Paul Street pstreet niu. The article seeks to portray Martin Luther King, especially as he evolved in the "Sixties", as a dissenter against fundamental aspects of the US political economy.
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You might want to note how two "right-wing" commentators, Samuel Francis and Kevin Strom, seem to agree with Street's views on MLK's broad implications. In Street's view, MLK was not just a spokesperson for one particularly oppressed section of the US population, he was a "founding brother" of a revived wide-gauged national social-economic advocacy. The memory of MLK must include his effort to promote progressive economic and international causes in a time of wide national dissent, the so-called "Sixties".
Street dislikes the way the USA has been asked to commemorate MLK simply as dreamer and moderate activist in a narrowly defined civil rights movement. MLK was a bold and brave public figure in the best historical tradition of American dissent. Therefore they will exploit them, and poor people generally, economically.
And a nation that will exploit economically will have to have foreign investments and everything else, and will have to use its military might to protect them.
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All of these problems are tied together" [SAC]. How many Americans have been encouraged to know the King who responded to America's massive assault on Southeast Asia during the s by pronouncing the U. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war, [such] as the war in Vietnam. How many know that King said a nation the U. There are forty million poor people," King elaborated for his colleagues. When you ask that question you begin to question the capitalistic economy. But one day," he argued, "we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
It means that [radical] questions must be raised NY, , ] [ Jesus of Nazareth wrote no books; he owned no property to endow him with influence. He had no friends in the courts of the powerful. But he changed the course of mankind with only the poor and the despised.
In our 'arrogance, lawlessness, and ingratitude,' we will fight for human justice, brotherhood, secure peace, and abundance for all" ["A Testament of Hope"]. Martin Luther King Jr.
Cities around the country -- even places where King battled segregation -- name streets after him and put up statues. People of all colors invoke his name, legacy and memory in support of racial justice. But to make King a symbol acceptable to most everyone, we have stripped him of the depth and passion of his critique of white America and its institutions. I suspect King would offer a different analysis.
King preached a different analysis of the effects of our economic system and foreign policy. Around the world, people in grassroots struggles are resisting the corporate globalization that pushes more people into poverty and hastens the destruction of natural resources.
Resistance to various U. My guess is that King would be part of that resistance.evescafe-new.dev3.develag.com/phone-track-on-tempo-go.php
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Sometimes we just provide the weapons and money, such as the ongoing attacks in Colombia being paid for by the United States under the cover of a phony drug war. My guess is that King would oppose such violence. Of course if King were alive today, no one can know for sure what specific policy positions he would take. But we can remember the values that energized and motivated him and the movements of which he was a part, and we can apply those principles. On August 2, , the U.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’
House of Representatives passed a bill creating a legal public holiday in honor of the Rev. Although there had been little discussion of the bill in the House itself and little awareness among the American public that Congress was even considering such a bill, it was immediately clear that the U. Senate sould take up the legislation soon after the Labor Day recess. The House had passed the King Holiday Bill by an overwhelming vote of , with significant bipartisan support both Reps. Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich voted for it , and the Reagan administration was indicating that the president would not veto it if it came before him.
In these circumstances, most political observers seemed to think that Senate enactment and presidential signature of the bill would take place virtually unopposed; few anticipated that the battle over the King holiday in the next few weeks would be one of the most bitter congressional and public controversies of the decade.
John P. East, a close associate and political ally of the senior senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms.
In September, the paper was distributed to several Senate offices for the purpose of informing them of these facts about King, facts in which the national news media showed no interest. It was not originally my intention that the paper be read on the floor of the Senate, but the Helms office itself expressed an interest in using it as a speech, and it was read in the Congressional Record on October 3, During ensuing debate over the King holiday, I acted as a consultant to Sen.
Helms and his regular staff. Helms, like Sen. East and many other conservatives in the Senate and the country, was strongly opposed to establishing a national holiday for King. With the exception of Washington's Birthday and Christmas, not a one of these holidays celebrates a single individual. As Sen. East argued, to establish a special holiday just for King was to "elevate him to the same level as the father of our country and above the many other Americans whose achievements approach Washington's.
That argument alone should have provided a compelling reason to reject the King holiday, but for some years a well-organized and powerful lobby had pressured Congress for its enactment, and anyone who questioned the need for the holiday was likely to be accused or "racism" or "insensitivity. Republicans, always timid about accusations of racial insensitivity and eager to court the black vote themselves, were almost as supportive of the proposal as the Democrats.
Few lawmakers stopped to consider the deeper cultural and political impact a King holiday would have, and few journalists and opinion-makers encouraged them to consider it. Instead, almost all of them lawmakers and opinion-makers devoted their energies to vilifying the only public leader who displayed the courage to question the very premise of the proposal whether Martin Luther King was himself worthy of the immense and unprecedented honor being placed upon him.
It soon became clear that whatever objections might be raised against the holiday, no one in politics or the media wanted to hear about them and that even the Republican leadership of the Senate was sympathetic to passage of the legislation. Baker and urged him to postpone action in order to gain time to gather more support for the bill.
The senator readily agreed, telling the press, "She felt chances for passage would be enhanced and improved if it were postponed. The postponement of this is not for the purpose of delay.
From “toleration” to “deep equality”: Using our words mindfully
Helms delivered his speech on King on October 3 and later supplemented it with a document of some pages consisting mainly of declassified FBI and other government reports about King's connections with communists and communist-influenced groups that the speech recounted. That document, distributed on the desks of all senators, was promptly characterized as "a packet of filth" by New York's Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who threw it to the floor of the Senate and stomped on it he later repeated his stomping off the Senate floor for the benefit of the evening news , while Sen.
Edward Kennedy denounced the Helms speech as "Red smear tactics" that should be "shunned by the American people. Yoder, Jr. Helms was simply politically motivated: "He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by heaping scorn on the memory of Martin Luther King and thereby titillating the great white trash. Only his decency. Helms, with legal assistance from the Conservative Caucus, filed suit in federal court to obtain the release of FBI surveillance tapes on King that had been sealed by court order until the year Their argument was that senators could not fairly evaluate King's character and beliefs anc ast [sic] an informed vote on the holiday measure until they had gained access to this sealed material and had an opportunity to examine it.
Efforts to send the bill to committee also failed. Although it is a routine practice for the Senate to refer all legislation to committee, where hearings can consider the merits of the proposed law, this was not done in the case of the King holiday bill. Kennedy, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued that hearings on a similiar proposal had been held in a previous Congress and there was no need to hold new hearings.
He was correct that hearings had been held, but there had been considerable turnover in the Senate since then and copies of those hearings were not generally available. Nevertheless, it soon became clear that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and many conservatives, the White House, the courts, and the media all wanted the King holiday bill passed as soon as possible, with as little serious discussion of King's character, beliefs, and associations as possible.
Why this was so was becoming increasingly clear to me as an observer of the process.
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