Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dr. King's Legacy and other Information (in January 2012)

Martin Luther King - Where Do We Go From Here? (Conclusion) from MLK Speeches on Vimeo.

The concluding 16 minutes of King's speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, August 16th, 1967.




Litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, argues that we have not ended racial caste in America, we have simply redesigned it: The U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary means of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. Her provocative new book challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America. As the United States celebrates the nation's triumph over race with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Event at Demos February 18, 2010.



Black Separatist wrote:
typical white CIA lies still going strong
the CIA feared the black movement and that's why they killed Malcolm X and Martin Luther King
I actually HAVE the FBI files kept on Malcolm X. Whether they killed Malcolm (or Martin) or maybe just aided and abetted it, is hard to tell. But both men's movements were infiltrated. Hoover feared and hated both of them.

Unfortunately, a lot of things--sometimes WHOLE PARAGRAPHS--are blacked out in the FBI file on Malcolm before its release under the Freedom of Information Act.
So, there's no telling how much we still don't know.


CaptainSplendor wrote:

Right. And O.J. is innocent and Al Sharpton is literate.
Black Separatist is RIGHT on this matter. The government feared King and Malcolm X. Moreover, the previously secret FBI files on both men PROVE this.
That's NOT a matter of opinion.

Also, Al Sharpton is more literate than you.


Note by Me: Savant is wrong to assume that Black people collectively are brainwashed by some extreme form of patriachy. Also, black people have a huge sense of deep, intellectual thinking. So, I want to make that clear.

By Timothy
You white racists need to stop finding excuses for your ongoing failures, for your depravity of mind and character..for your BEING failures as human beings. At least the racism which Black folk protest is REAL, and the whole worls knows it. Even in backward America, at least more intelligent whites know it. The only problem I have with many fellow Blacks, is that often they don't see CLEARLY the RELATION of racism with other forms of injustce, like class and patriarchy. Dr. King and Malcolm both tried to get us to see the interrelationship between racism and ecnomic (class) exploitation. Black feminists like bell hooks, Angela Y.Davis, Joy James and others, have tried to get us to see also the relation between racist/capitalist oppression and Patriarchy, the subjection of women. NONE of this do you have a clue to, and most Blacks have an understanding that is not sufficeintly deep. You simpletons not only practice (while failing to SEE) racism, you're not even perceptive enough to see how you're helping to perpetuate your own class and gender oppression through perpetuation of white racism. An elder tells me that Dr. King, in Baltimore, once said to a gathering: "The real difference between ourselves and our bemused white brthren is that we KNOW we're not free, while they think they are. If they knew their real situation they'd be on the picket lines with us--and maybe in larger numbers than ourselves." Now I wonder: What the f____ does it take to wake up you more BACKWARD white folk. Some of you seem to be waking up. Hence the white working class insurgency in Wisconsin, and the Occupy movement. What keeping you so comatose? Too much TV? Too much meth? When are you going to wake up and join humanity?



it seems you do not qualify for Republicans or Tea-partiers then.
But if Obamacare is a "scam", to some extent you are correct, then what about the zero proposal by Reps ?

Unfortunately the European rightists have wiped away "Europe socialism" for a long time now. Ever heard of Thatcher ? false socialist Schröder ? Merkel ? Sarkozy ? Barroso ?
All Corporate valets.

The people resistance has just been a little stronger and so they have been forced to keep a minimal level of social justice.

a whiteboi


Savant wrote:
Isn't it interesting that some Republicans have decided that what wrong with Obama is that he's to Europe-centered? That he thinks Europe got education and healh care right, and that America got it wrong?
They now declare that Obama wants to turn America into another Europe.
Do some white Americans despise their ancestral homeland so much that one of the worst insults they can level at Obama is that he's too European?

they truly despise the very notion of :
- welfare state
- low cost education for all
- high quality healyh system for all
- safe environment, reduced criminality
- less pollution
- a more peaceful foreign policy
and some other things Europeans, at least a majority of them, are trying to achieve.

a whiteboi


Savant wrote:

Well, I partly agree and partly disagree. In Europe, there is racism in which based on color. Some of my conversations with Francophone Blacks in France revealed quite a bit about race in France. And in a thread I started---"FRENCH THERAD in AA FORUM?"--a Black ladyu named Amy spoke of some French Black experiences which are strikingly similar to what I've experienced in America.
But in Europe CLASS is probably still more important than race. I did notice both FRENCH RACISM, but also an ease of social interaction between black and white French people which is almost unimaginable in the USA. Also, they are able to have massive popular protests galvinizing 80% of the nation precisely because they are not as divided racially as we are.


You know, there's an article by an American historian which suggests that Europophobia (if I can invent a word) among Americans is found MAINLY among white American conservatives.
Some people of color have ambivalent, or hostile attitudes towards Europe. But they have a history of being colonized, enslaved and exploited by Europeans.
My suspicions is that animosity toward Europe by whites who are descendants of Europeans, is mainly xenophobia and fear of the more PROGRESSIVE features of European democratic polities. And among peoples of color, it is precisely the experience of REPRESSION, an experiences of the REACTIONARY features of European society that provokes animosity or suspicions.
When Frantz Fanon, who was very popular with AA revolutionaries in the 1960s, wrote "Let us turn from this Europe that is never done talking of MAN, but kill MEN wherever they find them"--he was speaking as a colonized person. It was not progressive social legislation that he experienced, but repressive colonial violence. AA who (as Malcolm, Panthers and others pointed out) experienced something similar to colonialism, could find much in Fanonian critique of Europe which resonated with their own experience of oppression.
But conservative white Americans are not responding to experience of racist degradation and imperial exploitation at the hands of Europe. It is mainly xenophobia and what one hist''orian called the "politics of paranoia."


Am I mistaken, or is the distrust or dislike of Europe more pronounced among white American conservatives?

I recall that in right wing opposition to health care reform one common refrain was that Obama and the liberals are trying to turn America into another Europe.

They complain that liberals are trying to impose a European "nanny state" upon America.

The British are often seen as snooty (even if alllies), and the French as effete.

Indeed Europe as a whole is often seen as "effete," not so "virile" as America.

I don't seem to hear this same contempt for Europe among more liberal American whites.

Some to the left of liberalism do see Europe as now a junior league player in the game of imperialism.

And African-Americans often recall that Europe created the slave trade and colonized Africa. But that is a different kind of dispute with Europe than that of white American conservative.



Harrisson wrote:

Oh, I don't think there's ANY DOUBT whatsoever that Dr. King would firmly endorse the Occupy Movement, brother Savant. He would be down there in the CNN interviews....speaking truth to up soup or grilling some ribs...and otherwise helping fortify folks' morale.



Two replies: 1. You need to offer evidence of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racism. I don't recall any words of his likening whole peoples to "zoo animals." 2. You need to show which of Obama's writings reveal evidence of racism as does the writings attributed to Ron Paul. Indeed, if you READ Obama's memoir--DREAMS FROM MY FATHER--you will find that Obama often thought that much of social wrongs which Wright attributed to racism, Obama thought more connected to CLASSISM, though Obama acknowledges the persistence of racism. The evidence of racism in writings attributed to Ron Paul is undeniable except among the disingenuous and obtuse. And if Ron Paul didn't write (and supposedly didn't know) about those racist articles, then he reveals a certain obliviousness which still make one wonder whether his is a mental state suitable for the leadership of the USA. Oh yes, Ron Paul (even aside from the race issue) is out of touch with reality. The free market fundamentalism of his libertarian philosophy is irrelevant in the era of globalization. His isoltionism is simply unusustainable. He is right about the drug war, and opposition to militarism. But the laixxez-faire philosophy with no (or very little) role for regulation is an old 19th Century idea, no longer practical. His negative conception of freedom is itself too narrow, inadequate. And I can go on and on



I think the Iowa governor believes that Obama wants to make America to be more like social democratic countries in Europe. That's probably what he meant when he said Obama wants to turn America into another Europe.
When one talks about social legislation, or what the French call "protections sociale", Europe is viewed with disdain by some American whites. When they want to celebrate Western civilization, or America's Western heritage, then Europe is often glorified as the birthplace of the greatest culture of all.
Of course, the philosophical foundations of American notions of liberty and government come mainly from Europe; from England most of all, and secondarily at least from France.
Whole sections of the Declaration of Independence paraphrase John Locke's SECOND TREATISE ON CIVIL GOVERNMENT. And our idea of "division of powers" partly derive from Montesquieu's SPIRIT OF THE LAWS.



You ever hear of anti-Semitism? Christian Europe used to ghettoize Jews before their "discovery" of America, and their subsequent ghettoizing of Blacks. Ever hear of Adolph Hitler? Or the National Front?
Europe has serious problems with racism.
But the much higher awareness of CLASS probably diminishes the force of racism to a large extent---just as the intensisty of racial polarizations in America, have diminished class consciousness.



Savant wrote:

The economy could be Chavez's undoing. Also, it could be Obama's undoing in America.

In the case of Obama, his major domestic mistake has been in not being "leftist" enough. His taking single payer universal health care off the table, was a HUGE blunder.

When he proposed a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, he made a good move. But when Congress rejected it, Obama made another blunder in not making it an ISSUE that he would fight for.
I don't know if he could have won, but a principled stand could have gotten the moratorium (single payer also) at the center of national discourse and debate.

And the American people would have remembered that Obama FOUGHT for the moratorium instead of proposing it and then letting it disapear off the radar screen....
I agree with you on both counts, Savant. Obama is a corporatist (meaning servile to corporate interests), which I already knew and is not a surprise, but he is also a WEAK-WILLED corporatist (so far), which is quite disappointing.

He folds so easily perhaps because he believes that is how you show unity to the nation -- by avoiding divisive battles. In his own mind, he probably calculates that he is "bridging the divide" and "forging a bipartisan consensus."
Savant wrote:
...The sad thing is that when you read up on Obama, or even read his memoir DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, you see that as a youth Obama had very definite PROGRESSIVE associations. He was involved in progressive causes.

Had he stood firm on progressive convictions (assuming he still has them) he would no doubt have had to weather the storm of angry reaction from right wing Republicans and cowardly centrist Democrats. But he could have weathered that storm.

The Republican and Democrat right both needed to know that he wasn't afraid to FIGHT them. And the American PEOPLE need to know that Obama would fight FOR and WITH them, even if it put in at odds against the Republican Party, cowardly Democrats and corporate power.

Obama has aroused the wrath of the conservatives for being far to the left than he actually is. And he SHOULD be much further to the left than he is. But that requires extraordinary courage in America.

And that's the reason why I think that without a popular democratic movement on the ground such we had in the 1960s, 1930s, and the 1800s (under Lincoln), not much gets done even under a "liberal" adminstration.
I have to agree with you, but I suspect that building a "popular democratic movement on the ground" requires the hard work and civic engagement that very few ordinary Americans have the stomach for. People who *COULD BE* dynamic community activists by virtue of their progressivism combined with independent wealth, ability and talent -- think Michael Moore -- would have to step to the forefront and rally others around them. The corporate elites and lobbyists who've made their fortunes in Wall Street finance or pharmaceuticals or defense contracting are NOT going to do it for us.

I think that Obama's background as a community activist, which he repeatedly trumpeted during the campaign, is essentially fake and was used to hoodwink the leftist-progressive wing of the Democrats. If not fake, then it's nothing more than a distant memory which is totally irrelevant to his current outlook in life -- sort of like the one-time "radical anarchist" in college, who then graduates, throws away the spray-paint cans and army fatigues, cleans up, and then goes to work at his uncle's investment bank. LOL!

Unless things quickly change as part of some unknown, crafty "Master Plan" of Obama's, we will have tough times ahead of us with this meek, bourgeois, corporatist of a black President.



I speak of the richer foreign nations because they are the only ones with which a reasonable or fair analogy can be made. When rightists talk about how much better life is in America than elsewhere they usually point to poorest countries, or to some kind of dictatorship.
And when you hear rightists referring to Europe as a basket caes, they shrewdly point to Greece, not Germany or Denmark.
I have a right to ask why America doesn't do as well in many ways as countries more similar to ourselves in wealth and economic development.
Many white Americans do despise Europe, and take their own ancestral homeland as a symbol of what is negative. Given their negative attitude toward Obama, the animosity toward reinforces (by association) the animosity toward the other. When he's not called a Muslim, he's called a commie (within the context where Europe is seen as commie or socialist).
And yet there are some of us who desire a more JUST society.



Actually, Attai's post # 1194 give a number of reasons why social democracy, or the welfare state if you prefer, should be preferred. I might mention that in those societies the quality of education and health care are HIGHER and the costs actually lower. While no environment is totally safe, Western Europe has FAR LESS violent crime. Maybe because there's a substnatial measure of economic security, personal and political freedom, and space for a rich cultural life. And America;s new health care package (Obamacare is merely a buzz word) is problematic only insofar as it's too watered down. If Obama had a stiff progressive backbone he'd have proposed SWEEEPING REFORMS, sincle payer, and the end to corporate domination of health care. Bu the way, College is NOT FREE for very low income people. I grew up in the ghettoes of east Baltimore. It didn't come free for me, and i had a neumber of years to pay off loans. Of course, things are worse now than then. Frankly, it is CAPITALISM that I think to be unstainable.



Parts of Europe are becoming more multiracial and multicultural, and one German woman politician has expressed alarm at this fact.
It would be interesting--hopefully not tragic--to watch Europe's cultural and political reaction and development as this ethnic and cultural diversifying of its population continues.



Barros Serrano wrote:
Conservatives see in the progressive aspects of Europe what they fear will be done by liberals in the USA. Europe is in many ways socially more advanced.
Conservative media bigmouths always talk about France... "Do you want to be like FRANCE???"... Well, yes.
Given the relatively high quality of French and other European education, health care, public transportation, I suspect that conservatives fear what would happen if Americans knew about social democracy and the so-called "nanny state." The "liberalism" that some right wingers think of as a "mental disorder" has resulted in a social order in Western Europe whose quality of life if far above our own.



I just sent you and SoulBrother a copy of a letter to the President from : "President Obama, Remember Who Your Friends Are." If you didn't receive it you can find it in , the January 20 edition. But will Obama listen?
There definitely seems to be a reluctance to lead where such leadership involves CONFRONTATION in defense of one's principles.
However, I've read not only in DREAMS FROM MY FATHER but also from magazines like THE PROGRESSIVE and THE NATION that Obama REALLY was involved in community organization on behalf of the poor in Chicago, and also student activism on campus. He really moved in circles of Black and Hispanic student activists, Marxist professors, feminists, labor and so forth. But even THEN he was known as PRAGMATISTS; and pragmatists tend to be CENTRISTS even when on the LEFT. But now Obama's barely even on the left, and basically just a centrist--not right wing,but clearly not more than MODERATELY liberal.
Frankly, even liberalism is too mild for me. You already know that I'm a democratic sociaiist. I don't expect Obama to be a libertarian socialist. But he could at least be a FIGHTING LIBERAL!!! Otherwise, the Right will walk all over him and US; and Obama will have squandered a great historical opportunity.
People want to believe in Obama, to give him the benefit of the doubt. But at some point you've got to EARN that trust. And as a progressive and philosopher, I'm not inclined toward blind faith.



The 99% Movement is a growing popular democratic movement for economic justice. It is a movement opposed to the concentration of wealth of the corporate plutocracy. And it challenges the worship of wealth and the demeaning of people. Moreover, the Movement has remained for the most part markedly a NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT. Is this a Movement such as Dr. King would support were he with us still? Is this movement akin to the Poor Peoples Movement which Dr. King and others were trying to build during the last few months of his life? Has the Occupy Movement itself been influeunced by the legacy of Dr. King and previous NONVIOLENT movements in America? I think this is a movement such as Dr. King would support. I imagine that he and his supporters would be at Occupy demonstrations even if he were in his 80s. I know black conservative Allen West would disagree, but most conservatives (and many liberals) haven't a clue to the vision and the values which motivated King. To my friends in the Occupy Movement: Continue he legacy of King and others. Forward with the NONVIOLENT popular democratic revolution.



I support occupy movement. Yet, I feel poverty and unemployment is not just the real problem in black community.

In US blacks are systematically discriminated and decimated by new drug laws after slavery and Jim crow. The statistics suggest that drug laws are just NEW Jim crows(in mask) because 90% of black men are jailed for non-violent crime like possessing small amount of drug for personal use. Also, only 5% of white for similar crimes are send to jail. Rest are just send to counseling whereas blacks are send to prison. Some even for 5 years.

Statistics also suggest that there are more blacks in jail compared to the number of slaves in the height of slavery. Once you get arrested irrespective of you getting convicted or not, your chances of landing in good employment, housing or any govt services is NEGLIGIBLE. This drug law or NEW Jim crow Laws have created a NEW system of labor who can be hired without paying minimum wage and benefits.

Anyone want REAL social change should protest against NEW Jim Crow. May be it's time for us to ask if we've real democracy FOR ALL ?



bappie wrote:
Dr. King would most definitely support the Occupy Movement. It was what his entire philosophy was about and that's helping the poor and oppressed and those affected by injustice.
He'd be right out there with them!
Brilliant posts, Ekdes and Savant...


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