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Posts Tagged ‘African-American History’

“Dr. Martin Luther King, politically was a De…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Politically Dr. Martin Luther King, politically was a Democratic Socialist and proud of it. At least when it came to economic policy and foreign policy. He was a democratic collectivist in the sense he believed that the job of government especially the central government, was to see that everyone was taken care of and no one had to go without. And believed in the democratic socialist model of the welfare state that is common in Scandinavia, where the job of the central government is to seen that a lot of the people’s needs are met by the government. Education, health insurance, health care, child care, very generous benefits for the working poor and non-working poor, etc. But he also had what’s called a classical liberal streak (that I call a real liberal streak) where all Americans are entitled to basic individual and equal rights. This quote in this photo is a perfect example of that. Where he’s saying that, “man is not made for the state, but the state is made for the man.

Individuals, don’t get their power from government, but vice-versa. All of our elected officials are exactly that. They have to run in order to serve us and be given the power and responsibility that we the people give them. The people aren’t required to serve the government and serve the politicians, other than obeying the law and cooperating with law enforcement. We don’t have all of these individuals rights under the Bill of Rights, because the current party in power at any given time says we do. Those individuals rights are constitutional and guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. And it’s the job to make our rights are protected. Not to pick and choose who has them and who doesn’t. Which is one reason why I’m such a big believer in civil liberties and freedom of choice and so opposed to political correctness. Dr. King here is speaking for We The People in an individualist way. Saying that we as Americans have basic individuals rights that don’t come from government.

Something that I disagree with Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists on, is the relationship between government and society and government and the people. The socialist-left, tend to combine those groupings into one group. When they say society has done this and provided the people with these things or this country does this for it’s people, they mean the government does these things for the people. When in fact government is the people that are supposed to work for the people and in many cases are elected. Society, is the people and in many cases the people are responsible for job creation, providing health care, education and so-forth and in many cases that is not done by government at all, not even through the financing. But that these services are provided by the private sector, the people who work for private organizations and business’s. When Dr. King was talking about We The People here, he was talking about the basic individuals of the people. Not government and saying that government gets all of their power from the people they’re supposed to serve.

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“I have a dream that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.’ Dr. Martin Lu…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

“I have a dream that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.” Dr. Martin Luther King, the leader of the African-American civil and equal rights movement of the 1960s. Not the only leader, but the leader as far as his importance and what he accomplished for that community. And I’m just quoting what he said in his 1963 March on Washington in his I Have a Dream speech. Dr. King, at the very least wanted an America where his family and the African-American community, would no longer be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Even if he didn’t mean that for America as a whole, lets apply it to the rest of the country anyway. Lets create an America where individuals are judged simply as that. As individuals and not members of this group or any other group. But simply as people and what they have to offer and where they come up short simply as individuals. That is what the vision of a color and race-blind country would be.

Whether someone is racist towards one race of American or another, they’re still racists. If you judge people simply by their race and decide they should be denied access in America simply because of their race, even if you’re attentions are good, you’re guilty of racism. No matter what race you’re a member of and what race or races you intend to benefit and what race or races you seek to deny. That is the opposite of a color and race-blind country. That is not Dr. King’s dream, but the exact opposite of it. How well and how better off would we be as a country if racism and other forms of bigotry, whether they’r targeted against people simply because of their ethnicity religion, gender, or sexuality. We’re not talking about levels of poverty that we are today if racism is simply not part of the picture. Because no one would be denied schools and employment, simply because of their race or any other characteristic that’s part of their DNA. And to say that this group of Americans has been denied access because of their race, now we have to benefit those people by denying other races, is also racism. But from a different direction.

Racism even if it’s used to benefit other groups at the expense of different groups, is still racism. And goes against Dr. King’s dream of a color and race-blind country. What we should do instead is make Dr. King’s dream a reality. And outlaw the use of racism when it’s used to deny any American access, simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexuality. Whether it comes from the private sector or government. And instead don’t automatically notice one’s complexion when you first seem them and think they must be this way, because this is how they look. But instead see a person and someone you can either get along with and work with or not, because of how you individually relate with each other as people, but because of how you were born and how you look. That I believe is the America that Dr. King wanted. An America that worked for everybody based on what you did for it and what you did for yourself to make yourself the most productive and successful person you can be. But not because of how you were born and your racial characteristics.

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Dr. MLK

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

What Thomas Jackson was writing in his DSA piece about Martin King was the next stage of Dr. King’s civil rights and really people’s right campaign. His Poor People’s Campaign and his campaign for economic justice. Dr. King, was the Henry Wallace or Norman Thomas of his time. The 1950s and 60s version of Bernie Sanders. A hard-core self-described Democratic Socialist. Who saw racial bigotry and poverty, especially poverty that overwhelmingly affects one race of Americans over everyone else, as a horrible tragedy. As a national man-made disaster that had to be dealt with right away. Not just for people who suffer in deep poverty, but for the country as a whole. The fewer people you have in poverty the stronger economy you’ll have. More people working and consuming quality products.

Dr. King’s, vision of economic justice not just for African-Americans, but Americans in general was a welfare state that was big enough so no one had to live in poverty. Where all American workers could organize and become members of labor unions. Where the Federal Government guaranteed a national basic income for all of it’s citizens. Where no American was so wealthy that any other American had to live in poverty. Where quality education and housing would be available to all Americans. His agenda, would be even radical even today. Senator Bernie Sanders, is a self-described Democratic Socialist today. But a lot of his followers who are even to the left of Bernie are still afraid of that label and as a result won’t own their own politics. So you could imagine how Dr. King’s economic vision was viewed as back then.

Similar to Senator Sanders, I share many of Dr. King’s goals, but I don’t share the same vision for how to achieve them. But what I like and respect about both them is that they both put their visions and plans out there. And then let people let them know how they feel about them. Dr. King, didn’t want to assist people in poverty. He wanted to end poverty and have an economy where everyone could get educated and get good jobs. Including taxing the wealthy heavily to fund programs to help people achieve their own economic success. Which would be form of wealth redistribution. He put his whole agenda post-civil rights movement and the Fair Housing Law of 1968 out there. About what the next stage of his human rights campaign would have gone into the 1970s.

There was nothing mushy-middle about Dr. King. The civil rights movement of the 1960s was not considered mainstream. It almost destroyed the Democratic Party in the South. But as Dr. King said, ‘it’s always time to do the right thing.’ If something is right you do it whether it’s popular or not. Civil and equal rights are now the backbone of American liberal democracy. But they weren’t even in the 1960s and after that campaign was won. Dr. King didn’t decide to move to the center. But instead moved even farther forward. With his own democratic socialist vision for America that unfortunately, because of his assassination he didn’t have much of an opportunity to see it through. And his movement didn’t really have anyone as strong as him that could pick up his mantle and move the ball forward for his campaign.

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Black Power Leader

Black Power Leader


Radical Films: Let it Burn- The Coming Destruction of The USA? 1968

It’s good to hear a prominent African-American leader support the Right to Self-Defense. Especially with Robert Williams being on the New-Left, or Far-Left in America and a self-described Communist. And I say that, because if there’s one large population in America that has suffered a lot of violence and abuse against them, it’s the African-American community in America. If there’s one community that deserves that right more than anyone else, it would be this community. And I tend to fall on the side of the Martin King social democratic wing of the civil rights movement. But its easy to see why people who have suffered so much against them, would want and need the Right to Self-Defense.

The civil rights movement in America, was multi-racial and multi-political as far as ideology. You had a pacifist social democratic wing in it. Led by Dr. King and his organization. You had a liberal wing that was always talking about self-empowerment and empowering African-Americans to take control of their lives. That also believed in the Right to Self-Defense, led by Malcolm X. And you had a New-Left wing, Communist even, that believed in Black Power and part of that power was using violence against violence and self-protection and defense. Led by the Black Panther Party and many other groups on the New-Left in America.

It sounds like to me that Rob Williams, became more radical as he left America for Cuba in the 1960s. He was President of the NAACP in North Carolina. The NAACP, is a mainstream center-left organization. That is about racial-equality and other issues. It is not a group of Socialists and Communists by in large. And perhaps Williams got tired of all the violence and racism that he was seeing in America and believed he was being persecuted by the U.S. Government. And decided that he needed to change his politics and needed a different approach to take on racism in America and push for racial-equality.

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img_0479Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Angela Davis should’ve never have been in jail, at least for what she was charged with here. Which was being involved in a Marin County court-house shootout in 1970. They had nothing on her other than the fact that she was legally involved and helping people who were accused in the case, like George Jackson. This was about the California establishment trying to take down a women that they were terrified of. Because she was fighting against racism, the prison industrial complex and wanted a different type of government and economic system. That was different from America’s liberal democratic capitalist system.

And to show you that California had nothing on Professor Davis, just look at the fact that she was found innocent. Even though I doubt she had the personal resources that she would’ve needed to defend herself. But had such a large following and different groups that wanted to help her, she was able to get the defense that she needed and deserved. I’m not a Socialist or Communist obviously. Just read this blog on a regular basis if you’re still not convinced. But I wish there were more Angela Davis’s today regardless of race or gender. People who are willing to take on the prison industrial complex that benefits so many wealthy people and business’s at the expense of everyone else. And will risk their freedom to fight the system.

California didn’t try to put Angela Davis away because she was a criminal, terrorist or did any other illegal activities. They tried to put her away because of her political views and what she was fighting for. Which was a different type of government and economic system for America. Which I would’ve opposed her on, but she has every right as a an American to advocate for it. As well as fighting against the prison industrial complex that puts non-violent offenders away for long periods of time. For committing minor offenses mostly on the so-called War on Drugs and things like shoplifting. It was fascists in California that tried to put Angela away simply because of her political views.
AP Archive: Angela Davis- Radical on Trial

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Free Angela
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Freedom of speech in America is not about the right to say things that most of the country already agrees with. Or the right to be friendly, or the right say non-controversial things that people don’t necessarily agree or disagree with, but haven’t thought much about. But freedom of speech is exactly that, the freedom to speak freely. Even if it may intend to offend others. Which is why I’m so against political correctness in America, whether its practiced by the Far-Left or Far-Right. And will defend the Far-Left’s and Far-Right’s ability to speak freely as best as I can. Because political correctness is illiberal and Un-Liberal Democratic. Because it is a form of fascism.

That is exactly what this movie, Free Angela is about. One women’s struggle a UCLA professor in Angela Davis who got that position in her mid-twenties, not just her age, but a young African-American women in the late 1960s early 70s getting such an important position as a great school like UCLA. And she was in a fight for her life to be able to speak against injustice in her community and America as a whole. And even use provocative if not extreme far-left rhetoric to express how she felt about America and the state of the African-American community. She didn’t and doesn’t still have the right to express her feelings about these issues because a lot of people agree with her. But simply because she’s an American with the right to free speech.

And then throw in the fact that she was a Communist back then and even though she’s given up communism since and is a Democratic Socialist today, but back in the late 1960s and early 70s she was a Communist in the heart of the Cold War and she offended too many people. And the establishment in California decided that they can’t have a young African-American women with that much power, that big of a platform and that big of a following loose on the streets. And came up with a bogus case to put her away in jail. Ultimately the good guys and gals won this case and Angela Davis was free in I believe 1971. But she should’ve never of had to go through that as an innocent person.

I’m not defending Professor Davis’s communist and now socialist views. Simply her constitutional right to express them, as a Liberal Democrat myself. I’m not nearly that far to the Left as a center-left Liberal and not a Socialist, but we do agree on the prison industrial complex. Which simply needs to be destroyed and replaced with a responsible and sensible criminal justice policy in this country. If we want to remain a liberal free society. But again Socialists on the Far-Left have as much right to express themselves in America, as Christian-Theocrats and Neoconservatives on the Far-Right. The constitutional right to be heard and express yourself. And that to me at least is what Professor Davis’s case was about.

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The Tenement
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

At risk of sounding political, but I’ll also be factual here, what you see in this film and community is the failures of public housing in America. And essentially forced segregation of not just the races, but of the economic classes for lack of a better term in America. Where you had middle class communities that are doing well. Upper class communities that are doing very well. And then lower class communities where the people there get what is left. Which is run-down apartment buildings, run-down schools. High crime rates where no one with real money wants to invest. And you create a community that looks like a big city inside of a third world country.

Public housing by itself is not a problem because that has prevented a lot of homelessness in America. But how its been run and managed in America especially for the kids being trapped in such run-down communities in run-down neighborhoods. A lot of times in single-parent families where the father is out of the picture for one reason or another. Where the mother might not even have a high school diploma let alone any college experience. Working two or three jobs to support her several kids, if she’s working at all. And having communities like this has serious costs. For the people who live there obviously, but for the country as a whole that has to try to makeup for what these families aren’t able to provide for themselves.

And the way public housing has been run in America has negatively affected the African-American community probably more than any community in the country other than the American-Indian community. Because African-Americans have generally had a poverty level twice that of the national average. And much higher than the Caucasian-American and Asian-American communities in America. And this is something that we should stop doing as a country and instead having public housing buildings in middle class communities. With education, job training and work opportunities for the people in these communities so they don’t have to live in public housing at all.

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