MLK

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  • (Show?)

    There is an article in today's Washington Post about America's high school students don't even realize what MLK did - some think that he fought against slavery. America's history has never been taught in the way it should since I was in school and I'm certain the Black person's role in it will only be taught next month...It's a damn shame that we can't get it right.

    The typical MLK day has unfolded: radio shows about the man, his cause, and where we are today. Obnoxious commericals with a heavy Black focus and broadcasts of MLK's best speeches.

    There are so many ways to comment on this day and also where we are now with race relations that I don't know where to start. I want to say that Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who would not and could not stand for human beings being treated as second, just because of a skin color of birth. He used his voice to free all Americans from the prejudices that we've all inherited. And while we still fight for equality, he made it a little easier for people like me to use my own voice to do right by my world.

    Our country and our state are still missing those vital conversations on race, gender, and sexuality and I hope we can keep start those again. Blue Oregon is an essential piece to that conversation and I hope I can be a part.

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    One of his greatest speeches is one you're not likely to hear today, unless you seek it out. It was his "Beyond Vietnam" speech. I imagine today, it would be called, "Beyond Iraq."

    The link provides the audio and the text. It's worth the time to listen to.

  • Jimbo (unverified)
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    It's been said Dr. M.L. King was a registered Republican.

    http://www.nationalblackrepublicans.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.DYK-Why%20MLK%20was%20a%20Republican&tp_preview=true

  • Al Berta (unverified)
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    Here's what other civil rights leaders said last year in a Washington Post article on the GOP ads -- ads that were also condemed by many prominent black Republicans -- claiming that Martin Luther King was a Republican:

    "To suggest that Martin could identify with a party that affirms preemptive, predatory war, and whose religious partners hint that God affirms war and favors the rich at the expense of the poor, is to revile Martin," said the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which the slain civil rights leader helped establish.

    Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who marched with King in the 1960s, called the ads an "insult to the legacy and the memory of Martin Luther King Jr." and "an affront to all that he stood for."

  • Ray Duray (unverified)
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    Friends,

    Re: Honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    As we honor Dr. King on this national holiday, I take note of the fact that there was an event that is not being mentioned today on the TV, on radio or in print by any but a handful of us. This event was the civil trial that occurred in Memphis, TN in 1999. The attorney for the King Family, as plaintiffs, was Dr. William F. Pepper who wrote "An Act of State" in 2003. http://tinyurl.com/yk2yp3

    Dr. Pepper was the King Family’s lawyer-investigator for the 1999 trial in Memphis in which the jury found that "YES - Loyd Jowers participated in a conspiracy to do harm to Martin Luther King" and "YES - Others including governmental agencies were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant." http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/WFPonMLK.pdf

    <hr/>

    The following is a hypertext transcript of William Pepper speaking on the release of his book, An Act of State - The Execution of Martin Luther King (Verso, 2003). http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/MLKactOstate.html

    <hr/>

    Finally, one can only hope that present trends are reversed. I find this YouTube comparison of the rhetoric of yesterday vs. today to be compelling, chilling and quite frankly, a bit creepy.... YMMV (your mileage may vary)

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/01/14/open-thread-370/

    In Peace, Ray Duray

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    A few pertinent quotes from the 1967 speech about Vietnam:

    "They must see Americans as strange liberators. "

    "[T]he long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace. The only change came from America, as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. "

    "Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call 'fortified hamlets.'"

    "I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved."

    "We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate."

  • (Show?)

    Lincoln was a Republican, too. Your point?

    Without going into a total evolution of political parties in the 20th century, I think if you look at it from the perspective of a black man growing up in the deep south in the days of Dixiecrats, it may make a lot more sense that Dr. King was a registered Republican. You have to remember Strom Thurmond took four states in 1948 including Alabama running as a Dixiecrat/States Rights Democrat. And not everyone left the party to join him but that didn't mean that Southern Dems didn't agree with him and support him. Granted it was 20 years prior but attitudes obviously did not change overnight - and neither did the party alignment.

    The mid-20th century was a tumultuous time in American politics, to say the least. Saying that Dr. King was a Republican does nothing to take away from who he was and what he did for civil rights in this country. In fact, if you actually think about it for a minute, it actually makes perfect sense.

  • Russell (unverified)
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    No offense, but....A LITTLE LATE? You may as well have waited until February...

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    Russell -- Could you do us all a favor and provide a last name, or a last initial, or something to distinguish yourself from the other Russell who hangs out here - our contributor, Russell Sadler? Thanks!

  • 17yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)
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    I was at the MLK speech tournament in Union City, CA this weekend and one of MLK's realitives did his famous I have a dream speech and it sounded just like MLK. His legacy was great also the whole he was republican doesnt really matter the party system after the Civil war is totally different then todays system and even the party system and beliefs from MLK's time are very different.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    Andrew Jackson the Democrat blew off the Supreme Court and sent the Cherokee packing for Oklahoma. Yup, I think it would indeed be fair to say that political parties have changed in the last 175 years.

  • Sponge (unverified)
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    MLK, Jr., was a powerful voice for a cause that we can all embrace, regardless of party affiliation. His assassination at the height of his influence has secured his place in history. I have balked, however, at celebrating his life. As much as I admire his charismatic leadership, his personal life casts a cloud over celebrating him as a man. The plagiarizing of his doctoral thesis, and unfaithfulness to his wife, diminish his stature, in my eyes. He once acknowledged that, given his national prominence, even small mistakes would be magnified into big ones. He was right. As righteous as his cause was, his personal integrity couldn't pass the test.

    I once asked an influential black community leader about King's lack of personal integrity. His response disappointed me. He said that in the black community, given their history of oppression, those things didn't matter. Only the ascent of those social and political objectives King sought should be considered in his legacy. If his assessment is correct, our veneration of the man is shallow.

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    Sponge, A person's personal failings may distract from but do not diminsih the good they do in the world. Think about Shindler in "Shindler's List." Think about any of the "founding fathers" who gave us our Constitution. It's an unfortunate and self-defeating trend to denounce anyone who wasn't a complete saint throughout their life as a charlatan or fraud. But it would be a silent world if we listened only to saints; they are few and far between and usually ineffectual.

  • Sponge (unverified)
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    Zak, don't take my comments where they weren't directed. I never suggested that King's personal failings diminished the good he accomplished; they obviously did not. But a man is more than the sum of his accomplishments. I never denounced him as a charlatan or fraud. Even the best among us have feet of clay, and I doubt that sainthood is a calling to which many of us aspire, and even fewer achieve. I can forgive the man for his moral failings, but I find it a bit much to venerate him in spite them.

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    ven the best among us have feet of clay, and I doubt that sainthood is a calling to which many of us aspire, and even fewer achieve. I can forgive the man for his moral failings, but I find it a bit much to venerate him in spite them.

    There's a time lag here. From what I've seen it took nearly 100 years before Washington's legacy and role in our country was discussed in anything but hushed tones of reverence. Then came the backlash that knocked him off the pedestal and into the mud for decades afterward. We may be the first generation that has had the opportunity to view his historical and personal accomplishments from a sufficiently detacted position to see his greatest, and failures, as part of a complete person.

    Give MLK scholars and the public 100 years and I'm sure they'll come around.

  • Sponge (unverified)
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    "Give MLK scholars and the public 100 years and I'm sure they'll come around."

    Come around to what?

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    An objective, dispassionate view of the man and his contributions.

  • Sponge (unverified)
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    <h2>I seriously doubt you'll ever get "An objective, dispassionate view of the man and and his contributions." The man is too complex for such a sterile assessment.</h2>
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