|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
|Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr.: The
Warrior That Was
Would Have You
From the Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with
disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to
justice, peace and brotherhood.” - Martin Luther
When I first read about the call to occupy Wall Street several
months ago I immediately thought about Reverend Martin
Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s campaign. In case you are
too young to remember, in 1968 Martin Luther King Jr.
was planning a massive nation wide poor people’s
campaign to draw attention to the class warfare raging in the
country at that time. He was attempting to organize and
galvanize hundreds of thousands of poor and working class
people of all colors to amass on Washington D.C. The goal
was to encamp in the nation’s capital to apply pressure on
Congress to stop the imperialist wars in Indo-China, focus more
attention on the plight of the poor and suffering in this country
and redirect governmental resources on their behalf.
At the same time he was getting the Poor People’s Campaign off
the ground, King lent his support to the striking sanitation workers
in Memphis Tennessee. These workers were attempting to
unionize, gain the respect and recognition of the city
administration to negotiate in good faith for fair and decent wages
and the right to collective bargaining. To me the call to Occupy
Wall Street struck a similar cord and their activism reminded me of
King’s earlier efforts. I was pleased to see activism and resistance
bloom in the midst of the current political and economic climate.
The Occupy Wall Street movement was a call to direct action.
Too much emphasis has been placed today on arm chair activism,
social networking, writing letters, calling legislators and community
service. The time has come for decisive direct action, civil
disobedience, strikes and demonstrations to challenge and right
the wrongs of this society. Income inequality and corporate
intrigue and influence is higher today than at any time in US
history since the robber baron era. To their credit the young
people behind the Occupy Wall Street movement did not elect to
sit passively by and allow this form of fascism to go unchallenged.
Just like King challenged racial apartheid and economic injustice
these young people are bringing economic apartheid and the
class war to the public’s consciousness.
Marin Luther King Jr. was killed because the US government and their
corporate puppeteers feared his talk of economic apartheid would further
radicalize the masses who were already waking up to how they were
being duped, used and ground up by the US military-industrial complex.
King was the most prominent and widely recognized clergyman to come
out against the Vietnam War. None of the other well known religious
leaders of his day, Bishop Sheen, Billy Graham, Norman Vincent Peal
publicly uttered a word against the devastation and carnage the US was
wrecking in Southeast Asia. King tied the war over there, the huge
expenditures and profits being made by US companies to the economic
privation in this country. King pointed out the direct correlation between
the money spent on foreign wars and the failure of the government to
address the poverty, hunger and oppression here. King’s stance gave a
huge boost to the anti-war movement and put the government on the
defensive to the point it stepped up its counterinsurgency operations
against the civil rights, anti-war and other radical movements.
The US government initiated a reign of dirty tricks, terror and violence
against peace demonstrators, civil rights activists, the migrant worker
movement, La Raza, Black Power, The American Indian Movement and
numerous others. The FBI and CIA waged a vicious war against the
American people in a fashion that would have made Adolph Hitler proud.
CONINTELPRO and Operation Chaos were just two of the government’s
more infamous programs to attack the people. Numerous lives were
ruined by the government’s wickedness, both here and over seas. King
s grass roots, direct action movement posed a major threat to the
status quo, so the US government killed him.
Lo forty-three years later we’re seeing history repeat itself. The legacy of
resistance to evil, war and economic oppression still flickers. The
original Tea Party; meaning the asymmetric, energetic and unorganized
group of protestors who were extremely concerned about the
government’s rising debt, taxes, the wars and expanding cost of
government was a start of activism but they were subsequently co-oped
by the Koch brothers who steered them into the Republican Party. The
Occupy Wall Street movement saw this and refused to fall into that
same trap. So they wisely kept the movement fluid with no identifiable
(targetable) spokespersons. They also eschewed dialogue with the
powers that be. They were merely attempting to raise consciousness
about the collusion and corruption between corporations and the
government, corporate criminality, the wars and the galloping fascism
that is engrossing this country.
If you stop and think about it the original Tea Party activists and the
young people in the Occupy Wall Street movements around the country
are not that different from what Martin Luther King Jr attempted; only
they are doing it on the local level. So in this regard Martin Luther King’s
legacy still lives. Alas the government response s been has exactly the
same, co-option of the Tea party, first ignoring then using the media to
demonize the Occupy Wall Street movement and finally employing
violence to squash the movement altogether. In stead of assassinating
the leaders (who they could not identify like they did King), they co
opted the Tea Party and then bum rushed the OWS encampments,
beating, pepper spraying and arresting them.
Four decades ago war criminals like Lyndon Johnson, Robert
McNamara, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger went Scott free. Today
it’s the Wall Street banksters turn to receive a get out of jail free card.
The government is hoping the state’s violence will discourage and deter
future demonstrations and resistance against USA fascism. Congress
just passed and Obama signed a draconian bill allowing indefinite
detention without trial of US citizens and ordered the opening and
operation of FEMA internment camps. Time will tell if they have
succeeded in dousing the fires of resistance. They may have added
more fuel to the fire. Private gun sales are at an all time high.
As wrong and unjust as all this appears, rest assured things are not as
they seem. King understood the nature of progress and struggle. He
once said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every
step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle;
the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
So as we pause to reflect on and honor the real legacy of Martin Luther
King Jr., let’s not get duped and side tracked with feel good once a year
community service projects. These times demand more than that. Marin
Luther King openly challenged the evil of racial apartheid, the
wickedness of political oppression, the waste of war, and the immorality
of economic injustice on a full time, full steam ahead basis. We can do
For All Points-Of-The-View.
KWASI Akyeampong Check out the discussion
'Dr King's Legacy Still Lives'
Discussion posted by Junious Ricardo Stanton:
From the Ramparts Junious Ricardo Stanton Dr. King's
Legacy Lives “The hope of a secure and livable world lies
with disciplined nonconfor...
Dr King's Legacy Still Lives
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