Tag Archives: Martin Luther King Jr.

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Two Old Black Guys And A White Kid From The Suburbs

Most of my earliest memories are from around the time I was five or six years old. I remember the first day of kindergarten; I remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Leatherwood (and don’t you dare make fun of her name like my older brothers and sisters did; she was awesome); and I remember the goldfish pond in her classroom. Yes, she had a goldfish pond in her classroom. So suck it, haters.

I also remember certain events surrounding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which happened forty-five years ago today. I was five, going on six at the time. I remember my parents shooing us outdoors so they could listen to the radio or watch news coverage on the ancient black-and-white television set in the living room. I remember them talking in hushed tones, being deadly serious all the time; a kind of palpable tension that lasted for several days. And I remember driving down what’s now the Eisenhower Expressway towards the Loop, seeing buildings burning on the West Side.
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John Lewis to Rush Limbaugh: ‘We Chose Non-violence’

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Rush Limbaugh is a racist sexist idiot — so much so that it’s hardly worth commenting on the nonsense that spews from his face-hole on a daily basis. This, however, is worth mentioning.

Last week, adding to the ridiculous arguments that have been made in opposition to the gun regulations that President Obama has proposed, Limbaugh said the following:

If a lot of African-Americans back in the ’60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma? If John Lewis, who says he was beat upside the head, if John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head on the bridge?”

In a press release, Lewis responded with a classy but firm, “dude naw”:

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Martin Luther King – not really all about me.

Over the course of a few months in 2010, I periodically blogged about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Strength to Love. Last MLK day, I returned to the project and wrote the following (which I have very slightly edited), in an effort to remember that he was a flesh-and-blood human who first and foremost served a flesh-and-blood community.  (The rest of the Strength to Love posts, each of which can be read independently, can be found here).

Chapter eleven – Our God is able.

Given my powerful tendency to look at the world through my It’s All About Me glasses, you will perhaps understand (though not, I hope, condone) why I was disappointed (again) upon reading this chapter.

I struggled with chapter nine so mightily that I gave up my MLK blogging for not-quite four months; I struggled with chapter ten so mightily that I then gave it up again, this time going four and a half months. And dear reader, I like chapter eleven least of all.

As a self-described “believing Jew and the wife of a deeply moral atheist,” there’s just nothing for me here. This is a chapter — a sermon — written by a member of the Christian clergy in order to reassure his Christian flock. And a very particular flock, at that:

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Stephen Colbert Interviews Samuel L. Jackson

“I’m not black, white or anything — I’m a movie star.”

This is a couple weeks old, but I just watched it, so it’s new to me! Samuel L. Jackson (who really reminds me of my father) discusses his new broadway role playing Martin Luther King Jr. in The Mountaintop, and a hilarious discussion about race ensues.

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I love that he calls being a movie star, “totally dope” and “a pretty big fucking deal.” Outstanding.

And, as always, you’re welcome.

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MLK Memorial Dedication (Photos and Video)

“As tough as times will be, I know we will overcome. I know there are better days ahead. I know this because of the man who towers over us.” – President Barack Obama

 

The dedication for the MLK Memorial this morning was poignant and moving, and President Obama’s speech was magnificent:

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Comment of the Week: An Open Apology to Andrew Young

[Commenter NMP dropped this comment in Extreme Liberal's post about giving President Obama the respect he so richly deserves. It's a comment that deserves to be front-paged for its brilliance and eloquence. Thank you, NMP.  Oh, and yeah... I guess we're doing Comment of the Week now! ::bangs drum:: -ABLxx]

“I want Barack Obama to be president,” pausing for effect, “in 2016…It’s not a matter of being inexperienced. It’s a matter of being young,” Young said. “There’s a certain level of maturity … you’ve got to learn to take a certain amount of sh*t.”

He went on to say that Obama needs a protective network that he currently lacks — a quality that could hurt him if he were to be elected. He said Hillary Clinton already has that kind of network, including her husband to back her up.

“There are more black people that Bill and Hillary lean on,” Young said. “You cannot be president alone. … To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion. His time will come and the world will be ready for a visionary leadership.”

When Andrew Young made those comments I was incensed. I was appalled that a freedom fighter who stood with Dr. King through thick and a lot of thin who took the slings and arrows with Dr. King to pave the way for someone like Barack Obama to become president would want to stop this progress either out of fear or some perverse loyalty to the Clintons whose policies by and large were antithetical to what Dr. King fought for. But his words have proven prophetic.

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The Once And Future Dr. King

Some Classic Roy Edroso here on the GOP’s new Marxist bogeyman:  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  No, seriously.  Apparently having a black President and Dr. King finally getting his own memorial in Washington DC has broken conservative reality badly enough to the point where Dr. King is now Bill Ayers or something. To whit:

 

http://www.eurweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/mlk-statue.jpgA longer-lived staple of conservative anti-racist cred has been their effusions over Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, back in the old days they hated King (“For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country” — National Review. More here!). But when things got a little hot for them, bigotry-wise, they shifted to declaring King a good conservative; on every MLK Day, in and among their many confused tributes, you’ll see many that insist King’s vision of a color-blind society is exactly what conservatives have been trying to do all along. Then they grab parasols and handkerchiefs, burst into “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In,” and dance around. It’s a grisly sight.

 

But then we get this piece from the Moonie Times (Title, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Mixed Legacy”.  Yeah, if you’re a student of the struggle for civil rights in the 20th century, wrap your head around how Dr. King broke even at best.)

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"Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did" – Hamden Rice

MLK was more than a speech to black people.

 A friend sent this diary (originally posted at Daily Kos) to me and I simply have to post it. I don’t know who the author is and I can’t find anybody on Twitter who does, so I’m posting it without his approval. I can’t help it. It’s THAT GOOD. Hopefully Hamden Rice will notice that I’ve shamelessly reposted his words so I can thank him for writing them.

I dare anyone to read this and then continue to exploit Dr. King’s legacy in an effort to prove to black voters why Obama is such a disappointment to them. Go on. I dare you.   If you want to argue points of fact or issues, then do it without dredging up the legacy of a man who lived and died so that black people in America could stand up and speak for themselves; so that black people could be free.

You who seek to twist and exploit Dr. King’s legacy should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourselves.  Please stop it. You too, Cornel West.

Just stop it.

All emphases are the author’s: Continue reading

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Rick Perry's Jeremiah Wright: White People Gave Black People Rights; Civil Rights Leaders Deserve No Credit

When my head stops exploding, I’ll let you know.

Rick Perry is skipping this weekend’s celebration and unveiling of the new MLK memorial in Washington, D.C. (No surprise there.)

Instead, Perry will be heading to Fredericksburg, Texas to attend a “call to action” retreat/fundraiser, where he will hobknob with religious nutbag and self-styled historian David Barton.

From Joy-Ann Reid at The Grio:

Barton was among a group of Texas conservatives who in 2010 sought to revise that state’s textbooks to promote their view that the notion of a constitutional separation of church and state is a myth, and that students should be taught a version of American history that blends theology with themes of a constant clash of civilizations between Christians and Muslims.

According to a Washington Monthly article in January 2010, Barton, the former head of the Texas Republican Party, and Peter Marshall, who the article described as “a Massachusetts-based preacher who has argued that California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina were God’s punishment for tolerating gays,” had even more ideas in mind when they testified before the Texas Education Assembly. Per the Washington Monthly:

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Tar Sands Action: Jane Hamsher Claims Obama "Ordered Tar Sands Protesters Jailed"

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And so the keening from the Lake begins with Jane Hamsher’s absurd claims that Obama ordered the Tar Sands Protesters jailed. Yes, that’s right — ordered.

Entirely ignoring reports that the National Park Service has stated that the protestors violated permits that allowed them to march — but not stand or sit — on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House (which — according to Vent Casey III — has been closed off since the Clinton administration), Jane seems to need to believe that Obama’s jackboots are fomenting a police state, and that her arrest (along with the arrest of almost 100 others) is evidence of the looming police state.

Horseshit.

Does she not realize that 1500 people signed up to “court arrest” in connection with the Tar Sands protests? Does she not realize that the activists themselves have been dividing themselves into groups: Those who are willing to be arrested and those who planned to leave after police warnings were issued?

In other words, the organizers of the Tar Sands Action had planned and trained for this, and the activists who were arrested expected to be arrested (as participants in non-violent protests often do).

In fact, arrest is a mainstay of civil disobedience:

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