They wave their finger at the left for not supporting the types of policies that King opposed, but they know they can’t waive their finger at King. If he were around he would be calling them out, and they know it.


Excellent points!


“As hundreds rallied in Memphis”. Hundreds??? Can’t you count??


I am 100 percent for Martin Luther King’s agenda. In stark contrast to Trump’s racist agenda. Martin Luther King was a very special person.


For lack of information from Ditton, FYI
“The Court declared (1903) that the “plenary power” of the United States Congress gave it authority to unilaterally abrogate treaty obligations between the United States and Native American tribes. The decision marked a departure from the holdings of Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. 1 (1831), and Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. 515 (1832), which had shown greater respect for the autonomy of Native American tribes.”

We might comment that this was a political decision, that the Kiowa did not have the political power and alliances to stop the US Congress, and the SCOTUS refused to intervene on their behalf, to protect their rights. Not very different from Pres. Andrew Jackson’s supposed remark in c1832, that the Supreme Court had made its decision, now let them enforce it.


First, because it is so little known or remembered, after ML King’s assassination the City of Memphis settled with the strikers. I have not noted the terms of the settlement. In any case it “doesn’t much matter”, because black sanitation workers have long since been replaced with automation and Hispanic sanitation workers.


It is easier to speak first about ‘U.S. Empire’. Perhaps it is not as invidious as other empires of the past. But it is true that Americans, by living in the imperium, have an imperialist and haughty attitude.

Consider this pacifist argument against American attitudes. That when other nations and persons attack us, such as 9/11, it is because they have suffered injury from America, and they have a right to attack us, and a right to NOT BE ATTACKED IN RESPONSE by the USA and Americans. Thus the ‘War on Terror’ is 100% wrong and must be ended.

Worth a remark here on hypocrisy and two-faced-ness of people opposed to the American Empire. Pacifists and People-Power advocates cheered the Arab Spring that in 2010 swept North Africa and the Mideast, particularly when it overthrew Egypt’s long-time President Mubarrak and people rose in protest in Bahrain. The same people, and people here on Common Dreams, called for an American Tahrir Square to overthrow our own government. Then these same people were more ambivalent when the same sentiments caused the Arab Street in Syria to Arab Spring protest demanding the overthrow of their government. And the ambivalence has gotten stronger since then. (In all cases these Advocates oppose America and Americans intervening on either side of the struggle…)

As for the poverty element of King’s program, that is more difficult. Adam Smith may have been the second person, after Thomas Hobbes, to have pointed out that the natural condition of man is poverty. Smith inquired and studied how man rises out of poverty. Underappreciated is that no matter how many fish you give an impoverished person, in an important sense that person is still impoverished until he learns how to fish.

The Decl. of Independence affirms that our rights include “the pursuit of happiness.” Socialists tell us that a communitarian obligation to pursue the happiness of others takes precedence over pursuing our own happiness, or at least that there is such a thing as an individual being too successful, a thing to be avoided. That apparently goes double or triple on race; that it is important to avoid being noticeably more successful than persons of a downtrodden race.

… Your response?