Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Martin Luther King’

“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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

The O'Reilly Finger

Source: The Young Turks-The O’Reilly Finger

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeStates Plus

I don’t know where Bill O’Reilly gets the 75% of African-American babies being born out-of-wedlock. But he does have a point about the state of the current African-American community. And would have problems with it and disagreements with the community. And would want to see more done so this community doesn’t have more poverty, less education, fewer fathers in the households, more crime and murders and people in prison than the rest of the country as a whole.

But I guess it wouldn’t be The O’Reilly Finger, I mean Factor, if Billy wasn’t just stating the obvious and emphasizing the negative. Fifty-years after the I Have a Dream speech, fewer African-Americans now live in poverty, more go to school and finish school, graduate from college, live in the middle class. African-Americans, still not doing as well as Caucasians, regardless of ethnicity, or Asian-Americans. And that is still the challenge for this community. To come to par with the rest of the country and not have negative statistics that are twice the average of the entire country.

To accomplish this, more African-Americans and Americans in general in poverty, need to go to good schools, finish school, further their education, not have kids until they’re personally and financially ready to take care of them and then actually raise their kids. And this get to men in the community that are man enough to create babies and life, but not man enough to raise their own kids. And leave that to the mother who isn’t doing very well herself, yet ready to raise kids all by herself.
The Young Turks: Cenk Uygur- Bill O’Reilly: One The Truth About Martin L. King Jr.

Read Full Post »

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Source: Research Channel: Video: Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture in Social Justice

Martin L. King was a true Social Democrat. Not a Marxist, or a Communist, but someone who believed in using government to redistribute wealth from the wealthy and use that money through government to provide for low-income people who lacked the basic tools to live well in America. Which in many ways is what democratic socialism is about. To see to it that a few people don’t do so well, while so many others live without the basic necessities.

And had Dr. King lived past 1968 and wasn’t assassinated at thirty-nine years old in 1968, the next stage of his movement would have been about poverty in America economic and social justice. And perhaps would have been the modern Bernie Sanders, or Henry Wallace of his generation. And perhaps we would have seen the Green Party emerged in the 1970s as a true Social Democratic Party. That could compete with Democrats and Republicans.

Economically speaking, I see Senator Bernie Sanders as the Martin King of his generation. Depending on how you define generations and would Senator Sanders and Dr. King, be in the same generation, or not. But two men who are essentially anti-wealth. That being wealthy and economically independents are bad things in their view, when others go without. So in their view, you need a big government to take from the well-off, to give to the less-fortunate, so no one has to live in poverty.

Read Full Post »

Equal Rights Leader

Equal Rights Leader

NBC News: Video: Meet The Press: Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965

Dr. Martin Luther King and his movement, wasn’t marching for the exercise, or the fresh air of it. But they were marching for freedom and to have the same constitutional rights and freedom as Americans who were born in America. As any other American that they already had under the U.S. Constitution.But weren’t getting their constitutional rights enforced equally under law. As Caucasian-Americans and that is what they were marching for. For equal rights and equal treatment under law and were very successful with their movement.

African-Americans, in the 1960s, were marching for their freedom. That every other American had under the U.S. Constitution, but under law as well. That government discriminating against people based on race like forcing people to go to poor schools and sit in the back of the bus and not be able to eat at certain restaurants, being denied the right to vote and so-forth. Was simply unconstitutional and that they were mad as hell so to speak and weren’t going to take it anymore and were going to fight back in a non-violent manner.

1964-65 was the Martin L. King’s wing of the civil rights movement’s peak. When they were at the top of their game, so to speak and were pushing the ball and on the offensive. With the anti-equal rights supporters on the defensive at every point. In the courts, in the media and even in Congress. With the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. After those two laws were passed, the MLK movement sort of went off in different directions. And talking about the Vietnam War and other issues. Instead of putting the full focus on equal rights and fighting poverty.

Read Full Post »

Social Democrat

Social Democrat

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

Economic policy, is the part of Dr. Martin L. King’s message that I disagree with. And where he was lacking, because he sort of took this social democratic view that came out of the New Deal, or Great Society. That judged what we were doing to help the middle class and low-income people based on how much we spent on them. “That if we spend a lot of money to reduce poverty, that poverty will go away, because we’ll have all of these government programs to take care of people.”

I mean, if you listen to this video, you’ll see clip from one of his speeches where he says, “we now have the resources that we need to wipeout poverty”. You could spend a trillion dollars a year in America, or anywhere else to reduce poverty and right now the United States is not that far from that. And you’ll still have poverty in this country if that money is not being spent to empower people to get themselves out of poverty. Because government no mater what it spends, or any private organization for that matter can’t get people out of poverty by themselves. The people in poverty have to do that for themselves. What government and the private sector can do is empower people to get themselves out of poverty.

I love both men, you know platonically, but where I give Malcolm X an advantage over Dr. King is when it came to economics. Minister X’s message was about education and self-reliance when it came to economic policy. Economically, Minister X was closer to Barry Goldwater than Lyndon Johnson, or Franklin Roosevelt. He wanted to empower the African-American community to get themselves the tools that they needed to be economically independent, self-reliant in life, making it on their own.

Which is why he believed in education so much and personally knew what life could be like as a young man. Who didn’t have one and educated himself as an adult partially in prison. Which is how Malcolm X was educated. Dr. King’s message, was about wealth redistribution. Taking from the wealthy in America through high taxes to take care of the low-income people. A very different message from that of Minister X which was about empowering people to be able to create their own wealth.

I give Reverend King the edge when it came to the civil rights movement. Because without the message of non-violence, the civil rights movement would’ve never have gotten as far as it did, not even come close. Because this movement would’ve been seen as a bunch of thugs, criminals, terrorists by the so-called mainstream media. But taking it a next step forward post-civil rights laws of the 1960s. I give the edge to Malcolm X as far as what African-Americans should now do with the freedom they finally have under law.

Read Full Post »

Dr. MLK & Ralph Abernathy

Dr. MLK & Ralph Abernathy

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

I don’t believe there are many people perhaps in the history of the world, but certainly in the history of the United States who had better timing than Martin L. King. And I say that for a few reasons, but just take when Reverend King gave this speech and when he died. Which was the next day in 1968 and then look at, or listen to what Reverend King said in this speech and what was in it and what he had to say. Which I at least believe was vision for what the civil rights movement was all about.

And what it meant to be an American no matter your race in a liberal democracy such as the United States. Where we all under the United States Constitution are to be treated equally under law with the same constitutional rights and freedoms as any other American. That we aren’t supposed to be treated better, or worse by law in this country. And that’s just one reason why the way African-Americans were treated in America prior to the civil rights laws of the 1960s was simply unconstitutional. Because African-Americans were treated worse than Caucasian-Americans under law in this country.

What Reverend King was saying in this speech was that he’s seen the mountaintop of where all Americans were being treated equally under law. That this vision is real where no American has to live in poverty. Without the basic necessities and skills to be able to live well in life. That we aren’t there yet and you might not see him there with you, but this vision is real and we can get there together as a people. If we keep moving forward as a people and a country to build this society where no race of people is treated worse under law simply based on their race.

That we can accomplish this and get there together if we keep up the fight and struggle for equal and human rights in this country until we finally reach the mountaintop. And finally accomplish what we’ve struggled for all of these years. Thats what this speech was about as far as I’m concern at least and what Reverend King was telling his supporters. That even if you don’t see him there with you, he’s already seen the vision of what we are fighting for. And know we can get there if we keep on moving the ball forward until we get there.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »