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January 23, 2011


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January 23, 2011

They’d Shoot Him Dead Today

Instead of merely reporting on this year’s Martin Luther King march that ends up in his neighborhood, the blogger rants and raves about injustice almost to the point of incoherence

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In honor of this past Martin Luther King day, the corporate controlled media has announced that the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King was a sniveling Republican. That’s not all those people are saying. America’s enemies also claim, with a smirk, that if Dr. King were alive today, he would have enthusiastically supported the Bush Family Wars Against Iraq, and the great man today would enthusiastically support the Obama War Against Afghanistan.

Faithfully amplifying official statements by the corporate socialist Republican Party, the media talking heads are saying that if Dr. King were with us today he would be another Teabagger/Dittohead. They say that Dr. King would hate America like they do and would want to promote poverty and injustice. They say that Dr. King would be a coward exactly like their corporate owners are.

America’s corporate socialist enemies hate Dr. King for two reasons. First, because Martin Luther King lived and died to uphold the Bill of Rights, because he fought to extend Natural Rights equally to all American citizens. And secondly, of course, all card-carrying Republicans hate Dr. King because he was a black guy who refused to do what he was told. So, for these two reasons, he was killed.

Martin Luther King Waiting With The Media Vans
Martin Luther King Waiting With The Media Vans

I was planning to skip watching this year’s short march from the State Plaza to the MLK statue in my neighborhood. I go outside and look at it every year and everyone who reads this blog is bored with my reports. Who cares that a herd of politicians and law enforcers accompanied by hundreds of normal people carrying the same damn signs stream out of the State Capital and end up in MY neighborhood, practically at my doorstep? Why bother to stand around and maybe freeze to death?

Okay, I am indeed filled with pride that once a year dusty piles of Justice and Equality are ritually carried out of our State government buildings and deposited in my neighborhood. Or maybe I shouldn’t be proud. Perhaps this march is an annual removal of discarded Justice and Equality from our government buildings, after which these two unwanted items are dumped like trash in my neighborhood and forgotten for another year.

The Marchers Approach
The Marchers Approach

But see, that morning I glanced at the excellent breakfast blog Ramblin’ With Roger and saw his post about this stupid manufactured corporate media “controversy.” It sometimes takes me a few days to catch these little fleeting bits of propaganda because I don’t watch TV. Roger accurately reported the media disinformation, which has been carefully crafted to permanently attach negatives to Dr. King.

Thus I flung myself outdoors into the cold blue sky and barely 20 degrees fahrenheit sunshine seething with anger. It was rough standing there waiting for the marchers. Only the body heat generated by rage at this latest round of corporate bullcrap prevented me from succumbing to the elements.

Color Guard Followed By A Big Herd Of Politicians
Color Guard Followed By A Big Herd Of Politician

Like all bullcrap, also called BS (I’m trying to be polite here) this particular anti Dr. King “controversy” has a small piece of truth at it’s core. BS is defined as a mass of lies arranged around a small truth. In fact, the vast majority of corporate media content is carefully constructed BS. That’s what corporate content providers do for a living, attach big lies to little truths.

The little truth at the center of all these lies is that up to some fifty or sixty years ago in the middle of the 20th Century most Southern black voters were registered as Republicans. This was because the Republican Party was, for southern blacks, the party of Abraham Lincoln, the man who died to emancipate the black slaves. At the same time, all (yes, all) of the southern white Bull Connor segregationist racists inhabited the Democratic Party.

Marching Through Lincoln Park
Marching Through Lincoln Park

Of course Dr. King started out adulthood registered to vote as a Republican, how could he not have? His sister confirmed that fact. But during the 1960s, not for the first time in American history, the two parties traded their constituencies with each other and thus exchanged their public positions. (If you go back to the early 1800s, you’ll find that the Republicans actually stole their current name from the Democrats. True fact. How typical.)

The two parties switched constituencies after then President Lyndon Johnson pushed through and signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Southern white racists bolted from the Democratic Party en masse and found enthusiastic welcome by the Republican Party. In 1968 the white racists put Richard Nixon into the White House, and white racists remain the central electoral pillar of the Radical Re-pub Party to this day.

That’s about when most of the remaining southern black Republicans registered en masse as Democrats. Actually, this history is well known. But you wouldn’t know that if you get all your information from Fox Murdoch or MSNBC Comcast. You’d get the impression from their content providers that black people are too stupid to remember something that important to themselves.

Some Of We The People In Attendance
Some Of We The People In Attendance

I call Abraham Lincoln, whom I greatly admire, The Last Honest Republican. It wouldn’t shock me to someday hear that independent historical researchers have uncovered the long suppressed story of how elements of Lincoln’s own party assisted in his assassination in 1865. You know, told John Wilkes Booth that the President would be at the theater, buy him a ticket, provide transportation, give him a pep talk, that sort of thing.

By 1868 the Lincoln Republicans established the 14th Amendment into the US Constitution, which redefines all Americans, including women and children, as citizens of their own country. And the 14th also gives all foreigners within US jurisdiction access to the same rights as citizens (which would include US possessions like Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Prison.) A lot of Americans died to bring us the 14th Amendment, it is possibly the only good thing to come out of the horrible Civil War of 1861 to 1865.

Jerry Jennings At The Mic
Jerry Jennings At The Mic

But real Republicans hate civil equality. Already by 1873 the real Re-pubs sitting on the Supreme Court successfully launched their first attack against the work of the Lincoln supporters. This was the infamous Slaughterhouse Cases. Basically, the Re-pub judges used a bizarre State’s Rights argument to suppress the original intent of the 14th! And they’re still at it today, always trying to destroy the Natural Rights of Americans, which Re-pubs hate almost as much as they hate themselves.

Why am I telling you this? Because this past August the Gop Radicals announced that if they grabbed power for 2011 they would repeal the 14th Amendment. Sure enough, this very month the Gops introduced into Congress the first legislation designed to take away my natural born citizenship. Their handle, not surprisingly, is the “threat” of illegal immigration. The same old crap distraction.

Despite their relentless drive to abolish civil equality, the Re-pubs managed to hold onto the votes of southern blacks for almost a century. Indeed, up until fairly recently I would occasionally run into elderly black folks who were die hard Republicans. No amount of argument would sway them. As one old guy told me about 20 years ago, “I’ll support the party of Lincoln until the day I die, and that’s the way it is.”

Bishop Howard Hubbard Gave The First Invocation
Bishop Howard Hubbard Gave The First Invocation

So let’s ask the question. Would a 21st Century Martin Luther King become a corporate socialist Republican if he were alive today, and why not?

Let me introduce you to Dr. King’s Vietnam Speech of April, 1967, one of the greatest orations ithe world has ever heard. The speech transcends the politics of the moment and confronts head on the dilemma of moral responsibility. Dr. King’s sublime arguments and his at times terrifying voice tell us for all time why he felt compelled to defy the most powerful human being on earth, the President of the United States.

A year and a day after he delivered the Vietnam Speech Dr. King was shot dead in a motel parking lot. Coincidence? Well, I’m not one for baseless conspiracy theories. I figure there’s so many real fact based evil conspiracies out there that I don’t need to fantasize about imaginary ones.

But there’s one fact about the assassination that has been established beyond dispute (that is, unless you are an ideological idiot.) It was physically impossible for James Earl Ray to have fired the shots that murdered Dr. King. Most people don’t know that. Therefore, someone else fired the shots from another position. Ray appears to have been the hapless fall guy.

Second Invocation By... Can Someone ID This Gentleman For Me?
Second Invocation By... Can Someone ID This Gentleman For Me?

Let’s look at some excerpts from Dr. King’s great speech. As you read or listen to this speech, try substituting “Afghanistan” for the word “Vietnam. Or use “Iraq” if you prefer.:

A few years ago... It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor - both black and white - through the Poverty Program. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political play thing of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Dr. King’s endorsement of “entitlement programs” for human beings instead of corporations would be condemned today as politically incorrect in the extreme. The corporate media would censor the speech. If the corporate elite could not suppress the speech, then they would openly spin negative lies about his words and attack the man personally. Imagine the slanders that Fox and NPR would float about Dr. King today.

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But, they asked, what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government.

Notice in that quote how Dr. King is rejecting the foreign policies dictated by the elites sitting at at the top of the social pyramid. We know from his words and actions that he was not particularly interested in power for himself, but he was very concerned with showing people at the bottom of the pyramid how to empower themselves. The day he was murdered he was busy helping to empower some of the lowest caste people who pick up our household garbage.

Lots Of Elected Officials And Important Guests This Year
Lots Of Elected Officials And Important Guests This Year

Most politicians in 1967 would have been terrified by the above quote. It unsettles politicians today. I’ve seen enough of them up close to realize that for politicians politics is mostly a game of gathering personal power at the expense of others. We all know that ideally politicians should only compete with each other and then calm down and serve the public. But there is much more to politics than politicians.

All too often politicians see the public as one big political competitor. What terrifies them is that one of their constituents will rise up and fire them from their emplyment. Thus, as I have observed and experienced, career politicians who can do so usually lash out and try to destroy anyone who might possibly challenge their power, no matter where the apparent challengers come from. (Or maybe I’ve been living too long in the City of Albany.) Some more of the Vietnam Speech:

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know of his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

Dr, King was only 38 years old when he spoke those words. So much for the wisdom of the elderly.

Some years ago, future Albany mayoral candidate Corey Ellis pointed out to me something I had once known but had forgotten. Martin Luther King was NOT nonviolent. Like Mahatma Ghandi before him, he did not reject all violence all the time like some wimpy milquetoast peace activist. If Dr. King were harmless the authorities would not have bothered to systematically harass him and ultimately put him to death.

Out Of Context ML King Quote On The Marble Wall
Out Of Context ML King Quote On The Marble Wall

No, Dr. King did not reject violence. Actually, he rejected what he called “pure nonviolence.” But he placed violence as the last item on the long list of alternatives. Violence, he told us, was a dangerous tool that usually hurt those who used it, so he advised against using it. Here’s what he wrote about that in 1959:

When the Negro uses force in self-defense he does not forfeit support - he may even win it, by the courage and self-respect it reflects. When he seeks to initiate violence he provokes questions about the necessity for it, and inevitably is blamed for its consequences. It is unfortunately true that however the Negro acts, his struggle will not be free of violence initiated by his enemies, and he will need ample courage and willingness to sacrifice to defeat this manifestation of violence. But if he seeks it and organizes it, he cannot win...

There is more power in socially organized masses on the march than there is in guns in the hands of a few desperate men. Our enemies would prefer to deal with a small armed group rather than with a huge, unarmed but resolute mass of people. However, it is necessary that the mass-action method be persistent and unyielding.

The man is not saying here that violence should be rejected merely for generic moral reasons. But violence, he is saying, should be avoided here and now in this situation because it is guaranteed to not work. It won’t get what we want so we won’t use it. Dr. King was a practical man.

Funny how that’s been written out of the standard narrative of Dr. King’s life. It makes me wonder if that same understanding about the use and misuse of violence was removed from the standard narrative of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. After all, why did the authorities feel they needed to put to death the man from Galilee in such a spectacular public manner if he was no threat to their own power?

Jerry Closes The Ceremony
Jerry Closes The Ceremony

There is a slightly different story out there about why Dr. King was murdered, a story supported with documentation. It seems that throughout 1967 some of Dr. King’s supporters wanted him to run for national office. He ended up rejecting the idea, but instead launched what today would be called a political action committee. This was intended to be the start of a political arm of the civil rights movement.

But at this time the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was wiretapping Dr. King and recorded these conversations about politics. According to the memoirs of then Deputy Director of the FBI William Sullivan, who was in charge of creating media disinformation to discredit Dr. King, the FBI relayed directly to the White House the information that Dr. King was entering politics. No doubt Sullivan’s boss, the gay transvestite J. Edgar Hoover, knew that this news would have profound impact on the likes of President Lyndon Johnson.

Naturally no one has linked Democrat Johnson directly to Dr. King’s murder. But with the powerful and violently insane Director of the FBI hovering around him, and still furious about Dr. King’s Vietnam Speech which he considered a personal betrayal, Johnson had every reason to want Dr. King dead. And with crazy Miss Hoover repeatedly arguing that Dr. King was a “communist” and thus devoid of Natural Rights, Johnson certainly had the means and the justification to allow Dr. King to be murdered.

Afterwards, Willie White, With His Arm Around Congressman Paul Tonko, Recites The "I Have A Dream" Speech From Memory
Afterwards, Willie White, With His Arm Around Congressman Paul Tonko, Recites The "I Have A Dream" Speech From Memory

If nothing else, the murder happened on Johnson’s watch, so you can be sure that Johnson was watching. It should shock no one today to learn that the most powerful Democratic president of the second half of the 20th century apparently did the bidding of lawless secret police radicals.

Look at our current President Barack Obama, who consistently gives the Re-pubs and their foreign corporate masters anything they want. Look at the 100 Republicans who sit in the US Senate, more than half of whom call themselves Democrats. (The sole arguable exception is the far right conservative Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but Senator Sanders all too often quietly goes along with the other 99 corporate shills.)

So much for the two parties, one subservient to the other. Back in 1967 white folks were shocked and dismayed to learn that black people are often smart enough to recognize their own self interests. Even more scary, some black folks had become bold enough to excercise political power. (As a child at that time I distinctly recall how the adults around me reacted to these revelations. and events.)

Indeed, that’s what Dr. King’s Vietnam speech is all about. Should American citizens obediently suck up to established power to get what they need? Or should citizens assume power and take what they need in defiance of the authorities? Dr. King chose the latter as an example for us all, a decision which the authorities could not tolerate.

Lining Up For Free Hot Chocolate And Donuts
Lining Up For Free Hot Chocolate And Donuts

If Dr. King were alive today, would he support corporate socialism? A quick scan of almost anything he wrote or spoke from the pulpit reveals this to be unlikely in the extreme. He certainly could not be a Republican, and he certainly could not be a closet Re-pub like Barack Obama or like any of the so-called Democrats inhabiting Congress.

Make no mistake about it. If Dr. King were alive and 39 years old today he wouldn’t be alive for long. Consider how our current President uses the FBI to label hundreds of hapless Muslims as “terrorists,” and how our leader pursues endless pointless violence against people all across the globe. Look at how he serves the corporations, look how he suppresses public discourse (other than the corporate media) whenever he can.

CDTA Busses On Morton Avenue Provided For The Event, First Time I've Seen That
CDTA Busses On Morton Avenue Provided For The Event,
First Time I've Seen That

There is no doubt in my mind that if Martin Luther King were alive today Barack Obama would allow him to be assassinated all over again. But then, George W. Bush, Daddy Bush, Bill Clinton, senile Ronnie Reagan, Richard Nixon and probably even Jimmy Carter would also have allowed Dr. King to be assassinated, just like Lyndon Johnson did.

None of these big executive politicians could tolerate such competition from a public figure like Dr. King. It would not be enough to throw him in 23 hour a day solitary lockdown like Barack Obama allows the FBI to do to hundreds of phony baloney scapegoated Muslims “terrorists.” There would be too much possibility that, if left alive, Dr. King would eventually prevail like Nelson Mandela did in South Africa.

The MLK Statue

Right now the United States is in a fatal decline imposed by corporate fiat. Soon our nation will succumb to corporate dictatorship. Their media will mock and deride the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as outmoded documents that impede the efficiency of corporate power and corporate looting.

This is precisely what Dr. King warned us about. We ignored him and look where we are today. Is it too late? Are we able to take back power from the irresponsible elites without destroying ourselves, as Dr. King wanted us to do more than 50 years ago? Will we do so?

End of rant. Thank you.

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Posted by:Roger Green
Posted on:01/28/2011
Thanks for the link.

King's Vietnam speech was, for me, his most important speech in my growing up. I was largely unaware of the specifics of the speech until after he died a year later. All I knew from the press at the time was that MLK had somehow "betrayed" LBJ by opposing the war. It wasn't until I READ the speech in April or May 1968, that my own opposition to the war developed.

MLK Sr. was definitely a Republican, in a system where registering to vote, or actually voting, was an act of courage. Did you notice that almost half the Amendments to the Constitution after the Bill of Rights, was for the expansion of voting rights? LBJ WAS right about the Dems losing the South after signing civil rights legislation in '65; that seemed to auger the new political alignment you discussed.

Posted by:AlbanyCommonSense
Posted on:02/21/2011
As a person of color I am offended that white racists are trying to steal this mans political legacy. He was a republican, as most blacks had to be since it was democrats who were sending the bloodhounds after us.

We have the right to believe anything we want. The days of slavery are over.

I am not a republican. I voted republican maybe twice in my life. So stop being a bunch of racist oppressive mongers and leave this great man alone.

For the record LBJ a democrat got us into vietnam. The KKK was created by democrats. Sorry for dropping historical facts. When dicovered this is when I abandoned my democrat registration and chose to not belong to any party. What democrats did is unforgivable.

So stop using us for goals you don't support. Most of us don't vote and you Mother Earth Cafe patrons are not doing anything about it.

Posted by:AlbanyCommonSense
Posted on:02/21/2011

Learn something.

Posted by:Dan Van Riper
Posted on:02/22/2011

Wow, that's great! Folks, be sure to click the link in the post above for the guy who calls himself AlbanyCommonSense, one of many "Commonsenses" posting locally. He calls me... hold on to your hat... "an amateur neo-racist." Isn't that great?

Also, he accused me of being "a liberal on public dollarz (sic.)" This from a guy who supported Paladino the Welfare Queen for governor (read the rest of his blog, all nine entries.)

Oh, and now he claims to "live in the hood." What's that now, Guilderland?

Check it out. Thanks for the laugh, ACS. Keep posting.

Posted by:Untitled One
Posted on:02/22/2011
The reason why CDTA provided buses for the event as there was minimal service on Martin Luther King Day, due to only offering Holiday Service.

If you didn't have a car to get there, you could wait for 45 minutes for a Route 13 bus to downtown or New Scotland. Good luck catching a connecting bus....

If you happened to live on Delaware Avenue, too bad, as the Route 18 doesn't run on Sundays or Holidays. No Route 9 service either...

Posted by:AlbanyCommonSense
Posted on:02/23/2011
Thanks Van Riper.

One day black boys and black girls
Will be left alone by closet bigots
Perpetrating to care about us
But nothing to show for it.

I have a dream that whites
Will give permission to blacks
To chose
Even think for themselves.

We will not judge hypocritical bigots
By the color of their skin
But by the content of the BS
They used to keep us down.

MLK was a Republican!!!

Posted by:Dan Van Riper
Posted on:02/26/2011
Yes, AlbanyCommonSense, MLK was a registered Republican at one point. Now this time, why don't you try reading the article?

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