Southern Brooklyn

Open Thread: Celebrate The Legacy Of Martin Luther King, Jr.


“I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events, which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  1. A great American and a true civil rights leader. The so called “leaders” in today’s African American community: Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Charles Barron, Jumanne Williams, Letitia James, Charles Rangel, etc are a complete joke and do nothing but keep minorities down. Where is the positive leadership in the black community today?

  2. Define “positive leadership”.

    For example, would Dr. King fit into that definition, given his work?

    In fact, King was a 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 early 1968, King told journalist David Halberstam, “For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values.”

  3. King may have turned further to the left in taking on such subjects as Vietnam, but I don’t think characterizing him as a “radical” is on the mark. The radicals of the time were the Angela Davis’s, the Stokely Carmichaels, the H. Rap Browns, etc, etc. In fact, Dr. King thoroughly rejected the Black Radical Left.

  4. True (don’t forget Malcolm X), but by today’s standards, who would be he?

    Same source:

    King became increasingly committed to building bridges between the civil rights and labor movements. Invited to address the AFL-CIO’s annual convention in 1961, King observed, “The labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who today attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.”
    In a 1961 speech to the Negro American Labor Council, King proclaimed, “Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.”
    Speaking to a meeting of Teamsters union shop stewards in 1967, King said, “Negroes are not the only poor in the nation. There are nearly twice as many white poor as Negro, and therefore the struggle against poverty is not involved solely with color or racial discrimination but with elementary economic justice.”

    “Elementary economic justice” – can you hear Fox News screaming?

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